The traits I feel I already possess to be an effective police officer include keen observation skills, good physical health and sound judgement. However, I think the most important traits I can bring to the Colorado Springs Police Department are my commitment and passion. I have the commitment to do the job as I have been trained to do and to continuously better myself as both a police officer and as a citizen of the community. I have the commitment to be unwavering in my promise to uphold the law, protect the rights and safety of others, and to defy all forms of corruption. Along with my commitment I have the passion to take all necessary and warranted risks to help others.
My father instilled in me the will to always go towards danger to defeat it rather than to simply seek out my own safety. I can recall in my childhood when he would rush to the aid of victims of a nearby car accident or when he would leap over the pews at church when a parishioner was suffering a heart attack. I even remember a time when he raced down an alley in Chicago to chase off two men who were beating an elderly man. I do not seek to face danger to emulate my father or to be a hero. I am willing to face danger simply because I was raised to do all I could to help others.
The promise to protect and serve is not something I will take lightly. I will be unmitigated in my devotion to my training. I will have the commitment to continue to seek out all the knowledge available, and thereby continuously improve my effectiveness as a police officer.
Jared S. Jensen - - - Police Academy Entrance Essay, 2002
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR JARED JENSEN
NEW LIFE CHURCH 2-27-06
Chief of Police, Luis Velez, CSPD
Last Wednesday our community lost a police officer who was a devoted husband, a loving son, and a great brother. We are here today, to honor the life of Jared Scott Jensen, and his legacy of service. In these past few days I have heard many descriptions of Jared Jensen: he was young, bright, energetic, committed, and dedicated to his wife, his family, his profession, and this community. Jared is the sum total of many memories. Most of the richness of the human experience is in what is handed down from one life to the next, not simply things of mortar and stone, but in this case memories of a short but prolific life. That is why we remember the good things, because they are worth remembering, and because we, the living, have a need to remember – and we have much to remember about Jared.
I would like to share some of those memories with you today. Jared was born in Davenport, Iowa on February 5, 1976. The family moved to Texas for one year, but then moved on to Rockford, Illinois. Jared’s mom, Debbie, referred to him as “my renaissance kid” because he was knowledgeable in so many areas. She knew that he could become anything that he wanted to be. Jared was the 2nd of 3 children. I was told that at 3 years old he wanted to be the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Jared’s father, Tom, told me that at 5 years old Jared showed his character when he decided that he was not going to put up with a bully named Danny who was then 10. Instead of backing off, Jared confronted Danny – they got into a fight and Jared bit Danny’s finger so bad that to this day, Danny hasn’t bothered him again. Jared was intuitive, emotional, and reflective.
I spoke to Jared’s best friend, RYAN BOXALL, who called Jared “full throttle”. To give you an idea of what that meant. At one point these young men decided to take up mountain biking. Now for those of you that don’t know; there are 2 ways to go mountain biking: 1) is by using tried and true techniques, and 2) is by going 30 mph and crashing a lot. Jared chose the latter. Ryan said that Jared wiped out more than anyone he knew. Once Jared hit a log so hard that he wound up going head over heels into a lake. Ryan could not help him, he was too busy laughing. Ryan considered Jared a walking contradiction: he said that Jared was an obsessive/compulsive who did not want to waste time learning the rules; and he was a perfectionist who did not want to be bothered with details. He was full of life, and he always went, “full throttle.”
ACTING was Jared’s first passion. By age 8 Jared decided that he wanted to be an actor. He was always confident, but while he was urged to take acting classes, he refused, and went out in the 7th grade, auditioned, and won the role. He attended Auburn High School, which is a school for the Performing Arts and for gifted children, in Rockford, Illinois. Jared was in the 33rd graduating class in 1994. Tom, his dad, was in the 1st. The Rockford Register Star recently did a story lauding Jared’s acting capability. He loved NASCAR racing where he followed the exploits of driver Kevin Harvick. He was a huge Chicago Cubs fan. He loved cats – he and Natalie had 3 of them: Sebastian, Jake, and Squeekers. I was also told that he was the 2nd best poker player around, 2nd only to his brother Jeff. I won’t tell you what his poker nickname was, but suffice it to say that some people believed him to have some nasty German ancestry. He played soccer, and he loved Golf. He was also a Star Wars fanatic. I noticed a great many pictures the other day showing Jared camping. It was a surprise to me when Jeff told me that Jared hated camping. In that regard we had something in common – our idea of camping is to take a 60 foot Winnebago to an Embassy Suites Hotel.
That brings us to Jared’s prodigious eating. I am told that Jared ate a lot. On those occasions that he did go camping, he didn’t make too many friends because on Monday he was already eating Friday’s food. We all have quirks, but I thought that this was unusual: Jared loved monkeys. He thought them to be smart animals, he liked the way they acted and the faces that they made. He even tried to imitate them every so often. He liked monkeys so much that when Jared and Natalie got married, their ring bearer was a stuffed monkey that was rushed into service when the young boy did not show up. Jared used to pick on his sister all the time, but when his sister was in labor – who was the first one there – Jared.
On Wednesday God took Jared from all of us, on Thursday Jared’s sister Jonika gave birth to healthy 6lb 13 oz baby girl named Faith J.S. (the middle initials are those of her uncle, Jared Scott). The family is also waiting patiently for Oscar, a baby boy who was also due last week to Dawn. Natalie met Jared while both were attending Otterbein College in Ohio in April, 1998. Natalie told me that when she looked into Jared’s eyes she knew that he was the one for her. When she told her mom, Terri, about this young man, Terri also knew that he must be something special. On the day that Terri met Jared he was in the school cafeteria with a huge plate of food in front of him. She found out very quickly that not only was he special, but that boy could eat. Jared was a gifted writer, a movie buff, and a trivia expert. Natalie told me that she loved watching movies with Jared and it all started on their first date – he asked her if she wanted to come over for a Pepsi and a movie. These two people, Jared and Natalie, were better as a team, than they ever would have been alone.
While At first Jared chose the theater, he then made the conscious decision to be a police officer. He became a police officer for the same reason that many who are here today in uniform chose police work – because he felt that he could make a difference. It is often by logic that we prove something, but it is by intuition that we generally make discoveries. Besides Natalie, this was his other passion – he was committed, dedicated and he truly loved the job. He felt that he was placed here to take criminals off the street, and to make our community a safer place. Jared often said that he was paid for having fun at work. He was proud of being a police officer and he was especially thrilled about his most recent assignment working the PASS model in VNI.
In the past few days, I was able to see many photographs of Jared. What jumped out at me, was his broad smile and his eyes that were always full of expression. They seemed to be full of emotion: happiness, laughter, and passion. In these past few days, one thought that kept reoccurring to me was that we cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. Our reputation is built over time but it shines through by how we conduct ourselves and ultimately, by what we do. Character may be manifested in great moments – but it is made in small ones. Jared Jensen was a man of character, a man of honor, the kind of police officer that any community would have been proud of. We happened to be the lucky ones that he chose to work with. In the past week, we have seen how one life can impact the lives of many. For those that wonder whether we, as police officers, can make a difference – I would say, look around. Look at the lives that Jared has touched right here in this building; and I would say that when we leave here today we will see many others whose hearts were also touched by this young man. It is important that people know what you stand for. It is equally important that they know what you won’t stand for. Most of us will never get to choose how or when we will die – but we can certainly choose how we will live. If anything we should choose to live a life like Jared; committed, involved, and in the end, courageous. His last act was to confront malevolence; he lived up to his heritage as a guardian and protector; he knowingly placed himself between evil and the rest of this community. He gave his life knowing that he had to act, and at that moment in time, he touched eternity. We may never make sense out of this tragedy but we can act in a manner that will invoke Jared’s memory: be committed to your profession, be honorable to those who we serve, and be passionate every minute of every day.
In order to memorialize Jared’s service to this department, and to this community, from this day forward a Leadership Award that is given to a distinguished graduate of our police academy will now be known as the Jared S. Jensen Leadership Award. We will miss Jared Jensen: officers like him have made us a better department – we smiled with him in the past, we cry for him now, but we will honor him forever………..May God bless you. :
At the February 27th service at The Church of New Life, there were over 4,300 people in attendance to pay their respects and to honor my son, Jared. After the service there were over 1,200 vhicles in the procession and there were hundreds of people who had waited hours along the roadway to view the procession and pay their respects to my son. Construction workers holding their hard hats over their hearts. Fire Department men and women standing on top of their rigs, on an overpass, saluting while we drove by. Citizens standing, by the hundreds and of all ages were there, many with flags and signs of honor, respect and appreciation. That young man in the picture to the left is my 7 year-old Gandson, Kyle, who is saluting in honor of his uncle, Jared. Kyle's father is my son, Sgt Jeff Jensen, CSPD.
My Jared was honored for what he was and is ... a Hero.
The Brightness of
Anyone who knew Him
felt the brightness of his Spirit.
No life His hand reached out to
stayed the same.
The world once touched
by His unselfish kindness
still echoes with the honor
of His name.
The footprints that he left
were firm of purpose.
The path He walked,
a wise and hopeful one.
And written on the pages of forever
In praise of Him
will be these words …