|Two officers help a Denver elderly visitor
On 06-29-11 at approximately 1200 hours, Ofc. H. Ruiz 03024 was dispatched on a welfare check to 3460 W. 38th Ave. The complainant had called about an elderly male in the bank lobby who appeared to be lost and disoriented. Ofc. Ruiz arrived on scene and contacted the male identified as James Murray 08-27-46. James informed Ofc. Ruiz that he lived in Virginia and he got on a bus a few days earlier, and ended up in Colorado. James stated that he had spent the night at a hotel and that he had now run out of money. Due to the rapport that Ofc. Ruiz established right away with the elderly male, she was able to ascertain that he lived in a small town in Virginia and he has a case worker. Ofc. Ruiz made several phone calls to Virginia and was able to track down the case worker, Russell Williams. He explained to Ofc. Ruiz that he knew James and that he was exhibiting early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Ofc. Ruiz did not want James to get lost in the mental health system in an unknown town, thus adding unnecessary stress to his situation, therefore she arranged to place him at the Genesis Center, where he would he could stay for 24 hours and they would watch over him. She purchased lunch for him with her own funds and took him to the shelter.
Ofc. Ruiz then returned to work the next day, 06-30-11 and continued the process of getting James back home. Because of the small town James lived in, the case worker was able to retrieve money from James’s bank account and wire it to Colorado. Ofc. Ruiz then picked up James from the center, brought him to the Western Union so he could obtain his money and then took him back to District One while she arranged for his travel back to Virginia. Once again, she purchased his lunch, while all the arrangements were being made.
Meanwhile, Ofc. R. Martinez 04084 got involved and obtained a brand new shirt for James, as his was very dirty and smelly. Ofc. Martinez and Ofc. Ruiz then transported him to DIA where he was supposed to catch a flight back home, however, due to some unforeseen circumstances, they were unable to put him on a flight. The two tenacious officers continued their efforts and took him to the Greyhound station. Ofc. Martinez arranged for someone to keep an eye on James for the duration of the trip, while Ofc. Ruiz purchased his bus ticket. Both officers purchased James several travel snacks and James was sent on his way back home. Ofc. Ruiz also arranged for the case worker to pick James up when he arrived in Virginia; which he did, safe and sound.
These two officers distinguished themselves by their relentless effort and uncanny concern for the welfare and safety of an elderly citizen. They exemplify the meaning of serve and protect and their actions were well beyond the call of duty