Shield 616 and Carry the Load are teaming up to host a Memorial May March on Thursday through the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and to Memorial Park to remember a true local hero. The Carry the Load March is a way to connect us to sacrifices made by our military, veterans, first responders, and their families.
Tomorrow’s Carry the Load march will start at UCCS’s campus and the day is meant to pay tribute to UCCS Officer Garrett Swasey who was killed in the line of duty during the 2015 Planned Parenthood shooting.
The day will honor Garrett’s legacy and will also serve to protect campus police in the line of duty. The rally will help provide 22 campus police officers with protective gear, known as Angel Armour’s all-day rifle protection and top-of-the-line helmets. Those who know Garrett say he wasn’t just a hero, he had a loving, humorous side, and he was always willing to put others first. And that’s exactly what he did on the day of the Planned Parenthood shooting.
“Garrett heard that call over the radio. Garrett by policy could have chosen to stay on campus. Garrett could have stayed here and not gone, and just taken care of the campus because sometimes that’s a concern as well. You know, maybe there’s a secondary threat and Garrett chose to go,” said Peter Pino, Chief of Police at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
“The last thing that a police officer wants to be thinking about is whether or not their equipment is up to standard, they want to be focused on getting to the shooter, stopping the shooter, as fast as possible. So the equipment that we’re going to be receiving is something that we’ll be wearing all of the time and will actually allow us to get to the scene a lot faster,” said Pino.
The protective gear these officers are receiving gives a piece of mine for officers and families. The rally is set to start at 2 p.m. on the UCCS campus.
Tomorrow’s Carry the Load event is open to the entire public and officers encourage those who wish to support officer Garrett and the UCCS campus police to join.