Boone County, Indiana, recently celebrated its fifth annual Jacob Pickett Remembrance Day in honor of fallen Deputy Jacob Pickett, who was killed in the line of duty in March 2018.
Every year, the Jacob Pickett Response Organization — a nonprofit founded by Jacob’s wife, Jen — rallies together at Boone County Fairgrounds to remember Jacob’s service to the community and support law enforcement families across the nation.
The event showcased police demonstrations, craft and business vendors, bouncy houses for kids, a silent auction, the annual Deputy Pickett Blood Drive and the latest addition — a 5K marathon.
Zionsville Police Officer Chris Wheeler also participated in a Boone County Special Response Team demonstration, showcasing the use of less-than-lethal rounds, pepper rounds and 45 mm. spongy rounds shot from a launcher.
The event aimed to raise $20,000 this year.
“We continue to grow every year,” Jen said.
Jen said she started the foundation to honor her husband.
“He gave his whole heart and soul to other people. Whether it was to serve and protect or if it was to his friends and family. He lived life wholeheartedly,” Jen said.
Deputy Jacob Pickett was killed in the line of duty after chasing a suspect with his K-9 partner, Brik, on March 5, 2018.
Lebanon police initially served a warrant for a woman’s arrest but recognized another wanted person, John D. Baldwin Jr., who had an outstanding warrant.
Baldwin ignored orders from police to stop, and fled the scene in a car with two others.
Deputy Pickett and several other Boone County sheriff’s deputies assisted Lebanon police officers in a short vehicle pursuit.
The vehicle suddenly stopped and the occupants exited and began to run on foot.
During the foot pursuit, Deputy Pickett sustained a fatal gunshot wound. He died after several days on life support, leaving behind a wife and two children.
Now, every year, the Jacob Pickett Response Organization raises funds for a law enforcement family in need to continue Jacob’s legacy.
“Something we’re really proud of is that in the last three years, we have given to seven families nearly $45,000, and that’s two in Boone County alone,” Jen said.
Among the families helped by the organization includes one whose daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and a family whose husband died of cancer.
“Jake just wanted to help. He wanted to help people, he’d help them whether he was on duty or not, and that’s why our mantra or our hashtag is #RespondLikeJake. Jake would step up and do what he could for anyone, and that’s exactly what we do as an organization. We respond like Jake would,” Jen said.
Boone County Sheriff Tony Harris also spoke at the event.
“He gave and gave. Not only the ultimate sacrifice, but he also gave to people every day. He was a people person, and he loved his job,” the sheriff said.
Families can be nominated to receive funding or families can nominate themselves by submitting applications to the organization.
“We’ll keep responding like Jake and letting people know how he lived his life. Not how he died, but by how he lived his life, and we do that by helping the law enforcement family,” Jen added.