For the Chiefs December 9, 2018, game against the Baltimore Ravens, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and the Chiefs selected Sergeant Dan Justus of the North Kansas City Police Department as the Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion. Prior to kickoff, Justus received on-field recognition and conducted the ceremonial first pass to Tim Grunhard before touring the Chiefs broadcast booth and enjoying the game.
"This is a great honor to be recognized in front of thousands of people and a great city," said Justus, who will mark his 28th year on the force on January 1. "I still love my job and coming to work every day, and being recognized by two great organizations is humbling. I am sure there are many citizens out there who are more deserving than I to receive this opportunity, but it is much appreciated for sure."
After being inspired to become a police officer after doing a ride-along with a reserve officer as a high school senior, Justus was hired by North Kansas City as a dispatcher at the age of 20. Just a year later, he officially became a police officer and has spent the last 28 years serving and protecting the community he has grown to love.
"Sergeant Justus is a true hometown hero," said Christina Lively, Blue KC's Department Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "Through his work with the North Kansas City Police Department, he has embodied what we strive to honor through the Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion program by making the city a better place to live, work and play. We're proud to honor him for his service."
Passing up office job promotions throughout his career to remain on the streets, Justus has received a number of recognitions for heroic acts in the line of duty. Included in those honors are one each of a gold, silver and bronze award—one of which was for his role in preventing a suicide attempt on a local bridge. But awards are far from Justus' mind when he goes to work each day.
"The people of this community, residents and businesses, are some of the greatest you will ever come across," said Justus. "The citizens of this city embrace law enforcement and fire fighters like no other city I know. I enjoy the small town feeling NKC provides where you actually get to know the citizens and business owners of the community in a good way and not just from calls for service. I cannot imagine working for any other community than NKC, and I am honored to serve such great people."
As a sergeant, Justus also works daily to ensure the safety of his team, doing so through positive, strong leadership.
"Dan goes to work every day with a smile on his face," said Justus' wife, Jennifer. "I know I could not be a police officer in the environment we live in today. My husband is selfless in the way he puts his life on the line. He shows our daughter that there is a greater good out there and how to not let evil take over you. He shows us to always do our best and what is right and that the rest will follow."
To nominate a local hero like Sergeant Dan Justus to be recognized as a Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion, visit chiefs.com/bluekc.