ROCKFORD (WREX) – With blue ribbons tied on light posts and street signs, and flags at half staff, the signs of support for fallen deputy Jacob Keltner are visible all across McHenry County.
“He went to work and he never came home,” says Huntley resident Bonnie Jones.
Residents say in this type of close knit community, it’s a loss they all share and feel deeply.
“It makes you appreciate what officers do every day,” says Huntley resident Norman Jones. “He’s got two little boys who wont know him. We’ve got three children and I can’t imagine missing out on their growing up.”
“It makes you relate you think about your own small children at home,” says Woodstock Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Danielle Gulli. “And the letter his wife wrote was so touching and I think connected everyone either further to what they went through.”
And in the midst of a community’s grief, it’s leaning on one another to get through the dark days.
“I’m so happy how the community is coming together,” says Bonnie.”We were talking on the way here people have signs up and rest in peace and flags and half staff. Makes you so proud that there are enough people out there that do care, we don’t see that enough.”
While the next few days will be filled with tributes to the fallen deputy, community members say they want to make sure Officer Keltner and his family are kept in their hearts forever.
“Prayers to the family,” says Gulli. “He died a hero, we greatly appreciate the risk and sacrifice families like that take.”
13 News will have team coverage from Deputy Keltner’s funeral and procession from McHenry County.