HOWARD COUNTY (WISH) – People across the country showed their support for the family of fallen Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz.
Koontz was shot and killed while serving a search warrant back in March. Now, a homemade project is providing his family with some comfort.
Indiana Going Blue has been collecting police patches from across the nation. They presented Koontz’s family with those patches Saturday. They were sewn into quilts, pillows and banners.
“It’s amazing to see all the patches from all over the world and all the love and support that we’ve had,” said Cassie Koontz, Carl’s wife.
“I never knew that something this tragic could bring a community together like this,” Cassie Koontz said.
Organizers say more than 1,200 patches were mailed in for the project. They were then stitched together to honor the fallen deputy and provide comfort to his family, including his young son, Noah.
“I hope it provides basically a sense of they’re not alone — that we will continue to think about them, that they will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers,” said Angi Cheeseman, president of Indiana Going Blue.
Cheeseman says many of the patches come with stories and were mailed in by people and other departments dealing with the same type of loss.
“Many of these were very emotional, because they’ve had officers lost too, and I know the bond that they feel,” Cheeseman said.
Koontz’s own deputy patches are in the middle of the quit. Organizers say they hope it’s a constant reminder for his family that they are never alone.
“Even when we feel like we are alone, knowing that somebody — even if they are 1,000 miles away — they’re still thinking about us and they’re always here for us,” Cassie Koontz said.
It’s something Cassie Koontz says she knows would make her husband proud.
“He was always about the community, so I think that he would have been proud of the community to know how much they’ve done for us,” she said.
The family also received a trunk to store the quilts in, laminated newspaper articles about Koontz and stuffed animals with his badge number.