by Jack Minor
We have all done it. We’ve criticized the police department when someone is a jerk in traffic; we wonder, “Where is a policeman when you want one. Are they all eating donuts?” An act of appreciation by Greeley residents helped shine a light on exactly what the police are doing, when, “You can’t find one.”
Members of Faith Bible Baptist Church, which is located just a few blocks from the police station, had planned to honor the Greeley Police Department by cooking them a home cooked meal Saturday, Sept. 24. The church members, when scheduling the event, had no idea how timely it would be.
The meal consisted of nine racks of ribs, brisket, hamburgers and hot dogs. Officers had their choice of drinks along with beans, corn and desserts. Following the meal, the church left the remaining food with the officers to share with others.
Associate Pastor, Ken Curtis, was reluctant to talk to the Gazette about the meal saying, “I don’t want the story to be about our church. This is a day to honor the officers and let them know we appreciate their service. This is all about them.”
Little did church members know that this Saturday afternoon was far from a typical day for the officers. In order to serve the largest amount of officers possible, the dinner was scheduled for around 3:30 p.m. to coincide with the shift change. However, when the time came, very few officers showed up.
The reason was, this Saturday was an unusually busy day for the GPD.
Media spokesman, Sgt. Joe Tymkowych, said between 7 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. the department took 98 calls, which is 15 percent more than usual. As a result of this call volume, officers were busier than normal at shift change and had very little time to eat.
In addition to the increased call volume, the department had a major investigation that began at 9 a.m. and carried throughout the day and into the next.
The investigation involved two individuals who were arrested in a string of car break ins. The arrests were eventually linked to 70 cases of criminal trespass and theft/criminal mischief. During the arrest, officers discovered a stolen gun on one of the suspects.
As part of this investigation, the department called in detectives to help with the investigation due to the sheer number of cases involved. Many of the cases required extensive follow-up.
That Saturday, three officers were busy on the case along with two detectives. The case has since been assigned to two detectives who are continuing to follow-up.
Tymkowych said the detectives are continuing to discover cases that will likely be filed against the two suspects and estimate an additional 20 documentable cases will be filed.
This case was in addition to the other calls taken that day including two calls that involved dealing with pit bulls. On one call, the officer needed to mace the dog.
Tymkowych said while that Saturday was unusual and every officer was extremely busy, all calls received were covered and appropriately handled. He went on to say that the officers greatly appreciated the thoughtfulness provided by the community.
“Many officers that had the opportunity to partake in the dinner provided by Faith Bible Baptist Church raved about the meal and were very grateful for the offer, and very much appreciated the luxury of a hot meal provided at the PD.”
Several officers told the men and ladies of the church that if it had not been for them coming by and providing the meal they would not have been able to eat that day.
Tymkowych summed up the busy day’s activities with a simple statement illustrating the officers’ attitudes during a busy time. “It was just one of those days.”