Indy boy raises thousands for bulletproof vests

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indianapolis police officers will be safer thanks to 8-year-old Jacen Troxell and his little brother.  The boys are the force behind a GoFundMe page raising money for bulletproof vests for IMPD officers.

After the murder of Officer Perry Renn last month, they wanted to raise $10,000 to buy bulletproof vests for police. Their parents helped.  Mom and Dad admit they expected only family and friends to donate. They said they didn’t imagine the fundraiser could be as successful as it is.

On Thursday, a donation from Crown Hill Cemetery & Funeral Home and Leppert Mortuaries added $1,000 to the campaign.

“Sure enough, he’s raised well over $10,000. He’s up to over $16,000 now,” said Detective Andrew Troxell, father of the boys.

Several years ago, Jacen had a school project to answer the question “What do you wish?”  His was “I wish that police officers would not get killed.”

Detective Troxell said, since he’s no longer on street patrol, “I don’t necessarily need [the fundraiser] for myself.  But there’s other officers.”

So, they decided to start with the shift of IMPD Officer Perry Renn.

Renn was killed in a gun fight with a suspect in July. That was a personal loss for Detective Troxell.  He and Renn were “beat partners” in the first years of Troxell’s career.

“Pretty much everything I learned, I learned from Perry,” Troxell told 24-Hour News 8.

For considering the needs of other officers, “proud doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about Jacen right now,” said the detective.

He’s equally grateful to the donors.

“There’s no words to express, basically, the community’s support,” he said.

The success of this fundraiser is well-timed. The latest donation comes just days before a painful police anniversary. On Monday, officers will remember the gun battle that killed Indianapolis Police Officer Jake Laird.

Detective Troxell was injured in that incident.

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