Criminal Justice

Pence Honors Merrillville Officer Nickolaus Schultz

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September 15, 2104 — Family, friends, and community members gathered Monday to remember Nickolaus Schultz, the first police officer from the Merrillville Police Department killed on duty. Governor Mike Pence delivered the below remarks at the funeral of Schultz, who died Sept. 7th from a gunshot wound.

You can read the full transcript below:


“To Dale and Coleen, to Heather, to Grandma Herring, Grandma and Grandpa Shields, and members of the extended family. To friends and neighbors from Lowell and Franklin College, to here in the city of Merrillville. Senator Donnelly and elected officials who made time to be present, and all of the members of the public safety community who fill this hall and join us across this community, across this state, and across this nation.

“Karen and I offer our deepest sympathies and prayers on the loss of your beloved son, brother, high school sweetheart, friend, and comrade—Officer Nickolaus Schultz. Here in Indiana, we have long acknowledged the ancient truth that we mourn with those who mourn, we grieve with those who grieve, and we know there is a time for every purpose under heaven.

“As Governor of the State of Indiana, it is my solemn duty to say that this is a time for all of Indiana to mourn. To mourn the passing all too soon of an extraordinary young man, whose time here, while short, made an incalculable and indelible impression on the community that he served, and will always inspire.

“As we’ve already heard, Officer Nick Schultz was a man who led from the front. Took the lead, and looked after those around him. Whether it was at Lowell High School, where Coach Carlson would call him part of the heart and soul of a winning team. The Red Devils would go to the state finals and have another championship season behind them. Whether it was his years at Franklin College, where he pursued his career studying criminology, preparing himself for a career in law enforcement. And on the football field, where he, again, would emerge as a leader from the offensive line, nonetheless selected by his peers, to be co-captain of the team.

“Or whether it was during his time on the Merrillville Police Force, where Officer Schultz was known for his leadership, his selflessness, and his passion for service. Just like he showed on September 5, when, without regard to his personal safety, this young officer led from the front to the end. He showed courage and dedication. Acting without regard for his personal safety to protect a community and to protect his colleagues and comrades. He acted that night. He saved lives at the cost of his own.

“Officer Nick Schultz lived a heroic life to the very end out of a love for his family and for this community. Even at the end of his life, as we’ve heard, he gave the gift of life to others. This fallen hero lived, loved and gave. And for that, he will always be remembered. I can assure you that Officer Schultz’ loss is felt deeply, not just in Merrillville, but all across the state of Indiana. We grieve. But as we read in Scriptures today, we do not grieve like the rest who have no hope. For we have our faith. We have our families. And heroes like Nick Schultz give us hope. So we come together to mourn a son, a brother, a sweetheart, a friend, a police officer. But we’ve also come to pay a debt. A debt of honor, and a debt of gratitude for the life of a leader and a public servant.

“We will never be able to fully repay the debt that we owe Officer Schultz for the service that he gave to this city and to this state. But we can honor him and his family. Not simply by remembering, but also as he might most wish—by dedicating ourselves again to the cause for which he died. To protect and serve the people of this community and this state. And by standing with renewed energy behind all of you, men and women who, like him, wear the uniform in the line of duty each and every day you risk all so that we can live free and prosperous lives. And this we will do.

“So to those who remember Officer Schultz and cherish him, I say from my heart, we cannot ease your pain. We can only stand with you and pray that the Lord himself might be a special comfort to each of you. The Old Book says that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. And that those who mourn, will be comforted.

“And those will be our prayers for you. So, Mom and Dad, Heather and Emilee, grandparents and family, and fellow officers and friends—on behalf of a grateful state, I offer our deepest and most sincere condolences. And defer to prayer, that those of you who knew and loved this remarkable young man, find comfort in your faith, in each other, and in absolute assurance that Indiana will never forget the service and sacrifice of Officer Nick Schultz. May his memory ever comfort, may it ever inspire, and may Officer Nick Schultz rest in peace.”

Source: Office of Governor Mike Pence

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