GOLDEN, Colo. – The names of three Coloradans have been added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Deputy Derek Geer, Deputy Nate Carrigan and Trooper Cody Donahue were honored last night, with a candlelight vigil at the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial at Camp George West.
Lt. Col. Kevin Eldridge, of the Colorado State Patrol, told the crowd that he wanted to recognize the survivors, and the family members, of those who have been killed in the light of duty.
“Deputy Derek Geer of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. End of Watch - February 8, 2016,” Eldridge said. “Deputy Nathanial Allen Carrigan of the Park County Sheriff’s Office. End of Watch – February 24, 2016. And Trooper Cody Donahue of the Colorado State Patrol. End of Watch – November 25, 2016.”
Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz was the keynote speaker.
He mentioned the lyrics of a song that he’d heard just a few nights ago. He said those lyrics -- I’m only one call away -- reminded him of an op-ed cartoon drawing, depicting one of his officers holding a child victim of the theater shooting, with a poster of Batman in the background.
“It basically means, who’s really the super-hero in this situation?” he said.
Metz reminded those in attendance, that as the three Coloradans were being honored, other officers around the country were losing their lives.
“To date, in 2017, we have lost 47 officers,” he said. “That’s up from this year to date, in 2016,” he said. “That’s why nights like this are so very important.”
Metz also said the three Coloradans made a difference, and are continuing to do so.
“Dep. Geer donated his organs, so that others can live.” he said. “Dep. Carrigan, from Park County, brought a community together that was fractured, and Trooper Donahue’s ‘Move Over’ campaign is already helping save fellow officers throughout the whole state.”
As Taps played toward the end of the ceremony, family members and fellow officers placed roses at the base of the memorial, and then lit candles and raised them skyward, to remember the fallen.
Chief Metz said the names on the state memorial represent 306 families “who supported their loved one’s call and whose loss was unimaginable.”
He said, “For many of them, it still is.”