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Riding along with Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office on a heat advisory day

Posted at 5:44 PM, Jun 25, 2024

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — When Denver7 met up with Sgt. Robert Horvath on Tuesday afternoon, it was already well above 90 degrees outside. Our crew rode along for what he called, "proactive policing."

In addition to the other calls for service, deputies keep their eye out for anyone else who may be in need but might be able to call for help.

"While driving around if you see someone that clearly needs some medical attention, or at very least a bottle of water, y'know, we check in on the community," said Sgt. Horvath, who has been with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office for two decades.

In the entire month of June so far, Arapahoe County officials have responded to more than a dozen calls of animals left in hot cars.

While chatting with a woman who was leaving a local gym, Sgt. Horvath tested the temperature inside her car that was parked outside, with a reflector on it, while she was inside. The dashboard read at 158 degrees, the seat was 155 degrees.

Sgt. Horvath said, fortunately, it's not very common to get a call of someone leaving a child in a hot car, but it can happen.

Colorado's Good Samaritan Law does allow someone to break a window if they see a pet or at-risk person in extreme distress in a hot car.

"A lot of people are going to be thinking in the back of their minds, 'am I going to be held criminally liable or civilly liable if I break this glass?" said Sgt. Horvath, who insists people should call 9-1-1 immediately in that situation since officers have the correct tools to break into a car and medical professionals will also be dispatched to help the patient. "Assess what you have. If a kid is unconscious, not responsive, it's a 90-degree day. I'm not telling you to break the glass or not break the glass, but in my opinion, a life over property."

Riding along with Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office on a heat advisory day

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