DENVER (CBS4) – Officer Celena Hollis is being remembered one year after she was fatally shot while on duty at a concert at City Park.
A rooftop garden was planted on this week at Denver police’s Jerry Kennedy Police Building at 1240 West Bayaud Avenue.
Inside there’s a quiet place designed to offer a respite from the chaos of police work.
Hollis was patrolling City Park during a Jazz in the Park concert on June 24, 2012, when she was fatally shot by a stray bullet fired during was was described as a gang scuffle.
Her fellow officers prefer to focus on her active and admirable life.
Her colleague Denver Police Officer Rick Beall told CBS4 during Thursday’s dedication, which was attended by friends and family, that Hollis was a wonderful friend and person.
“She’s being remembered for all the good she did, and we will never forget her, ever. She touched people’s lives,” Beall said. “This garden is a tribute to that.”
Hollis’ friends, fellow officers and family are replacing the memories of a violent night with a peaceful flower garden.
Purple was Hollis’ favorite color, and flowers were a passion of hers. So on Thursday her family wrote messages on purple ribbons to decorate the flower pots.
Hollis’ mother Dorothy Hollis said “it’s wonderful, it’s beautiful.”
There will be more Jazz in the Park concert and more flowers in the community garden. All will be designed to remember an officer who loved and worked to protect her community.
Rollin Oliver pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last month in the Hollis case and faces at least 16 years in prison when he is sentenced at a hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon.
LINK: Celena Hollis Foundation