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Former NFL star coach Deion Sanders toasted the college football world for his team’s heroic comeback. He deserves all the credit for coming in, but he has two other local men who are law enforcement officers with the Boulder Police Department and I want to give them credit.
Police officers are known for running toward people, not hearing the sound of guns. On a recent trip to Boulder, I learned that they similarly try to flee toward the sound of silence. If your faulty hybrid engine is quiet because you’re driving your family down a busy highway, this can be dangerous.
Last month, my wife Devin and I took our daughter Hope out west for her freshman year at the University of Colorado. Upon landing at Denver International Airport, we rented a minivan, packed it full of dorm room essentials purchased at a nearby Target, and headed to campus.
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Our rental had its own plan and exercised discretion that owners of old pickup trucks like me don’t have. As casually as a sophomore changing majors, my dashboard declared that the hybrid engine was about to die. It did this perfectly, and annoyingly, automatically while we were driving on the highway.
My post-mortem internet research suggested that the particular make and model of the minivan I rented had a defective transmission wiring connector that may have caused the engine to stall suddenly. I did. I don’t know of any better explanation for why we were closing in on the boulder at high speed and then suddenly and dangerously not.
Deion Sanders fights back after hitting Colorado State’s Jay Norvell with jab: ‘It was only going to be a good fight’
It was scary for obvious reasons, but also unexpected considering this was a brand new car that we rented. Under limited power, we managed to cross multiple lanes and steer to the shoulder of the downhill exit ramp. That improved Rai, but did little to keep him out of harm’s way.
Two Boulder police officers who responded to our distress call found two parents still in shock over what had just happened. They first placed their car between the family and oncoming traffic, then placed their bodies, moved us to safety, and directed the driver until roadside assistance arrived.
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As the tow truck arrived and hitched the wagon for the long drive back to the airport rental car in Denver, I walked toward the police officer who was returning to the car. Professional and humble, they were hesitant to give me their card, saying they were just doing their duty.
They first placed their car between the family and oncoming traffic, then placed their bodies, moved us to safety, and directed the driver until roadside assistance arrived.
The gentlemen finally relented when I told them I would like to express my gratitude when I returned to my home in Charlotte.
I’m doing it now in hopes that they won’t mind a few more people reading this memo. Thank you to Officers Williams and Starks of the Boulder Police Department for your service and protection.
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You may have simply been doing your job, as you humbly say, but that job requires courage, and very few people have it. And as John Wayne said, courage is being scared to death and sticking to the saddle anyway. Every day, you selflessly protect the lives of people within your community and beyond. you guys are good people.
I hope to see you again someday in Boulder, perhaps on a college football game day. But next time I rent something, I’ll check first to see if there’s an old pickup truck on the premises.
Click here to read more from Mike Kerrigan