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‘Honoring the Fallen’: Deputy Asson Hacker

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Deputy Asson Hacker served southern Indiana for a short time, but his death leaves a lesson that could save lives for many years to come.

Hacker was still new to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department in March, serving just a few months when he died during training.

The cause of his death turned out to be “exertional sickling,” an “unusual” but not “unheard of” health crisis that is most common in athletes who have sickle cell trait and suffer an episode during intense workouts or competition.

When it happened to Deputy Hacker, he was training in defensive tactics at a facility in Evansville.’

“He felt a calling, a calling to help people. He wanted to make a difference in our community.
He wanted a fulfilling career where he could accompany his children in uniform to a career day, and they’d be proud of him,” said Sergeant Erik Nilssen, Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office.

His death brought deep sadness but also a new awareness about the dangers of “Extertional Sickling.” Department leaders have pledged to make changes to keep those with sickle cell traits safer.

Deputy Hacker was only 33. He leaves behind a wife, four sons, and a health lesson that could help countless others.

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