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Deputy is only woman in state who teaches courses to law enforcement driving instructors

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Deputy Shannon Lofland with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office teaches skills like defensive driving, pursuit driving and pursuit termination techniques.

DENVER — Deputy Shannon Lofland with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office said she has always loved to drive, even though she wasn’t very good at it when she first started.

So, the native Coloradan said she put in the time and got better. Much better. So much better, in fact, that she’s now in charge of the sheriff department’s law enforcement driving program

Lofland teaches skills like defensive driving, pursuit driving and pursuit termination techniques to the department’s sworn members.

“It’s highly important that we provide quality training to them when it comes to vehicle operation … because it is our most highly performed function,” Lofland said.

She is also the only woman in Colorado who “trains the trainers,” teaching courses to law enforcement driving instructors throughout the state, as well as in New Mexico, Nevada and Wyoming. Lofland said being a woman in a position traditionally held by men can have its challenges, but that her driving ability usually wins over her skeptics.

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“There have been times over the years when people question, they say ‘I haven’t seen you drive, I want you to show me, you need to get in there and drive,’ and then I do it, I show them,” said Lofland.

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Lofland said she hopes to spend the rest of her career teaching law enforcement officers how to drive well and drive safely.  A 17-year veteran of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department, she said she still loves what she does and, for that reason, even the thought of retirement is still a ways down the road.

“I’ve been so fortunate to find something that I truly appreciate and enjoy and want to pass on,” Lofland said.

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