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Community works to honor Deputy Pickett

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. – Countless people are working to honor fallen Boone County Deputy Jacob Pickett.

Outside the sheriff's office, a memorial continues to grow in tribute to him as everyone from community members to fellow law enforcement officers and their families pay their respects.

"It's definitely a very shocking moment," Autumn, the wife of a police officer and a member of Indiana Police Wives Ministry, said. "It's a time where we come together and think about ways to honor the sacrifice that was made, in this case by Deputy Pickett."

The faith-based organization said in a line of duty death they work to be a source of support. Following Deputy Pickett's death, Autumn said they are working with a school in Brownsburg on several projects.

"Our role is really just to be a support for some of those key groups like the FOP and COPS that are right there walking with the family," Autumn said.

State Senator Michael Crider is working to help ease some of the burden for families of fallen officers. He introduced a bill this legislative session that would help continue health coverage to surviving spouses and children of fallen officers from their employer. It hasn't made its way out of the legislature this session, but Sen. Crider said he is still working to try to find it a home in a conference committee.

"This is the one bill I worked on I hope never gets used, because that means we lost another officer in the line of duty," he said.

Across the country, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said there have been 23 law enforcement fatalities this year through March 6.

"Overall we're seeing a year that looks a lot like last year based on a point in time comparison," Steve Groeninger, the senior director of communications for the organization, said. "The one thing that does stand out is an increase in firearms related deaths this year over the same point in time last year."

Behind each death, each hero taken is a family, a department and a law enforcement community grieving.

"It's really important that we give them they support that they need, especially after such a tragic event," Autumn said.

The Boone County Sheriff's Office said they're also working to set up a 501C3 for people to donate to Deputy Pickett's family. In the meantime, donations may be brought to the sheriff's office payable to the Jacob Pickett Memorial Fund.

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