Boone County sheriff emails staff about mental health, future plans in wake of Dep. Pickett's death

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. -- The Boone County sheriff is telling his staff “it’s OK to hurt” after burying a fellow deputy who was shot and killed in the line of duty.

Sheriff Mike Nielsen made that comment as part of an open letter to Boone County sheriff's employees Saturday morning, just hours after the burial of Deputy Jacob Pickett.

"This pain, grief, and suffering will not go away anytime soon and for some of us, it may never go away. We must conquer this journey together," said Nielsen.

The sheriff let his staff know there is help for those who may think it's too soon to come back and says he will work with them to determine the best day for them to return based on how they are emotionally handling Dep. Pickett's death.  Sheriff Nielsen acknowledged he will also need a few days to get away to gather his thoughts.

Nielsen has been a very vocal advocate for mental health treatment for officers over the past few years.

READ | Boone Co. sheriff asks for better mental health care

In addition, the sheriff addressed his plans for moving forward in the days, weeks and months to come.

"Knowing Jake and his attitude toward his job, he wants us to get back into the saddle and begin to fight that good fight once again. He knows that the thin blue line is not as strong without you on it."

Sheriff Nielsen says while some may think some of these things are too premature to discuss, it's his job to make sure the Boone County Sheriff's Office gets back to normalcy while never forgetting Dep. Pickett.

Here are a few of the items he listed:

  • The front office of sheriff's office will be closed Monday so the sheriff, administrative staff and command staff can disassemble Jake's memorial
  • Determining what will happen to Dep. Pickett's vehicle and equipment
  • The sheriff will be looking for staff to volunteer to work on the best way to memorialize Jake
  • Planning a retirement ceremony for Brik and making sure he is taken care of
  • Documenting donations, gifts, etc. and figure out at time to present them to Dep. Pickett's wife, Jennifer, and family as a group
  • "Meet with Jen this week or next to discuss many things related to Jake"

Read Sheriff Nielsen's full post below:

MORE | Saying goodbye: Burial of Dep. Jacob Pickett | Remembering Jake: The funeral of Deputy Jacob Pickett | Deputy Pickett's K-9 stops alone at his casket | PHOTOS: Deputy Pickett's 52-mile procession  PHOTOS: Burial of Dep. Jacob Pickett at Crown Hill Cemetery | PHOTOS: Deputy Jacob Pickett's funeral |  Dep. Jacob Pickett passes away; hundreds turn out for his procession | Dep. Pickett's cruiser memorialized in front of Boone County Sheriff's Office | What led to fatal wounding of Boone Co. deputy| Father of suspect in Boone County deputy's fatal shooting apologizes

Print this article Back to Top