HOWARD COUNTY (WISH) — A special tribute is in the making to honor the life of Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz. He was shot and killed in the line of duty more than two months ago.
His widow, Kassie Koontz has been working with commissioners in town on the memorial bridge. She said she wants to keep her husband’s name and legacy alive in the community.
“My whole goal is for everyone to see the sign and to remember,” she said.
Just down the street from the Howard County Sheriff’s Office is where you’ll find a bridge at Markland and Park Avenue.
“There’s a four way stop right here so people stop, they look at signs, it’s a pretty busy intersection at the time,” Kassie Koontz said.
Hundreds of cars pass through every day, including law enforcement, and starting next month a sign will go up in memory of Deputy Carl Koontz.
“I’m working on other projects too to keep his name alive. I think that people forget very easily and I don’t want that especially how young Carl was,” Kassie said.
Kassie said they looked at several bridges before going with this one.
“For me, the sheriff deputies drive by it, the Kokomo Police Department drive by it,” Kassie said. “Every time they see it they’re going to be honored. That’s what I want. I want people to be honored to drive across the bridge and know this was in memory of Carl.”
Deputy Carl Koontz was shot and killed while serving a warrant in Russiaville in March. He was 27-years-old.
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“I just want Noah to remember who his dad was and I think with everything I’m doing he will for sure,” Kassie said.
She knows her son Noah is too young to understand what happened. She’s hoping this bridge will be a special place for him when he’s older.
“When he starts driving he can drive down this bridge and be like ‘yeah I drove down daddy’s bridge’,” Kassie said.
Koontz said she’s doing everything she can to keep her husband’s memory alive.
“My whole purpose to all this is to make sure people remember Carl Koontz that was the deputy that sacrifice his life for everybody,” Kassie said.
Koontz said she just wants her son to look back and to never forget.
“There’s not a doubt in my mind that Noah’s not going to try to fulfill Carl’s footstep, and if he does I will be so proud of him. I’m not going to say no you can’t do that because you’re dad, no I can’t do that,” she said. “I will be honored and proud of him if he follows his dad’s footprints.”
Koontz also worked with a local business to create a small memento. The silver coin was given to close family and friends.
A ceremony for the memorial bridge is being planned for mid July.