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Colorado Non-Profit Shines Spotlight on Cortez PD

April 15, 2024

Every year the non-profit Shield 616 raises money to equip officers with safer protective vests. In 2024, the non-profit is working with the Cortez Police Department to purchase 31 “Angel Armor” rifle-rated vests. Two Cortez officers, Jason Giacchino and Tyler Smith, will ride the Tour de Shield to honor fallen officers and raise money for the vests. By Connor Shreve. This story is sponsored by Keesee Motor Company and Choice Building Supply.

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Two Cortez police officers are riding their bikes across the state to honor a fallen officer and to raise money for safer vests. You're watching the "Local News Network" brought to you by Keesee Motor Company and Choice Building Supply. I'm Connor Shreve. Every year, the Colorado nonprofit Shield 616 selects a department to focus its fundraising efforts on. The goal is to earn enough money to provide every officer within the department advanced rifle rated protection.

And that stems from me being a police officer in Colorado Springs and being involved in two different active shooters. And in both of those shootings, we went up against guys who had rifles. And their only intent that day was to kill as many people as they could. And as a community, you know, they expect us, the law enforcement, to protect them. But a lot of people don't realize when you see an officer out there, that vest we wear is only designed for handgun calibers.

In May, Cortez officers Jason Giacchino and Tyler Smith will be riding in the Tour de Shield bike ride across the state to rally support for the effort and to honor Cortez officer Michael Moran, who was killed in the line of duty last year.

I'm new to the department. Sergeant Moran was one of the, we'll call it kinder officers to me. I'm not from here, so it was easy for the guys to give me a lot of crap. But Officer Moran actually cared and he would reach out all the time and try and make sure I'm doing okay. And it meant a lot to have someone within the department genuinely want to make sure you're okay. And this is something I have to be able to do it back for him.

As a cyclist, Giacchino is familiar with some of the course and knows the 273 mile ride is not easy. To prepare for the challenge, his training has been evolving. When he started, Giacchino was focused on increasing mileage.

And now my partner and I are switching to hours ridden. So we're less concerned about how fast we go or how many miles we get, but just getting on the bike for extended periods of time to try and make sure that our bodies are used to being on the bike for as many hours as we're going to be on the bike.

The fundraising goal for Cortez is $75,000, which would be enough to equip all officers with Angel Armor rifle certified vests.

So it is going to take a village, it's going to take a lot of people that, you know, maybe can donate a whole vest. And one of these vests is about $2,400. So it's really expensive. And you know, maybe there's some businesses or some churches or foundations or even people that could donate more than one vest. Or maybe there's people that donate a hundred bucks or they can sponsor one of the officers. You know, we got two Cortez officers that are riding and they can really get behind them. And I know that will motivate them to keep pedaling across the state.

There are multiple ways to support the department's effort. And Giacchino says efforts like this require the tables to be turned a bit, with officers needing the help from Montezuma County residents and businesses.

You usually have a secondary vest that you have to buy on your own. The fact that they're trying to provide this for the entire department is a hurdle we could never jump on our own. So we're here for you guys. We appreciate you guys, but we're asking for a little bit of help just to make this happen.

Tour de Shields Colorado Ride is scheduled to take place from May 16th to the 19th. Shield 616 will provide the Cortez Police Department an End of Watch coin, honoring fallen Sergeant Michael Moran. Learn about the ride and how to help online. You can learn more about this story and others at Thanks for watching this edition of the "Local News Network." I'm Connor Shreve.


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