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8 Denver Police Officers Receive New 'True Blue Award'

DENVER (CBS4) - The Denver Police Department is honoring several officers who lent an extra hand to help others in the community.

Eight officers received a new award called the Bill Daniels True Blue Award on Friday. The award honors those with a desire to help.

True Blue Awards (3)
(credit: CBS)

Among the recipients was Officer Ambrose Slaughter, who paid for a hotel room during a cold snap for a man living in his car. That man had been evicted from his apartment when he couldn't afford the rent increase.

Denver police described the award as going to "police officers who go above and beyond the normal call of duty to help a citizen."

Representatives from the Daniels Fund plan to select officers for the award four times each year.

Additional Resources

Denver police shared the following descriptions (and YouTube video) which explain why each officer was selected:

True Blue Awards (2)
(credit: CBS)

Officer Ken Smith and Officer Keith Sutton

On September 26, 2015, Officer Ken Smith was working curbside at Denver International Airport when he noticed a woman and her son sitting on a curbside bench. The woman was distraught and crying. Officer Smith learned that the woman, who we will simply call Xena, and her one year-old son were stranded at the airport. In an attempt to flee an abusive relationship, Xena was able to scrape together enough money to get to Denver but had nowhere to go from there. Officer Smith also learned that the woman and boy had not eaten. The officer took the mother and son into the terminal and bought them a meal and worked on finding a way to assist them. The officer began by trying to find them shelter. DIA Dispatch was able to find a shelter that had one space available.

Officer Keith Sutton picked up Xena and her son, and took them to the shelter, but there was a problem the shelter could only take Xena, not her son. Officer Sutton learned that the woman's mother lived in southern Colorado. He then contacted a busing company to see if they had any assistance programs to help the family. They did not, so he took matters into his own hands. He coordinated with Xena's mother, ensuring that she would be able to pick up her daughter and grandson from the bus station in southern Colorado and he purchased their bus tickets himself.

Thanks to the generosity of Officer Smith and Officer Sutton, Xena and her son were safely loaded on the bus to their new home with full bellies.

Officer Ambrose Slaughter

On November 10, 2015, Denver Police District 2 Officer Ambrose Slaughter was dispatched to the 1300 block of Jasmine Street on a report of a suspicious vehicle. When he arrived on scene, he found a 76-year-old man named John sitting in his car with all of his property. Officer Slaughter learned that John had been evicted from his apartment that he lived in for the past eight years. The manager raised the rent and John's fixed income could not accommodate the increase. Knowing that a snow storm was on its way, Officer Slaughter asked John what his plans were for the night. John said he planned on sleeping in his vehicle. Officer Slaughter offered to help find him a place to stay and John obliged. Officer Slaughter contacted a few hotels, finally finding one with an open room. He paid for a two-night stay out of his own pocket and ensured that John not only had a warm place to stay for the next couple nights, but that he would get the necessary help from Denver Adult Social Services the following day.

True Blue Awards
(credit: CBS)

Lt. Steve Addison, Lt. Kenny Chavez, Lt. Jeff Martinez, Sgt. Joseph Rodarte, and Corporal Scott Day

In October of 2015, District Four officers, including Corporal Scott Day, responded to multiple calls for service at the home of a Vietnam veteran named Charles. The elderly veteran was dealing with a slew of neighborhood code violations and failing health. It was clear he needed someone to help him out as he didn't have any family living in the area. So, on Sunday, November 1, 2015, Corporal Day, Lt. Jeff Martinez, Lt. Steve Addison, Lt. Kenny Chavez and Sgt. Joseph Rodarte volunteered to fix the code issues in Charles' yard including removing the torn-down remnants of a shed, correctly repositioned another shed away from the utility right of way, and cleaning up Charles' yard. And if helping to get Charles' yard all cleaned up wasn't enough, Corporal Day even visited Charles to get his DVR and DVD player set up and in working order.

See their work in the YouTube video below:

Serving and Protecting our Veterans by Denver Police on YouTube
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