Living a double life

K.C. Hume a man staying busy with Sheriff's Office, Craig Fire/Rescue

photo

K.C. Hume

photo

K.C. Hume

photo

K.C. Hume

— The desktop in K.C. Hume's office at the Moffat County Public Safety Center is littered with loose papers, notebooks and, because it's lunchtime and he's a man on the go, a Taco Bell wrapper.

In between running errands, returning telephone calls, checking out a pager that's continuously going off and answering a reporter's questions, Hume sneaks a few quick bites from his chili cheese burrito before another matter again calls him out of the office.

"Sorry," Hume says, returning and settling back behind his desk. "It hasn't stopped today."

Today isn't atypical, just another in the life for Hume, a Moffat County Sheriff's Office lieutenant, and its chief investigator.

A veteran of 14 years, Hume also works as a division commander, overseeing 18 to 20 patrol deputies, civilian staff and investigators for an agency responsible for the second-largest jurisdiction in the state.

At any given time, Hume is balancing administrative duties and an assortment of investigations.

The order of the day today: probes into criminal trespass, felony fraud, theft, assault and second-degree attempted homicide.

"There's always a case on your desk," he said. "More to the point, there's always multiple cases on your desk."

It's serious work, Hume said, this business of investigations. Ultimately, you're the victim's advocate.

"Every case that we deal with is important, but cases that stick with you are homicides, crimes against children, sex offenses and the cases where victims aren't able to speak for themselves," said Hume, flanked by a bookshelf with titles such as "Death Investigation Handbook," "Law Dictionary," "Police Field Operations" and "Sexual Assault Manual."

"It's up to us to speak for those victims because they can't do it anymore."

Hume doesn't list any one particular case as more troubling than the next. He says law enforcement officers sometimes let cases bother them, perhaps explaining higher rates of divorce and alcoholism.

He said he takes cases home with him - sometimes they come with you, like it or not - but tries not to let the ugliness of what he sometimes sees intrude on his family life.

"It always sticks with you," he said, "but you have to be able to separate from that and enjoy the time you do have. I try not to let things build up and weigh on me."

Plaques on his office wall, and the words of colleagues, praise the contribution Hume makes to the community.

In 1998, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post named Hume its Moffat County Sheriff's Deputy of the Year. A year later, the VFW named him Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said Hume's contribution doesn't go unnoticed at the Sheriff's Office. He called Hume "the go to guy in investigations."

"He's a very intelligent, hardworking man," the first-year sheriff said. "You'd be hard pressed to find someone that works harder than K.C.

"He's just one of those all around good guys, and he's dedicated to his profession and the community, and it shows."

A third plaque, for the Unsung Hero Award, reveals another community service activity that also keeps Hume on the run.

Hume has been with Craig Fire/Rescue for nine years. He serves as one of two department captains, essentially placing him as second in the chain of command. He also works as an emergency medical technician with The Memorial Hospital.

Fire Chief Bill Johnston, who's worked with Hume at the department since he was a rookie, said Hume is a "critical asset to the Fire Department."

"He's a natural leader," Johnston said. "He's very intelligent; his problem solving skills are very good. The personnel follow him and trust him implicitly. If you wrap it all together : I couldn't imagine the Fire Department progressing without him."

Serving the Sheriff's Office and the Fire Department makes Hume the only such public servant bridging both organizations, and his place on the hierarchy could someday help him land at the head of each table.

Although Hume is reluctant to comment on possible ambitions to one day run for county sheriff, or someday lead the Fire Department, Jantz and Johnston aren't.

"It's a very touchy subject," Jantz said. "It's very personal." But, he said, "He has the knowledge and the wherewithal, definitely."

"I believe that when his time comes," Johnston said, "he will be chief of this department."

Kevin Claus, or K.C. as he's been known since he wore short pants, is the son of Claus Hume, of Denver, and Jane Hume, of Craig.

He is a 1985 Moffat County High School graduate, husband of 10 years to Errica Hume, and a father to 3-year-old son, Kadin, and infant daughter, Kimber, who was born in October.

Although working for the Sheriff's Office and the Fire Department sometimes makes life hectic, it's doubtful Hume will end the bulrush of a ride anytime soon.

"I've always told my wife the day that I wake up and my job is no longer enjoyable, it'll be time to find something else to do," Hume said. "I don't foresee that happening."

And with that, the man on the move finishes his shotgun lunch, tosses the wrapper in the trash, and blitzes away from his office, the pager on his hip calling him away to business once more.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.