Things to do in Fountain Colorado

•April 23, 2010 • 1 Comment

Things to do in Fountain Colorado

Something for everyone!

The Fountain Valley region is alive with activities, whether you enjoy the outdoors, sports, horseback riding, swimming, community events or history.  There’s always plenty to do.  Here are a few places and events, and don’t forget to visit the city website at http://www.ci.fountain.co.us to get a look at what’s going on in town!

Local Heritage and Events

Blast Dance, Caboose Race and Thunder in the Valley Car Show

Held in June, the Blast Dance commemorates the spectacular train explosion in 1888.  The dance and caboose race are held in the square in front of City Hall at 116 S. Main St. (719) 322-2000.

The Caboose race features homemade cabooses to be pushed by a team to victory.

If you like sweet rides, classic cars and lots of power, come see where the action is at Thunder in the Valley. The location will be announced closer to the time of the event.  For information, contact the Fountain Valley Downtown Events Association, (719) 447-8637.

Labor Day Parade & Festival

Unique to Fountain and not to be missed!  Observed in September, the Parade and Festival are held in the square in front of City Hall. This is one of the big parties in Fountain, with an old fashioned parade down the city’s main streets followed by lots of food, booths, music and a tractor pull.

This event is hosted by the Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce, (719) 382-2190.  City Hall is located at 116 S. Main St. (719) 322-2000.

Fountain Valley 5K for the Fallen

This event is held every September to honor the men, women and their families who have given their all in service to our country.  Contact race4fallen@earthlink.net. Locations to be announced.

Harvest Moon Festival & Haunted House

Held in October, in the square in front of City Hall there’s plenty to do and see, as ghosts and pumpkins roam the streets in search of one of the biggest parties of the year.  This event is fun for the whole family, and is brought to you by the Fountain Valley Downtown Events Association, (719) 447-8637. City Hall is located at 116 S. Main St. (719) 322-2000.

Historic Walking Tour

The City of Fountain and the PPLD Fountain Branch Library offer maps of historic sites along this fascinating walking tour.  Contact the Fountain Museum at (719) 390-4538 to arrange a guided tour, get your brochure and learn while you get some fresh air and exercise.

Fountain Valley Museum

A member of the Coalition of Historic Museums in the Pikes Peak Region, the museum offers a variety of historical displays including stories about the early settlers, an organ from the Julie Penrose home, the first city fire hose wagon, and many articles on the train explosion known as “The Big Blast.”

Located at 114 N. Main Street, the museum is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For special tours contact khulen@msn.com.

History Wall

Learn about Fountain’s rich heritage at the History Wall at the Fountain Library, located at 230 South Main Street.  Call (719) 382-5347 for more information about on-going activities at the library.

Veteran’s Day Ceremony

In the square in front of City Hall, this heartfelt ceremony is held with small town pride as all those who value our veterans gather in their honor. City Hall is located at 116 S. Main St. (719) 322-2000.

Fountain Tree Lighting Ceremony

In November, be there to witness the traditional tree lighting ceremony at Mayor’s Park (known locally as “The Caboose Park.”) at 300 Iris Drive. Brought to you by the Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce, (719) 382-2190.

Cowboy Christmas Celebration

With the holidays in full swing, Fountain gathers in the square in front of City Hall to have some Christmas fun, and everyone is welcome! This event is brought to you by the Fountain Valley Downtown Events Association, (719) 447-8637. City Hall is located at 116 S. Main St. (719) 322-2000.

Genealogy Club

The Fountain Valley Genealogy Club not only helps unlock your family history, but they provide workshops and go on tours of local facilities to learn how to sniff out information. Sponsored by the PPLD Fountain Branch Library, at 230 South Main Street.  Call (719) 382-5347 for more information.

Fountain Farmers Market

The Farmers Market runs from May thru Sept. every Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. right in front of City Hall. City Hall is located at 116 S. Main St. (719) 322-2000.

Fountain Valley Senior Center

A myriad of events, daily lunches, Has Bin Thrift Store, golf tournament and more, located at 5745 Southmoor Dr., (719) 520-6470 or elpasoco.com (Dept. of Human Resources, then Fountain Valley Senior Center.)

Sports and Recreation

Fountain Creek Trail

The Fountain Creek Trail begins at the southern edge of Fountain Creek Regional Park and extends approximately 10 ½ miles to the Colorado Springs city limit. Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders may spot deer, geese, beaver and birds of prey along this river route of ancient cottonwoods.

Fountain Creek Nature Center

With ponds and bubbling creeks, these wetlands support an abundance of life.  The Cattail Marsh Wildlife Area has been set aside as a quiet preserve for wildlife and outdoor classroom for visitors.  Located at 320 Peppergrass Lane, call 719-520-6745 for information.

Splash Park

Enjoy the Toddler, Family and Teen play areas. Features include multiple ground sprays, animated pole spray features, aqua jumpers and much more!

The hours of the Fountain Splash Pad are 9 A.M. to 9 P.M., Memorial Day thru Labor Day. The Splash Pad is located at the southern end of Aga Park, 213 W. Alabama Ave near Race Street in Downtown Fountain.

Metcalfe Park

Located at 704 E. Ohio Ave., enjoy the BMX bike trail, skateboard, picnic, hike, watch baseball or just relax at Metcalfe Park.

Hibbard Park

Try the climbing wall or outdoor exercise equipment at Hibbard Park, 787 Ridgebury Drive.

Doggie Park

You and your best friend can romp and play in safety at the Fountain Doggie Park, located at the southern end of Metcalfe Park. Metcalfe Park is located at 704 E. Ohio Ave.

Riding and Roping Club

With trail rides, Team sorting, roping, parades, gymkhanas, shows and barrel racing, there’s plenty of equine fun to be had with the Fountain Riding and Roping Club. Spectators are welcome. The FRRC calendar can be found on their website at http://www.fountainridingandropingclub.com.  The Riding club is located on the eastern side of Metcalfe Park, 704 E. Ohio Ave..

Jimmy Camp Creek

Spot wild turkey and deer along Jimmy Camp Creek. See parks map for directions.

Widefield Community Park

At 1300 Fontaine Boulevard, this 17-acre park hosts a playground, basketball court, baseball backstop, an 18-hole disc golf course, memorial sitting area and more at this beautiful amenity.

Widefield Community Center

The community center offers an indoor/outdoor pool, library, education rooms, baseball fields and tennis courts! Visit them at 705 Aspen Drive, or call 719-391-3515 for more information about their wide range of programs.

Pi-Ute Park Swimming Pool

The Security Athletic Association pool offers an outdoor community-owned pool.  Have a barbeque, listen to outdoor concerts or stroll under towering elm trees, at 801 Main Street in Widefield.

YMCA

The YMCA operates out of the Lorraine Community Center. Visit at 301 E. Iowa. Call 382-1561 for more information.

Baseball & Youth Sports

Fountain has several baseball diamonds at Metcalfe Park and plenty of bleachers.  The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), I9 Sports and Babe Ruth club each has something to offer from baseball, basketball, soccer and cheerleading.

AYSO: http://www.ayso1225.org

I9 Sports: http://www.i9sports.com

Babe Ruth Baseball, call Dale at 719-330-3940 or email at presidentFVBA@msn.com

So bring your picnic basket and come see some all American competition. Metcalfe Park is located at 704 E. Ohio Ave.

Know Your Snakes … by Linda Hobbs

•April 20, 2010 • 2 Comments

It’s springtime again, and snakes are stirring from their winter nap. When you encounter a snake, it’s important to know the difference between venomous and non-venomous species. A key tip to remember is non-poisonous snakes usually have round pupils and poisonous snakes have vertical, cat-like pupils.

Chances are, when you encounter a snake, it will be one of the three most common species in the region, garter, gopher or prairie rattlesnakes.

The Big Three: Garter, Gopher and Rattler

The common garter snake gets its name from its resemblance to garters once used to hold up stockings. It is usually gray or brown, with pale yellow stripes along its body. These snakes can grow up to two or three feet long. Unlike rattlers, they have round pupils.

The common garter snake

Garter snakes eat worms, bugs and slugs, and are a garden helper, keeping down the pest population. Larger garter snakes eat frogs, rodents, birds and fish. Garter snakes give birth to live young.

Garter snakes are a tasty treat to many predators, and their first defense is to try to escape.  However, they may bite if you try to pick them up.  The bite may risk infection if not cleaned properly.

The common garter snake is found close to water, in wetlands and gardens.

Gopher snakes (or bull snakes) are found in warm, dry habitats. They can be tan to gray and have dark brown, black or sometimes reddish blotching with black bands on the tail. They can grow up to three or four feet in length.

The gopher (or bull) snake

When disturbed, gopher snakes will mimic a rattler, hissing loudly, coiling and striking. Gopher snakes vibrate the tip of their tail against the ground to make a rattling noise, but it’s all a bluff. Gopher snakes are constrictors and kill prey by squeezing them.  They have no fangs or poison, although again, their bite can break the skin and risk infection.

It is best never to pick up any wild snake, risking injury not only to yourself, but possibly crushing the snake’s internal organs or breaking its bones.

Prairie rattlesnakes are mostly known for the rattles on their tails and their large fangs. They can be tan, pinkish or brown, with rows of large, dark blotches along their backs, and smaller rows along their sides. Prairie rattlesnakes can grow from three to five feet long.  Their bodies are thick and powerful, with a wide, triangle-shaped head atop a slender neck. Rattlers have slit-shaped pupils.

The prairie rattlesnake

They don’t rattle their tail against the ground like a bull snake, but hold it high as a clear warning to back off.

Prairie rattlesnakes feed from April through October. They eat rodents such as mice, rats and prairie dogs.  Birds, lizards, frogs and toads are also on the menu.

They mate in late summer, and baby snakes arrive in fall. The females give birth to live young. The newborns are 6 to 12 inches long, with full venom glands.

If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, it is best to call 911 immediately and follow their instructions. Disturbing or cutting the wound is dangerous, and should be avoided.

If you find a snake in your yard, and you’re not sure what kind it is – or maybe you just don’t like snakes – the Colorado Division of Wildlife advises you should back away and call the police, who will put you in contact with someone to come get the snake.



Auto Racing For Everyone – Including You!

•February 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

By Linda Hobbs, MVP Sports Reporter/Photojournalist

People in Colorado Springs, CO have probably seen the bright orange cones scattered across the World Arena parking lot, and wondered, “What are they doing?” They probably kept on driving, thinking it had nothing to do with them.

SCCA Solo Action
SCCA Camaro, Slideways at World Arena, Colorado Springs, CO (photo by Ray Vencill)

For most, that is not the case at all.

What they are doing is the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Solo competition. This grassroots driving club is open to anybody interested in testing or improving their driving skill in a fun, exciting and friendly program.

Participants don’t need special cars or licenses. All that is required is a valid driver’s license, a mechanically sound car, and an approved helmet. If participants don’t have a helmet, there’s usually a “helmet bucket” full of loaners. All you have to do is show up and put down your $35 entry fee.

On February 13, powerful (and not so powerful) engines revved as competitors drove the twisting course. Every cone taken out adds two seconds to a driver’s time. Some drivers are national champions, while for others, this is their first time.

The motorcourse challenges are not only about the speed of the car, but the driver’s ability to control their vehicle in tight turns. For this reason, having the most powerful car doesn’t guarantee a good run.

Each driver gets four attempts this day (with more  “fun runs” later), working to beat their own time. The solo aspect is what makes the challenge a shared experience, and the sense of camaraderie is part of what makes the SCCA Solo autocross so popular.

SCCA Solo Event
Darren Kidd Set to Smoke em’ Solo Style at SCCA Winter Series V (photo by Ray Vencill)

Continental Divide Regional Chairman Clay Turner said the SOLO events include every type and level of car, sharing the field with older muscle cars, small imports all the way up to Corvettes, Vipers and BMW’s.

“Everyone is welcome,” Turner said.

Hondas are a popular choice, having good speed and a low center of gravity. Some cars are highly modified, while others are straight from the showroom floor. It all depends on driver-preference. The cars are divided into different classes for competition, including Stock, Street Touring®, Street Prepared, Street Modified, Prepared and Modified.

I was invited to ride shotgun with Turner, an appropriate name, because he is very good at turning.

Launching the 1994 Mazda Miata forward, we whipped around twisting lanes and flew down a zig-zag slalom course. Adrenaline tingled through my blood like ice, as the g-forces blurred my equilibrium. But when it was done, all I could say was, “Can we do that again?”

The goal is to practice skill, speed and control in tight maneuvers. “You try to minimize the distance covered,” Turner explained. “Keep your head up and focus on where you’re going, not where you are.”

In other words, take the turns as tight as possible, and anticipate the next corner, as the car will tend to go where the driver’s attention is focused.

SCCA Solo Event
Regional Chairman Clay Turner set to battle his nemesis – those blasted cones! (photo by Ray Vencill)

Turner explained the steering wheel is gripped near 10 and 2 o’clock and rotated for accurate weaving. The hands never leave the wheel. In fact, one exercise some drivers use is to focus a camera on the steering wheel for later review. The less wasted movement, the better.

Slowing a car in a curve, like braking, causes the car’s center of gravity to shift – and a potential spin-out. Turner said it’s better to anticipate the curve, so the driver can have more control by accelerating, rather than braking through the corner. This is when the stronger cars must rely on driver-skill more than sheer power.

This kind of practice also makes competitors better drivers out in everyday traffic. They have a sense for what their cars can and cannot do.

Drivers gathered around open hoods, discussing the work they’d done (or hadn’t), and talked about strategies – what works and what doesn’t work. There is no secrecy in the parking lot. Everyone is happy to chat, creating a genuine sense of community in this grassroots series. This is why the SCCA National Solo Championship boasts the largest number of autocross participants, with roughly 1,200 entrants.

The entry fee is only $35.00, and cash or checks are accepted on-site, or weekend memberships are $15.00.

72 year-old Bob Klingler started out washing windshields in a garage when he was in 8th grade, and worked his way up. Married 45 years, the Iowa native came to Colorado in 1975. He started autocrossing “in 1970 something” he said, and won the Nationals in 1994 driving a new Mazda Miata.

Klingler also plays handball every weekend at the YMCA. His secret to staying young? “Keep playing,” he said. “Just keep playing, and enjoy what you’re doing.”

Kinch Reindl was bitten by the Solo bug in 2001, when a co-worker invited him along to see what it was all about. Moving to Colorado in 1998 from Texas, Reindl married in 2008 and is busy raising his 14 month old baby. But he still finds time to pursue his passion. Driving a stock 2003 Mitsubishi Evolution, Reindl was the 2008 Driver of the Year, and has placed highly in several national competitions.

SCCA Solo Event
Where Bob Ely steps into to his acme rocket next to his co-pilot, Wile E. Coyote! (photo by Ray Vencill)

Looking at 61 year-old Bobby Ely as he works on his 1969 Mustang, you’d think he’d spent his life under the hood of a car, but looks can be deceiving. In fact, Ely only became involved in 1986.

The Colorado native has a liberal arts degree from Wheaton, and grew up in a family with no special enthusiasm for cars.

Married for 36 years, to “a very tolerant wife,” he says he hasn’t won a lot of trophies, although he has placed among the top three in the Nationals, Ely enjoys the sport simply because it’s fun.

Emblazoned on the side of his Mustang is Wile E. Coyote and “Acme Motors” as his sponsor, he said, because Wile E. is known for his innovation, if not his achievements.

If you decide to try your hand at autocross, the summer schedule is just getting underway.

The Rocky Mountain Solo Winter Series for 2009/10 winds up with a tentatively scheduled event on Saturday March 27 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.

The Rocky Mountain Solo Summer Series 2010 starts off on Sunday, April 11 at the World Arena.

Check-in is between 8 and 9:30 a.m., and the first car off will go no later than 10:30 a.m.

Keep in mind there are noise ordinances, depending on the course. The World Arena, Jeffco Stadium, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Pepsi Center and Coors Field enforce a 93 db noise limit, and PPIR has a 103 db noise limit. If your car is too loud, you will be given a chance to make adjustments.

So stop by and have a look at the hottest game in town, if only to visit for awhile. You’ll be glad you did.

SCCA Solo Event
Did someone say they wanted to be the next Danica, maybe Andretti? (photo by Ray Vencill)

Blood Drive on behalf of Officer Steven Davis

•July 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Officer Steven Davis remains hospitalized at Memorial Hospital in stable condition. There have been three successful surgeries to repair his lower body injuries received in the motorcycle crash on June 27, 2009. The family and the CSPD are very appreciative of the public outreach that has occurred, however he and his family are not accepting visitors or requests for interviews at this time.

The hospital is especially in need of “A” negative and “O” negative blood, but as always donors of all types are welcome. There are a number of limitations for blood donation. You may contact the blood bank at Memorial Hospital for further details if needed at 719.365.5411. An account to benefit the Davis family has been opened at Aventa Credit Union, 426 S. Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs.

Lt. David Whitlock

Public Affairs Section

Colorado Springs Police Department

W (719) 444.7412 C (719) 209.2934

pio@ci.colospgs.co.us

CSPD Officer Mike Builta

•July 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

At 5:31 PM today, the Colorado Springs Police Department was notified of a traffic crash at Tutt Blvd and Barnes Road involving a silver 2000 Chevrolet Venture Mini-Van and a black 2008 Harley Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle. Investigation has revealed that the mini-van was traveling east on Barnes Road when it attempted to turn left or north onto Tutt Blvd. The motorcycle was traveling west on Barnes Road, and struck the van on its center-right side with its front end. There were two occupants of the van, and one rider/operator on the motorcycle. At this time, it appears that the occupants of the van were wearing safety belts, and evidence at the scene indicates the rider of the motorcycle was not wearing a helmet.

The rider/operator of the motorcycle, an off-duty CSPD officer riding his personally owned motorcycle, was transported from the scene to Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead from massive trauma.

A 10 year old female passenger of the van seated in the right-rear seat was transported from the scene suffering from a closed head injury. She was later taken to Denver Children’s Hospital via ambulance for continued treatment, and is listed in serious condition. The driver of the van, a 36 year old female, was uninjured. The driver is the mother of the passenger.

The identities of the three (3) involved persons are being withheld until notifications can be made to appropriate next of kin and family members.

As is the standard practice in fatality accidents in the city of Colorado Springs, detectives and members of the CSPD Major Accident Unit are conducting the investigation in conjunction with investigators from the Fourth Judicial District Attorneys Office. At this time, no citations have been issued nor have any arrests been made, and the investigation is on-going.

No further information is available at this time. An update is forthcoming sometime in the morning of July 14, 2009.

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Lt. David Whitlock

Public Affairs Section

Colorado Springs Police Department

W (719) 444.7412 C (719) 209.2934

pio@ci.colospgs.co.us

Grand Opening of the City of Fountain, Aga Park Splash Pad

•June 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Press Release: Grand Opening of the Aga Park Splash Pad ______________________________________________________________________________

You are cordially invited to the Grand Opening of the City of Fountain, Aga Park Splash Pad. There will be a ribbon cutting with free popsicles for the kids. This Grand Opening is scheduled to take place on Friday, July 3, 2009 at 10:00 A.M. Normal hours of Splash Pad operation will be 9 A.M. to 9 P.M., Memorial Day thru Labor Day. The Splash Pad is located at the southern end of Aga Park, 213 W. Alabama Ave near Race Street in Downtown Fountain. This new 4000 square foot Splash Pad includes Toddler, Family and Teen play areas. Features include multiple ground sprays and animated pole spray features. Splash Pad features include aqua jumpers, water bug, side winder, bull frog, water jelly, donut spray, dumping pelican, water tunnel, dumping bells, whale spray, aqua dome, dragon spray, interactive launch pod, sea horse cannon, frog cannon, elephant cannon, wavy palm with dumping coconuts, interactive team spray and tidal bucket. The Splash Pad equipment features were manufactured by Vortex and Water Odyssey. The design build contractor was CEM Sales & Service. The project was funded by City of Fountain Development Park Impact Fees. We hope to see you there.

Slain officers honored during National Law Enforcement Memorial tribute

•May 21, 2009 • 1 Comment

By Linda Hobbs

MAY 15 (77) 600 MAY 15 (124) 600

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“You will always be missed,” said one tribute.

The National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in Washington, D.C. is an effort to allow friends, families and peace officers the chance to express the mingled emotions of pride, grief and loss.  Coupled with countless tributes were newspaper articles marking when tragedy struck.

“Officers salute detective.”

“Officer killed at bank.”

“Mourning a hero and a dad: Sons told of valor of slain detective.”

~

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The written sentiments struggled for the right words:

“You were a good friend, co-worker and like a brother.  You will always be missed.”

“I try to be the best I can be, to honor your memory.”

“My best friend!  I miss and think of you every day.”

“We could not have asked for a more loving, devoted husband and a proud, doting father.”

“Our hero.  A loving and caring son and brother.  An officer true to his calling.  A man proud to protect and serve.  Our son.  You will forever be in our hearts.”

“Thank you for keeping watch over us every day.  I miss you, and I am so proud of you.”

~

MAY 15 (114) 1000 MAY 15 (129) 600

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On May 15, after an 1,800 mile journey on Harley Davidson motorcycles from Colorado to Washington D.C., Fountain Police officers Larry Waugh and Corporal Moses Cho, along with Fountain city employee Raymond Vencill and I arrived at the two long, low memorial walls and gazed at engraved names of the fallen.  We were there to represent the City of Fountain and the state of Colorado in paying our respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community.

~

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phil dc (375) 600

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The walls were shrouded in wreaths, tenderly laid flowers, cards, photos, poems and a multitude of written farewells. It had rained the night before, and some of the tributes were damp.  Small puddles reflected the expressions of a collective grief.

The Memorial is adorned with several lion statues, to represent strength and courage.  Each statue bears an engraving:

“Carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream.”

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

“It is not how these officers died that made them heroes.  It is how they lived.”

The memorial represents our determination to remember and honor the fallen.  It gives those left behind hope that we still value the men and women who serve and protect their communities, even with their very lives.

~

MAY 15 (87) 600 MAY 15 (105) 600~

Every engraved name and photo represents so much, it was overwhelming to think of all that would never be. I imagined the families, the friends, as well as the hopes and memories crowded around these enshrined citations.

The City of Fountain shares the loss of Officer John H. Lindamood, shot and killed on Friday, April 8, 1921, when he interrupted a burglary in progress at the First National Bank of Fountain. He was 45 years old, and left behind a wife and child. We set a small PD badge in the crease of the wall, and Corporal Cho took a pencil rubbing of the name. We brought the rubbing back home to Fountain, for those who have not yet made the journey.

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MAY 15 (125) 600 MAY 15 (128) cropped

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Everything was hushed in a profound silence.  We stayed for some time, quietly reading the tributes, the newspaper articles and gazing at the names and photos on the memorial. It is a small, yet powerful gesture to recognize those who have lived and died with honor.

During the earlier memorial service in Colorado Springs, Fountain Police Chief Dan Corsentino addressed the hundreds in attendance, saying:

“So it is that our profession perseveres.  Since the first recorded death of a police officer in 1792, there have been more than 18,200 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, and 242 in our state of Colorado.  Their valor breathes life into our purpose, and brings clarity for our call to duty.  Their death, although grieved and forever remembered by family, friends and all of us in law enforcement, cement our bond to each other, and allows us to reflect upon the next call, the next shift, the next day, and how important we are to each other as a family of cops.”

~

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If you would like to contribute to the fund, please visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund  at http://www.nleomf.com/

 
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