Colorado nonprofit to organize memorial for fallen Officer Vakoff

ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — On 9/11, a day our nation swore to never forget, we are yet again reminded of the sacrifices paid by those who make the selfless choice to serve and protect.

Officer Dillon Vakoff made the ultimate sacrifice Sunday.

FOX31’s Joshua Short got some perspective from former Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz, who’s now helping to plan Vakoff’s funeral.

“I literally yelled ‘No!’ when I got the text,” Metz said.

But sadly, Metz has seen too many line of duty deaths during his career both as former chief of the Aurora Police Department and as a founding board member of the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation, which organizes memorial services for sworn law enforcement officers.

“We handled the arrangements for Officer Gordon Beesley less than 15 months ago for Arvada PD. So when this happened, the chief immediately reached out and requested our assistance,” Metz said.

A gut punch for a police department still reeling and healing from the loss of Beesley, and for a state which has seen at least nine officers killed while on watch in the last two years.

Metz told FOX31, “I’ve lost count of the number of line of duty deaths that I’ve responded to. You would think when these happen it would get easier to handle, but each one strikes the cord for me.”

Not to mention those who currently wear or aspire to wear the badge.

“When you look over the last two years with COVID-19 and post [George] Floyd events and then now you combine, especially in the last two years, there have been four police officers who were murdered in the line of duty, it causes a lot of officers to really question whether or not they want to be in this profession,” said Metz.

But without question, Vakoff will be remembered by many who are still trying to wrap their heads around the unimaginable.

The Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation has started a donation campaign for Vakoff. You can find the link here.

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