Avery Snover is not your typical young man, a fact most who know him can testify to as being true. Not long after moving to Eads to live with his grandparents and subsequently entering high school, Avery got a job at Crow’s Stop and Shop where he quickly became known as “the kid” who was always friendly and ready to help.
As Avery got a little older, he developed an interest in volunteering for the Kiowa County Fire Department. Far from just a passing interest, Avery took his volunteer fireman’s role very seriously and, whenever possible, was one of the first firefighters out on a call, consistently demonstrating professionalism beyond his years and more than holding his own in any of the emergency situations he responded to.
Avery’s interest then expanded to becoming an EMT. After taking the class and passing the exam, Avery continued to answer calls for the fire department while also being on call for the ambulance service, as well.
During that period of time, there were several calls that would be difficult for grown men and women to handle, much less a teenage young man. Nonetheless, Avery took it in stride and continued meeting his commitments with both the fire department and the hospital while attending high school full time.
In looking back on those experiences, Avery says, “The reward of helping people…it really warms your heart. Plus, I got to know a lot of people. The community is so great. It’s so welcoming.”
At some point, Avery began to become interested in becoming a deputy with the sheriff’s department. Perhaps, part of the interest came from interacting with the Sheriff’s Department on so many calls, as he did in both his role as volunteer fireman and EMT. But, much more likely, when asked, Avery tracks his interest back to his family.
“My uncle was a cop, and he passed away.” He thinks for just a moment. “I guess it takes a certain brand of person to become a cop. And I like the idea of ‘to serve and protect’. I just really love it.”
When Avery graduated, he had clearly made a name for himself in the community and was widely viewed as a young man with a promising future and a lot to give, should someone choose to make the investment. During commencement ceremonies, that investment was openly encouraged by the Eads High School Principal, Betsy Barnett, when she spoke to the audience about the importance of keeping a young man like Avery in the community, encouraging someone to help him with the tuition requirements to attend the school of his choice.
As it turned out, someone had already beaten her to the idea.
Casey Sheridan, Sheriff for Kiowa County, had already seen Avery’s potential and had plans for the department to sponsor his tuition, should he choose to pursue the career.
That offer didn’t need to be made twice. As soon as he could enter school, planning it out such that he would meet the minimum age of 21 at the time he took the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) test, he enrolled at the Otero Junior College Law Enforcement Academy.
Of the school, he says, “It was an intense program. It lasted for 16 weeks and was full time.” Due to the financial support he’d received from the Sheriff’s Department, Avery could live on campus at OJC in La Junta and focus on his studies. “I met a lot of great people,” Avery says, “and they prepared us really well to take the Colorado Peace Officer test. Classes included both written work and physical preparedness.”
The topics were all inclusive; however, Avery said he developed a few favorites, including (among other things) firearms training and driving.
On December 3rd, Avery took the POST test and passed, fulfilling the last requirement on the way to becoming a deputy.
The Sheriff issued the following statement: “The Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office would like to congratulate Avery J. Snover of Eads who passed his Police Officer Standards and Training test on Monday, December 3rd. Avery attended the OJC Law Enforcement Academy, an intensive 15 week, 40 semester hour training course in La Junta. He will officially become a deputy with KCSO on December 7th. We look forward to having this fine young man join our team!”
Avery’s take on the situation can be summed up in his take on things at this point in his life. “This community is so great. It’s by far the best opportunity I’ve had in my life and I want to thank the staff of the sheriff’s department, Sheriff Sheridan, my family, my friends and the people of Kiowa County. I’m just really thankful.”