6 Denver police officers honored in mayoral ceremony

DENVER -- Six Denver Police Department officers received mayoral certificates of appreciation by Mayor Michael Hancock in a ceremony in the rotunda of the City and County building on Wednesday.

The officers had earlier been selected for Citizens Appreciate Police Awards.

Citizens Appreciate Police is a nonprofit organization that recognizes the kindness, generosity and compassion of Denver police officers.

"These men and women are not just good police officers, they are great people," Hancock said. "I know some of these officers personally. Nothing surprises me about what they did in terms of going above and beyond the call of duty for the citizens of Denver.

"These are special people. These are human beings. I think sometimes in the midst of all this nation is going through, as we talk about what policing is about, we forget these are human beings wearing these badges.

"I can’t tell you how thankful I am that they are out there on the streets and doing what the people of Denver asked them to do in a positive way, representing our city going above and beyond the call of duty."

CAP honors members of the Denver Police Department who provide service to the community above and beyond the regular call of duty.

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

Officer Henry Jones has a history of helping people. He received the CAP award for helping a young private in the U.S. Army catch a flight to attend her grandfather’s funeral.

She had been scammed by a fraudulent travel company, and her ticket was not good on the date of her trip. Jones used hundreds of dollars of his own money to help her.

Lt. Jeffrey Martinez organized a suit drive within the department to benefit a nonprofit program Suits for Success.

He was able to collect enough suits, pants, shirts and shoes for 50 men who are working to turn their lives around.

Officer Juan Gamboa and officer Edward Pacheco were patrolling a southeast Denver neighborhood near Hamilton Middle School when they noticed two boys walking to school without coats on a very cold morning.

The officers found out they didn’t have coats. A short time later, the officers returned to the school with two new winter coats for the boys they had purchased using their own money.

Photo: Denver Police Department

Cpl. Timothy Scudder befriended a girl named Olivia through their church community. Olivia had terminal cancer. Her bucket list included to “catch a bad guy with police." So Scudder made that happen.

He also helped her family by providing meals and support.

Officer Rueban Garduno found out about a high school senior, bound to a wheelchair who was in the hospital right before his high school graduation.

The student was released from the hospital just an hour before the ceremony, and his family was worried he would not make it.

But Garduno took action and escorted the family to the school and helped get the student to the stage just minutes before his name was called.

Since CAP began, more than 400 members of the Denver Police Department have received the award.

To nominate a Denver officer for an act of kindness, submit a letter detailing their actions.