Fundraiser aims to send Boone County sheriff staff to D.C. to honor fallen deputy

Deputy Jacob "Jake" Pickett (photo courtesy Boone County Sheriff's Office)

LEBANON, Ind. (WTHR) - Plans are being made to make sure fallen Boone County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Pickett's legacy lives on forever.

His name will be added to the National Police Memorial in Washington D.C.

It's been nine months since Deputy Pickett died in the line of duty.

"You have to find a new normal and the new normal hasn't kicked in yet," said Boone County Deputy Wesley Garst. "We gotta find that new normal for us as a department."

Not a day goes by that Pickett's family and close friends at home and his family at work don't think about him.

"There's not a moment that goes by that his memory doesn't go through my head," said close family friend Megan Cantrell.

"If you ask a lot of other people, they miss his laugh the most. He had a very particular laugh that everybody...they knew it was him when he was coming down the hallway and we miss Brik as well," said Garst.

Pickett's K-9 partner Brik retired after Pickett's death and now lives at home with the deputy's wife and two sons.

"She has good and bad days, but she's a very strong person," said close friend Michelle Atkinson.

"She is a great mother and very thankful for all of the community support that has helped raise money for her and her family and her boys to go to Washington D.C. for this trip," said Cantrell.

In May, Jen Pickett and members of her family will attend National Police Week in the nation's capital where Deputy Pickett and other law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty will be honored.

"It's just another process in honoring his name and keeping his name and his mission alive of serving the community," Cantrell said.

Now there's an effort to raise enough money so that every Boone County deputy, as well as members of the jail and office staff can go to the memorial in Washington too.

The fundraiser started with a Facebook page called "Sponsor a Deputy."

"This is a big step for the sheriff's department and all the people involved that kind of knew Jake, so we're trying to raise as much money to send as many as we can to honor him and help in this healing process as well," Cantrell added.

"I think it helps with a little sense of closure as well, but at the same time you're not only mourning a life, you're celebrating it," said Garst.

That's just what those who knew and loved Pickett have tried to do since his death, a process that's been one day at a time.