The Jason M. Baker Foundation Inc., 501(c)3, is comprised entirely of community-focused volunteers who have dedicated themselves to the support of those in public safety. Our Mission is to raise money to fund the Jason M. Baker Public Safety Scholarships, which are awarded to students pursuing a college education in preparation for a career public safety. We are guided by the values Jason demonstrated in the performance of his duties which are dedication to service, community, and country. We strive to always honor and remember those who have given their lives in service to their community, as well as those who currently serve.
About Jason Baker
Badge Number: 232
Jason Matthew Baker was born on September 25, 1976. He grew up in a police family and always dreamed of being a police officer. At an early age, he would accompany his dad, the Police Chief, to the police station. There he would do his homework and often sit in dispatch. As he became older, he would ride with officers on patrol for short periods of time. At age 8, Jason met President George H. Bush after a speech in his community. President Bush was so impressed with Jason’s enthusiasm, and knowledge about a career in law enforcement that he took his program and signed it “Jason, Good luck”. This program was one of the many important keepsakes found in Jason’s apartment after his death.
While attending North Central High School, Jason participated in the Learning Unlimited Program, which allows students to pursue the same academic material through different methods of learning. Among these are community based experiences, such as public safety. Through this program, Jason performed an internship with the Washington Township Fire Department. He assisted members of Station 223 with duties at the firehouse and spent much of his free time volunteering at the department. In fact, Jason set a record for the number of community hours spent outside of school for Learning Unlimited. This record remains unbroken. As a result of his commitment and service, Jason was honored by North Central High School with a brick on their Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame includes such notables as astronaut David Wolf.
Jason began his law enforcement career as a police cadet at the Indianapolis Police Department at age 13, and as a police explorer with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department after that. He was hired as a Telecommunicator in the Communications Division of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department from 1995 through 1996 and as a Special Deputy transporting prisoners from 1997 until his appointment as a Merit Officer. Jason is the son of Jerry Baker, a retired law enforcement officer with 42 years of service. Jerry retired as the Director of the Albion Department of Public Safety. Jerry then began a second career with Indiana University Indianapolis Police Department where he retired in 2014.
Date of Incident: Monday, Sept 17, 2001
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Weapons Used: Rifle; AK-47
Suspect Info: One shot and killed; Three apprehended
Jason was descibed by his co-workers as someone who always seemed to know what was the right thing to do, and when something bad was about to happen. It was no different on Monday, September 17, 2001. Around 7:20 p.m., Jason was in route to assist two shift partners with a residential alarm when his attention was diverted by a suspicious vehicle which he attempted to investigate. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop and Jason pursued. During the pursuit one suspect, with a semi-automatic assault rifle opened fire on Jason, wounding him and doing damage to his patrol vehicle. Jason continued the pursuit and, as other joined in. more shots were fired. Unable to get free from the pursuit, the suspects turned a corner and set up an ambush. As Jason turned the corner, the suspect, with his assault rifle resting on the headrest, fired the last 4 shots from his 30 round magazine. One of those four rounds struck Jason just below his right eye. Jason died while enroute to the hospital. One of Jason’s beat partners accompanied Jason to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Jason’s father arrived on the scene & was told he had been transported to the hospital where he then responded to be with his son.
On September 21, 2001, Deputy Jason Matthew Baker was laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. “I wish all of you could have heard him on the radio Monday night, said Chaplain Rick Kassel of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. “He was a warrior. He was a true warrior. He was taking on fire. There was not an ounce of fear in him, and he still chased and fought to the end. Jason, we will miss you.”
His Marion County Sheriff’s Department radio and badge numbers were permanently retired by the department. As is tradition in law enforcement, the following words were announced over the Marion County Sheriff’s Department radio:
“All Marion County Units, 232 has marked 10-42 and has gone home for the final time.”