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Five Denver Police Officers Receive ‘Citizens Appreciate Police’ Award for Acts of Kindness

Denver, CO – Wednesday, July 11, 2018 – Today, the nonprofit organization Citizens Appreciate Police (CAP) recognized five Denver Police officers for their acts of kindness in helping members of 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. The officers honored today are:

Officer Jerami Chavez
Nominated by Supervisor

On December 16, 2017, Officer Jerami Chavez was dispatched to a report of suspicious items. Upon his arrival, Officer Chavez contacted the reporting party, named Brandie, who told Officer Chavez that earlier in the day she stood in line at a toy drive in hopes of getting a Christmas gift for her son. After standing in line for four hours, Brandie received several boxed items for her child. However, when she got home to unpack the gifts and wrap them, Brandie discovered that the sweatshirt she received was soiled and riddled with holes. The second item was a stuffed teddy bear that was also torn and soiled.

Crying, Brandie began venting to Officer Chavez about how difficult her life had been lately: she was unemployed, her mother recently fell ill, she was relying on food banks for groceries, and her funds were extremely limited.

While speaking with Brandie, Officer Chavez learned that her son loves the Denver Broncos and clothes. Recognizing Brandie’s terrible dilemma, especially during the Christmas holiday, Officer Chavez went to a local shopping center, and with his own funds purchased Christmas gifts for her son, including Broncos sweatpants, basketball shorts, and a basketball. Furthermore, because Brandie told Officer Chavez she is currently in school trying to finish her degree, Officer Chavez purchased some notebooks and other miscellaneous school supplies for her. Officer Chavez then returned to Brandie’s residence and presented the gifts to her in hopes of bettering their Christmas holiday.

Officer Sean Cronin
Officer Matt Dane
Nominated by Supervisor

On May 16, 2017, Officer Matt Dane and Officer Sean Cronin were dispatched to conduct a welfare check on a gentleman named Robert. While speaking with Robert, the officers learned that he was suffering from severe depression because of health problems and called for an ambulance to take him to the hospital for evaluation. They also learned that Robert is a proud Vietnam veteran who served as a combat medic in the Air Force and he still flies an old American flag in front of his house.

After Robert was transported to the hospital, the officers borrowed a lawnmower from a neighbor and proceeded to mow the front and back yard for the gentleman. Lacking the necessary tools to do additional yardwork, Officer Dane contacted his personal neighbor who works in landscaping. Officer Dane paid the man with his own money to respond and finish trimming and picking up all the grass, trash and debris in the yard.

Recognizing how important Robert's past military service is, the officers purchased and installed a new American Flag for Robert so that he could have a crisp flag displayed in front of his house.

Officer Monica DeOssie
Nominated by Community Member

I am a nurse with Visiting Angels and have been a caregiver for Helen, who is 98-years-old, for about six months now. During that time, I've gotten to know
Officer Monica DeOssie and her wife Christina through Helen. At first, I thought they were related only to find out they're old neighbors that became friends.

Helen and her husband had no family in Colorado and he was suffering from dementia. Officer DeOssie and Christina would go over with groceries they bought, help clean their house and shovel their walk. When Helen’s husband passed in 2016, they made it a point to help her and include her in their lives. Officer DeOssie and Christina worked with Helen's lawyer to make modifications to her home so that she wouldn't have to be placed in assisted living after a fall, making sure it was more accessible and safer. Along with that, they hired Visiting Angels to keep Helen company while they're working.

Every holiday, they've included her in their family dinners, birthdays, Christmas, even their wedding! Helen always says, "I don't know what I'd do without those girls!" The
glow she has when they visit to have a "girls’ day'' or take her to get out of the house says it all!

Officer DeOssie goes out of her way to make Helen’s day with little things like helping around the house and grocery shopping, but most importantly by being a kind person and providing friendship!

Officer Gregory Lee
Nominated by Community Member and Supervisor

On August 15, 2017, Officer Gregory Lee was dispatched to a call of theft from motor vehicle. The complainant, a gentleman named Juan, reported that suspects had stolen a gas can and jumper cables from his truck. The officer listened intently gathering the facts. Juan ultimately declined to file a police report, however, following the call, Officer Lee drove to a nearby auto parts store. The store cashier, named Oscar, saw the officer approach the counter in uniform with the items and found it strange. He asked what the items were for and Officer Lee casually told him they were for an elderly gentleman who had his property stolen and he planned to replace them. Oscar rang up the sale and the officer left with the items.

Oscar, touched by the generosity of Officer Lee, forwarded the interaction to the Office of the Independent Monitor. Oscar wanted to thank the officer for all he does and considered him a role model for others to follow. As Officer Lee's immediate supervisor, I became aware of this gesture and contacted Oscar at the store the following day. He related to me that there is so much negativity in the media about police officers and he was very surprised because he had never seen anyone do this before. He mentioned that the officer was very nice and referred to him as a "true role model for your department".

What is perhaps more impressive, is that Officer Lee went out of his way and did this on his own accord, with his own money, and without the desire for any recognition. For this reason, I would like to commend Officer Gregory Lee for his actions and commitment to service on this call. After a police report was declined, Officer Lee chose to go beyond what was required of him and took it upon himself to personally replace Juan’s stolen items.

“Nothing makes me prouder to be a Denver Police officer than hearing stories of officers, out of the kindness of their hearts, making a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve,” said Denver Chief of Police Paul Pazen. “I thank these officers for their selflessness and generosity, and thank the Citizens Appreciate Police board for bringing awareness to these types of stories that often escape the public spotlight.”

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 applauding officers for their actions while either on or off duty.

Nomination letters may be sent directly to Chief Pazen at: Citizens Appreciate Police, 1331 Cherokee St, Denver, CO 80204, Attn: Chief of Police Office. Nominations can also be emailed directly to the CAP board at CAPBoardDenver@gmail.com.