Four months ago, on May 8, 2014, life nearly ended for Colorado State Trooper Eugene Hofacker. While on a routine traffic stop in Glenwood Canyon, he was shot three times. One of the shots hit his femoral artery, causing a tremendous amount of blood loss. By most accounts, he should have died from a wound that severe. But he “dug deeper” and survived. It was a miracle.
One month ago, he told his story, for the first time publicly, to the graduates of Colorado Mountain College’s Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy. His message is one of resilience and determination in the worst possible circumstances. It is about training and preparation. It is about never giving up.
“I remember telling myself, Eugene, get up, get the hell up, this guy is going to shoot you in the back.”
For those of us who have loved ones who are in law enforcement, the events of that day are our worst nightmare, although we know the possibility. For the graduates of the CLETA program, the message is critical. As Trooper Hofacker stated, “We are also aware that each and every day we suit up, it may be our last.”
My son was among the ten men who graduated from the CLETA program August 8, 2014. Most, if not all, are now serving as officers in various departments throughout the state of Colorado. The first hand account of the events of that day from Trooper Hofacker, and of the actions of fellow Trooper Shane Gosnell are truly inspiring.
I recorded Trooper Hofacker’s message on my iPhone with the intention that my son, his wife and I could watch it again. Later, I was approached by some people who knew I had recorded it to see if they could get a copy. It was important to me to contact Trooper Hofacker to obtain his permission before releasing the video. It was not an easy decision for him to make. However, he stated that “…if it can help just one person . . . that would be worth it because it is not about me.” It has already helped more than one person.
The link to the video is here. The video quality is not good. I was holding my four-year old granddaughter on my lap . . . as you will see. The video is about 20 minutes long and I hope you will take the time to watch the entire thing. It is a powerful message.
Troopers Hofacker and Gosnell are, in my mind, heroes. They are the embodiment of the upstanding qualities of law enforcement officers. They are honestly “peace officers” making our communities safer. Godspeed to Trooper Hofacker as he struggles to recover. And to all the law enforcement officers who protect our communities each day, thank you. You are all heroes in my book.