Mayor Michael B. Hancock this morning presented Mayoral Certificates of Appreciation to six Denver Police officers who demonstrated kindness and compassion in helping people in our community.
The officers’ actions included purchasing winter coats and plane tickets for people in need, helping a young man battling medical conditions attend his high school graduation, organizing a clothing drive, and hosting a terminally ill girl as an honorary police officer for a day.
“Denver Police officers encounter people who are experiencing hardship, or maybe even their worst day, every day, and these officers’ compassion made a real, lasting difference in those lives they touched,” Mayor Hancock said. “As a city, we can’t thank our Denver Police officers enough for the work they do every day to serve, protect and care for the residents of our great city.”
The officers were also 2017 recipients of the quarterly Citizens Appreciate Police (CAP) Award. CAP, formed in 1978 by Mayor Bill McNichols and District Attorney Dale Tooley, is a nonprofit organization that recognizes Denver police officers who serve the public above and beyond the regular call of duty. Since its inception, more than 400 officers have received the CAP award.
“I applaud the kindness and generosity demonstrated by these six officers and the relationships with our community that these actions help to strengthen,” said Denver Chief of Police Robert C. White. “Officers perform selfless acts of service all the time in our neighborhoods without seeking accolades and outside of the public spotlight, and it’s with great pride that we honor these officers today.”
This year's recipients of the Mayoral Certificate of Appreciation and CAP Award are:
Lieutenant Jeff Martinez
When Lieutenant Jeff Martinez learned about a nonprofit program called Suits for Success, which provides men in need with business attire and basic job interviewing skills, he jumped into action and organized a DPD suit drive. And the DPD family responded big time by donating 35 suits, 40 sport coats, as well as dress pants, shirts and shoes. Those generous donations helped Suits for Success to provide a total of 50 men -- who are working hard to turn their lives around -- with professional clothing. Click here for photo
Officer Henry Jones
A young Private in the US Army was trying to catch a flight to Virginia to attend her grandfather’s funeral, but when she got to the ticket counter, she learned that the airline did not have a record of her booking. She booked the flight using a third-party booking company that turned out to be a fraud. Officer Henry Jones was alerted to her predicament and went to the ticket counter to see how he could help. After learning of the fraudulent transaction, Officer Jones had the Private contact her bank to stop payment to the company. He then went to the airline to see if there was any way to get her a round-trip ticket and they explained that there was nothing they could do. Officer Jones could not bear the thought of the Private missing her grandfather’s funeral, so using his own personal funds, he bought her a $556 round-trip ticket to Virginia.
Officer Juan Gamboa
Officer Edward Pacheco Jr.
On a very cold morning in early December 2016, Officers Juan Gamboa and Edward Pacheco Jr. werepatrolling a southeast Denver neighborhood near Hamilton Middle School when they noticed two boys walking to school without coats. The officers stopped and spoke with the boys and learned that they did not have warm coats to wear. A short time later, the officers returned to the school with two brand new winter coats for the boys that they had purchased using their own money. Click here for photo
Corporal Timothy Scudder
Cpl. Scudder befriended 6-year-old Olivia Gant and her family through their shared church community, and learned that Olivia’s bucket list included “catch a bad guy with police”, so he arranged for Olivia to attend a roll call, took her for a ride in a police car, and helped her to handcuff a “bad guy” (another willing officer). Olivia’s day as an honorary Denver Police officer was documented in this video. Cpl. Scudder and his family also assisted Olivia and her family by providing meals and support. Sadly, Olivia passed away just four months later.
Officer Rueban Garduño
In the days leading up to his graduation ceremony, a high school senior, who is wheelchair-bound due to muscular dystrophy, was in the hospital recovering from a broken leg and another serious health condition. The student and his family feared he would not be able to participate in his school’s graduation ceremony. Surprisingly, the student was cleared for release by doctors just an hour before the ceremony, and when District 4 officers heard about the situation, they took action. Ofc. Garduño was dispatched to Children’s Hospital Colorado and escorted the family to the school, and Ofc. Garduño helped the family to get the student to the graduation stage just minutes before his name was called.
The CAP board, consisting of 16 citizen volunteers, meets four times a year to review nominations, select recipients, and present awards. Each award winner receives a pin that is worn on the officer's uniform and a plaque. Nominations for the CAP Award come primarily from letters to the Chief of Police from private citizens commending an officer for their actions while either on or off duty. To submit a nomination directly, letters may be sent to: Citizens Appreciate Police, 1331 Cherokee St, Denver, CO 80204, Attn: Chief of Police Office. Nominations can also be emailed directly to the CAP Board atCAPBoardDenver@gmail.com.
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