DPD Officers Receive ‘Citizens Appreciate Police’ Award

Published on January 13, 2021

Denver – Wednesday, January 13, 2021 – Today, in a virtual ceremony, the nonprofit organization Citizens Appreciate Police (CAP) recognized 21 Denver Police officers who demonstrated extraordinary kindness and compassion in helping people in our community. Formed in 1978 by Mayor Bill McNichols and District Attorney Dale Tooley, CAP is a nonprofit organization that recognizes Denver Police officers who serve the public above the regular call of duty. Since its inception, more than 400 officers have received the CAP award.

“Publicly recognizing the positive impacts Denver Police officers make is the goal of the Citizens Appreciate Police Board,” said President of CAP, Deborah O’Neill. “We honor and salute the women and men of the Denver Police Department who constantly go above and beyond the call of duty – especially the most recent CAP award recipients.”

Please note that in April of 2020, a CAP award ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and those awards were presented today.

Today’s CAP Award honorees are:

Detective Christine Chavez, Officers Jason Anderson, Candice Cosgrove, Sean Cronin, Matthew Dane, Mark Hall, Maria Hernandez-Tapia, Christopher Logan, Blake McGregor, Eduardo Medero, Eric Morales, Isaac Ocampo, Maneechot Phanpaktra, Owen Shearer, and John Tidwell

On November 23, 2019, Officer Eduardo Medero was patrolling his precinct when he saw black smoke filling the air and found a gold Chevrolet Trailblazer on fire in the 900 block of South Newton Street. Officer Medero requested that the Denver Fire Department respond emergent and then rushed to the vehicle to check for any victims in need of help. Once Officer Medero confirmed the vehicle was unoccupied he immediately began coordinating where cover officers needed to respond so that the scene could be secured, and the Denver Fire Department could safely extinguish the blaze.

Once the fire was extinguished, officers began investigating and learned the vehicle owner’s mother had been sleeping in the vehicle. Her mother lit a candle to stay warm, and upon falling asleep, the candle may have started the fire. Officers quickly located the vehicle owner’s mother, who was suffering from minor smoke inhalation, and had her transported to the hospital for treatment. Further investigation revealed that the owner of the vehicle and her seven–year–old child were in the process of moving and all the child’s clothing was lost in the fire.

Fourteen Denver Police officers and a detective quickly jumped into action, connecting the family with the Denver Police Victim Assistance Unit, and then among themselves pooled approximately $600.00 of their own money and presented it to the family to replace the child’s clothing that had been lost in the fire.

Officers Kelly Boyd and Alejandro Zapien-Mata

On August 26, 2019, Officers Kelly Boyd and Alejandro Zapien-Mata responded to 2300 block of Lawrence Street regarding a woman who was with her three small children requesting assistance. The officers learned that the family had come to Denver from Mississippi by bus, and while transferring buses, the woman lost her wallet, identification card and money, and was unable to buy tickets to continue on to their destination in California. Because the woman lost her ID, she was unable to accept a money transfer from her family in California, and the family was unable to buy the needed tickets online.

The officers attempted to place the family at various locations throughout the city, including shelters, but were informed that there was no availability for the family.

After realizing the desperate situation and exhausting all other options, the officers paid $613.00 of their own money for the ticket and also provided the family with food and beverages for the trip to California.

Sergeant Vincent Parnitsupoun, Officers Jillian Simon and Jordan Smith

On January 12, 2020, Officer Jillian Simon, Recruit Officer Jordan Smith, and Corporal Vincent Parnitsupoun responded to the 1900 block of South Vallejo Street on a family disturbance. There they found a mother arguing with her adult daughter. Officers learned that the daughter and her three-year-old daughter were no longer welcome at the mom’s house and were planning on driving to California. While at the residence, officers noticed that the wasn’t a car seat or room for a car seat for the toddler to ride to California, and they decided to help ensure safe transportation for the child. Officer pooled their money to purchase a new car seat, helped clear a space for the child and installed the seat.

Technician William Csikos

On February 25, 2020, a dog named Yoshi escaped from his home in Centennial. Driving along C470 that evening, DPD Technician Bill Csikos noticed the dog injured on the side of the highway. Technician Csikos stopped his vehicle and picked up Yoshi and brought him to a veterinary emergency room. There the family was contacted and reunited with their fur baby. The family expressed their appreciation to Technician Csikos for, as they say, saving Yoshi’s life and they are forever grateful.

“What I appreciate about these CAP award recipients is that they found opportunities to make a real difference in the lives of those we serve,” said Denver Chief of Police Paul M. Pazen. “This is what it means to be a police officer – connecting with our community and, without hesitation, stepping in to help, often at their own personal expense.”

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. Community members wishing to commend an officer for their actions, either on or off duty, can send a nomination letter to: Citizens Appreciate Police, 1331 Cherokee St. Room 202, Denver, CO 80204. Nominations can also be emailed directly to the CAP Board at CAPBoardDenver@gmail.com.