So what exactly is
Regardless of who you are, or where you’re from, people are generally UNAWARE of how the police do their jobs. This in turn creates NEGATIVE BIASES against the police everywhere. To make things worse, some officers, who work with a BADGE HEAVY mindset, contribute to this negative bias.
People oftentimes get hurt, or worse, they could lose their life.
How CopTalk Helps
CopTalk videos help to educate people as to why the police do what they do in various circumstances, on various Social Media platforms, hosted by a retired major city police Sergeant. The hope is when people come into contact with the police, they can understand what is happening, so they do not get hurt or killed.
@coptalktv on IG
@vazster on TikTok
Damon Vaz is a retired Police Sergeant having served for 23 years with the Aurora Police Department in Aurora Colorado. Damon started his career as a graveyard shift officer working the Colfax Corridor. He served as a Field Training Officer (FTO), trained his Department how to operate the then new, Mobile Data Computers (MDC’s) and was a member of the Emergency Response Team (ERT). He spent 7 years as a Police Area Representative (community policing cop) where he was credited with modernizing the way officers interact with communities Neighborhood Watch Programs.
He received several Commander Commendations for his work on patrol and a meritorious service ribbon for his actions during an officer involved shooting. He also received the City’s “Eagle Award” given once a year to either a police or firefighter for outstanding service.
In 2008, Damon was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, where he supervised Patrol teams in multiple district’s and served as a Field Force Squad Leader for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. As a special assignments Sergeant, he supervised both Police Area Representative teams in District 1, the Foot patrol Team, and the Departments School Resource Officer (SRO) Unit. As a SRO Sergeant, he also created the annual Cops, Coats and Kids coat drive where the program donated over 1500 coats to school students in need.
Damon then shifted to investigations (Detectives) where he was tasked to create and manage the Departments first Unit to fight crime for at-risk elders and persons with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). The Unit was created in response to Colorado’s new Mandatory Reporting laws for at-risk elders and persons with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability. The Special Victims Unit was locally recognized by the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council, with the Dan Davidson Inclusion Award. He was the first Sergeant to head this Unit and was responsible for laying the foundation of policies and procedures that the Unit abides by to this day.
Retiring from police work at the age of 50, as times have changed, he felt he was no longer able to have a positive impact in his role as an investigations Sergeant. He aptly dubbed it, working within the circle of "No’s". Still feeling he had a lot to offer his community, Damon joined the Board Of Directors with the Arc of Aurora, an advocacy group serving the I/DD Community. Damon has also consulted for the Colorado District Attorney’s Council, teaching law enforcement agencies how to conduct at-risk investigations while in retirement.
Being socially conscious, and aware of our national mistrust of police, especially in communities of color, Damon one day had an epiphany. While watching TikTok videos that his teenage son made him aware of, Damon realized that if he shared valuable information on this platform that younger people are not aware of, he may be able to help young people survive a variety of police contacts. Because of the questions often asked by friends outside of law enforcement about police strategies during contacts Damon thought, "why stop there"?
Damon is married with one teenage son, enjoys hanging with family, working out, playing golf and watching his son play high school football.