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Boone County sheriff shares heartfelt message following shooting of deputy

LEBANON, Ind. (WISH) -- Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen has made public a heartfelt message he sent to all employees in Boone County.

Nielsen posted the message to the Boone County Sheriff's Office Facebook page on Wednesday morning.

In it, he states that Deputy Jacob Pickett, shot and killed in the line of duty, has been transferred from the Marion County Coroner's Office to the funeral home.

You can read his entire message below.

Good morning to my Boone County Family,

As I lay in bed this morning I can't help to notice that we are closer to laying Jake to rest than we are to the event occurring last Friday.

It appears I get an hour or so more sleep as each night passes before I am wide awake with thoughts and memories running through my mind about Jake, Jen, Brik, the family, and the events of that morning that play over and over in my head. I know that I am not alone in these sleepless nights as many of you are experiencing the same. During the day I am so busy planning, meeting with family, meeting with business's, meeting with banks, going to be close to Jake for a few minutes and working on Jake's final arrangements, thinking about what to do next….. that it seems to me I have ignored those that have been so close to me over the years…..all of you that I work with each day.

I began to go through the 3500-email's last night that I have received since that horrible day just five days ago. Emails from across the country from so many public safety agencies, public safety officers, vendors, business's, citizens, and the list goes on. When I began to see some of the emails from not only my Sheriff's Office staff but from the county employees, my heart began to feel guilty on the lack of response that I have given back to each of you…….please forgive me. If you were one of those that sent something to me, left me a voicemail, text, or messenger message, I promise that you will eventually get a personalized response from me after Jake is laid to rest.

Yesterday four very important and tough events took place. Escorting Jake from the Marion County Coroner's Office to the funeral home, Meeting with the family to make final arrangements, The press conference on charging these cowards, and the meeting to pre-plan so many things for the events the next two days. Those are now behind us and we move to the next step.

I want each of you to know that we have honored Jake well in every way possible. I stood behind closed doors yesterday before and after the ceremonies with only myself, Officer Taylor Nielsen from LPD who is Brik's guardian, Brik, and two of Jakes best friends from Tipton County who are officers. Behind those doors a special ceremony was held by the honor guard by placing, removing, folding and presenting the flag to me. I then escorted Jake alone into the last place that anyone will see him before Thursday. I was so honored to be in the presence of this hero.

I tell you all this because it allows me to begin the healing process while at the same time gives you a daily update on how we are honoring our fallen hero. I hope that it encourages you to know that each of you are not alone now or will be alone in the dark days that will be ahead after Fridays ceremonies. Each one of you must take care of yourself and then take care of your family. For those at the BCSO, our Officer Wellness Program is in full force as I explained in our meeting and we will continue those guidelines. For those county employees, if you are struggling and need help, we will help you with our resources that we are using in our Officer Wellness Program. Just don't be alone…………watch each other's back. We all need each other more now than we ever have.

I am forever indebted to each of you for the love and support that you are giving me. I want to close with scripture that supports what I have seen the last five days.

Matthew 18:20

-For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

With respect,

Mike

Sheriff Mike Nielsen


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