BOONE COUNTY, Ind. - The wife of a fallen deputy says she is ready to give back to the community who helped her through the most difficult times.
Jacob Pickett was shot and killed in the line of duty in March of 2018. Now, in her first on-camera interview since her husband’s passing, Jen Pickett explains why she wants to share his legacy.
Jen Pickett will always remember her husband as someone who showed up for his family, friends, and even complete strangers.
“He would try and show up no matter how big, no matter how small,” Pickett explained.
Her life changed on March 2, 2018, when Deputy Jacob Pickett was shot while pursuing a suspect with his K9, Brik.
“More than anything I just want to take the focus off that senseless tragedy and the focus off of his death and rather refocus on his life and doing something beautiful with that,” said Pickett.
Although the pain of losing Jake won’t ever go away, she believes it’s time to honor his legacy.
“Letting the community know who Jake was beyond the badge," she added.
He was passionate about service and helping others. So Jen created the Jacob Pickett Response Organization. The idea is for people to come together and donate, then the non-profit will be able to help law enforcement families faced with tragedy such as death or life-altering illness.
The first family that will benefit from the Jacob Pickett Response Organization is the Farinella Family. Joe Farinella was sworn in with Jake Pickett in Tipton County. Jen explained that her husband would do anything for Joe and his family, and would certainly respond in any way possible after hearing that his wife was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
“Our primary focus is to fundraise for the Farinella’s, and I wish we could take the cancer away, I wish we could not be put in this situation,” said Pickett, “But, we can do something for them.”
Pickett eventually wants to help families across the state.
“He just wanted to help, and he wouldn’t wait to be asked,” Pickett added, “He would just do it and so, when we respond like Jake it’s just moving forward with that legacy of his and his little boys, I want them to know that that’s who he was and that’s how he lived his life.”
Jen Pickett describes the bond between law enforcement families as one large blue family and this is her way to let those families know they’re not alone in their battles.
“You see that happen when an officer falls, but it’s a different experience when it’s happening to your family,” she said, “From the cards, to the notes, thoughts and prayers that people have mentioned, it helped to ease that daily burden and that pain and I’m just so appreciative of everyone for that.”
Responding to the call for community service in honor of the officer who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“I believe through this organization they can learn a little bit about how he lived,” said Pickett.
The nonprofit will launch during Deputy Pickett’s Second Annual Remembrance Day on March 7 at the Boone County Fairgrounds. There will be an opening ceremony, followed by a silent auction, a K9 demonstration by the Boone County Sherriff’s Office and Tipton County Sheriff’s Office and a corn hole tournament. The event runs from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.