FRANKFORT, Ind- Inside the lobby of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, the Christmas tree looks just like any other, except this one has more than 120 wooden angels, each engraved with the name of a fallen officer.
“It runs the gamut of emotions to say the least when you see it,” said Clinton County Sheriff Rich Kelly.
The tree features every fallen officer in the United States in 2019 along with all K9 officers.
“It’s an honor to do something like this for these families,” said Brian Pollard, a building maintenance worker.
Pollard spent hours making each ornament. He engraved each one at home, on his own time using a laser engraver.
“It’s the absolute least I could do to show my appreciation for their sacrifice,” Pollard said.
For Sheriff Rich Kelly, most of these names are complete strangers. However, each one is still close to his heart, and one in particular hits close to home.
“I know one person on this tree, and that’s trooper Bo (Peter) Stephan,” Kelly said. “The guy makes me smile… and I know that he feels no pain where he’s at today, and he’s looking over us.”
Although each ornament lists the day these officers ended their watch, they now continue their watch as guardian angels. Still keeping their oath, to always protect and serve.
“Now they’re angels watching over us,” Kelly said.
Sheriff Kelly says after Christmas, the department will mail each ornament to the family of the fallen officers. They plan to do the tree again next year but are hoping it will be less full.