INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A group supporting law enforcement is working on a special project to honor the memory of Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz.
Officers from all over Indiana came up with the idea to start collecting uniform patches. They want to turn it into something special for the deputy’s son.
Indiana Going Blue launched the project last week and since then it has received patches from all across the country.
The group is planning to use the patches as part of a quilt, a gift for Noah to look back on when he’s old enough to understand.
“It’s heartwarming, it’s heartbreaking, it’s every emotion you can imagine,” said Angi Cheesman, Indiana Going Blue.
Cheesman couldn’t help but to smile after seeing the collection of patches Wednesday evening. Her daughter is also an officer with IMPD.
“Oh absolutely I worry every day,” she said. “But I’m also so proud.”
Cheesman knows the risk and dangers of being in law enforcement. She’s said she’s proud of the men and women who serve and protect our community each and every single day.
Many risk their lives like Deputy Koontz, whose eight-month-old son is too young to understand the impact.
“At the funeral, which I was not there, I watched it on TV. His mom spoke and said she wanted people, if they saw him five years down the road, to tell him hey I was at your dad’s funeral, so this is an escalation of that,” Cheesman said.
Cheesman and many others want to create that memory for Noah. She’s been collecting and organizing the patches with plans to turn it into a quilt.
She said people have already volunteered to help with the sewing.
“It’s very touching, there’s some that have actually written handwritten letters to the family. There’s some that just stick the patches in the envelope,” she said. “But each time it’s an officer.”
Cheesman hopes the quilt provides some comfort for Noah when he’s older, knowing that his dad was well-respected, loved, and honored in the community.
“He will never know, never remember or know anything about his father, so the only way he can is through other people,” she said.
Cheesman said she has been checking the mail box and the pile of mail continues to grow with every visit.
If you would like to add to the collection, you can send your patch to Indiana Going Blue P.O. Box 17642 Indianapolis, IN 46217. Cheesman said people have until the end of April to send them.