Former Tell City Police reserve officer dies of COVID-19

Former Tell City Police reserve officer dies of COVID-19

TELL CITY, Ind. (WFIE) - Tell City Police are mourning the loss of a former reserve officer due to COVID-19.

They tell 14 News that Jimmy Braunecker was a reserve officer for nearly a decade.

According to his obituary, Braunecker was also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Jimmy Braunecker
Jimmy Braunecker (Source: Zoercher-Gillick Funeral Home)

“Before he was placed on the ventilator, he just said, ‘I love you buddy, just pray for me, just pray,’ and that’s the last words I heard him say,” Dakota Braunecker, Jimmy’s son said.

Braunecker lost his battle against the coronavirus on Monday.

”This past Sunday is when they said we think he’s going to be okay, he’s coming around a little bit better,” Dakota said.

But just as things seemed to be looking up.

”That night is when they called me and said your dad isn’t doing well, we don’t think he’s going to make it another day,” Dakota said.

Dakota had to say goodbye to his father.

”Why couldn’t it have been me and not him.” Dakota said. “My dad was always one to help others and it just didn’t make sense why it was happening to him.”

Tell City Police officials remember Jimmy as a friend and as part of their work family.

”Jimmy was just a friend to everyone here at the police department,” Roger Smith with the Tell City Police Department said. “Even outside of the police department, there were gatherings and Jimmy was always included. Jimmy was a very unique reserve because he spent enough time with us that he acquired the training needed to be able to patrol on his own. Responding off duty, just one of those guys, you know? Very caring guy.”

Dakota is now encouraging others to wear their masks and vaccinate as soon as possible.

”My dad did everything and we did everything we thought we could do to stay away from COVID, and he’s gone,” Dakota said. “My dad is no longer here because of a COVID situation.”

Braunecker’s viewing is being held Thursday at Zoercher Gillick Funeral Home in Tell City from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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