Fallen law enforcement officers honored statewide
Law enforcement officers from across Colorado gathered at the State Patrol Academy in Golden to honor five fellow service members who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2012.
Two of the officers remembered at Friday's ceremony were from Southern Colorado.
Pueblo County Sheriff's Office Capt. Leide W. DeFusco was killed in a plane crash while on an illegal-marijuana operation in August.
Colorado Springs Police Officer Matthew Tyner was killed in a motorcycle accident during traffic enforcement in July.
Family, friends and hundreds of officers remembered the fallen heroes.
"It's very special, but it's also very emotional," Colorado Springs Police Officer Mike Singels said. "It's always hard to lose a brother or sister officer in law enforcement. But when it's your buddy, it's that much harder."
Singels said Tyner was his best friend. He said the fallen officer had many friends, and that he always made time for each of them. He described him as someone who also gave a lot to his family, the police department and the community.
"Matt was just full of energy, full of life," he said. "He wanted to experience life to the fullest and actually did so in his 42 years of life."
Some officers were at the ceremony not only to say goodbye to fellow service members. They were there to say goodbye to family.
"A lot of words that come to mind when you hear the name Leide DeFusco were 'intimidating,' 'very knowledgeable' and 'just an amazing man of character,'" Pueblo Police Department Officer Mianna Sorensen said of her brother.
She described him as someone who cared about his family, those he worked with and the people of Pueblo. She said it was him who inspired her to choose her profession.
"He always had me under his wing and offering me advice to better myself as a person and as a police officer," she said.
Tyner, DeFusco and the three other officers who died in 2012 were added to the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial. Speakers at the ceremony said it's so that their sacrifice is never forgotten.
There could soon be another memorial honoring local fallen officers. A regional committee is raising funds to build the Pikes Peak Region Peace Officers' Memorial in Colorado Springs. For more information, click here.
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