NOBLESVILLE — Families of fallen officers may have to bear funeral costs, and a new foundation in Indiana hopes to change that.
Among the most solemn moments are the funerals of police officers. No matter the agency or the circumstances, the ceremonies are poignant, personal, and profound.
In many cases, families of fallen officers killed on the job have been responsible for paying for their funerals.
"My God, we have to do better than this. We have to be able to do better than this," Doug Carter, Indiana State Police Superintendent, said. "This is not about who; not one agency — it's about all of us."
The 'Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation,' a newly created group, is setting out to do better.
The not-for-profit is creating a fund to cover funeral costs, everything from the casket to the carnations.
"I can't imagine after this is all done, a funeral home delivering a bill," Carter said.
Images showcasing a fallen officer often spark the public's interest to contribute to social media campaigns. The Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation wants to make sure families receive 100 percent of the money raised.
"We want to avoid Go Fund Me, the hap-hazard funds that are set up and established because of tax liability," Superintendent Carter said. "And number two, with Go Fund Me, there's an administrative slice off of the top, so all that money does not go to the family."
The foundation wants to ease the immense grief of a loss and wants those families to focus on their loved one's life and legacy — not on fees.
In Marion County, Metro Police says none of the families of fallen officers has received a bill.
The department says the generosity of the public and businesses from funeral homes to florists is a significant help.
The generosity may not be available across the state, so the foundation is raising dollars to make sure police departments don't have to scramble during the funeral of a fallen officer.
How you can donate to the Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation:
- Visit their office at 1710 South 10th Street in Noblesville
- Visit their website at indianasfinest.com