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Law enforcement, community reflect on recent officer deaths

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The murder of Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy John Durm is the third Indiana law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in the past two weeks.

“I have a nephew that is an Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy in Orlando,” said Sheryl Meuchel of Beech Grove. Sheryl and her husband David changed their porch light to blue in a show of support for law enforcement.

They’re not alone – several other central Indiana residents are sharing pictures of blue lights around their homes to show their respect for law enforcement.

Rick Snyder, the president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police, says officers are feeling the support, even with a simple change of lights.

“A lot of them could be wondering, ‘Is this even worth it? Am I making a difference?’ And they’re driving down your neighborhood while you sleep, but down the street, they see that blue light. That’s a beacon of hope to them. It’s a reminder that people need them and want them there,” Snyder said.

Snyder was in Tell City, attending the funeral of fallen police Sgt. Heather Glenn, when he heard about Durm’s death.

“They were actually getting ready to dismiss our row, that’s where we were at that time in the service. As we were gathering our stuff to stand and be dismissed, we started to receive notifications about what happened back home,” Snyder said.

David and Sheryl say they were shocked to hear the news about Durm, especially since it happened days after the deaths of Glenn and Indiana State Police Trooper Aaron Smith.

“You very seldom hear when there is a good story involving police, it’s always the negative, something happened someone is upset and we just want to support them,” David said.

Deputy Durm’s death is the first time in 21 years that a Marion County Sheriff’s Office lost a deputy in the line of duty.

Marion County Sheriff’s Office used to share road patrol responsibilities with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, until they lost their Road Patrol and Investigations divisions as part of a merger with IMPD in 2007.