Guest Column: Cops work to serve fellow man
Last week, I had several calls from on duty officers, which is typical in any given week. One call was from an officer, who, while responding to a medical call, got blood in his eyes from the person he was trying to help. I was called while he was at the hospital, where he was getting his eyes flushed and treated. He now has to wait for test results concerned with blood-borne issues. Having to make that wait myself from incidents I have had to face, I know the anxiety it can cause.
Another call was from an off-duty officer who had heard this call and heard that the other officer who was on duty was dealing with a felony harassment case. The problem was that with only two officers working, we had to get other officers in to help cover calls and this officer was volunteering. As word got out, I had other officers volunteer to help out as well.
In the same week, I received a letter from an out-of-town citizen who wanted to thank the officer who helped them out so much when they were lost while traveling through Rifle. In another incident, one of the sergeants told me of an officer who helped a woman and her children who had run out of gas on the road. The officer pushed the car for some distance, got her to a gas station, and then paid for $16 worth of gas – out of his own pocket – to get her where she needed to go.
I tell you this to highlight the diverse issues we deal with as police officers.
Last Thursday, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Eugene Hofacker was shot several times while stopped in Glenwood Canyon to see if a motorist needed assistance. This incident has a profound effect on all law enforcement officers as they enter into situations every day, not knowing who they are dealing with, or if those people wish them harm. They do it because they have a firm belief in service to their fellow man.
This week, May 11-17, is National Police Week. It is in honor of the over 900,000 law enforcement officers who serve our communities every day. It is also a week when names are added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, in honor of the over 200,000 officers who have given their lives in service to their communities, specifically, the 100 officers killed in 2013.
It has been my honor to serve the City of Rifle for almost two years. It has been my equal honor to work with the men and women of the Rifle Police Department, who every day work to make Rifle a safer place, even at risk of harm to themselves.
While it is expected for a chief to say they have the best officers around, having come from another state and seen many police agencies in the past 30 years, I can truly say that the Rifle Police Department is second to none.
If you get a chance, please say hello to one of our officers and thank them for their service. I know I will.
John Dyer is the police chief in Rifle.
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