Morrison remembers former reserve officer Parrish 

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By Corinne Westeman

The Morrison Police Department, and the town as a whole, are honoring Douglas County Sheriff Deputy Zackari Parrish, who served Morrison as a reserve officer in 2014.

Parrish, 29, was killed in a Dec. 31 officer-involved shooting in Highlands Ranch. A funeral was held Friday. Multiple officers from Morrison attended.

“He always had a smile on his face,” Morrison’s Sgt. Robert Payne said of Parrish. “He was always happy, glad to be here and happy to learn. He was always looking to improve himself, and he enjoyed being a police officer.”

Payne said he oversaw Parrish’s five months as a reserve officer in Morrison after Parrish completed police academy. Once a week, Parrish would be assigned to a full-time officer and would help with anything that came up during the officer’s shift, Payne described.

Sgt. Joe Leo said that Morrison has a thriving reserve program, and that it is normal for other agencies to see MPD as a sort of feeder department. In Parrish’s case, he went on to a full-time job with the Castle Rock Police Department.
“They get a home for a while, and we help get them hired elsewhere,” Leo said.

The overwhelming presence of law enforcement at Parrish’s funeral demonstrates the brotherhood officers share, regardless of which departments they serve, Leo continued.

“We all bleed blue,” he said. “It’s nice to see departments far and wide come together. I’m awestruck at the number of agencies showing respect and support (for Parrish’s family).”

Parrish is survived by his wife and two young daughters, among other family members.

The Morrison Board of Trustees voted on Jan. 2 to donate $500 to Parrish’s memorial fund via the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

“That’s excellent — a wonderful and grateful donation to help his kids and his wife out,” Payne said of the town’s donation.

Leo added that given Parrish’s passion for community service, he might’ve ended up having a 40-year career in law enforcement.

For information on Parrish’s memorial fund, visit www.dcsheriff.net/fallen-officer-fund.
Contact reporter Corinne Westeman at 303-350-1043 or cwesteman@evergreenco.com, and follow her on Twitter @cwesteman.