OGDEN, Utah — Arvada Police Officer Dillon Vakoff died protecting his community, and his sacrifice was felt across the country.
In Utah, Nate Eye has been woodworking for around 15 years. His father was a woodworker, and Eye wanted to follow in his footsteps. He started his own company called 710 Custom Woodwork.
“I love taking something special and unique and creating a memory with it,” Eye said from his garage in Ogden, Utah.
In 2016, Eye’s community was impacted by Unified Police Officer Douglas Barney’s line of duty death. Eye decided to craft a replica of Officer Barney’s badge, which he brought to the funeral and gave to the family.
“It left a feeling inside of me that I can’t describe,” Eye recalled.
Since then, Eye has constructed hundreds of replicas of fallen officer’s badges.
“When I’m building these badges, there’s a lot of emotions that come through me,” he said. “There’s a very sobering feeling of what I’m doing and who I’m doing it for.”
Utah woodworker carves memorial badge for fallen Arvada Officer Dillon Vakoff
Eye crafted a replica of Officer Dillon Vakoff’s badge this week, and sent it with a friend to Arvada to be presented to the family. He hopes the support brings Vakoff’s family some sense of comfort.
“I hope that the family of Officer Vakoff can hang this somewhere special where they can look at it 10, 15 years down the road, and remember that sacrifice that he made for his community,” Eye said. “I see the sacrifices, and I know this one was a heavy one to pay.”