LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- After an Aurora man found a vintage Colorado State Patrol badge with the hope to find its rightful owner, Denver7 viewers have reached out to help — and we've learned more about its mysterious owner.
“It’s DW Handrick. H-A-N-D-R-I-C-K, and he retired at 61. He started service in 1935,” Rob Heikens read from the back of the badge.
“So retired Captain Handrick was one of the original 44 members of the Colorado State Patrol when it was fully incepted in 1935,” Colorado State Trooper Josh Lewis said. “To say the least, this is a very special person that was one of the founding fathers, as it were, of the Colorado State Patrol.”
A badge belonging to one of these men is now part of Colorado history.
“You know, this is a piece of history for the entirety of the state. This is a moment in time for not only the Colorado State Patrol but what is been part of our legacy for over 80 years at this point, so to be able to to be to see, to touch that part of history is absolutely incredible,” Lewis said.
Being one of the original members was no small feat, as it turns out.
“We had literally thousands of applicants for that first class. Forty-four were selected and they would all work across the state of Colorado” Lewis said.
The agency now has 1,100 employees and 800 officers patrolling state roads.
“Something like, this badge and everything that he did over the decades of experience with us, it’s very meaningful” Lewis said.
And it's not only Denver7 viewers helping out in the search — the department is doing their own detective work trying to find the captain's relatives.
“Right now we’re still looking at every lead we can. So we’ve got everything from the white pages and Ancestry.com, leads on social media. We’ve got a few different leads” Lewis said.
More men and women on the case to find the family of the man behind the vintage badge.
“We want to be able to get in touch with them be able to share this moment with them” Lewis said.