The past year has been a busy one for Parker’s men and women in blue.
Between becoming an accredited law enforcement agency, responding to hundreds of serious crimes and nabbing online predators, a dull day at the Parker Police Department is a rarity these days. The second annual police awards ceremony May 16 at the Parker Arts, Culture and Events Center gave a nod to some of those officers, high-ranking officials and support staff who made a difference from May 2012 to April 30 this year.
“Every day that we put on the badge, kiss our spouse and kids goodbye and walk out that door, and do so knowing (we) may be called upon to step between good and evil, often at the risk of great personal cost,” Chief David King said at the beginning of the ceremony.
The honors included chief commendations, letters of recognition, years of service awards, unit commendations and, of course, life-saving awards. Sgt. Joe Cummings received his third such award for his role in saving a suicidal man; officer Chad Tausen received his first life-saving award stemming from the same call on Dec. 1. Officer Nicholas Eckmann also received a letter of recognition for providing “essential assistance” in life-saving measures for his fellow officers.
The incident on Pensive Court began when a woman told Parker Police Department dispatchers that her brother was threatening suicide and she believed his intentions were serious. The officers took a position near the front door and had a clear view of the man, who was standing on a staircase with an extension cord wrapped around his neck.
When the man jumped to hang himself, Cummings and Tausen kicked down the front door. Tausen lifted the man by his legs to relieve the tension on the cord until Cummings ran up the stairs and cut it. The man fell into Tausen’s arms. They checked his vital signs and realized the man was not breathing and did not have a pulse.
Eckmann and Cummings moved him to a more suitable area for life-saving measures and Tausen administered CPR, during which the man was revived.
“Without the quick actions of Officer Tausen and Sgt. Cummings, the subject certainly would have perished,” Officer Shannon Brukbacher told the crowd.
• Aurora Police Lt. Jad Lanigan, the incident commander during the Century 16 theater shooting last July, gave a special campaign award to the Parker Police Department’s victim-assistance team that responded to the scene.
• The department thanked the wives of two officers who are currently serving as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. Cleveland Holmes and William Plienis are serving with the 396th Military Police Detachment. They inspect containers for contraband and certify equipment and personnel leaving Afghanistan. The men are expected to return to work in October.
• Sam Realmuto ended his law enforcement career on March 19, 34 years to the day after starting with the Arvada Police Department. He spent 11 years with the Parker department. His retirement was noted during the ceremony, and Realmuto received his sergeant and lieutenant badges in a case. He delivered an emotional farewell speech that finished with these words: “To receive this during law enforcement week makes it all the more special to me.”
• Town administrator Randy Young praised the work of the entire department and said the town often receives positive messages from the public.
“That’s unheard of. You usually don’t hear the good stuff. We definitely hear when people think that we screwed up or think we did something that wasn’t right. It’s very rare for people to take the time, the energy to recognize good deeds and good actions,” Young said.