Nearly 2 years after deputy’s death, Howard County Sheriff offers support to Boone County


Jacob Pickett and Carl Koontz

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HOWARD COUNTY, Ind. – As the Boone County Sheriff's Office continues to mourn the loss of Deputy Jacob Pickett, they're getting a lot of help and support from other law enforcement agencies across central Indiana.

One law enforcement agency knows all too well the pain of losing a deputy in the line of duty.

On March 20, 2016, Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz was shot and killed while serving a search warrant. Sheriff Steve Rogers said the moment he heard the news was a shock and the days and weeks surrounding the death of Deputy Koontz were a blur.

"We actually were able to stay in the room with Deputy Koontz until he passed. That was, of course, very difficult for everyone involved and something we will never be able to get out of our memories," Sheriff Rogers said.

Sheriff Rogers said he called Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen after learning of the death of Deputy Pickett.

"We're already sensitive and when that happened it was like it was happening all over again for us," Sheriff Rogers said.

Over the next few weeks, Howard County will be providing Boone County with physical and emotional support. Sheriff Rogers said some of his deputies will provide emergency services in Tipton County on Thursday and Friday so those deputies can attend services for Deputy Pickett.

Sheriff Rogers said providing help to other agencies going through the same pain is a form of therapy for themselves.

"The more we get involved with other agencies now in a mode of wanting to be of help and offering support, it does help us heal," Sheriff Rogers said.

He also said the support from the community has been crucial. Sheriff Rogers noted times when he's witnessed neighbors give a high-five, handshake, or hug to a deputy they see at a store or restaurant. He said even those little things can provide support and reinsurance that law enforcement officers are serving their community.

"Why do you come into this job in the first place? That is to make a difference and I can tell you that Deputy Koontz and Deputy Pickett have made a difference in what they've done with their lives," Sheriff Rogers said.

The Howard County Sheriff's Office will have a small internal memorial service on March 20 to honor Deputy Koontz. Deputies from Howard County, including the color guard will be attending services for Deputy Pickett on Thursday and Friday.

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