Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate law enforcement officers and professionals for our 2019 Unparalleled Community Impact Award. We genuinely loved reading each story of how these amazing men and women go above and beyond every day to make our communities better. Please take the time to read the stories of the winners of the 2019 RMLEFCU Unparalleled Community Impact Award and Outstanding Act of Service Awards below.
Colorado Springs Unparalleled Community Impact Award
We are honored to announce Officer Matthew Waters as the winner of this year’s Unparalleled Community Impact Award for the Colorado Springs Police Department. He is currently in the Tactical Enforcement Unit (SWAT) and is still involved in past cases in his prior Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Unit and still finds time to care for the previous survivors he was working with.
He poured his dedication into the time he was with the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Unit. From responding to the scenes, follow-ups, interviews, trials, and overall being there for families, he is such a great example of what an Officer should be and represent.
Along with showing immense support for his community, he also supports his fellow officers. Most prominently with wounded Officer Cem Duzel. Officer Duzel was wounded on duty and Officer Waters helped take care of Officer Duzel’s family at the time of need then and still does now. He is in constant communication trying to make sure his fellow brother gets better and also keep us informed of his progress.
Officer Water’s dedication to his work and his community is undeniable. He is not only an outstanding representative of Law Enforcement in our community but he is also a great person.
Denver Unparalleled Community Impact Award
We have the honor to announce Officer Alicia Harris of the Denver Police Department as a recipient of the Unparalleled Community Impact Award. She is assigned to the District 6 Homeless Outreach Team and her daily duties brings her in contact with countless individuals experiencing homelessness and living outdoors. She works with these individuals and provides outreach and services.
Officer Harris’ extreme dedication to her work and her community is shown through her support with Arthur Robinson, an individual who was initially founded to be shelter-resistant and somewhat uncooperative. After a lengthy conversation with Mr. Robinson, it was discovered that he just wanted to get help getting out of the cold and back in touch with family in Spokane Washington.
Officer Harris took it as her mission to make this happen. Using her own money, she contacted him every day giving him money for meals, taking him to the clinic, and with Officer Fischer even helped him repair his bicycle which was his only means of travel. She ultimately encouraged Mr. Robinson to give her his mom and sister’s name and date of birth. This information allowed her to research a way to contact them. After an exhaustive search, she ultimately found his sister on Facebook and contacted her through Facebook messaging.
Officer Harris is to be commended for the professionalism and dedication in her efforts to help Arthur and his family. Her selfless actions truly were a miracle for this family.
Jefferson County Unparalleled Community Impact Award
Through her outstanding work in Jefferson County, we are honored to present the Unparalleled Community Impact Award to Victim Advocate Courtney Hill of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. She is a part of the Victim Services department and her knowledge, dedication, and willingness to go above and beyond is extraordinary.
Victim Advocate Hill began her career with the Sheriff’s Office in 2014, since then she has hit the ground running. She is highly respected by her supervisors, colleagues, and members of the community. One member of the community praised her dedication and even said: “we need to clone her so that everybody can be like her”. Courtney is a true asset to the agency and she strives to make Jefferson County a safe place to live, learn, work and play.
Denver Outstanding Act of Service Award
Through their outstanding work in their community, we are honored to present the Outstanding Act of Service Award to Tara Moxon and David Felts of the Denver Police Department.
Starting back in September of 2018, Officer Felts and Officer Moxon were both assigned to Precinct 321. These officers recognized an issue in their precinct, with a high call volume they were experiencing, at 9100 E Lowry Blvd. This location is called the Third Way Center which is a housing facility for troubled youth who are in the custody of the State of Colorado. This facility provides a wide range of help for these juveniles.
The type of calls for service were typically assaults to staff or other residents, damage to private property, runaways, and mental health calls. The department was averaging 6 – 8 calls per week and approximately 1 to 2 hours every call, due to the nature and fact that the department was managing juveniles.
Officer Felt set up a meeting with the facility Executive Director and both officers attended this meeting with the intent of collaborating with the facility. The officers wanted to obtain a better understanding of the inner workings of the facility and how they could better serve the citizens there to reduce calls for service and crimes being committed.
The officers learned that the staff at this location has been frustrated with the response they were getting from officers because there were different officers responding all the time to this location. Each time the officers were unaware of the history of different juveniles and would address things in a different, but correct, manner. They also learned of a program that was started by a District 3 CROs referred to as “Lowry Tickets”. Third Way Center would issue “Lowry Tickets” for low-level infractions committed by residents. The CRO would then come out on a regular schedule and meet with the kids to discuss the infraction and appropriate consequence for the incident. Unfortunately, the program was no longer active due to work schedules.
Keeping what they learned from the meeting in mind, Officer Felts and Moxon started up a similar program and called the tickets “Police Referrals”. When a resident was involved in an incident and no one was hurt, the staff would complete these “Police Referrals” which were submitted to the officers once a week. The officers would respond to the Third Way Center every Monday at 3:00 p.m. and review the referrals for the week. Working with the staff and the resident, they would come up with the best course of action to take with all persons involved. They would have discussions with the residents on how the situation could be better handled next time and in a more positive manner. Resident input was typically writing essays/ letters, community service and/ or temporary suspension from activities.
These Monday meetings were lasting approximately 2 hours. There was such a success with the referrals that the officers started to respond there twice a week for an additional hour. The response by the juveniles was overwhelming. They loved having the police officers come to the facility and they developed a good working relationship with the officers.
Officer Felts and Officer Moxon’s outreach to their community has impacted their precinct immensely. The results of their efforts reduced the calls for service and time spent at the location by over half. More importantly, it built relationships with our community members and helped prevent crime, which is the very mission of the Denver Police Department. The violent crime rate at this location and damage to private property has dropped drastically over the past few months.
Even though this journey started to take shape in September of 2018, it is still currently an on-going program in which these two officers have continued to work very hard at. Through their personal initiative, they identified a problem in the community they serve and developed a program to help solve that problem. This program is in line with the departments’ mission and goals.
At RMLEFCU, we are proud to serve the law enforcement community and give back to the men and women who do so much for our society. We will be announcing dates for the award ceremonies on our social media, so be sure to follow our accounts for updates!