What's Ringing Rachel's 'Belle'?
Rachel Belle
patches_2.jpg

Washington State Police Officers Send Patches & Love To a Colorado Springs Teenager

In 2006, Colorado Springs Police Lieutenant Jeff Jensen lost is brother.

"Jared was a detective with our narcotics bureau here in Colorado Springs," Lt Jensen told me over the phone. "He was killed in the line of duty trying to arrest a person who had repeatedly stabbed his own sister. When Jared went to make the arrest he was shot and killed by the suspect."

Jared's death was devastating for Jeff and his young son Kyle. In honor of his uncle, Kyle started a patch collection.

"When we went to Jared's service, officers came from all over the state and even beyond and started handing him their patches at the service. When we went to Washington DC for the national memorial, a lot of officers handed him patches."

But this summer, tragedy once again hit the Jensen family.

"We ended up having a large wildfire, called the Black Forest Fire. During that fire over 500 families lost their homes. Unfortunately we were one of those families."

They lost everything, including 15-year-old Kyle's 400 patches.

"We had gone through and were thinking of all the things that we had lost and all of a sudden I realized that I had lost my patch collection," Kyle said. "It hit me really hard."

So his dad went on Facebook and sent a couple of messages to his law enforcement buddies, asking if they could drum up a few patches to start a new collection for Kyle.

"Literally, I just sent it out to a couple people and it just snowballed to the point that officers and agents throughout the world had mailed patches," said Lt. Jensen.

Law enforcement in Washington state got wind of the patch predicament, and students at the Police Academy in Burien decided to make this their senior project. Olympia Police Officer George Clark says they reached out to the state's 230 agencies to collect patches.

"We had the chiefs of the Evergreen State College Police Department and the chief of Roy donate their personal patch collections that they've been collecting for years, they believed so much in this cause. [We] were able to compile all these patches together and send them to Colorado to get delivered personally."

A King County Sheriff's officer happened to be going on vacation in Colorado, so she offered to hand deliver more than 550 patches to the Jensen's home. Kyle was in disbelief.

"It's amazing," Kyle said. "I've gotten teared up a lot about it, going through these patches and just thinking that so much meaning can come out of this piece of cloth and that so many people cared enough to send me something."

George says the project is a symbol of what he hopes to achieve as a new police officer.

"Not only just give him something that he had lost but really to show that this is what we want to be, not only in our professions, but as people. When we show up, people are having a rough time. We want to make sure we are there and we help them in any way that we can to get them back on track."

The kindness of these law enforcement officers was not lost on Kyle.

"It definitely impacted the way I felt about everything. How everyone has at least a little bit of kindness in their hearts just to do something small. It will mean so much more to someone else."

Rachel Belle, Ron and Don Show Reporter
Rachel Belle is a feature contributor and personality on The Ron & Don Show on KIRO Radio (weekdays 3-7pm), and host of Ring My Belle Weekends (Saturdays at 5pm and Sundays at 3pm).
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Ring My Belle on KIRO Radio
Tune in to KIRO Radio on Saturdays at 5pm and Sundays at 3pm for Ring my Belle with Rachel Belle.

Who is Rachel Belle?
Rachel Belle's "Ring My Belle" segment airs Monday-Friday on The Ron & Don Show at 4:37pm and 6:37pm. You can hear "Ring My Belle Weekends" Saturdays at 5:00pm Sundays at 3:00pm. Rachel is a northern California native who loves anything and everything culinary, playing Scrabble, petting cats and performing improv.

Please send Rachel your story ideas, weekend events and taco truck tips!



In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.