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DENVER (KDVR) — After 28 years working in news, and nearly 16 years at FOX31 and Channel 2, Deborah Takahara is taking her career in a new direction.

For years, she has made a difference in the lives of others as a journalist. Now she will get to utilize her unique skill set to communicate what is being done at the federal level to help make the community safer.

“After all these years, I have found my TRUE calling. I have been asked to serve as public affairs specialist for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado,” Takahara shared.

Takahara also hopes to be able to bridge the divide between law enforcement and the community.

“I never thought I would leave TV news, but here I am with an opportunity of a lifetime to serve our community with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado,” Takahara explained. “We all need to work together to make our communities safer. This is my way of doing ‘something.'”

A look back at Deborah’s career

Takahara is an award-winning journalist who has traveled the country chasing big news stories.

As a reporter for KTVT-TV (CBS) in Dallas, she saw firsthand the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. She traveled to Mexico to cover the violence at the border. She was awarded a regional Emmy for coverage of an airman’s return home, 37 years after he was killed in action in Vietnam.

After graduating from the University of California at Irvine, Deborah began her broadcasting career in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where she worked for KHBS-TV (ABC). A short six months later, KATV-TV (ABC) in Little Rock hired her as a general assignment reporter. She worked her way up to weekend morning anchor and then weekday morning anchor. Her next jump took her back to her Southern California roots, where she was an anchor and reporter for KNSD-TV (NBC) in San Diego. Deborah also worked for NBC News where she covered major news events on the West Coast.

For almost 16 years, she has been at FOX31 and Channel 2 as an anchor and reporter where she has delivered countless stories that have had a major impact on the community.

A farewell from Deborah Takahara

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been going a million miles an hour, burning the candle at both ends, trying to keep my head above water. It’s time to slow it down and catch my breath. I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude for your support, viewership and friendship over the course of my journalism career. I thought I had found my calling 30 years ago when I saw an anchor in Los Angeles doing live shots during a Southern California wildfire, her hair blowing in the wind and sparks flying all around her. I thought, “That is what I want to do!”

It was so odd for someone like me who grew up camera shy, so terrified that my preschool picture is literally me crying because the photographer got tired of waiting for me to smile and just snapped the picture. But I overcame that fear and ended up embracing being in front of the camera so I could share stories and bring people the news.

It has been an honor and privilege. I’ve enjoyed every minute of being a journalist. I’ve covered fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, Super Bowls and World Series. I’ve interviewed celebrities, politicians and everyday people who had stories to share and families who have lost everything, including loved ones. We have worked together to make a difference. The power of the media never ceases to amaze me.

I was blessed to have been able to help so many people with this platform.

  • Like the Denver mother who now has answers because our viewers identified the person who stabbed her son to death after we aired surveillance pictures.
  • Like the Douglas County mother who was able to get legislation passed to make it easier for parents to find out information about home daycares after she shared her story about her baby girl’s death.
  • Like the carjacking victim who got a new car after he let me share his story. He started volunteering because he wanted to pay it forward.
  • Like helping to raise $1.5 million to Support the Shield so our men and women in blue and their families can rest easier knowing they have better protection.
  • Like the Dallas woman with lupus who got experimental treatment that changed her life thanks to a story that connected her with an anonymous donor who gave $130,000.
  • And the 6-year-old boy who opened a lemonade stand the day after his father died because he wanted to take him mom on a date. I connected him with Fox News and he went from $230 to more than $50,000, most of it going to cancer research. What a pleasure it has been to tell these stories and many more.

Now it is time to write the next chapter in my life. After all these years, I have found my TRUE calling. I have been asked to serve as public affairs specialist for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado. It’s especially timely given the recent uptick in violent crime and drug overdose deaths. I have this incredible opportunity to utilize my unique skill set to communicate what is being done at the federal level to make our community safer.

I also hope I can help bridge the divide between law enforcement and the community. I’m sure this news comes as a surprise to many, but going into public service makes perfect sense and the timing couldn’t be better. I grew up as an Air Force brat. My father served 20 years in the United States Air Force. He and my mom taught me about hard work, sacrifice and serving with integrity. My cousin graduated from the Air Force Academy and just recently retired as a Brigadier General in the Air Force. My uncle and another cousin also served for decades in the USAF. Then I married into a family that has a combined 100 years of service to the City and County of Denver with the Denver Police Department.

I am so proud to come from a family that has given this country so much! Now it is my turn to serve. I’ve specialized in law enforcement and criminal justice for most of my time in journalism.

My passion for law enforcement actually started back in high school when we lived next door to the Fountain Valley police chief. He gave me a tour of the station, set up ridealongs for me and inspired me. I specialized in criminal justice at UC Irvine. After an internship at the Laguna Beach Police Department’s homicide unit, I decided I wasn’t cut out for police work.

As a reporter, it was an honor to be trusted with the stories of my heroes: the law enforcement officers who risk their lives for our safety every single day and night. Some of them made the ultimate sacrifice. Their families are part of my family now. This new position allows me to continue supporting law enforcement, just in a different way.

As we all know, crime is skyrocketing and something needs to be done. We all need to work together to make our communities safer. This is my way of doing “something.”

Most importantly, this will allow me to pick up the kids from school. As difficult as it is to be a news reporter (stress, competition, deadline pressure), it is nothing compared to the stress of trying to figure out who is going to pick up the kids, what will they have for dinner, who will help them with homework and put them to bed.

I am eternally grateful to my in-laws and friends and nannies who have stepped in to help over the past several years! Wise old Avery asked me not long ago if I could go back to college to become a stay-at-home mom. I’ll never be qualified to do that, but it was a deciding factor in my decision to make this huge life change. I am incredibly thankful to all those who have supported me: my family, my friends, my agent, my coworkers, my sources and even my competitors who inspired me to work harder and dig deeper.

There are so many people behind the scenes that made me look good every single night. I was blessed with the very best production crew, photographers, producers and engineers who made sure I always looked and sounded my best.

I will miss you, but I look forward to working with you all in a different capacity.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Deborah