(PUEBLO, Colo) — With heavy hearts, the community gathered on Monday, Oct. 9 to pay tribute to the life and sacrifice of Officer Christine Guerin Sandoval, a true hero who dedicated her life to serving and protecting others.

In a poignant funeral held at the Praise Assembly of God Church in Pueblo, the city where she was born and raised, we remembered not just an officer but a mother, a daughter, a friend, and a beloved member of our community.

Uniformed officers, dignitaries, family, and friends filled the church to capacity, coming together to bid their final farewell to this decorated officer who had touched countless lives.

It was evident that Sandoval’s impact reached far beyond the boundaries of her uniform. In the audience, alongside her loved ones, were the very community members she had vowed to serve and protect–a testament to the deep connections she forged in her dedicated service.

Officer Dassity Miller, a dear friend of Sandoval, spoke from the heart, promising, “We will make sure your memory lives on forever. We will fight for your justice. We will fight for the changes that need to happen. You will not have died in vain. You are a hero, and your legacy is forever.”

The Blue Rose Ceremony, a symbol of unity and solidarity among peace officers, saw uniformed officers take turns placing blue-tipped roses on either side of Sandoval’s casket.

Lieutenant Harry Campbell, from the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC), emphasized the critical importance of the ceremony.

“It is critical that all peace officers band together to hold the strength of their line in protection of society,” said Campbell. “The Blue Rose ceremony is a physical representation of that solidarity.”

Close family, friends, former colleagues, and even Colorado Governor Jared Polis spoke at the ceremony, each sharing stories of Sandoval’s unwavering work ethic.

“I’ve ordered that flags be flown at half-mast throughout the state of Colorado today,” said Polis. “As every Coloradan looks out and sees the flags flying at half-mast, they will remember the life and contributions of Colorado hero Officer Guerin Sandoval.”

Before joining the DOC, Sandoval dedicated 12 years of her life as a member of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office and earned the honor of 2018 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Her dedication resonated deeply with fellow officers, as Undersheriff Steve Bryant of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office recalled, “Christine was one of the most dependable and loyal deputies I have ever worked with… She has shown humanity towards people who some might say deserved none. She has shown dedication to duty, as the clock ticked long past the end of her scheduled workday.”

But it wasn’t just Sandoval’s dedication and professionalism that left an indelible mark; it was her iconic smile, mentioned in every tribute.

Officer Danielle Martinez, her partner at the DOC, lovingly expressed, “You had such a heartwarming laugh, and the biggest smile, and drew everyone in. You were the best partner. I couldn’t have asked for better. You were a badass, and we all knew it.”

“To know her was to be swept onto the dance floor,” recalled Lieutenant Campbell. “Her smile made you feel as though you could never be alone. Her kindness and compassion filled the spaces between us, and we shall never be the same.”

As the resonating notes of trumpets filled the auditorium, one final call for Parole 330 Officer Guerin Sandoval echoed through the room: “Christine Guerin Sandoval, we thank you for your service. Rest easy, sis; we have the watch from here.”

Sandoval leaves behind her mother, three siblings, husband, and two children. Those who wish to contribute to Officer Sandoval’s family can make donations through a GoFundMe.

Southern Colorado remembers not only a fallen hero but also a cherished member of our community, whose legacy of service, compassion, and an iconic smile will forever remain in our hearts.