WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – The Jake Laird Community Day was held on Tuesday in conjunction with Westfield Police Department’s National Night Out.
The event is similar to other national night out gatherings, but this one honors a hero.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Jake Laird was shot in the line of duty back in 2004 when a man opened fire on officers, injuring four and killing Laird.
The family of Laird says this event represents his life of service, dedicated to keeping others safe and building relationships.
“He loved doing community events. He loved really being able to serve the undeserved in the community, so having this named after him just seems so appropriate,” said Debbie Laird, Jake’s mother. “We all know that he was shot and killed in the line of duty, but it is really events like this that are how he lived his life.”
This is the seventh year the Lairds have worked with Westfield Police to hold this event.
“We want to make sure that we honor him and keep up the tradition of making sure we are building bridges with the community,” said Captain Charles Hollowell with Westfield Police.
Debbie Laird said the event means a lot to her family and she knows it would mean a lot to her son.
“Losing a child is extremely difficult and really no amount of community service makes that go away, but for us, this is healing. This helps us heal.”
Officer Jake Laird’s parents have also set up a Memorial Fund in his name. So far they’ve raised more than $700,000 for police and fire causes. To learn more about that click here.