Sheriff’s Department Turns Christmas Tree Into Memorial For Fallen Officers
15th December 2018

Police officers sacrifice so much, many of them putting their lives on the line day in and day out to protect us average citizens and so many of them lose their lives doing so. This sacrifice is also often a thankless one, with many people suspicious of police officers and resentful of them performing their duties.

Despite this, there are of course many on the other side of the coin who are extremely grateful for the incredible work they do. One such example is the emergency services dispatchers in Boone County, Indiana. According to a report by WTHR, the sheriff’s department came up with an incredible idea to honor fallen officers in the county in the spirit of Christmas, at a time when their families are missing them most.

Earlier this year, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department acquired a nine-foot-tall Christmas tree for the festive season and the entire tree has been carefully decorated with shiny blue and silver Christmas baubles, each one dedicated to one of 142 fallen officers who served and lost their lives in the area. Along with their names written on the baubles, each ornament also has the respective officer’s rank, department, and end of watch date handwritten on it.

In March this year, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department lost Deputy Jacob Pickett, who was killed in the line of duty. Pickett had been chasing a suspect who was trying to evade arrest when he was shot. According to the Indy Star, the 34-year-old deputy ended up on life support in hospital, but it wasn’t long before his wife was left with the terrible decision to pull the plug on her husband.

At the time of his death, Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen wrote an open letter to the community about the incredible person that Pickett was.

“Jake was special to each of us for different reasons and special to all of us for the same reasons. There will forever be a loss felt in our community for him.”

Now with Christmas decorations going up, Nielsen explained how the department decided to honor Pickett and his fellow fallen officers with their festive decor.

“This was an idea that came to me from three of our communications officers last Friday evening,” he said.

“Once I heard of the idea, I was all in on the project. They worked with our chaplains and ran with it. What a great way to honor Jake and all those that have paid that ultimate sacrifice. We will never forget.”

When Christmas is over and the decorations are due to come down, the department plans to mail each ornament to each individual officer’s respective department.

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