My name is John Akins. I am a Denver Police Officer and have been for 13 years. I am proud to protect the citizenry of the Mile High City and feel satisfaction when I provide criminals in my city with a full and complete experience in the criminal justice system. Today I feel shame in the decisions of our department leaders. Today, President Obama and Governor Hickenlooper are going to use the Denver Police Academy as a prop to push a political agenda. I attended the Denver Police Academy and graduated in the very same converted aircraft hangar that the speech will be given in. That hangar, the badge hanging on the wall, and the officers standing in the crowd will now be forever attached to the agenda of a political party and it’s push to strip Americans of their rights.
Our department issued an order that officers will not give opinions on the gun control debate in an official capacity. (See disclaimer below) Our command staff and city government then permit this speech to happen. Not only do they permit it, they condone it. Officers will be able to attend this political function while on duty. As a pro-2nd Amendment police officer I have asked previously if I can stand with my fellow patriots in defense of the Constitution while in uniform. The answer was always a resounding no. I asked if I could stand with the NRA and RMGO as they protest this speech and try to protect our rights in our city and do it in uniform but on my own time. I was told absolutely not. Then why is it acceptable that officers can stand in support of anti-gun agendas while on duty and in uniform? This speech will attach the stigma of anti-gun rights support to Officers in the Denver Police Department. It will serve as a clear indication of bias by the mayor of Denver and the command staff of the Denver Police Department.
I would encourage all citizens, pro-gun rights and anti-gun rights, to talk to police and sheriffs about these laws. I listened at the CELL and in legislative testimony as representatives of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, a body of politically appointed leaders, argued for these measures. I listened to testimony of the County Sheriff’s of Colorado, a body of elected leaders, as they argued against these measures. I encourage you to talk to police officers or sheriff’s deputies you know. Find out what they think of these laws. Find out what side of the issue they are on. The Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police does not speak for all police officers when they support these issues. Likewise the County Sheriff’s of Colorado do not speak for all deputies. My personal experience is that the majority of officers and deputies support the 2nd Amendment and Constitutionally guaranteed rights. I for one can’t believe that we are passing these laws when our current laws against violent crimes have such an abysmal prosecution and sentencing history. Please, before you condemn Officers to the anti-gun right agenda talk to them to see what they think. I encourage my friends, family, and fellow patriots to send this letter to those that would label the police as anti-gun.
I did attend the Denver Police Academy. I was taught to uphold your Constitutional rights. All of them.
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