Today is Peace Officers Memorial Day, a day where we honor and commemorate our fallen officers. The ones sacrifice it all in order to keep us safe, often leave behind loved ones with nothing but memories and mementos. Tanner, the son of Weld County Deputy Sam Brownlee who was killed in the line of duty, wanted more.
Five years after their father was killed in a police chase, Tanner, 15, and his brother, Chase, were hoping to get one of their father’s prized possessions from the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, according to WPTV.
“It’d mean a lot to me and my brother. We’ve been through a lot,” said Tanner.
Their dad’s Dodge Charger was auctioned off Wednesday night by the sheriff’s office. The vehicle was sold to raise money for C.O.P.S. or Concerns of Police Survivors, an organization that provides services for survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
“If we do get it tonight, I kind of hope my mom will let me drive it around tonight,” Tanner said before the auction.
“This is kind of the end of Sam’s legacy here. It’s the last tangible thing we have that he was connected to,” said Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams.
A GoFundMe page was created by Tanner to raise money in order to bid on the squad car. It was a little more than $3,000 when the auction started, but he didn’t say how much he had to spend. However, he still had a plan.
“I think I’m just going to look around, see what everyone else is doing and try to copy them,” said Tanner. “Just up them by one.”
Tanner placed the first bid at $2,500, but the bid was over the Kelly Blue Book value of $12,500 within minutes.
Once the bid reached $50,000, Tanner’s limit and his father’s car were both gone.
“60! Sold it your way, Mr. Steve Wells. Thank you very much,” said the auctioneer.
Wells, a local rancher bought the car for $60,000. Tanner didn’t know Wells before the auction, but now he will never forget him. As soon as Wells received the keys, he handed them over to Tanner.
“Tanner, here’s your car,” said Wells.
“You had no idea that that guy in the back was bidding and was going to hand you the keys?” asked reporter Marshall Zelinger.
“Nope. I shook his hand and I didn’t know,” said Tanner. “It means so much to me.”
Tanner plans on donating the money raised from his GoFundMe account to C.O.P.S.
After seeing Tanner get behind the wheel of his father’s car Wells denied an interview, saying he didn’t want to take away from the moment.