Two Aspen police officers received awards at Monday’s City Council meeting.
The first was Aspen Police Sergeant Dan Davis.
A Miami truck driver had been missing for two days. His wife had last heard from him after he made two deliveries in Aspen. She told Aspen police that at some point, her husband had suffered a medical issue and visited a hospital, but it was unknown where. No hospital between Aspen and Denver had any record of the driver.
Davis mobilized a search across the state for the driver. The truck was located by law enforcement on the Front Range, where the driver was found unresponsive. He had been unattended for two days. The driver was secured and taken to a hospital in Denver.
“Dan’s attitude and approach to this incident likely saved a life,” Police Chief Richard Pryor wrote in a memo to the City Council. “His leadership approach sets the example for all police officers and exemplifies the mission of the police department in a commitment to enhance the safety of all people that touch our community.”
Davis was presented the Outstanding Employee Bonus Award, which comes with a $500 check and a certificate.
Also receiving the same award Monday night was Aspen Police Officer Brian Stevens.
In the Lost Man Trail area, he came across a distressed hiker whose husband was missing.
Stevens, who was with his family at the time, notified the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. He then transported the hiker back to her Aspen apartment, where they hoped her husband would turn up. The apartment was empty.
Stevens could have walked away then, leaving the woman to sit alone while crews conducted their search long into the night.
Instead, he asked the woman to join him and his family at their home, where she stayed until around midnight. An hour later, her husband was found safe in the Fryingpan Valley. He had taken a wrong turn.
“(Stevens) wasn’t on the clock. It wasn’t something he had to do because it’s his job,” said Blair Weyer, spokeswoman for the Police Department. “He just did it because that’s the type of person he is.”
“Brian exhibited the ultimate ‘off-duty’ customer service in this situation,” Pryor wrote in a separate memo to the City Council. “Brian showed the human approach so valued by the police department and city of Aspen.”
Stevens said that’s the exact reason he serves Aspen.
“I feel like that’s a philosophy that really guides the Aspen Police Department,” Stevens said, adding that he was grateful for the award.
To show her appreciation, the woman Stevens helped wrote a letter of thanks.
“With confidence and professionalism, he reassured me and organized a plan, (tried his hardest to keep me calm) while sacrificing his family time to take care of me and tend to my moments of crisis!” she wrote. “He is an extraordinarily giving police officer and human being!”