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'Keep Them Encouraged': Community Support Bolsters Law Enforcement Officers

By Jamie Leary

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - Law enforcement agencies from across the state are once again reaching out to each other for support following the death of Detective Micah Flick.

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While support internally is critical, law enforcement officials says right now they need the entire community to come together.

"The good people in our community outnumber the bad - thousands to one - and we have to focus on them and the community needs to understand, they could stand a hug or a wave or a smile or a salute or a thumbs up. Any kind of love you can throw their way right now. You know, just keep them encouraged," said Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.

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For Pelle, the recent string of police shootings hit close to home.

His son, Douglas County Deputy Jeff Pelle was wounded responding to a call on New Years Eve, in which Deputy Zack Parrish was killed. Sheriff Pelle says his son is already anxious to get back to serving his community.

"He is recovering slowly which is frustrating him. He's getting better. We're confidant he's going to make a full recovery, but he had a lot of damage, and it's just taking a lot longer than he would like," said the sheriff.

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Pelle says right now, it's the community support that keeps him and fellow members of law enforcement going.

"There's a lot of people that are really bumming right now," said Pelle. "What has bolstered us and caused us to believe what we do is worthy and noble is in fact the support that we've seen from the police funerals from the community."

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CBS4's Jamie Leary interviews Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader. (credit: CBS)

Like Pelle, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader says he wants the community to know they are the "good guys."

Shrader says he's noticed a concerning trend when it comes to attitudes toward law enforcement.

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"There does seem to be a little bit more disrespect for law enforcement officers and a willingness to engage with a police officer where I haven't seen that in some time," Shrader said.

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In a note he wrote to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Tuesday morning, Shrader encouraged his staff not to lose hope.

"We stand together - that we are the good guys and when we're shoulder to shoulder and we support one another, we're gonna prevail over evil," Shrader told CBS4.

Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn't imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.

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