Citizens group honors Denver police officers

DENVER -- A nonprofit group honored two Denver police officers for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Citizens Appreciate Police presented officers Juan Gamboa and Edward Pacheco Jr. with their quarterly CAP award.

The officers were patrolling a southeast Denver neighborhood in early December near Hamilton Middle School when they noticed two boys with no coats on.

The temperature was 10 degrees. The officers stopped to talk to the boys and learned they did not have coats.

The officers went to buy new coats with their own money and returned to the school to deliver them.

"We are very honored to be recognized," Gamboa said. "We just love this job so much. We went through the academy together. The thing we did wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. We were just helping out two kids that needed jackets.

Added Pacheco: "Appreciate this award. Something we would do even if we weren’t recognized for it. We joined to serve the community and help where we can. Giving these kids a jacket enables them to do so much more, go out and play. It’s something positive. Most people meet us on a bad day, the worst day of their life. This was something positive we could do for them, something they could remember."

"These small actions are one step that continues breaking down some of the barriers between the community and law enforcement," Cmdr. Magen Dodge said. "This happens all the time. It’s nice to be able to recognize the work the men and women do all the time."

CAP was formed in 1978 by Mayor Bill McNichols and Denver District Attorney Dale Tooley as a way for citizens to honor officers for their actions on- or off-duty.

To nominate an officer, send an email to CAPBoardDenver@gmail.com.