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Denver Police Officers Receive 'Citizens Appreciate Police' Award for Acts of Kindness

Denver– Wednesday, January 8, 2020 – Today, the nonprofit organization Citizens Appreciate Police (CAP) recognized four 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.

“The Citizens Appreciate Police Board is honored to recognize the men and women of the Denver Police Department who go above and beyond the call of duty. DPD officers routinely show compassion, empathy and kindness to the residents they serve, and we believe that deserves special recognition,” President of CAP, Deborah O’Neill.

Today’s CAP Award honorees were:

Sergeant Greg Campbell
In August of 2019, a woman was driving to Denver International Airport to catch a flight when a cargo strap securing a kayak to her vehicle failed and the kayak ended up in the roadway. Sergeant Greg Campbell received a report of the hazard and helped to move the kayak off the road. Moments later, he contacted the woman who lost the kayak, and who because of this incident, had also missed her flight. The woman explained that she is the caregiver for a family member with special needs, has limited means, and was trying to take a trip for the first time in six years. Sergeant Campbell helped her re-secure the kayak back onto her car and used his own money to purchase her a new ticket on a different flight so that she could take her much-anticipated trip.

Officer Katie Allen
Officer Shelby Haskell
In June of 2019, Officer Katie Allen and Officer Shelby Haskell responded to a reported family disturbance and contacted a couple in a parking lot by the South Platte River. The officers ultimately determined that no crime had been committed, and through conversation with the couple, learned that they had been living in their vehicle for the previous few days with their five young children. The family stated they had moved from Texas a couple of months prior, had been staying at hotels until they ran out of money, and were desperately searching for a shelter that could house the whole family.

Officers Allen and Haskell made numerous calls to help find a shelter for the family, and meanwhile, escorted the family to a gas station, where the officers purchased them a full tank of gas, and then took the family to a restaurant, where they bought dinner for the entire family. The officers’ persistence paid off when a homeless outreach specialist from the City and County of Denver called back with resources for the family.

Officer Marisa Willcockson
In February of 2019, Officer Marisa Willcockson was conducting speed enforcement near an elementary school when she was approached by 8-year-old Kayla and her mom. Kayla expressed to Officer Willcockson her desire to become a police officer and how she wanted to take on the noble profession to help protect people. During the interaction, Kayla's mom shared that she wanted to have a police-themed birthday party for her daughter in September and asked if the Denver Police Department would be able to make an appearance. Officer Willcockson assured Kayla’s mom that this was possible and then stayed in contact with her throughout the year.

However, in early September, Kayla’s mom was experiencing health issues and had to cancel the birthday party. When Officer Willcockson learned about this, she sprang into action planning an impromptu birthday party for Kayla – even purchasing party decorations and a few presents for the young gal. Officer Willcockson also arranged for an on-duty officer to stop by so that Kayla could check out a real police car. The party not only brightened up Kayla and her family's day, but it reinforced her desire to become a police officer in the future. 

“For police officers, acts of service come in many forms,” said Denver Chief of Police Paul M. Pazen. “Whether addressing dangerous situations, assisting residents in difficult times, or making the extra effort to put a smile on someone’s face, I am extremely proud of our officers’ actions in making our city a better place every day. Congratulations to these deserving officers.”

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