DENVER (KDVR) – Denver police are seeing an outpouring of support from the community. A group of volunteers has been going around to all the district substations, delivering goody bags and signs of support.
Jennifer Witkowski organized the effort. Her significant other and her daughter are both Denver police officers.
“We organized, got every district taken care of, ended at District 6 ultimately because they were the hardest hit in this crisis. They are not thanked very often and with what they’ve endured over the last couple of weeks, it’s important to show there is a community that rallies around them and we do support them,” she said.
Barry Overton retired from District 6 after 26 years in law enforcement.
“I’ve talked to a lot of these guys and they’ve told me they’re down, their morale is down. This is something that is needed,” he said.
He said he wants to bring the two sides together.
“One thing I have talked about over this past month is building the bridge because you have these two different sides. In many instances, most of these people don’t have an understanding of the other side, but there’s a lot of people on both sides that want to be a part of that bridge. So that’s what I want to be: a bridge. That’s through communication, understanding, empathy. This is just one of the opportunities to be able to give back and support the police,” Overton said.
The officers received support from groups like The Battlin Betties, which supports first responders and veterans.
“We just want to show our love and support for all they’re going through right now. Just show we care about them and we have their back,” Amanda Bavender said.
A group called Wally’s Warriors held a fundraiser.
Missy McCreery said, “Our goal was $500. We raised almost $11,000 for our police. That speaks volumes.”
The volunteers also put together goody bags for the officers to hand out in the community.
Officer Teresa Gillian said, “We are going to be able to give them all a little something that says, ‘We’re the cops, we’re here, we love you, we’re not going anywhere, we just want to support you guys.'”
Denver Police Department Division Chief Ron Thomas said, “We don’t do this job for any thanks, we do it because we believe in it, but it’s certainly nice when the community shows up and thanks us.”