BELLEVUE, Iowa (AP) — A fallen Iowa officer’s son and his family received a special presentation Friday that offered support from law enforcement officers around the country.
Anamosa police Officer Mitch Kelchen died in a car crash over Labor Day weekend while off duty. After his death, Kelchen’s oldest son, Shane, collected business cards from other officers but someone at his school destroyed the cards.
News of that trouble spread and officers around the country sent Shane cards. He now has more than 10,000 cards, plus challenge coins, patches and letters of support, Des Moines television station KCCI reported.
Kansas City, Kansas, got involved and on Friday presented two frames full of more than 150 business cards, including one of Mitch Kelchen’s cards.
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Shane and his family weren’t sure what to expect when they walked into the Bellevue, Iowa, station on Friday. While looking at the cards, Shane found his dad’s card.
“We didn’t know that he had a business card and I didn’t have one of his, so that’s the first one I’ve gotten,” Shane said.
Officer Travis Toms said after hearing the boy’s story, he started collecting cards throughout the Kansas City, Kansas, department and detectives supplied him with cards from departments from New York to Los Angeles.
Shane’s mom, Tina Kelchen, said the support her family has received has been “beyond anything I could have ever even imagined.”
“I knew (police officers) we were all one family, but this has really reinforced that they’re all truly there for us, they’re right by our side, they have been through this whole process,” she said.
Toms said the boy’s story “hits home.”
“The child is about the same age as my son too,” he said. “I’d want someone to look out for mine as well if it were to happen to me.”
Information from: KCCI-TV, http://www.kcci.com