LAKEWOOD - When Detective Moose Chavez walks around Alameda International High School, he wants students to know he's not just there for when trouble brews. He wants to put the resource in the title 'School Resource Officer'.
"I want people to know me as a person," Det. Chavez, Lakewood Police, said. "I want to be known as the SRO that shows up and they say, 'Hey, he's a normal person. He's here to support me.'"
So, when Chavez decided to run the half-marathon of the Denver Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on October 20th, he decided to take a student with him.
"It's not for me to show my abilities in running," Chavez said. "It's to show that Luke and I are truly athletes."
Luke Olmsted is a student in the Challenge Class at Alameda. It's for severely disabled students.
"It's unbelievable to me the dedication that he shows to all the students at Alameda especially those that are in my class," Dan Bennett, Challenge Class teacher, said.
Luke has cerebral palsy. He cannot walk. He cannot talk. But, his mother Gretchen Olmsted says that does not mean he cannot enjoy life. That's why she is thankful Chavez wanted to give her son this experience.
"It pretty much emulates how we have tried to raise Luke which is basically looking at Luke and see the possibility, not the disability," Gretchen Olmsted said.
Chavez will push Luke in a jogging stroller for 13.1 miles around the city of Denver.
"I think what's special about this is (Luke) will be right in the middle of the action," Bennett said.
Chavez wants Luke to feel the wind on his face and feel what it's like to run in a group of thousands of people.
"I want Luke to experience it all - everywhere from beginning to the end," Chavez said.
Gretchen Olmsted says these the types of things her son truly loves.
"I think the connection of being with other people," Gretchen Olmsted said. "A lot of times, the wheelchair is a barrier and the fact that he is non-verbal makes is challenging for him to interact with other people."
Chavez has been training by strapping heavy weights to the jogging stroller and running around the neighborhood. He says he gets crazy looks, but he needs to practice running in a way he's never run before.
"When it comes to stride and running, it's tough," Chavez said. "It's a lot different than me just running by myself."
But, it's work that Chavez is happy to do, for Luke, and for the other special needs students. He wants to show everyone at Alameda that they all can joy experiences like the half-marathon.
"Luke is paving the way for other athletes in Jefferson County," Chavez said.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)