First Responders Are Our Community

02/25/2020

Durango Police Detective Kathleen O’Toole moved to Durango to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, and as a police detective, she’s dedicated to help men and women avoid sexual assault.

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WELCOME TO OUR FIRST EDITION OF MEET YOUR
FIRST RESPONDERS, CELEBRATING THE MEN AND

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WOMEN WHO KEEP OUR COMMUNITY SAFE.

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BROUGHT TO YOU BY BANK OF THE SAN JUANS, ONE
BIG HAPPY LITTLE BANK SERVING DURANGO, COLORADO.

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WHEN DURANGO POLICE DETECTIVE KATHLEEN O'TOOLE
WAS ON A MEAL BREAK AS A ROOKIE COP IN BOULDER,

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A STRANGER BOUGHT DINNER FOR HER AND HER FELLOW
OFFICERS AS A THANK YOU FOR THEIR SERVICE.

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THAT'S WHEN IT STRUCK HER.

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SHE HAD AN IMPORTANT JOB THAT CONTRIBUTD TO
THE SAFETY AND WELFARE OF THE COMMUNITY.

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AND TODAY, AS A DETECTIVE WITH THE DURANGO
POLICE DEPARTMENT, HER APPRECIATION FOR POLICE

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WORK HAS ONLY GROWN.

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IT'S VERY REWARDING WORK.

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DEFINITELY.

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I'LL SAY THAT.

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AND WHAT I REALLY APPRECIATE IS WE SEE AND
HEAR THINGS THAT ARE USUALLY THE MOST TRAUMATIC

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EVENTS FOR PEOPLE'S LIVES.

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AND IT'S, IT'S AN HONOR WHEN PEOPLE ALLOW
US TO STEP INTO THEIR WORLD IN THEIR MOST

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HORRIBLE MOMENT.

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AND I'M REALLY HOPING THAT I'M DOING THEM
JUSTICE BY LISTENING AND TRYING TO HELP THEM

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IN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER FOR WHATEVER'S HAPPENED.

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O'TOOLE GRADUATED FROM PARKER HIGH SCHOOL
IN PARKER, COLORADO, COMPLETED HER DEGREE

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AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT BOULDER,
THEN WORKED AS A NEWSPAPER REPORTER IN THE

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DENVER AREA.

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I WAS COVERING COURTS AND COPS, AND SO I WAS
CONSTANTLY IN, WATCHING THE NEWS, STORIES

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AND YOU KNOW, WRITING THE NEWS STORIES OF
POLICE EVENTS AND DID WENT ON MANY RIDE ALONGS

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AND BECAME AN OFFICER.

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IT SEEMED LIKE A, A GOOD JOB FOR ME.

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O'TOOLE ATTENDED POLICE ACADEMY AT ARAPAHOE
COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN LITTLETON AND WAS HIRED

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BY THE BOULDER POLICE DEPARTMENT.

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BUT THE MOUNTAINS AND A RURAL WAY OF LIFE
WERE CALLING HER.

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WE LOVE HIKING, WE LOVE CAMPING AND BACKPACKING.

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MY HUSBAND'S GETTING US INTO ICE CLIMBING
AND ROCK CLIMBING.

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BUT IT'S HARDER TO DO THAT IN THE, IN THE
HIGH- POPULATED URBAN AREAS LIKE DENVER, THOUGH

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I WAS BORN AND RAISED THERE.

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SO, WE ACTUALLY TOOK A MAP OF COLORADO AND
LOOKED TO SEE WHERE ARE THE WHITEST PEAKS

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THAT STILL HAD A TOWN AROUND IT, AND DURANGO
POPPED UP, AND WE'VE LOVED IT EVER SINCE.

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I REMEMBER ONE OF MY FIRST DAYS COMING TO
WORK IN, IN DURANGO, AND WAS LOOKING OFF TO

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PERINS PEAK, AND IT WAS JUST A BEAUTIFUL DAY.

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IT WAS FEBRUARY, BUT IT WAS BEAUTIFUL, AND
THERE WAS SNOW ON PERINS PEAK, AND I JUST

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REMEMBER, LIKE, LOOK WHAT I GET TO LOOK AT
EVERY DAY?

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SO THAT, THAT MAKES IT WORTH IT FOR ME.

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WHEN SHE'S NOT HEADED OUT HER BACK DOOR TO
GO CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING, ICE-CLIMBING, OR

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HIKING, O'TOOLE IS TEACHING WOMEN SELF-DEFENSE
TECHNIQUES IN HER BUSINESS CALLED SAFE SISTER,

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NINE-HOUR COURSE FOR WOMEN THAT INCLUDES SAFETY
AWARENESS PRACTICES AND HANDS-ON SELF-DEFENSE

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MOVES IF THEY FACE AN ATTACKER.

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IT'S AN EXTENSION OF HER CRUSADE TO REDUCE
SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE COMMUNITY.

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I DID SEE A POSTER THAT REALLY RANG TRUE TO
ME, AND IT WAS AN OLDER POSTER FROM THE '70s,

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AND IT READ THAT SOCIETY TEACHES WOMEN NOT
TO GET RAPED BUT NOT, DON'T RAPE.

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AND THAT'S WHERE WE NEED TO START.

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IF YOU ARE NOT CLEAR THAT YOUR PARTNER IS
CONSENTING, YOUR GIRLFRIEND, YOUR BOYFRIEND,

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WHOMEVER, IF THEY'RE ASLEEP, THEY'RE NOT CONSENTING.

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THAT'S IN LAW.

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THAT'S IN STATUTE.

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SO YOU HAVE TO BE A BETTER HUMAN.

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WAKE THEM UP, ASK, GET A VERY CLEAR ANSWER,
AND ONLY THEN MOVE FORWARD.

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BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T, THEN CIRCUMSTANCES MIGHT
MAKE YOU AND I MEET IN SOME SITUATIONS THAT

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YOU MAY NOT APPROVE.

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THANKS FOR WATCHING MEET YOUR FIRST RESPONDERS,
BROUGHT TO YOU BY BANK OF THE SAN JUANS AND

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THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK.

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I'M DEBORAH URODA.

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BE SAFE OUT THERE.

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