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Honoring Those Who Keep Our Community Safe

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Devanie Helman

On most days, I pass at least one police car on my morning commute to work. I don’t think much about it, other than pausing to wonder why they are out so early, or if they have been out all night. However, after attending the 29th annual Medal of Valor Luncheon earlier this week, I realize how fortunate I am to feel safe and free in my community.  In my daily life, I do not worry about my safety, or the safety of my neighbors. I do not think about my ability to rescue someone in trouble, or lay awake willing myself to remain steadfast and brave in the face of imminent danger. In my life, these activities seem outlandish and something only found on the 5 o’clock news. For some, this is their reality.

Since 1985, the Medal of Valor Luncheon has honored police officers who bear the responsibility of keeping the Colorado Springs community safe. In 2013, officers received accolades for their heroic efforts throughout the devastating fires and floods our community faced. The men and women of the Colorado Springs Police Department act with courage, compassion and a deep commitment to the safety and freedom of the Colorado Springs community.  They face dangerous situations many of us will never comprehend, all so we don’t have to.

The Medal of Valor Luncheon emerged from modest beginnings nineteen years ago when police Chief Jim Munger identified the need for a stronger partnership between Colorado Springs and its police department. A local citizen heard Munger’s plea and responded, saying “yes, our community can do more.” The Luncheon honors officers who go above and beyond to keep Colorado Springs safe, and moreover, it is an opportunity for community members to show their support for Colorado Springs’ finest. This year’s keynote speaker, Representative Bob Gardner, urged the audience to provide the support our local police officers need to do their job effectively and safely. With the news flooded with reports of communities lacking security and personal freedom, I want to thank support my neighbors who commit themselves to ensuring the people of Colorado Springs are safe.