By: Liz Gelardi
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Jacen Troxell is only 8, but he's inspired the community to help buy extra protection for police officers.
FOX59 introduced you to Jacen back in July. He started a campaign on GoFundMe to raise money to buy bulletproof vest plates for police officers.
To date, Jacen has raised more than $15,000. Crown Hill Cemetery presented Jacen with a $1,000 donation Thursday afternoon. IMPD Chief Rick Hite thanked him during the check presentation.
"I feel very happy," said Jacen Troxell.
Crown Hill Cemetery is challenging other Indianapolis business to match the $1,000 donation.
"Please donate and if you do, thank you," said Troxell.
Jacen started the campaign shortly after Officer Perry Renn was killed in the line of duty. His dad is an IMPD detective and he knew Officer Renn very well. Jacen knew his dad was very sad about losing a friend so he wanted to do something.
Thirty-four bulletproof vest plates are on order and expected to come in any day now. These plates will go to the North District officers who worked with Renn. The make and model has been tested by instructors at the police shooting range.
"This is just another way that our officers can feel a little better about going to work each day, it gives them a better chance of coming home to their families. We're seeing basically an unprescented level of violence in the city right now, and much of that is being directed against our police officers," said Lt. Dale True, IMPD Firearms Instructor.
In less than a year, two IMPD officers have been killed in the line of duty. Over the past 18 months, nine officers have been shot and more than 20 have been fired upon.
The Indianapolis Police Foundation was also inspired by Jacen's efforts. The organization is planning to work with the boy to help raise additional funds for plates and other protective equipment.