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The Student News Site of Dakota Ridge High School

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Deputy T.C. Joins Deputy Dave as a Dakota Ridge Officer

Kaylee Walls
Deputy T.C. joined Dakota Ridge this year.

Many DRHS students were aware of Deputy Dave’s absence during the first semester of this year. When the second semester began, everyone was excited to welcome Deputy Dave back to Dakota Ridge, but they were a bit surprised to see he brought someone new along with him.

Deputy Dave had a lot of responsibilities, and Dakota Ridge decided it would be easier on him if he had some help in the office.  In the workplace — Dakota Ridge High School, Summit Ridge Middle School, and Powderhorn Elementary — the new DRHS resource officer, Deputy T.C. Houston, assists Deputy Dave Bruening where he can. Several deputies applied to work at Dakota Ridge with Deputy Dave, and a list was made with the applicants, but Deputy T.C. was at the top of the list.

“He has my back, literally, and the things that I miss, which are numerous, he catches or he follows up on,” Deputy Dave said.  Deputy Dave explains that having T.C. around is not just helpful with work, but also that their personalities complement each other and they work well together.

Deputy T.C.’s burning wing tattoo on his inner elbow.

Deputy Dave describes T.C. as compassionate and explains that it is an important quality in a cop. He also describes him as honest, genuine, and professional. As it turns out, T.C.’s compassion is what initially pushed him to become a cop. “I wanted to help people,” T.C. said. “I especially wanted to respond when things were in crisis.”

Behind the closed doors of his home, T.C. lives with his girlfriend and two boys (8 and 10 years old). He said that his girlfriend is nervous every day because of his job, mainly because he has to wear a bulletproof vest under his uniform. And every day T.C. reminds her that he loves her before he leaves for work. Despite this, his girlfriend is still proud of what he does, as are his kids. “They love the fact that Dad is out there making a difference,” T.C. said.

While his family is one of the main things that encourages him to keep going, they aren’t what inspired him to become a cop. T.C. grew up in Jeffco and was in high school during the Columbine shooting. Witnessing that is what persuaded him to work specifically in schools. He really wanted to protect children with everything he could.

Deputy T.C.’s dinosaur tattoo on his upper bicep, often slightly covered by his uniform.

Deputy T.C. applied specifically to Dakota Ridge because he could feel the potential the school had. “I just love this area,” T.C. said.  “I love Dakota…My nieces went here, and it’s a great school.”

But even still, there’s so much more to him than what meets the eye, and he displays pieces of his story through his tattoos. On his forearm, there is a wing that is on fire. T.C. described it as a “visual representation of the invisible” marks from when he was fighting in Afghanistan, one of the 27 countries T.C. has traveled to. During his time serving in the military as a special forces chaplain, meaning he would jump out of helicopters, he describes himself as a “super crazy, little army dude.” T.C. switched to being a cop after he medically retired from the military.

Deputy T.C.’s “Say When” tattoo on his left forearm.

According to Deputy T.C., the wing represents the pureness and goodness of our nation in helping Africa, and the fire represents the war. Not only that, but T.C. also has two spots where he was burned while he was serving in Afghanistan. 

Deputy T.C. also has a tattoo of a dinosaur skull, specifically an Allosaurus. When he was a kid, his dad took him to Dinosaur National Monument and he fell in love with the extinct beast. T.C. said the tattoo almost reminded him of his father.

Deputy T.C. has another tattoo with the phrase “Say When” around a cowboy hat on his left forearm. “Doc Holiday is one of my favorite characters,” T.C. said. “The best thing about ‘Say When’ is that it’s not a threat, it’s just a promise… if something happens: I will be ready.”

 While Deputy T.C. is always willing to joke around and have a fun time, making jokes about his height, as Doc and T.C. said, “Say when” and he will jump to protect the students of the school he works for.

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About the Contributor
Kaylee Walls
Kaylee Walls, Staff Writer
Kaylee Walls is a sophomore and first year writer for The Cord News. She took reporting due to a recommendation from her Honors English teacher and practically fell in love with the art of it all. An overall honest person, she enjoys digging for the truth and bringing it to the light.

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