• June 21st, 2024
  • Friday, 08:44:13 PM

DPD Officers Receive ‘Citizens Appreciate Police’ Award

Photo: DPD From Left to Right - Officer Jacob Sanders, Officer Renzo Linan, Corporal Andrew Gathje, Officer Alicia Martínez.

The nonprofit organization Citizens Appreciate Police (CAP) recently recognized five Denver Police officers who demonstrated extraordinary kindness and compassion in helping people in our community.

The Citizens Appreciate Police Board honors these five officers who made a true and direct impact on residents when they needed it most,” said President of CAP, Deborah O’Neill. “Each of these officers went above the call and that is why we are honored to recognize them and their efforts.”


Formed in 1978 by Mayor Bill McNichols and District Attorney Dale Tooley, CAP is a nonprofit organization that recognizes Denver Police officers who serve the public above the regular call of duty. Since its inception, more than 400 officers have received the CAP award and pin, which is the only civilian award worn on the officers’ uniforms.


“Denver Police officers continue to not only respond when our neighbors call with a safety concern, but they elevate the level of service to help ensure residents’ needs are met,” said Denver Chief of Police Paul M. Pazen. “Much appreciation to the CAP Board for taking the time to recognize our officers.”


Corporal Andrew Gathje and Officer Alicia Martínez – District Four: In October of 2020, Corporal Andrew Gathje responded to a call of a resident whose wallet was stolen. Corporal Gathje learned that not only was the man’s money stolen, but that he’d also lost his social security card, ID, and debit card. The 90-year-old man was no longer receiving his social security benefits because of the missing cards tied to his benefits. Corporal Gathje built up a relationship with the resident and connected him with the District Four Outreach Case Coordinator who was able to help the resident obtain new documentation so that he could begin receiving his money again.

A few months later, Officer Alicia Martínez returned to the man’s residence on a welfare check. There she noticed that his heat wasn’t working in the dead of winter. Officer Martínez worked to locate the landlord to see what the problem was. She even went as far as to contact a HVAC company who went and assessed the heater, which was found to have numerous leaks and was too old to repair. Thanks to Corporal Gathje and Officer Martínez’s commitment to those they serve, the resident is now in a much better living situation, at an assisted living facility.


Officer Renzo Linan – District Four: On March 11, 2021, Officer Renzo Linan responded to a welfare check for an at-risk adult. The 90-year-old resident was declining in health and unable to administer her own medications. Officer Linan learned that the lady was very low on food and reached out to her nurse who was unavailable. To ensure the lady had enough food until the nurse’s next visit, Officer Linan purchased groceries with his own money for the lady and ensured her heat was working properly – as there was a blizzard predicted in the coming days.


Officer Chanee Christian – District One: In November of 2020, Officer Chanee Christian responded to the area of W. 43rd Ave. and Umatilla St. to check on a 93-year-old woman who was being scammed out of her money. Officer Christian learned that the woman was sending money to a person who claimed to be a sweepstakes employee and requested money so that they could issue the woman the car she “won”. This information sounded suspicious to the officer who went out of her way to contact the taxi company that drove the woman to the location at which she was mailing the money. Officer Christian then went to the location and worked with the manager to retrieve the latest money shipment, which was returned to the lady. Going a step further, Officer Christian used her own funds to purchase a week’s worth of groceries for the senior citizen.


Officer Jacob Sanders – District Three: On January 3, 2021, Officer Jacob Sanders went to the Windsor Gardens apartments on a welfare call. There he met an 86-year-old woman who was experiencing difficulties due to the pandemic and was struggling to take care of herself and her husband who was suffering from dementia. Not only was there no food for the couple, but there was also no food for their dog. With compassion and own his money, Officer Sanders drove to the grocery store and purchased a list full of food for the people and the pup. He returned and unloaded the groceries, ensuring everyone had food for at least a week.

The CAP Board, consisting of 16 citizen volunteers, meets four times a year to review nominations, select recipients, and present awards. Each award winner receives a pin that is worn on the officer’s uniform and a plaque. Community members wishing to commend an officer for their actions, either on or off duty, can send a nomination letter to: Citizens Appreciate Police, 1331 Cherokee St. Room 202, Denver, CO  80204. Nominations can also be emailed directly to the CAP Board at CAPBoardDenver@gmail.com.



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