In memory of Lt. Aaron Allan

Southside residents and neighbors pay their respects to Southport Police officer who was killed in the line of duty on July 27

“It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived.”
-Vivian Eney Cross

Aaron Allan earned Officer of the Year in 2015. *Photo by Nicole Davis

In the last week, people of all walks of life have come together to remember Southport Police Lt. Aaron Allan.

Allan, a six-year officer for the Southport Police Department, lost his life in the line of duty on July 27.

Lt. Allan is a veteran of the U.S. Airforce, has a degree in criminal justice and has nearly 20 years of law enforcement experience. He came onto the Southport Police Department as a reserve officer in 2011, working full-time as an officer for the Franklin Township Community School Corporation.

“When I met him, he always reminded me of some country boy,” said Southport Police Chief Thomas Vaughn. “He was always talking about hunting. He was always talking about fishing. We used to call him ‘country’ for awhile because that’s what he was always talking about. When I came onto the department, I was doing the training. I was a detective. He wanted to get into being a detective in narcotics. He would ask what classes he should get into. He was the guy that always wanted to go to training. He went to two classes this year already. He was just a good ole’ guy. He loved his wife, he loved his kids and he loved hunting and fishing.”

Allan was promoted to Southport’s first-ever full-time police officer position in January 2017. He was also

Aaron Allan takes a turn in the dunk tank during National Night Out in 2016.

in charge of the training program at the Southport Police Academy.

“It’s not just a job,” Vaughn said. “He put his heart into it every day. (For example) We got a call for a lady, a suicidal person. We found the car but we couldn’t find her. We had officers go to her house, go to Speedway. She was walking. It was cold and raining. It wasn’t a good day to be out. He walked over to the cemetery on Southport Road and walked to the creek bed. She had overdosed in the creek bed. He came running up to me. He said ‘I need NARCAN,’ then ran back and actually saved her life. We had looked for her. We could have stopped there. To him, that wasn’t good enough. He wanted to find her. He wanted to make sure she was okay. To me, that’s a good police officer. That’s what it’s all about.”

A resident of the Northwest side of Indianapolis, he prioritized his family – his wife, Stacy and two sons. On July 27, Allan asked Vaughn for permission to come in late so that he could walk his youngest son to school on his first day of kindergarten.

That afternoon, at 2:30 p.m., while on duty, he responded to a car crash at South Madison and Maynard avenues. The vehicle was inverted with the driver and a passenger still inside. He leaned in to ask the driver, 28-year-old Jason Brown, if he was ok, when the driver shot at Allan multiple times.

Allan interacts with guests at National Night Out 2016.

Allan was transported to the Eskanazi Hospital with a full escort of emergency personnel. His death was announced that evening.

A Homecroft police officer and an off-duty Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy, who had stopped to help, had returned fire, striking one of the individuals. Both people inside the car were taken to the hospital, one for injuries sustained from being shot, and the other from injuries believed to have been sustained during the crash. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Critical Incident Response Team, is handling the criminal and officer-involved shooting investigations.

Lt. Allan is the first-ever Southport police officer to be killed in the line of duty.

“You never think you have to deal with this,” said Southport Mayor Russell McClure. “This never happens here, but it can and it did. It’s a tough week.”

Allan entered his chili in the Perry Township Kiwanis Chili Cook-off on Feb. 24, 2017. Pictured from left, Burnett Carnish, Aaron Allan and Cameron Ellis.

It wasn’t long that evening before the community began to gather at the Southport Police station, where officers had parked Allan’s police vehicle. Everything in the car will remain as he left it, from what was on his computer to what was playing on the radio, until after the funeral.

Community members have left flowers, handwritten notes, teddy bears, photographs and donations for Allan’s family. Southport officers have stood outside to speak with residents, neighbors, friends and family as they also take the time to remember Lt. Allan.

“He was always very thorough with what he did and very fair,” said Assistant Police Chief David Howe. “He always put the community first. The way that he passed is a reflection of who he was. He went in there to help that guy, to help those people, because all he knew was there was an inverted vehicle with possibly people inside.”

2015, Allan prepares to bat in a Beep Baseball game against professional team Indy Thunder.

Visitation for Lt. Allan is Aug. 4, 2 to 7 p.m. at Crown Hill Cemetery. His funeral service is Aug. 5, 11 a.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Both are open to the public.

A fundraiser has been established at gofundme.com/fallen-officer-lt-aaron-allan, with a $100,000 goal to be used for the family’s expenses. Indiana Going Blue, which can be found on Facebook, is selling a memorial t-shirts with proceeds to benefit the family and is collecting law enforcement patches to make a quilt for the family. Other fundraisers are being organized.

Remembering Lt. Aaron Allan

Allan and Howe join the rest of the police officers in doing the Macarena at Southport’s Beach Party event in 2015.

He always led by example. He was a very, very valuable piece of our training department. He helped teach the young recruits the proper way to do things. Was he a great field training officer? Absolutely. Even some of the guys talk about getting in the car with him first and how much he helped them along the way. … I still remember all the Second Saturdays (the Southport Parks Department) did. He was with me the day they did the potato sack races. He was never afraid to make a fool of himself for the community, to make everybody laugh.

-David Howe

Assistant police chief, Southport PD

 

They blessed us with Christmas in 2014. We were going through some major medical problems. A friend of ours lived near one of the officers in Southport. Next thing you know, we were getting a call from the chief and his wife wanting to do Christmas for us. They met us and the next thing I know, they’re coming to our house, taking our daughter to Chuck E. Cheese’s for the night while the rest of them brought the gifts for her.

I found out today, we’re the reason they call him Teddy Bear. They let him know what we were going through and he was the first one to jump up and say ‘what do we do?’ It was a true blessing. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have had a Christmas. He was going through cancer. Neither of us worked. Our car broke down and we couldn’t get it to the radiation. They bought us a brand new battery. They blessed our daughter with the biggest Christmas she would ever get, with bills, gift cards so we could go out to eat. For them to come in our lives when they did, it meant a lot to us. I will never forget any of them. The feeling that I have, them telling me this today, it took a whole different meaning. They have no idea what they’ve done for us. They’re in our hearts forever.

– Angie Conner, pictured with Chuck Williams

 

*Submitted photo

One night, we were a car short so we drove over to Lt. Allan’s house because we needed to get his car… He was okay with me driving it. I was pretty new out of (field training). I get in it and hit the presets on his radio. They were horrible. They were all country. I turn it onto 100.9. It was not his type of music at all. I kept telling him I’d change his presets. He gets all serious and says you better not do it. I left 1 through 6 alone, but I changed 7, 8, 9. I guarded my keys ever since then because he told me if he ever got a hold of my car, my presets were going to change. He didn’t like the music choice I put on my radio. I guarded my car keys ever since. … I always did something he would roll his eyes at. He’s say, “only you,” then he’d leave.

– Ethan Roark
Southport police officer

 

He worked the day shift. My office is not in the church. It’s in the building next door. I have a big window in the front. Most days when I was there, Aaron would stop right in front of the window so I could see him. He’d give me a point like are you ok? I’d give him a thumbs up. That became our thing.

He was always concerned about people. He was very invested in other people. To the outside, to those that didn’t know him, he came across as gruff. But those that knew him he was that ‘teddy bear.’ I’m blown away by all the people that said ‘I just talked to him yesterday.’ If he was here, I’d say ‘man Aaron, did you ever do any work?’ He would have laughed. But that was his job. If he wasn’t on a call, he was checking in on people.

Aaron wasn’t a guy, as far as his feelings, wouldn’t tell you in front of a group of people. But he would tell you how he felt about you, in a manly way, away from people. When I first saw his face, I thought, ‘who is this guy?’ His face was very stoic. You couldn’t read him. He looked like one of these vets with a thousand yard stare. When I got to know him, I said, ‘you ain’t that tough.’ He said ‘shh, don’t tell anybody.’

Stephen Gossage

Southport police chaplain

Pastor at Point of Hope Apostolic Church

Janet Raymond pays her respects. *Photo by Brian Ruckle

My daughter had moved back home at the beginning of the last school year. She wasn’t watching her speed. He pulled her over, gave her a ticket. A couple of weeks later, in the patrol vehicle, he goes by and Linda yells “slow down!” He stopped, backed up, and saluted her. I guess she felt froggy and thought she’d yell. When I told some of the officers at the police department, they said that sounds like Allan. He was constantly concerned about the traffic. We’re so lucky to have the police department we do. Southport, it’s like we’re all family. We love one another. If someone doesn’t love you back, you still be kind. We may not know him personally, but they’re out guys and they watch out for us.

Janet Raymond, Southport

 

He was very professional. I would see him in the office here when I got here after hours. A lot of times we joked around, cop humor. I could come in and hassle him. He’d hassle me. That’s kind of what you do. I consider all of the police my friends. We’re one big family. He liked to hunt and fish a lot. I do, too. We had a lot of conversations about that. So we had some common ground as far as extracurriculars that we do. But when he was on the job, he was very professional, very serious. He just did a great job.

-Southport Mayor Russell McClure

 

For six months, three-year-old Sam Williams visited the Southport Police Department, thanking the officers for their service and looking forward to receiving his police sticker that that officers hand out. He even got his own police officer uniform to wear during his visits and has started bringing friends along. To thank Sam, the officers pitched in to purchase an electronic toy police car for Sam to drive while he dreams of becoming a police officer some day. Aaron Allan was a leading force in that effort.

Sam’s mom, Alyssa, reflects on that day:

“Specifically, I remember him, because he came up to shake Sam’s hand. He was just very friendly and nice. Sam knew him by name, so I know he had an impression on Sam. Sam has such respect for the police. We all do. It’s just nice having a police department that’s so involved in the community. They go above and beyond. It’s something to be proud of in the community.”

-Alyssa Moreno

 

Chief Vaughn presents the Officer of the Year Award to Allan in 2015.

Yesterday this older gentleman comes up. He said that he had met Aaron. He was getting ready to have a hip surgery and was getting ready to walk a little bit. The only thing he could find was a two-by-four and he was using it as a cane. He said, I live over at Madison Village. I was going down South Street and I see this officer pull up. He asked, ‘are you going to beat on someone?’ He explained about his hip surgery. Six months later, he had his hip surgery and the hospital gave him a cane. He was walking down the street and here comes Aaron. He rolls down the window and says where’s you steal the cane from? He says, ‘I didn’t, the hospital gave it to me.’ Aaron said, so how is your hip doing? How long was your surgery?’ He was so taken back that six months later (Aaron) would remember the guy. As time progressed, he didn’t have the cane anymore. Every day he would walk and he saw Aaron every day, and he would say ‘how’s the hip doing?” The guy couldn’t believe that of everybody we see every day, that he would remember him with just that short five, 10 minute conversation.

That’s what I want everybody to understand. He was a community police officer. He got out of his car. He talked to people. He knew them by name. That’s the kind of police officer he was.

-Thomas Vaughn

Chief of Police, Southport

 

Lt. Allan and Major Craighead were out in another car. I was still in (field training). I was still getting used to listening to the radio traffic. A run came out over the radio. I swore they said Stoutfield. Then I heard my radio number and my location. I thought they must be talking to me. So I hit up on the radio and said, ‘I’m in route.’ They said, ‘in route to what?’ I said, ‘that call that just came out.’ Craighead looks over at me and says ‘disregard.’ I hear laughing over the tac radio. We met up with them somewhere, and the second we pull up, Allan is dying laughing. He said ‘me and major had to pull over. Oh my God, that was so funny.’ I had thought that sounded like him over the radio. He completely tricked me.

-Angelia Witcher

Southport police officer

 

Southport is smack dab in the middle between my house and Extra Innings. I always make sure I’m “closely observing” the speed limit in Southport (anyone that lives on the Southside knows to watch their speed through there!)

Anyway, we’re heading home that night and I suddenly see flashing lights. I was a little miffed as I knew I was not speeding. The officer walked up to my window and says “ma’m, do you know your license plates are expired?” “What! Are they really??!” (For anyone that knows me, this doesn’t surprise you in the least ) We’re there a good 10 minutes or so while he runs my license, etc. Over the course of this conversation, he was so funny and so nice to me. Since my plates were a year expired, he said surely I had received the new sticker in the mail and had must have forgotten to put it on. I thanked him and told him I’d get it resolved the next day as I had the day off. He said “that’s a great idea. Go out to breakfast and go to the license branch!” He was even laughing at me because he said there’s no way I hadn’t been stopped in a year with expired plates. For the record, they were expired for a year, I had never noticed, and I had never been pulled over. You could tell he was just a very nice guy that was just doing his job.

As I read all the articles about the shooting death of a Southport officer today, I realized this was the same officer. My heart is broken to know he won’t go home to his family tonight. He simply stopped to help victims in a car accident and got shot doing his job. I simply do not understand all the senseless violence. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children tonight. I pray for all my boys and girls in blue. Be safe. Be vigilant. And make sure you come home.

– Christy Vavra

 

*Editor’s Note

Allan spends time at Uno Pizzeria where the Southport Police Department was hosting a fundraiser for ballistic vests in 2016.

The last time I spoke with Lt. Aaron Allan was July 24. I was at the Southport Police Station to talk with the chief about National Night Out when Allan came in to take a quick break and grab some food. I asked, as usual, how things have been. He didn’t answer verbally, he just smiled and gave a look to indicate everything was the same as usual: busy, hectic, the normal life of a police officer. But that smile also indicated how much he loved it. Why else would someone donate so many years, putting their life on the line every day, to volunteer as police officer? He was well-deserving of the department’s first full-time officer position which he was promoted to at the beginning of this year.

Allan was always extremely active in the Southport Police Department, even when he was a reserve, working full-time as a school resource officer in Franklin Township. He attended community events. He would talk and interact with the residents while he was out and about on the job. He would joke with me about how much his image was placed in the newspaper. He may not have been thrilled with the attention, but he was a good sport. He was pictured multiple times because he was always there setting a good example by simply being himself.

As we say farewell to an officer who served our community well, we’ll never forget the sacrifice he has made to keep us all safe.

-Nicole Davis

Letters:

Statement from Lt. Aaron Allan’s family,

It is with unimaginable emotion, that the Allan Family would like to express our deepest gratitude, for the outpouring of support we have and continue to receive from the Community and across our Country. Aaron, my husband, a family man, and an amazing friend to so many, helped anyone in need. Aaron was my rock and we are all so heartbroken. I will be forever grateful our Heavenly Father shared him with me and our boys, where we experienced such unconditional love. He was not only proud to wear the badge, he was a proud father and husband. There is no room in my heart for anger or hate, only peace knowing Aaron died doing what he loved. Aaron was honored to serve with his Brother’s and Sister’s in Blue. As we celebrate Aaron’s life in the coming days, the family would like to ask for our privacy. Please continue to demonstrate peace and support to our officers and first responders as they continue to hold the Thin Blue Line, for all of us. Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Stacy Allan and Family

 

We stand next to the City of Southport

As we say goodbye to Lt. Aaron Allan of the Southport Police Department, we must reaffirm our commitment to the citizens that we serve along with the men and women who serve as police officers that the safety of all is and has to be our first and highest priority.

As we witnessed, respect for our public safety servants has for the most part vanished from society and those dedicated professionals like Lt. Allan whose only desire was to help are taken from us.

To our friends to the south, the City of Beech Grove is with you and will always stand next to you. It will be my high honor to represent the City of Beech Grove next Saturday when we say goodbye to our friend and dedicated servant.

Dennis B. Buckley

Mayor

City of Beech Grove

 

Southport appreciates the support

The last few days have been an ordeal no city should have to endure. Lt. Aaron Allan gave his life in the service of others. He was more than just an outstanding officer, he was a dedicated husband and father, and a friend.

We truly appreciate the tremendous outpouring of support from the citizens of Southport, Mayor Hogsett and the City of Indianapolis, IMPD, MCSD, IFD, and countless people who have visited us at the City of Southport police department. Special thanks goes to Governor Holcomb and the Indiana State Police as well as the entire staff of Eskanazi Health. More thanks goes to Mayor Mark Meyers of Greenwood, Mayor Buckley of Beech Grove, Mayor Dory of Greencastle. I could go on and on in appreciation of those who have taken the time to visit and pay their respects to Lt. Allan and the SOPD. The citizens of Southport have proven themselves to be strong and resilient. People have asked, “what can we do?” I think the most important thing people can do is be good neighbors. If you see a police officer, tell them how much you appreciate them. Take some time to stop by the Southport City building in the next few days to show your support. Chief Vaughn and all of our officers have served the city with integrity and excellence and deserve our full support. Above all, support each other, that is what makes a city strong.

Cities are not buildings or streets, cities are people.

This next week will be exceedingly difficult for all of us. My prayer is that God will lift up the family of Lt. Allan and heal their wounds. My prayer is that God will keep and protect all of our police officers and their families.

We are all hurting.

Godspeed Lt. Allan, you are irreplaceable and will be missed.

Russell McClure

Mayor

City of Southport

Aaron Allan retires at flag at Southport’s Flag Retirement Ceremony on June 14, 2015.

Looking back…

The Southside Times featured Aaron Allan in Behind the Badge on October, 2015. Here, he answered questions about his inspirations and interests:

What was your inspiration to become a police officer?

My dad had a lot of friends in law enforcement. I always looked up to them and wanted to be a cop since I was 5 years old. As I got older, I grew the passion even more.

What has been one of your most gratifying moments on the job?

When I graduated Police Academy in 2011. I worked so long to get to that point. When I finally achieved the goal I had been searching for and wanting for so long, it was a big accomplishment for me.

What aspect of the job do you find most challenging?

Trying to get a happy medium between not only the citizens but the victims and suspects as well. Trying to figure out in a matter of minutes what is going on and get everyone to an agreement on what needs to happen.

What do you enjoy doing in your off-time?

Hunting, camping, fishing, playing with my kids or spending time with the family – my wife and kids.

What are your future goals, professionally or personally?

I’d like to keep going up the chain of command. I’d like to help bring new officers in, teaching them what I’ve learned in my years of law enforcement and ensure that they’re a better officer and can protect the citizens that they are going to serve.

What would you have done if you hadn’t of became a police officer/firefighter?

I started out going to be an accountant right out of high school. I figured out that I didn’t want a desk job. I’d probably have to do something outdoors, where the job is constantly changing.