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On February 6, 2018 Sheriff John Spezze presented Deputy Jesse Sanderlin with one of the highest honors given to a Chaffee County Deputy, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office Distinguished Service Cross.

Sheriff Spezze told those in attendance that in December, 2017 Deputy Sanderlin was on routine patrol and observed a vehicle with a driver that appeared to be avoiding contact with law enforcement. Deputy Sanderlin followed the vehicle into a subdivision keeping dispatch well informed of his location. The driver ultimately stopped and exited the vehicle. The driver was holding a handgun and began to walk away from Deputy Sanderlin. Deputy Sanderlin gave commands to stop and put the gun down. The subject continued walking away stating that Deputy Sanderlin would have to kill him. Deputy Sanderlin followed the subject at gunpoint, maintaining cover and communicating to dispatch his location.

Deputy Sanderlin continued to follow the subject evaluating if deadly force was an option. Sanderlin had to evaluate this rapidly unfolding dangerous situation and kept the presence of mind to pinpoint his location for cover officers and what force option was appropriate all while caring for his own safety and concern for the occupied houses they were quickly approaching.

Deputy Sanderlin recognized the opportunity to utilize a less lethal option, tazing the subject. This tactic was successful; the subject was disarmed and taken into custody.

Deputy Sanderlin is to be commended for his initial observations. He encountered an individual that was armed and extremely dangerous not only to Deputy Sanderlin but to the public as well. Deputy Sanderlin displayed not only exemplary courage but an incredible presence of mind in that his officer safety was outstanding and his ability to communicate his location was impeccable. For his outstanding performance in this situation Deputy Jesse Sanderlin is awarded the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office Distinguished Service Cross.