TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — There is a growing tribute of flowers and mementos surrounding a police car outside the Terre Haute Police Department (THPD). The gifts are from community members coming by to honor Detective Greg Ferency. He was killed this week in the line of duty, making him the third officer that THPD has lost in that manner in the last decade.
“It brings back all the memories of the other officers in the past 10 years,” says Brittney Dunkley whose father and brother are in law enforcement. “It’s like we are doing it all over again.”
On Thursday night, community members walked a mile from the Terre Haute police station in honor of Detective Ferency. Organizers say the gesture was inspired by a boy from Florida. Zechariah Cartledge is a 12-year-old who lives just north of Orlando. In 2019, he started a non-profit called Running 4 Heroes. He runs a mile to honor fallen first responders.
On Thursday night, he too was running for Detective Ferency. On his runs, he is always accompanied by a police car, and carries a blue line flag. The flag is sent to the first responder’s family along with a hand written note.
“I shared [Zechariah’s] post on Facebook and said if anybody would like to come join us at the police department and walk a mile along with him, that that’s what I wanted,” detailed Dunkley.
“Since 2019, I’ve run just over 950 miles for first responders who have lost their life in the line of duty, and given over $145,000 dollars to twenty recipients for our injured first responder grant which we started after our non-profit,” added Zechariah Cartledge before his run. “I will say a prayer for the family after the run.”
Zachariah posts his runs on the Facebook page for his non-profit Running 4 Heroes. People can also leave comments or condolences there.