JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The day after the death of 27-year-old Arvada Police Officer Dillon Vakoff, a Colorado law enforcement wife is working on a unique way to support.
Cydney Johnson is married to a Boulder police officer. She knows the dangers they face.
“We can just pray and hope that it doesn’t happen but hold our breath because we know it’s going to,” Cydney Johnson said.
As the administrator for a Facebook group of law enforcement wives, she quickly learned the heartbreak of Vakoff’s family early Sunday morning.
“It was the first thing I woke up to Sunday, messages from fellow Arvada police wives giving me the heads up,” Johnson said. On that first day, she said, “Nobody had any words. It was hard to speak. It was hard to even think that this was another situation that has happened again.”
T-shirt proceeds benefit fallen officers’ families
Johnson’s way of helping in the face of each Colorado law enforcement line of duty death is creating T-shirts and selling them, with the proceeds going to the officers’ families.
Just over a year ago, the Arvada Police Department lost Officer Gordon Beesley in the line of duty. She and the Colorado Law Enforcement Wives created a t-shirt after his passing last June.
“It’s hard when you hear it comes from the same department after a year,” Johnson said. “But I will always be here and the entire group will as well, as best as we can.”
Johnson is currently working on a T-shirt design that incorporates what Vakoff stood for and cared about most.
“The family has specifically requested that we try to incorporate the Air Force with his Air Force background and the Arvada PD badge. They would like us to incorporate an American flag within that as well,” Johnson said as she worked on the design. “And his dog. He had a sweet dog that was apparently a K-9 dropout for Denver because he was just too nice. Looking at Dillon’s picture, it almost seems like that would be the type of dog that he would probably get. I’m told Vakoff was the one who made everyone smile, at any time.”
Johnson said all funds raised with the shirt will go directly to Vakoff’s family through the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation. As soon as Johnson completes the design and gets Vakoff’s family’s approval on it, a link to buy the shirt will be added here. (Update, Sept. 15: The shirt can be found here.)
Donations can also be directly made on the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation Website.