Friends, family remember Lakewood Police Officer James 'Jim' Davies

Davies was shot, killed by fellow Lakewood officer

LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Funeral services for James Davies, 35, a Lakewood police officer killed in the line of duty were held Thursday at Denver First Church of the Nazarene in Cherry Hills Village.

"Today we hurt and we feel the pain of an unexpected loss of someone dear to us," said Rev. Steve Derdowski during the beginning of the service. "He was such a blessing to so many of us here."

"James Davies was a great man," said his best friend, Agent Jonathan Alesch. "He was a great husband, father, police officer and friend."

"It was a true honor to work alongside him - or, more like - gasp for air and keep up with him," said Alesch.

"The greatest blessing was the unconditional friendship he gave me," said Alesch. "Like, 'Oops, I started your rental unit on fire,' unconditional."

Alesch explained that he was helping Davies repaint a rental unit when a pilot light ignited fumes from the primer he was using on the wall.

"James never told a soul what happened that day," Alesch said.

"Many of you in this room already know James and understand what I am talking about," said Alesch. "I ask you to go out and tell the stories about what made James great. I ask you to remember what made him the great father, police officer and friend that he was. We will continue his legacy and impact on this world."

Davies is survived by his wife, Tami, and two children -- Chloe, who is 6 years old, and Ethan, who is 2 years old.

Davies met his wife at college in England. She was an American studying abroad. They married in 1999. An immigration delay separated them for 10 months, but Davies arrived in Colorado in 2000 on his 23rd birthday.

He started life in the U.S. as a banker, and moved up to assistant manager, Derdowski explained.

"While he was a whiz with investments, James grew to find that he was better suited for law enforcement," Derdowski said.

In 2006, Davies entered the police academy.

During his more than 6 years on the force, Davies worked his way onto the special enforcement team.

"He was particularly driven to track sex offenders who failed to register," said Derdowski.

"One of the many things Jim did was look for registered and unregistered sex offenders," the Jefferson County District Attorney's office said in an email to the police chief.

It was tough and thankless work, they said. But they added that Davies often did it on his own time.

"James was one of the hardest working people I've very met," said Agent Justin Mains.  "He ran circles around the energizer bunny."

Mains said Davies wasn't just about quantity, "he was about quality of work. He saw an area of need and he chose to step out and make himself an expert in that area."

He was a leader among the yearly arrest totals, Mains said. "He was the epitome of pro-active."

"James loved arresting criminals, he referred to them as 'dirties' and himself as the 'dirty hunter,'" said Lakewood police chief Kevin Paletta.

Davies even kept spreadsheet lists of the "dirties" he was going to arrest, Derdowski said.

Paletta said he thought the term came from Davies' upbringing in England, but Davies' sister told Paletta that Jim must have gotten that from his time in America.

"The night that we lost him, he was working overtime," said academy classmate Detective Christopher Loveall.

But despite his dedication to service, all of Davies' friends said the officer was also dedicated to his family.

"The one thing that stands out above everything else, was how much he loved his family," said Loveall.

"He sat through many a tea party," Loveall said of James' relationship with his daughter.

At home, Davies liked to read, research genealogy, make up stories for his kids and eat "crisps," said Derdowski.

Davies was also a jokester, said Mains.

"He was a funny guy," said Mains. "James likes to do impersonations of people."

Mains also said Davies liked to give people nicknames.

"He had so many nicknames, he had nicknames for his nicknames," said Mains. "At times I had no idea who he was talking about."

Mains was working with Davies the night Davies died.

"We were laughing and joking throughout our shift," Mains said. "When we volunteered to stay late, to work hard, I watched that brave man act in the most noble way to honor to his family, to pursue justice."

"He cared passionately, deeply and intensively for every case," Mains said. "Citizens of Lakewood, you lost a great man this week, one of the best. If he ever worked on your case, consider it an honor."

"Jim Davies was an outstanding officer," said Paletta. "He had an incredible work ethic, incredible integrity. He was the kind of officer that every agency would want to hire."

"I couldn't have been prouder of Jim Davies," said Paletta. "He is a man of character, a man of integrity, a man of compassion."

Davies was in a backyard last Friday investigating reports of gunfire and was in full uniform when another officer behind a fence shot him in the dark.

Davies, who had been wearing a bulletproof vest, died at the scene.

Paletta said the police department has been strengthened and encouraged by the tremendous outpouring of support from all over the state of Colorado and beyond.

"The motto of the Lakewood Police Department is Integrity, Intelligence, Initiative," Pauletta said. "James Davies personified those. He had an amazing work ethic."

The chief gave officer Davies' wife two awards -- the police service award for helping creating a new team in the department and the police cross which is presented to the family of an officer killed in the line of duty. Paletta said the family would be presented with a third award next May at the Department's Hall of Fame awards.

A fund for Officer Davies' family set up at Foothills Credit Union. Call 720-962-8200 to donate.

"On November 9, 2012, we lost a great man," said Paletta. "As with any line of duty death, there will be lessons learned. It is our job to see that those lessons are imparted to other law enforcement agencies so, hopefully, no family, no department and no community has to suffer a similar tragedy."