The outpouring of support and love for the family of Det. Kristen Hearne following her death last week continues to grow, and now efforts are underway to remember her in another way by providing future help for her and Lt. Matt Hearne's three year old son Isaac.
A Go fund me campaign was started on Wednesday by Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd in order to establish a trust fund for Isaac, and thus far nearly $2,000 was added to the cause already, and promises of more are coming.
"Our goal is to put money aside in a trust fund for Isaac so that when he turns 18 when he graduates from school, he'll have money to do whatever with his life," Dodd said. "We just felt like as a police department that we want to take care of Isaac because we feel like that's what Kristen would want us to do. So we've started this trust with the permission of (Matt.)"
Legal work to establish the trust is being handled by the County Attorney Brad McFall with the help of his partner Wright Gammon.
Those who want to make contributions but don't want to go through the hassle of going online can write checks directly to the Isaac Hearn Trust fund and leave them at the Polk County Police Department, Dodd said, who will handle them personally.
Additionally, Dodd said those who want memorial t-shirts to honor Hearne can purchase them through the Polk County Police Department, with proceeds going to the trust fund as well. Those interested can call the office at 770-748-7331 and tell the secretaries their information such as sizes and quantities, and bring money by, with those who wish to order able to pick them up after delivery and will be contacted by the police department.
"We just want to make sure that when Isaac comes of age, he'll have the choice to do whatever he decides he wants to do," Dodd said.
Joining in that effort is Sherry Anderson, who is organizing efforts to allow people to purchase t-shirts honoring Det. Hearne while also making donations to the trust.
T-shirt sales are $10 for youth sizes, and adult small through adult extra large for $12, and larger sizes than that at $15.
The next round of orders going to the printer is Oct. 16, so Anderson has asked that those interested in making a purchase to get orders in by Oct. 11.
Shirts can be purchased through the City of Aragon at their office or by calling 770-684-6563, or through Anderson directly at 678-901-2065. All the profits from the shirts will go the fund.
"Everyone is getting a receipt for their shirts, and I'm going to turn all the funds over to Chief Dodd whenever we get them to contribute to the trust being setup," Anderson said.
Georgia Vinyl and Thread are starting off printing orders for local police officers first who already put in orders, she added.
Additional efforts for fundraising include April Sosebee and Beth White to organize a benefit barbecue for the Hearne family. It will be held on Oct. 21 from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Polk County Police Department, with all funds also going toward the trust fund being established for Isaac.
Plates will be $8 each. Tickets are on sale now at Polk County Police Department, the Aragon Police Department, through Jada Campbell Edwards at the City of Rockmart, Kattie Trammell with the Polk County Emergency Management Agency and ALLSTAR Motors in Rockmart. Sosebee, White and Richelle Barber Dodd are also selling tickets as well in the community ahead of the barbecue sale itself.
A local Redmond EMS driver is also joining efforts to help raise money for Hearne's family. Alex Hazell said his moonlighting business Hazell Bladesmithing and Forge will be raffling off one of his custom made knives with a sheath during an Oct. 25 livestream on his facebook page. Those interested can purchase tickets for $5 each or 5 for 20 through Oct. 22, and can be purchased through the Cedartown Fire Department, Rockmart Fire Department, from any off duty Polk County 911 operator or Redmond EMS employee.
He's also accepting Paypal for those not in the area who want a chance to purchase tickets and help out Hearne's family and those interested can message him directly via his business' Facebook page. 100 percent of the funds will go directly to help the Hearne family, Hazell said.
A Go Fund Me campaign started by Attorney Jessi Glover of Cedartown has already exceeded a goal of $5,000 since it was started on Sept. 29, and has $6,000 pledged from 117 people in just 5 days.
The campaign is still going, Glover said.
"I didn't know her personally, but my husband is a police officer in Rome," she said. "Her husband is a cop too. I'm a stranger with good intentions."
"I intend to keep it open until donations slow, she said.
"So far there hasn't been a day that it hasn't gotten several donations," she said. "I've been excited by the community and how well they've responded to this, helping his (Matt Hearne's) family out when they just lost her."
She said she felt it was the right thing to do.
Also raising money for the Hearne family is Thinbluelineusa.com selling the National Police Flag wristbands in honor of Det. Hearne.
According to Peter Forhan, a spokesperson for the fundraising site, this was Thin Blue Line's 40th campaign so far in 2017. The website began in late 2016 following the death of an officer in Detroit City, Mich., after the site's founders couldn't find a national organization that raised money online specifically for officer's families.
"We sell the bracelets for all of our fundraisers," Forhan explained. "We see it as a way that we can bridge communities across the country in support for law enforcement."
So far the campaign has raised $3,000 for Hearne, and is linked to another online campaign at Officerdown.us started by a user known only as "Jenni." They have raised another $625.00 as of this report for the family as well.
Does your group or organization have a campaign raising funds for Det. Kristen Hearne? Let us know by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-748-1520.