NewsPositively Colorado


Dancing deputy's moves help create connections with students

El Paso County Sheriff's Dancing Deputy
Posted at 5:22 PM, Mar 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-13 07:57:03-04

EL PASO COUNTY, CO — El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Wheat knows it takes more than a few cool dance moves to connect with students, but so far it's paying off, especially with the varsity Poms Dance Team at Lewis-Palmer High School in Monument.

"It really shows his true character, and what he really does for the school," said Poms Dance Team member Aviana De Lourenzo.

Poms Dance Team member Ava Zallar says Wheat is just like another friend at school.

"He makes you feel so seen and appreciated and we just adore him," Zallar said.

Poms member Taylor Brooks says Wheat is someone they trust and feel safe going to with any concern.

"Safety doesn’t just mean physical protection," Brooks said. "It also means emotional protection and trusting, trusting that he could walk in and we could tell him anything that’s on our heart, anything that’s heavy for us, to trust that he would be someone who would listen and he would understand and he would see us for where we are at. That is something that is so so special and valuable."

They're connections Wheat says he's been working on since he became the school resource officer at LPHS at the end of 2020.

"I’d be at all the extracurricular activities, sometimes off-duty, supporting all the sports, theater, choir, band, going to construction class, PE class all the time," Wheat said. "I am always trying to get involved with the students."

Wheat says a few months after he started, he was asked to give a safety talk to the school. It turned into a highlight of his career.

"I lead a roller coaster cheer," Wheat said as he showed us a video of the moment students broke out into chants supporting him. "It was just one of the most exhilarating times in my career, the support I felt from the student body at that point."

His latest ask: to perform with the Poms Dance team. Wheat said he was nervous to accept the challenge.

"I just didn’t want to mess it up because they talked a little bit about how (they) might put this on TikTok," said Wheat. "You know how social media is. It takes one video and you’re famous."

Wheat may not be "famous" but the video has had more than 18,000 likes and hundreds of shares on the El Paso County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

It's a big show of support for a deputy trying to find ways to support his students best.

"You see him roaming in the halls he’ll say Hi to you and he’ll give you a fist bump," said Poms Dance Team member Tessa Wilson. "It makes me feel so happy seeing him here and he makes me feel so protected. He truly makes everyone’s day better."

Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.