SOUTHPORT, Ind.-- Next month Southport Police Lt. Aaron Allan will be honored during National Police Week alongside other fallen officers, but funds are still needed to help send his relatives and fellow officers to Washington, D.C. for the event.
"He's bigger than life. He had a passion for police work but he understood the difference between community policing and everybody has to go to jail," Southport Police Chief Tom Vaughn said. "He wanted to make those relationships inside the community, which he did."
Lt. Allan was killed in the line of duty July 27, 2017. His memory is carried on at the Southport Police Department daily, through photos on the wall and officers' every day work.
"They want to make sure that they're doing it the way he did it and that that legacy's living on," Vaughn said.
Vaughn said National Police Week is another way to honor Lt. Allan. Tens of thousands of fellow officers and relatives of fallen officers will attend. It includes a memorial, candlelight vigil, reading of names and resources geared specifically to officers and different relatives.
"It's a week that you just can't explain," Cynthia Winzenread said.
She knows the experience first hand. Her husband, Trooper Andrew Winzenread, died in the line of duty in 1997.
"That was my Andrew, so to hear his name and announce it , it is, it's very emotional. It's, even today I still think about it and when I hear other family's members names it's very emotional to hear their name out loud among thousands," she said.
Winzenread is now the president of the Indiana chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors. They'll also go to Washington, D.C. next month with Lt. Allan's family and fellow officers.
"It's very important this family go out there. It's not just having his name read, it's not just crying and being sad, it's healing, it's trying to heal through the process, it's finding other family members that you communicate with," she said. "It's parents meeting with other parents, spouses meeting with other spouses, it's children meeting with other children, it's siblings meeting with other siblings. It's just, it's hard to explain the immediate connection they're going to have. And what Washington does is it brings them together during that process."
The cost to send 15 of Lt. Allan's relatives and 15 fellow officers is about $40,000, but $10,000 is still needed, according to Vaughn.
Saturday, the Indiana State Police Alliance, Zink Distributing Company, Bartram Memorial Foundation and the Southport Police Department will host a Monte Carlo Night to help raise the money. The night includes food, drinks, a silent auction and games for both adults and children.
The event is 6-11 p.m. at the Indiana State Police Alliance at 1415 Shelby St., Indianapolis. Donations will also be accepted. Donors can make checks out to the Bartram Memorial Foundation and mail them to the Southport Police Department.