Officer Jim Capoot was shot to death while pursuing a bank robbery suspect in Vallejo. So the community came together to honor the man who made such a difference in so many lives. Amid the holiday fanfare, there was a celebration of community spirit.
"My daughters and I have never felt alone and can never tell you how thankful we are for everything you've done," said Jennifer Capoot, the officer's wife.
The family of Capoot, along with the basketball team he coached, and the colleagues he worked with on the police force, all turned out to remember him. On Thursday night, those who knew him best lit the massive Christmas tree in the main plaza of Six Flag's Discovery Kingdom.
One Vallejo police officer said, "Just like a Christmas tree, he would always have gifts ready to give to people. He was always giving."
This week, the Vallejo Police Department handed out 650 free park passes to Vallejo middle and high school students.
"We relied on the officers to actually get the tickets into the hands of young people who are doing good things in the community, young people who they interact with who maybe can't afford to come out to the park on a daily basis, but we could provide something special for them on a night like this when we honored Officer Capoot," said Dale Kaetzel the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom park president.
So there was a warmth generated by the energy of people caring for each other. Sweatshirts and T-shirts were sold to raise money for the officer's family.
"We couldn't be more appreciative. My husband was a wonderful man and he deserves all of this attention that he's getting," said Jennifer.
"We want people to enjoy the holidays. We're never going to forget, ever, but we need to make sure we're able to move on too," said Mat Mustard, president of the Vallejo Police Officer Association.