Officers get citizens appreciation award
A local nonprofit on Wednesday honored six Denver police officers with the “Citizens Appreciate Police” Award for their acts of kindness and compassion in their community.
Citizens Appreciate Police recognizes local officers who serve “above and beyond the regular call of duty,” according to the nonprofit.
“It’s no secret that 2021 provided new challenges for us all,” the group’s president, Deborah O’Neil, said in a news release. “But no way did that deter Denver police officers from continuing to make positive impacts on those they serve. The Citizens Appreciate Police Board expresses our appreciation for all DPD officers, especially those honored today who went well beyond the call.” This year’s honorees include: Officers Andrew Lombardi and Taylor Eliassen of District Five: In January, the officers contacted a family who was sleeping in their car after falling on hard times. The family was waiting for the mother’s next paycheck to be able to rent a room, but Lombardi and Eliassen worked with a local hotel to get the family a discounted rate, and paid for the family’s room. The mother wrote a letter to the department about the officers’ actions and said one of her kids believes that police are “cooler than Spider-Man.”
Officer Nichole Himes of District Three: In May, Himes responded to a call about a man needing assistance and later learned an 82-year-old man was struggling with his bicycle lock. Himes assisted the man with unlocking his bike and then helped him and his bike get home. Himes learned that the man was struggling with dementia and ordered a special bracelet for the man to help in similar situations.
Officers Jason Sukora and Zackary Kennedy of District Four: In June, they were sent to a home and found a lady in a wheelchair who needed help. The officers learned she was struggling to take care of herself and they called EMS to have her evaluated at the hospital. While she was there, the officers loaded all her clothes — which filled a police SUV — and paid to have them washed.
Cpl. Ernest Quintana of District Six: In June, Quintana was dispatched to a call about a person breaking a vehicle window. When he arrived, the suspect had left. The 82-year-old victim said she had no way to pay for the damage, but Quintana took the vehicle to the district’s headquarters and paid to have the window fixed.
Citizens Appreciate Police was founded in 1978 by then-Mayor Bill McNichols and District Attorney Dale Tooley. Since its inception, more than 400 officers have received the organization’s award and pin, which is the only civilian award on an officer’s uniform.
“A heartfelt thank you to the CAP Board for recognizing these police officers’ efforts and to our Denver Police officers who continue to step up and find ways to take their service a step further every day,” Denver police Chief Paul Pazen said in a news release.
The Denver Gazette
17 Feb 2022
BY DAVID MULLEN
Reprinted from The Denver Gazette