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

Denver, CO – Wednesday, October 9, 2019 – Today, the nonprofit organization Citizens Appreciate Police (CAP) recognized five 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.

“Denver Police officers often encounter residents facing tremendous challenges and open their hearts and wallets to make a positive, meaningful impact on the lives of those in need,” said Denver Chief of Police Paul Pazen. “Words can’t express my gratitude for these officers and their generosity, and for the much-deserved recognition provided by Citizens Appreciate Police.”

Today’s CAP Award honorees were:

Sgt. Jennifer Guigli

Officer Steven Gameroz

On the morning of November 22, 2018, DPD District One Corporal Jennifer Guigli (since promoted to the rank of sergeant) and Officer Steven Gameroz responded to a family disturbance at a residence on N. Alcott Street. There they met a young mother and her 6-year-old child. The young mother expressed wanting to leave the home with her child and asked to be taken to a shelter. Instead of taking them to a shelter on that Thanksgiving Day, Corporal Guigli and Officer Gameroz transported them to a hotel and paid for their stay. The young mother later called in to thank the pair of officers for their kindness and compassion.

Officer Alicia Harris

In December of 2018, Denver Police District Six Homeless Outreach Team Officer Alicia Harris and her partner, Officer Richard Fischer, responded to reports from concerned residents regarding a homeless man living in a downtown alley. When the officers first contacted that gentleman, named Arthur, he was resistant to going into a shelter and also declined the help of a clinician. Undeterred, Officer Harris built a rapport with Arthur and learned that he wanted to get out of the cold and back to his family in Washington. Officer Harris checked on Arthur every day, provided him with money for meals, took him to a health clinic, and with Officer Fischer’s help, repaired his bicycle.

As their friendship grew, Officer Harris used Facebook to find and contact Arthur’s sister, who had not heard from him in years and believed he was dead. After making this connection, Officer Harris permitted Arthur to use her phone as often as possible to speak with his sister, even making it a point to find Arthur on Christmas Eve so that he could speak with his family during the holiday season. During this time, Officer Harris continued to work with the Mental Health Center of Denver and Arthur’s sister to get him a bus ticket to Washington, and on January 14, 2019, Officer Harris picked up Arthur, helped him gather his belongings, drove him to the bus station and sat with him until he boarded the bus heading back to his family.

Officer Vina Maciel

Officer Nate Magee

In December of 2018, Citywide IMPACT Team Officers Vina Maciel and Nate Magee were at the Denver Rescue Mission when they encountered a woman who was having difficulty walking, so the officers contacted her to see if there was anything they could do to help. The woman explained that she was just discharged from the hospital that morning after receiving all the medical care they could offer. She went on to relate that she is from Spain and did not have any family in Denver or a place to stay. The officers called several women’s shelters in the area, but were unable to secure her a bed. With options limited, the officers pooled their money and bought the woman a two-night stay at a hotel, dinner, and provided some extra money for additional groceries and bus fare so she could get around town. However, the officers did not stop there – they were sure to follow-up with the woman to help her arrange for long-term care and shelter.

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.