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Officers honor slain Deputy Pickett at visitation

Eric Feldman - INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- Hearts were heavy for law enforcement across Indiana on Thursday as departments around the state came to Crown Hill Cemetery for the visitation for Boone County Deputy Jacob Pickett, shot and killed in the line of duty.

Among those who came to honor Pickett were a couple officers from Portland, Oregon. Additionally, U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, who serves southern Indiana, read a letter from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Pickett's wife, offering his condolences, praising the deputy and calling Pickett "a true hero."

On the local level, Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jim Knogge came. He is in the K-9 unit and brought his dog.

"Working 20 years in the K-9, I know what sort of sacrifice it takes," he said. "Losing a brother, you got to pay support."

Pickett's family was there, along with his police dog, Brik.

Lebanon Police patrol officer, Taylor Nielsen, is in charge of taking care of Brik, who will eventually move back with the Pickett family.

"Just to be able to stand there with Brik and to do everything we can to make Jake proud. It's been pretty overwhelming," she said, when asked about the most powerful moment from Thursday.

She said Brik is going through the same emotions as those who knew Pickett, who she called a close friend.

"He was always so positive," she said. "I remember I was going through our text messages. One of my friends had just taken her life a few months ago, and he texted me, 'Girl you got this. God always says he won't give you much more than you can handle. Apparently he thinks you're one tough chick.'"

Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen also offered a few words about Pickett and then led his deputies in a flag presentation.

"By simply putting on his uniform and going to work every day, Jake made this country a better place to live. Therefore, we present Jake, therefore we present Jake a flag of the United States of America. A symbol of hope with a prayer that it will offer him the comfort of a grateful nation," Nielsen said, fighting through the emotions.

The crowd gathered to honor the deputy will likely grow on Friday when Pickett is laid to rest.

24-Hour News 8 will have live coverage of the services for Deputy Pickett all day Friday on WISH-TV starting with Daybreak at 4 a.m.

The entire funeral service, procession and graveside service will air on WISH-TV and stream on and in the WISH-TV news app.

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