DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Police Officer Celena Hollis was honored at a memorial service Saturday morning after she was shot and killed on duty. The 32-year-old was remembered as a dedicated mother and officer.
“Celena was, I submitted to you, exactly who God created her to be,” said DPD Officer Anthony Wilkerson.
Thousands filled the First Church of the Nazarene, including family members, friends and fellow officers from across Colorado and several states.
Officers and clergy recounted stories of Hollis’ bravery and compassion.
Hollis, a single mother, had been with the Denver police force since 2005. She was shot in the head at Jazz in the Park on Sunday evening and was pronounced dead at Denver Health Medical Center.
“To the family, we thank you for sharing Celena with us. She has brightened our lives in many ways and made a huge, a huge, difference in our community. We will never forget Celena. The Denver Police Family want you to know that we will always support you,” said DPD Chief Robert White.
Law enforcement officers from Detroit and Dallas attended the service.
Officers who served with Hollis in Detroit received a round of applause when recognized for helping train her to be a terrific police officer.
“It’s a very somber mood I think but also at the same time those of us that knew Celena and those that worked along side of her we believe that she’s in a better place now and she died protecting the city and the county and the state,” said White.
Gov. John Hickenlooper also attended the funeral services to express his condolences.
“I was at City Park last week and I left maybe 15 minutes before the show was over and when I got home I heard it on the news,” said Hickenlooper.
Interment was followed immediately after the memorial service at Fairmount Cemetery. A procession of hundreds of police cruisers, motorcycle officers and emergency vehicles lines the streets from the church to the cemetery.
“It had more of an impact on me than I thought it would be. I just thought I would come and look but when I think about how tragic it is and see something like this happen in the community… it’s just hard,” said procession onlooker Frank Frazier.
Denver Police Officers will wear a black band across their badges in honor of Hollis.
“It’s intended to be a shroud and it’s intended to remind all of law enforcement that an officer has fallen. There’s a period of mourning that goes along with it,” said White.
There will be a tribute to Hollis Sunday night at City Park during the Jazz Fest, one week after she was shot and killed. Those who attend are asked to show their support by wearing purple.
Hollis worked at the District Two Denver Police Station. That’s where people have been delivering cards, flowers and dropping off donations since her death.
Rollin Michael Oliver, 21, has been arrested in her shooting death.
Donations for Officer Hollis’ daughter and family can be made to – Celena Hollis Memorial Fund
Account Number 23012705
Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement FCU
700 W. 39th Avenue
Denver, CO 80216