“Seven Days and 89 Miles of River to See Something Amazing Grow Out of Tragedy” #GVCopBeat

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COPS logoLast week, the Grand Junction Police Department was once again honored to host the C.O.P.S. kids. Concerns of Police Survivors is a non-profit organization that provides support and resources to the families of officers who are killed in the line of duty.

Each year, C.O.P.S. hosts an Outward Bound Adventure, taking kids ranging in age from 15-20 on a white water rafting trip along the Colorado River. Each of these kids have lost a law enforcement parent in the line of duty.

The kids and mentors meet in Grand Junction prior to their trip, coming in from all over the United States. Our Community Resource Unit, with the assistance of local law enforcement agencies and business partnerships, arranges for transportation to and from the airport, hotel accommodations, and meals.  This year, we also took the kids to Get Air at the Silo for a fun evening outing. The Grand Junction Police Department has been participating in this program for well over ten years.

COPS mentors
Deputy Mark Johnson, Shawna Gilbert, Officer Dave Godwin, Brigitte Wendel, Sean Strzalkowski, and Kayla French, mentors for COPS Outward Bound Adventure


For the first time this year, we were especially honored to be able to send mentors on the trip. Officer Dave Godwin, of the Grand Junction Police Department, as well as Deputy Mark Johnson, of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, both joined the kids on the week-long excursion as chaperones.


“I had seven days and 89 miles of river to see something amazing grow out of tragedy,” said Officer Godwin of the experience. “A week on the Colorado with those kids was a life altering event that I will cherish forever.”

As we’ve said before, the C.O.P.S. kids feel like every cop’s kids, and we feel so fortunate to get to play a small role in this wonderful program.

We’d like to give a special thanks to the businesses that donated and deeply discounted their services and products to help us make our guests feel welcomed to Grand Junction; thank you to Famous Dave’s, Chick-Fil-A, McAlister’s Deli, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Get Air at the Silo, and Wal-Mart. Your generosity helps to make our participation in this program possible.

Concerns of Police Survivors is a non-profit organization that provides a myriad of services to families that have experienced a line of duty death. They are funded by grants and donations.  Should you feel moved to contribute to this incredibly worthy cause, check out their website here.

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