Blue pledge: Indianapolis residents rally to fight crime amid officer's death
Many Indianapolis residents are helping with the funeral of Indianapolis Metro Police Officer Perry Renn, even those who never met him.
The last of the 1,600 white carnations arrived at Eagle Dale florist Thursday afternoon. The carnations are part of Officer Renn's funeral. Most will be worn by his police brethren who will place the flowers on his casket at the gravesite.
It's the first time Tiffany Wesseler, whose father was a sheriff's deputy, has provided flowers for a police funeral. She says seeing all the carnations has brought on a lot of strong emotions.
"It definitely makes you think. I have lots of friends who are cops and my sister is a paramedic. She's been kicked in the face. These people are not there to be the bad guy so when you don't respect them, if they're not there to protect us, who will do it? Who will take their place? It's really very scary," she said.
Wessler knows the risks officers face each day. She also knows what it's like to be a crime victim.
"If it hadn't been for 911 when someone did break in, who kept me calm while I was on the phone because I was scared for my life, because that person made a difference in my life," she said.
Wessler works and lives in an area where it's common to see flashing lights.
"We used to have a lot of problems in the neighborhood," said Jim Martin, who told us thieves were breaking into houses in broad daylight.
"That's when we called police out here and lo and behold what they told us paid off," he said.
Police told neighbors to be on watch and to listen.
"If you see someone in your neighborhood you know who doesn't belong there you need to call 911 and have it checked out," said Martin.
He says police are now more apt to catch criminals in the act because neighbors take a stand and make the call.
Mary Grasycia was heartened to see strangers stopping after her accident.
"At least four or five people were surrounding to help us. They stopped in their trucks to literally get out and help us because they knew we needed help," she said.