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Denver7 Everyday Hero starts watchdog program to keep Thornton students safe

Watchdog Roger acts as a warning system for school
Robert Lance_Watchdog at school
Posted at 9:40 AM, Nov 15, 2021

THORNTON, Colo. — At 74, Roger Lance has held plenty of titles, but his latest might just be his most important one yet.

"What little I can do to help protect this campus, is a good way to spend an old man’s life," Lance said.

Around Brantner Elementary School in Thornton, he's known as "Watchdog Roger." He has become the official eyes and ears of the school.

"What we are is an early warning system," Lance said.

It's a program he started three years ago at the school his granddaughter attends in response to the school violence playing out nationwide.

"I like to be seen. I drive this old van. I’ve got signs on it so people know who I am and I want people to understand, if we have good surveillance, it can be a deterrent," Lance said.

His day starts at 7:15 a.m. with crosswalk duty. He then patrols the school's perimeter until school lets out at 3:45 p.m..

"He is here every day whether it’s snowy, icy, raining — he’s out here riding his bike, driving his van around just making sure everything looks good, watching the kids at recess. He is a treasure," said Brantner Elementary staff member Laura Fine.

In his three years guarding Brantner, Lance has become a bit of a legend.

"I’ve seen him every day at recess. You can just see him riding his bike," said fifth grader Lyric Lopez.

One young student even dressed up as the school's watchdog. A picture shows his outfit complete with the reflective vest and all.

"They clearly make an impact on me — this is a great school," Lance said.

It's a great school that has a piece of mind, thanks to an everyday hero.

"It’s easy to get cynical and it’s easy to get filled with despair and these kids fill me with hope. It’s a spiritual uplift for me," Lance said.

To volunteer for the program, contact Brantner Elementary School at 720-685-5050.

Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.