In a surprise move, police officers show up to support Westville grad whose dad died in the line of duty in 2005

St. Joseph County Sheriff Bill Redman congratulates John Brand following the graduation ceremonies.

The newly graduated young man stands in the center surrounded by the officers who came for support.

John Brand stands with his mom and Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Peach.

WNLP story and photos by Mike Kellems

Nearly two dozen police officers from around the state made graduation day 2019 a special event for one Westville High School senior.

On Feb. 18, 2005, Monroe County Sheriff’s Sergeant William Brand was killed in the line of duty. Sergeant Brand was on his way home from his shift as a corrections supervisor when he was shot and killed in an ambush by a former inmate.

John Brand was 3 years old when his father died. His family later moved to LaPorte County, where John began attending school in Westville.

School Resource Officer Scott Lanoue, who was assigned to the Westville schools, worked with the school administration and invited police officers to attend the graduation. In all, 21 police officers from Porter County, LaPorte County, St. Joseph County, Monroe County, Indiana Department of Correction, Indiana State Police, and LaPorte and Westville police departments attended the graduation, held June 8, 2019, at Westville High School. The Westville Police Department hosted the officers at its police station and provided lunch following the graduation.

John and his mother Stacy were kept in the dark and were overwhelmed by the show of support. Following the ceremony, John greeted and thanked each officer who came before posing for a group photo.

John will be attending Indiana University in the fall.

5 Responses to “In a surprise move, police officers show up to support Westville grad whose dad died in the line of duty in 2005”

  1. Stacy Brand-Lesley

    Jun 10. 2019

    The Brand Family would like to thank the Westville School Resource Officer Lanoue for making this possible. They would also like to thank all the officers who came no matter how far, to make it an even more memorable day for John. It was so very Bittersweet.

    Stacy Brand-Lesley
    John’s Mother
    Widow of William R Brand EOW 2/8/05

    Reply to this comment
  2. Becky Blake

    Jun 10. 2019

    This was a very special act of love. I feel blessed to have been able to be there to witness. Our officers deserve much respect and prayers everyday. Thank all of you very much. God bless and keep you safe.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Kathy Fleming

    Jun 12. 2019

    It was so heartwarming to see all the officers there to support WHS senior John Brand, such a special group of officers, there to honor John and his dad. Bless you all and may you all stay safe and well.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Kisha Saboff

    Jun 15. 2019

    What an amazing show of support from all of these officers, I am very sure that this young man and his mother are feeling the love from their lost loved one in these wonderful men in blue. I’m not at all surprised that Officer Scott planned this, he is a very special person himself! Westville Schools are so lucky to have him!! Hugs Scott, we miss you! T&K

    Reply to this comment
  5. Kathy Smith

    Jun 16. 2019

    What a wonderful show of support for this young man. Officer Scott Lanoue is a wonderful man! Love ya Scotty! Tommy and Kathy

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply