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Denver Police Officers honored for community outreach efforts

Posted at 3:49 PM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 20:42:59-05

DENVER -- Officers with the Denver Police Department were honored for their outreach efforts to the community on Wednesday for going beyond their badge to help those in need.

Denver Police Corporal Tim Scudder was one of those officers.

When Olivia Gant, 7, was diagnosed with terminal cancer she made a bucket list. One of the items on that list was to catch bad guys with police.

Last April, Denver Police and Corporal Scudder helped her check off that item, by making her honorary Chief for a day.

Olivia died in August.

“Just seeing her smile and look out the window and knowing it was all about Olivia... that was Olivia’s day, and it just made me happy to know I made this little girl smile and be happy,” Corporal Scudder told Denver7.

Scudder was honored Wednesday for his kindness and compassion with a Citizens Appreciate Police Award.

Olivia’s mother, Kelly Turner, said Corporal Scudder’s kindness still makes an incredible difference to her family.

“I have to think that I know Olivia is looking down on him and is super happy. I hate she’s not here to see that but the 1,500 people [of the Denver police force] have become our family. We see them a lot and they reach out to my other children,” said Turner.

For almost 40 years Denver officers have been awarded for their kind gestures.

Officers Juan Gamboa and Edward Pacheco Jr. were also honored at the Denver City and County building.

“It was a really cold morning. It was about 6 or 7 degrees out and we noticed two young boys walking to school and they were just wearing t-shirts and basketball shorts, so we picked them up and drove them to school, and on the way we found out neither of them had winter coats,” said Gamboa.

They dropped them off at school and immediately went to buy those boys warm down coats.

Other acts of kindness honored by police on Wednesday include Lieutenant Jeff Martinez, who started a nonprofit called Suits for Success to help men get suits and interview skills; Officer Henry Jones, for buying a plane ticket for a solider to get to his grandfather’s funeral; and Officer Rueban Garduno for rushing a wheelchair-bound high schooler to his graduation.

Officers want people to know they go beyond enforcing the law to help the community and families like Olivia’s.

“Buy them a cup of coffee, buy them a meal, tell them thanks for keeping me safe because today might be the last day you can tell them hi and their family kisses them goodbye,” said Turner.