COLORADO SPRINGS - Rachael Flick had to tell her 7-year-old twins that their father was not coming home. Micah Flick, an El Paso County deputy, was killed February 5 while investigating an auto theft. While life is often hour by hour for Rachael, she said she's comforted by community support.
“I think I can thank the community every day for the rest of our life and it really would not be adequate,” Rachel said to a gathering of reporters Thursday. “I miss so many things about Micah, I miss my partner, my friend, doing life with him.”
Grieving is a really lonely journey. But people - strangers, kids - have tried to make sure that Rachael was not alone.
“Every card is being read, every gift is opened,” she said. “One of my favorite gifts was receiving a small Ziploc baggy with a couple of quarters from a little girl in a school that I think is probably around the same age as Levi and Eliana (Flick’s 7-year-old twins). Those kinds of things are so precious to us. I just want to thank you guys as a community and as a nation at large.”
The outpouring of support lifted one of Flick’s twins, 7-year-old Eliana, during her father’s funeral.
“Eliana made the comment, she said, ‘mommy, seeing all these people honoring people makes that just a little bit easier - makes my heart a little bit happier.’”
Rachael has several ideas for ways people can affect change and stop the violence against police officers. Three have been killed in Colorado alone since December 31.
“I think it's easy to feel like that one person, that one family making that decision that they're going to honor authority and their family and teach their children about law enforcement doesn't matter, but it really does,” she said. “Just like the little Ziploc baggie of $.75 - those things have power. It takes one person beginning to make that change to make a cultural revolution.”
Rachael suggests people educate themselves about their rights when it comes to being contacted by law enforcement to avoid unnecessary conflicts. She also suggests people educate themselves about what law enforcement does by going on a ride-along, for example, so they might get a better sense of what officers do every day.
And if an officer does something people like, Rachael says you should let them know, so they see the support all the time - not only when someone dies.