5 Denver police officers awarded for acts of kindness, generosity

DENVER – The non-profit group Citizens Appreciate Police awarded five Denver police officers for their acts of kindness and generosity. The quarterly awards are given to officers who go above and beyond the regular call of duty to help members of the community.

Officer Jerami Chavez was nominated by his supervisor for buying Christmas gifts and school supplies for a mother who was struggling to provide for her son. Officer Chavez learned that the woman's son loves the Denver Broncos and clothes. Officer Chavez went to a local shopping center and used his own funds to buy Christmas gifts for her son, including Broncos sweatpants, basketball shorts and a basketball. He also purchased some notebooks and other school supplies for her.

“I know the struggle. When I see things like this, I take it to heart and I want to make sure everybody has the opportunity that I had, what my mom gave to us," Officer Chavez said.

Officer Monica DeOssie was nominated for a CAP award by a community member. Officer DeOssie and her wife have been caring for a 98-year old woman for years. The woman has no family in Colorado and was suffering from dementia. Officer DeOssie would take groceries to her, help clean her house and shovel her walk. They include the woman in all their family gatherings.

“I joined the Denver police department to help people, so when I’m able to actually do that, it’s the best feeling in the world," Officer DeOssie said.

Officers Sean Cronin and Matt Dane were recognized for helping a Vietnam veteran who was being taken to the hospital.

“Officers don’t get recognition every day, so it’s nice. We saw a gentleman who needed the assistance. The only thing he could tell us was he was really concerned about his yard before the ambulance took him, so that’s one thing we wanted to help him with before he left," Officer Dane said.

After the man was transported to the hospital, the officers borrowed a lawnmower from a neighbor and proceeded to mow the front and back yards for the man. Lacking the necessary tools to do additional yard work, Officer Dane contacted his personal neighbor who works in landscaping. Officer Dane paid the man with his own money to respond and finish trimming and picking up all the grass, trash and debris in the yard.

Officer Gregory Lee was nominated by a community member and his supervisor. On Aug. 15, 2017, Officer Gregory Lee was dispatched to a call of theft from a  vehicle. The complainant reported that suspects had stolen a gas can and jumper cables from his truck. The officer listened intently while gathering the facts.

The victim ultimately declined to file a police report. However, following the call, Officer Lee drove to a nearby auto parts store. The store cashier saw the officer approach the counter in uniform with the items and found it strange. He asked what the items were for, and Officer Lee told him they were for an elderly gentleman who had his property stolen and he planned to replace them.

CAP has recognized more than 400 officers since it started in 1978. The CAP board is always looking for positive stories about Denver police officers doing good deeds in the community. Nomination letters may be sent directly to Chief Pazen at: Citizens Appreciate Police, 1331 Cherokee Street, Denver, CO 80204, ATTN: Chief of Police Office. Nominations can also be emailed directly to the CAP board at CAPBoardDenver@gmail.com.