On April 9 the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office held a dinner program at the PACE Center in Parker to honor outstanding law enforcement professionals and volunteers who have dedicated their careers to protecting the rights of victims of crime.
The evening began with a presentation of colors and a beautiful and moving rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Dawn Elzi.
Garrik Storgaard was honored as a career prosecutor who has dedicated his professional life to serving crime victims. Cherie Anderson was recognized as outstanding District Attorney victim advocate. A woman from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was recognized as the law enforcement advocate; she did not wish her name to be used because she is a crime victim herself. Marc White was selected as this year’s top district attorney’s investigator and Michelle Karol, who works with the Castle Rock Police Department, was chosen as the outstanding “individual volunteer who goes above and beyond on behalf of serving crime victims.” Karol said there is nothing she would rather do.
District Attorney George Brauchler dedicated the Rebecca Ann Bartee training suite. Bartee had only been an assistant district attorney in Brauchler’s office a few weeks when she was murdered 17 years ago in her apartment at 6500 S. Dayton Street in unincorporated Arapahoe County. Her killing went unsolved until 2017, when a witness contacted Channel 4 reporter Brian Maass, who connected the witness with former Arapahoe County Sheriff Dave Walcher, leading to the identification and charging of the likely murderer, who himself died before his trial.
The Elbert County Coalition Outreach (ECCO) and its director Erica Johnson were named outstanding nonprofit. ECCO runs a thrift store where victims can always get what they need, including clothing and shoes.
Caren and Tom Teves, whose son Alex, 24, was killed in the Aurora movie theater shooting in 2012 when he blocked his girlfriend from a bullet, were honored for their achievements. Their organization formed in Alex Teves’ honor, No Notoriety, has successfully prevented the names of crime perpetrators from being stated in news reports and stories, stopping them from achieving any recognition, so that news accounts focus strictly on victims.
Attendees at the celebration included Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock, Arapahoe County Sheriff Tyler Brown, state Rep. Tom Sullivan and his wife, Terry, Elbert County Commissioner Chris Richardson, former Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas, a 26-year veteran of the Colorado State Patrol who retired as a major.
This story by Freda Miklin reprinted with permission of The Villager