The fact that Colorado will bury another law enforcement officer on Friday, less than a month since the funeral of Douglas County Deputy Zack Parrish seems surreal to people working on the memorial service.
“I don't know if it's still sunk in that we're doing this again,” said Capt. Stephen Redfearn, President of the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation, and a Captain with the Aurora Police Department. “It's like Groundhog Day. It's Groundhog Day with one of the most sad and emotional things that we could be involved in.”
The Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation, a non-profit, has been around for about a year-and-a-half, was created by APD Chief Nick Metz, who brought the idea from his department in Seattle.
“Our goal is to ensure that no matter where a deputy or officer works, where he or she works should not dictate the memorial service that they have,” Redfearn said. “If they’re in a small town, they should have the same amazing, beautiful ceremony as a big city officer.”
Redfearn said more than 50 volunteers from about 30 agencies across the state are working to properly honor Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm, killed Wednesday night.
“He’s somebody who really enjoyed serving others,” McIntosh said about Gumm. “We’re all supposed to get into this business for that reason. There’s those like Deputy Gumm that’s demonstrated on a daily basis in the way they conduct business,” said Adams County Sheriff Michael McIntosh. “I don’t know if there is anything more impactful to a law enforcement officer than a line of duty death, so much so that it’s something that you’re never going to forget.”
Tuesday, McIntosh told 9NEWS he was grateful for the support from the Foundation.
“That team, in the midst of everything else that has been going on, has been a godsend to me,” McIntosh said. “We would not be able to accomplish the things we’d want to accomplish. A criminal investigation of this magnitude is incredibly important to us, the safety and the protection of this community doesn’t stop and it’s incredibly important to me. I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to provide the same level of service to our community.”
McIntosh said it was very important for the non-profit to receive donations, as they will be called on again.
“Making sure that we continue to look at ways of supporting that foundation so when we do unfortunately get that call again that they have the resources available to be able to go into it could be a smaller agency,” McIntosh said.