GOLDEN, Colo. -- The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has a unique motto: Do Good in Green.
JeffCo deputies wear dark green uniforms, but the motto is about much more than that. It's about going above and beyond one's regular duties to improve the community.
Perhaps nobody exemplifies the motto better than Deputy Kyle Bedford.
Growing up in Arvada, Bedford was homeless by the age of 17. His parents were in and out of legal trouble, and finding a ride to school and to work became a major problem.
"For a long time, I just kind of couch surfed," he said. "I'd stay with this buddy for a while, then that buddy, just wherever I could find a place to stay."
Eventually, a family friend offered him a permanent place to live.
They also gave him another gift: a 1993 Buick.
"They were generous enough to give me this car," Bedford said.
But there was a catch: the car had many miles and major issues.
"It would break down all the time," joked Bedford. "It seemed like every two months, my car was broken down again, and I was under it in the snow wrenching on it."
Through all of this, Bedford became handy under the hood.
"After you fix enough stuff, you get better at it. And I think at this point, there's not a lot that I haven't had to fix on a car," he said.
When it came time to move on to a new car, Bedford tried to return it to the family that gifted it.
"They said, 'No, just pay it forward,'" Bedford said.
Seven years later, Bedford has found his calling as a deputy in Jefferson County. He drives inmates between jails and prisons in the Denver metro area.
In his free time, he purchases cars on Craigslist, fixes them and then gives them away.
"I always like giving them to kids, just because having a car is so important to starting out your life. I think it's something we really take for granted," he said.
This week, Bedford gave away his fourth car to a pastor in Evergreen.
"Great person to take it, because he's going to be working with kids, helping the community," Bedford said.
He jokes his girlfriend will only allow him to work on one car at a time, but he hopes to continue doing it for years to come.
"I want to do it for as long as I can, as long as I know how to work on cars, and they're not flying. As soon as cars start flying, I'm going to step out, because I don't want to be responsible for flying car crashes or anything like that," he said.
As for the impact on his savingss account, Bedford says the cause is well worth it.
"I really believe in community, I really believe in public service. I did this before I was involved in law enforcement, and I'll do it after. I want to this for as long as I can," he said.AlertMe