INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) – Among the dozens of officers, hospital employees and people who participated in the procession on Monday for Deputy Pickett was Jerry Baker, more often known as “Jason Baker’s dad.”
Jason Baker was a Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy who was shot and killed in the line of duty in September of 2001. He was just 24.
Jerry, who had a long career in law enforcement himself, said when Deputy Pickett was shot, his mind flashed back to the things he went through.
“You take a deep breath and you say ‘Here’s an opportunity to serve, and to help somebody else like somebody helped me get through this,'” Baker said.
Baker said he was asked to go to the hospital on Friday after Deputy Pickett was shot.
“Had an opportunity to deal with some of the officers that helped make sure Jacob got to the hospital correctly and then his mom and dad came in and his sister and I took a little bit of time with them and explained to them what was going on and took them into see their son,” said Baker.
“The most important reason is that somebody did it for me and it was very, very helpful, it was very, very powerful and if I could give a little bit of that back so to pay it forward a little bit, then I want to be of service,” he said.
Baker says he’s been touching base with them the last few days, especially the officers involved, many of whom he taught in training courses, including Deputy Pickett.
“When he was in the academy, in the basic academy, there’s a couple of classes that I teach out there, just maybe of two and a half, three hours and it has to do with actually talking about line of duty deaths and it also talks about being prepared for the things that you’re going to face out there on the street and keeping your mind in the game,” said Baker.
Baker said one of the most important things for all survivors is that their officer is remembered. Every year, Jason and other fallen officers are remembered at the Beyond the Badge 5K, a run benefiting the Jason Baker Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships to people pursuing careers in public safety.
“Everywhere I go, as I’ve said before, I’m Jason Baker’s dad, and people remind me of what a great kid he was and a finer officer that he was and that will be the same for Jacob, and we want to make sure his legacy goes forward.”