~ by Trevor Phipps ~
A group of Teller County residents have joined forces to show their support for the men and women in blue across the country.
The affection came in the form of donations for bulletproof vests and a special tree decorated in the “Blue Lives Matter” theme.
Last week, people from across the country celebrated national police week. In 1962 President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation and nominated May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and the week of the date as national police week.
Locally, a group of people, headed by Bob and Doloretta Barber, got together to show their support for the men and women who dedicate their lives to make the world a safer place. Every year, the Barbers spend their time raising money from around the community for a charitable cause.
This year, the family pounded the pavement and went out to collect donations from the community to give bulletproof vests to members of the Teller County Sheriff’s Office and the Cripple Creek Police Department. So far they have raised over $17,000 to pay for over ten vests that will be given to the agencies through the nonprofit organization Shields 616.
“We feel that police officers nationwide are under assault,” Doloretta Barber said. “They have been killed at alarming rates in the last couple of years. I think that it is important that they know that there are people in the community that support them.”
In addition to raising the money for the protective shields, the Barbers also got with a group of people to construct a special “Blue Lives Matter” tree. For the last few weeks, the group has met up and got to work making blue ribbons from materials donated by Andersen Pack and Ship.
The team used the elevation of Woodland Park to come up with the number 8,465 ribbons. After the ribbons were made, A-mark Budget Signs donated their time to place the ribbons on a tree located in Woodland Park’s Lions Park.
This Saturday, May 25 at 10 a.m. is the designated time and date to dedicate the tree to law enforcement agencies. During this event, the vests will also be given to the police officers.
Last week, the Ute Pass Kiwanis Club also celebrated police week by giving officer of the year awards to Deputy Garcia from the Teller County Sheriff’s Office, Officer Lucero from the Cripple Creek Police Department and Corporal Jardon from the Woodland Park Police Department.