CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- The chief of police in Castle Rock talked about the lasting impact Zackari Parrish had on his department.
Jack Cauley said because it is a smaller department, all of his officers knew Parrish.
“Everyone loved him,” Cauley said.
“He was a what I consider a role model police officer. He was a type of police officer any chief would love to have working for their police department. He was compassionate, he was caring. He treated everyone with dignity and respect.”
Cauley said Parrish brought enthusiasm and passion to his department. He shared a picture of Parrish from his swearing-in ceremony in January 2015.
Parrish was a patrol officer with the Castle Rock Police Department for 2 1/2 years. He said Parrish was a family man, dedicated to his job and his faith.
He said Parrish would use his humor to deescalate situations and put people at ease.
“Whenever he had an opportunity to talk with somebody or interact with them, whether it was at a coffee shop or traffic stop or helping someone in need, that person was special to him and he did everything he could to help. He would help them as if they were a member of his own family,” Cauley said.
The chief was also a close friend of Parrish's. They would often work out together. He remembers making a short informational video with Parrish for the department.
“I have a fond memory. I was having a difficult time with my lines and it took me like 20 times to get it down right and we just had fun with it. He was just a good guy to be around,” Cauley said.
He said his department is hurting after one of their own made the ultimate sacrifice.
“I think that we’re all put here for a purpose. I think Zack’s purpose -- he fulfilled that. Even though he was here for just a short about of time. We’re better because of him," Cauley said.
Cauley will be speaking at Parrish's funeral on Friday.