Grand Junction officer commended for quick decision not to fire
Police and firefighters generally are recognized for what they do.
For Grand Junction Police Officer Cody Kennedy, recent focus was on what he didn’t do Halloween night when confronted with a split-second judgment call in the 500 block of Main Street.
Kennedy was presented with the “Chief’s Commendation” last month for his actions, which were summarized in a letter by Police Chief John Camper as an act of “exceptional restraint.” It involved a near-deadly confrontation Halloween night between the officer and 29-year-old Patricio Preciado.
An affidavit in support of Preciado’s arrest notes Kennedy was walking west downtown when he came across Preciado at a breezeway. Preciado pointed what appeared to be handgun, later determined to be a toy, and allegedly told the officer, “give me your money.”
Kennedy wrote in the affidavit he stepped to the side as he drew his handgun, prompting Preciado to laugh, “I’m just kidding. It’s a toy gun.”
“I told him,” the officer wrote, “it wasn’t funny and that I had almost shot him.”
Camper’s commendation letter includes facts about the incident that weren’t outlined in the arrest affidavit.
“(Preciado) ... later made some statements that indicated the incident was not in fact a joke and that he had every intention of committing an armed robbery of whoever walked by,” the letter said.
Camper’s letter went on to praise Kennedy.
“Your conduct in this incident shows a recognition that we as police officers must apply all of our skills to ensure that deadly force is indeed a ‘last resort,’” the letter reads. “The skills that you displayed in this case averted a tragedy, the effects of which would have rippled through our department and community for a long time to come.”
Preciado was charged with attempted robbery and menacing. His case is expected back in court later this month.