When Jacen Troxell was just 4 years old, he made a profound wish "that police officers would not get killed" as part of a kindergarten class assignment. Unfortunately, his wish hasn't come true yet.
But Jacen, whose father is a member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), is doing everything he can to make his hope for police safety a reality, WTHR News reported. Using a GoFundMe page, the now-8-year-old has helped raise more than $11,500 to buy bulletproof plates that combine with vests to protect IMPD officers. The plates, which can cost several hundred dollars a piece, can ensure safety against high-power rifle fire -- something a bulletproof vest alone cannot reliably do.
A video of Jacen's reaction when his fundraising goal of $10,000 was passed has been posted by his mother on the GoFundMe page:
Jacen, along with his 5-year-old brother, Ben, were moved to act after one of their father's coworkers, IMPD Officer Perry Renn, was killed by gunfire earlier this month.
Officials in Indiana's capital are concerned about an upward trend in criminal activity the city has been experiencing. As a graph in the Indianapolis Star reflected in April, Indianapolis' criminal homicide rate had fallen between 2006 and 2010, but has since reversed its progression. The Christian Science Monitor reported in May that the city is on pace to have its worst year regarding gun violence since 1998.
Jacen's attempt to curb the violence and protect officers is a welcomed gesture in a city looking for positive change. One commenter on the GoFundMe page told Jacen's mother it "is amazing what your son is doing," while 168 donations have poured in (as of Friday afternoon) in less than a week.
To donate to Jacen's cause helping protect police officers in Indianapolis, visit his GoFundMe page.