Glenwood locals show support for cops |

Glenwood locals show support for cops

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The recent shooting of a Glenwood Springs police officer may have had something to do with the larger-than-usual turnout for Tuesday’s National Night Out.

A line for food at the event ” an annual bit of community relations outreach by local law enforcement ” stretched across most of the City Hall courtyard for much of the evening.

Maybe some attendees just wanted hamburgers, but those asked about the shooting incident said their reaction was one of shock. The officer was shot in the chest near an impound lot south of the Glenwood Springs Airport, but survived because he wore a bulletproof vest.

“It’s an eye-opener, that’s for sure,” civil engineer Phil Harris said. “It’s very scary.”

He said the crowd was significantly larger than last year’s.

Retired county clerk Mildred Alsdorf thought the turnout was the best it’s been in years. She said people were showing their support more than they normally do in light of recent events and the officer shooting.

“It’s a shock,” she said. “It’s not our little town like it used to be.”

Capt. Chad Harris of the Glenwood Springs Fire Department said the officer shooting made the department more aware of realities it might have to deal with.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “It’s horrible. It affects all of us. Those guys are like brothers and sisters to us.”

Most people wouldn’t assume firefighters could get shot at. But he said fire departments require personnel to wear bulletproof vests if they’re needed in a situation where a gunman is on the loose. That is not a pleasant thought for someone who just wants to put out a fire.

“I just came out to support our police department,” Linda Beckwith said. “I of course was very concerned with all the shootings in the area. I just was really thrilled that they made some arrests, and I hope they get everyone they need. … It was a shock, especially for an officer to be fired on. I didn’t know they wore bulletproof vests in this small of an area, but I’m glad they do.”

Glenwood Springs native Warren Hays shared a similar reaction to the officer shooting.

“That’s crazy,” he said. “I grew up here. Everything’s changed a lot.”

Police Chief Terry Wilson expressed appreciation for the strong turnout.

“I just think that with everything that’s been in the news ” I have just had so many people walk up and give us messages of support. It reminds you of why you work here,” he said.