DENVER (CBS4) – Citizens Appreciate Police awarded six members of the Denver Police Department on Wednesday for going above and beyond to help the people they serve in the community. That including a captain who helps children working with investigators on crimes they may have witnessed or in which they were the victim.
“It’s always fulfilling that in your career as a law enforcement officer,” said Capt. Sylvia Sich. “You’re recognized for even small things that you do.”
Sich started with DPD in 1983 and worked her way up the ranks eventually serving in Special Operations and Emergency Management. Her husband and her were early supporters of the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center and asked how they could help 20 years ago. They were told to help provide the snacks and drinks that could help children remain calm and comfortable while they were interviewed as part of a criminal investigations.
“For somebody to recognize something that you’ve done, it is very rewarding and very humbling,” she said.
The center helps to facilitate the process where the children feel like they are in a safe environment. Sich says they often need to know there will not be any repressions for sharing what they saw or heard, especially when those children are the only witnesses in a household.
“There are children that are either victim of a crime or they are a witness to a crime,” she said. “For them to witness a crime and recount what they saw and what happened is so vitally important to the case.”
Sich says it is a delicate procedure because even when the child is a witness, they are still a victim because they had to experience a traumatic event.
“It does my heart good because when the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center started, it was well overdue for a place like that to provide the services that they did for the children.”
The presentation of awards by the nonprofit to Sich and five other members of the police department coincided with National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Sich says they all signed up for this career, a profession they are paid for, but she still says they are grateful for any acknowledgement they receive from the public.
“Every police officer, every law enforcement officer regardless of whether it be local or federal, they really do want to help this world we live in,” she said. “It can’t help but put a smile on every officer’s face for the recognition just as a normal practice of what we do as a normal profession.”