INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Police departments across the country are showing their support for the family of Deputy Jacob Pickett.
“Indiana Going Blue” makes quilts for families of fallen officers. Now the group is collecting patches from police departments and first responders to put on a quilt for the fallen deputy’s family.
The group received the first patches Tuesday, which came from the Southport Police Department. The department knows the pain of Pickett’s passing firsthand after the death of Lt. Aaron Allan last summer.
Angi Cheeseman, president of Indiana Going Blue and the mother of a police officer, said the group does what it can to help families get through a tough time. She said Indiana Going Blue started making quilts in 2016, after the death of Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz.
“So when Deputy Koontz was killed, on the Facebook page, a deputy from Elkhart County Sheriff's Department contacted me through a message on the page and said, 'Hey! You should post pictures of the patches, the shoulder patches,'” she said.
“So we started posting pictures, and so, a short time later, an officer from near Evansville contacted me... so Elkhart north... Evansville south. This officer said, 'Hey, you should collect them.' I'm like, I don't know how to collect patches, but he said, ‘Don't worry about it, we'll help you.’”
Not long after that, Cheeseman said a state trooper suggested that she make a quilt. Again, she wasn’t sure how to go about it but said officers told her they’d help her figure it out. She posted about the idea on Facebook, and within two hours, four women volunteered to make quilts.
So where do the patches come from?
“Basically Indiana, a lot from across the country. Last time with Lt. Allan, we had a lot from Florida. A whole lot from Florida. Texas is a strong supporter of this. I've already had someone contact me from Texas saying, ‘Hey, same PO Box?’” Cheeseman said. “But we also get some from out of the country, and I think most of it is people collect them here in the U.S., but they send that. We've had people send in their entire patch collections.”
Cheeseman said it’s a tough thing to do because she knows the families are going through a horrible time. The quilt, she said, gives them something tangible to remind them that people are supporting them.
“It's very touching. It's very emotional, but it's [to say], ‘We're thinking about you, we're praying for you, we support you, and we're still here.’”
Patches for the Pickett family can be sent to:
Indiana Going Blue
PO Box 17642
Indianapolis, IN 46217