BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. – Among the thousands of law enforcement officers and first responders attending Friday’s funeral of a slain deputy were several southern Colorado agencies.
Colorado Springs police and the sheriff’s departments of El Paso, Pueblo, Alamosa and La Plata counties were represented at the funeral for Heath Gumm, an Adams County deputy killed in the line of duty last month.
The funeral location provided dozens of motorcycles, emergency vehicles with flashing lights and agencies from across the state and at least four other states.
"We all volunteered to be here," said Sgt. Jeremy Bacor, of Pueblo County. "Some took a vacation day, others are here on their day off, others will be paid overtime. But we all want to be here to show our support and pay our respects."
"It’s sad that metro Denver has had two deputies killed in the last month," said Deputy Chris Burke, of La Plata County. "It’s happening too often. We want to be here for the victim’s family. It’s important. I’d want the same respect and support shown if someone in my department was killed."
A Nebraska police officer said the funeral reminds him of close calls he’s had.
"I’ve had some stuff happen to me before," he said. "I fought over my gun with a guy who was trying to kill me. Luckily, I got the better half of the situation, so I’m not having a funeral in my name."
Law enforcement personnel said the possibility of being killed is part of the job, but the respect and support shown for fallen officers makes agencies and citizens even prouder of the profession.