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Memorial service scheduled Friday for fallen Arvada Officer Dillon Vakoff

Service organized by Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation
vakoff memorial.png
Posted at 6:22 PM, Sep 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 18:24:58-04

ARVADA, Colo. — Funeral Services for fallen Arvada Officer Dillon Vakoff will be held at the end of this week, the city of Arvada announced Tuesday.

A memorial service is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Friday at Flatirons Community Church, 355 W. South Boulder Rd., in Lafayette. The service is open to the public.

Beginning at 7:30 a.m., Highway 7, 120th Street and South Boulder Road will be "significantly impacted by road closures and heavy traffic," Lafayette police said in a tweet Thursday. People who travel through that area are encouraged to find alternate routes and avoid the area altogether through the afternoon.

The service is being organized by the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation.

“From the moment that call comes in, we are in work mode," said Stephen Redfearn, president of the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation. “Our main goal is to make sure that the fallen officer gets the proper honors that they deserve.”

Redfearn said he expects anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 people to attend Vakoff's memorial service.

Procession and funeral for Arvada Officer Dillon Michael Vakoff happening Friday

Vakoff was shot and killed early Sunday morning while responding to a report of a large family disturbance on the street in Arvada.

Sonny Thomas Almanza, 31, is accused of being involved in the exchange of gunfire that ended the life of Officer Vakoff on West 51st Avenue near the intersection with Marshall Street.

Almanza is being held on several charges including:

  • First-degree murder of a peace officer with extreme indifference
  • Attempted first-degree murder after deliberation
  • Attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer with extreme indifference
  • Possession of a weapon by a previous offender
  • Two counts of reckless child abuse
  • Possession of a weapon used in the commission of a violent crime
  • Crime resulting in serious bodily injury or death

Almanza was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning but he was still in the hospital at the time. Tuesday evening, the suspect was transferred to Jefferson County and where is expected to appear in court Wednesday morning.

Vakoff was an Arvada resident and graduated from Ralston Valley High School in 2012. He was a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force where he served with the 96th Bomb Squadron for six years before joining the Arvada Police Department in 2019.

During a Sunday morning press conference, Arvada Police Chief Link Strate said Vakoff was training to be a SWAT officer and said he would have continued to have a positive impact on the department and community.

"Dillon is an example of everything that is good about a police officer," Strate said. “This is a tragic loss to this community to this department, but most significantly to his family and loved ones. His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

Public parking will be available for Friday’s service at the RTD Lafayette Park & Ride, located at 1080 South Public Rd. or at The District, located at 400 W. South Boulder Rd. The service will be streamed live on Denver7.Com.

Tax deductible donations can be made to