The Boulder Police Department held its first award ceremony of the year Monday afternoon, presenting 20 awards that largely covered service during last year's flood — with one special award going to a life-saving civilian.
The Outstanding Citizenship Award, given to someone who goes "above and beyond the scope of normal citizenship responsibility," was presented to Bart McCoy, who saved the life of Somerset McCarty on Aug. 5.
McCoy noticed McCarty unconscious in his car at Hillside Road and 17th Street. He stopped to check and found that McCarty had no pulse and wasn't breathing, so he performed CPR until help arrived.
It was later determined that McCarty experienced sudden cardiac arrest, and that McCoy's efforts kept him alive.
McCoy was humble in accepting his award at the Boulder Police Department's headquarters on 33rd Street, stressing that he doesn't feel he did anything extraordinary.
"I am an innocent bystander in this situation," he said. "The extraordinary part of what happened is that I was able to fully realize the value of life. I don't view what I did as extraordinary."
McCarty was present for the ceremony, and afterward, the two spoke together. They've talked a lot since what McCoy called "quite a collision of lives," and McCarty said he's always trying to pay McCoy back.
"What I've learned from him is to pay it forward," McCoy said.
Among the many awards given to those who served during the flood were Awards for Excellence presented to officers Michael Heath and Vinnie Gallerani.
Boulder police did not know that National Guard air operations were beginning in the early stages of the flood, but when Heath and Gallerani saw helicopters approaching, they went straight to Boulder Municipal Airport to direct security and assistance for the incoming evacuees.
Heath received a second Award for Excellence for rescuing a man who had an anxiety attack and climbed 30 feet up a tree. He also was given award for an airlift rescue in Pinewood Springs, along with Detective Ed Burke and Animal Control Officer Teri Hamilton.
Unit Citations were given to the Code Enforcement Unit and the Animal Control Unit for their work keeping pets cared for and with their owners during the flood, and Animal Control Supervisor Janee Boswell received a Police Chief's Certificate of Commendation.
Those certificates also were awarded to the dispatch team that worked the evening of Sept. 11. Suzanne Graff, Brad Snedeker, Elizabeth Jo Leverock, Lynne McPherson and Chris Kastanek fielded 1,015 calls once the flooding started — double the number of an average day.
Other certificates awarded for exceptional work and leadership during the flood went to Facilities Supervisor Ray Medford, Public Information Officer Kim Kobel, Sgt. Paul Reichenbach, Communications Manager Ted McEldowney, Cmdr. Carey Weinheimer and Deputy Chief Dave Hayes.
"We don't always see people at their best," Kobel said as she accepted her award. "I think I saw all of you at your best."
Officers Shane Rodgers and Nick Smetzer also received Certificates of Commendation for the arrest of Eugene Martinez, a convicted sex offender who escaped police custody in Denver last October.
A representative of the Colorado Special Olympics, Jan Gordon, was in attendance to present the entire police department with a torch for its continued and extensive support.
At the end of the ceremony, retiring Chief Mark Beckner was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his 36 years of service. After a standing ovation, Beckner drove home the prevailing sentiment of the ceremony, thanking and crediting everyone he works with.
"I could not have done this without you," he said. "You know that, right?"