MISSOULA - One Missoula city police officer handles the stresses of her job by spending time with some indomitable spirits.
At the Special Olympics Super Grizzly Dip this year, there was a lot of excitement, where law enforcement agencies throw the event to support the athletes.
“I love it. They always have a smile on their face, ready to see you and join in and participate,” said patrol officer Jenna Volinkaty, who also works as a liaison to the Special Olympics, organizing several events every year for the department.
Frank Zapeda was one of the athletes who took part in this year's Super Grizzly Dip.
“Very excited, I’m so excited…” he said about jumping into the pool of cold water that everyone gathers around for the Super Grizzly Dip event that happened in early December.
“I feel very honored, I feel very happy. All of the cops that I have known here in Montana, are very good to me, and they showed me the way to go, be positive,” Zapeda said.
Volinkaty says organizing these events and spending time with the athletes helps her deal with some of the difficult aspects of her job. She's been an officer with MPD for three years, and got involved with the Special Olympics when she started.
“Ya know we respond to calls, and sometimes it's not the easiest things that we see. So being able to do something outside of work is helpful, and the athletes are amazing,” she said.