ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - One year ago tomorrow is when Rockford Police Officer Jaimie Cox was killed on the job.
23 News spoke with the family about how they are continuing to remember him.
"This is definitely a really tough weekend for us,” said Andrea Cox, cousin of Jaimie Cox.
Rockford police officer Jaimie Cox, died following a traffic stop off of East State Street and Dawn Avenue.
"It's just didn't seem real. It's a night that we will all never forget the details of," said Andrea.
Over this past year, Andrea says the community has been nothing but supportive, participating in the Jaimie Cox 5K, a motorcycle ride honoring him and putting up blue lights on their porches as a way of keeping Jaimie’s memory alive.
"Jaimie’s loss affected complete strangers. It affected people very deeply and so I think those blue lights are a reminder for everybody to kind of take a minute to remember that we have to have our officers out there it's the only thing that keeps our community in order,” said Cox.
Andrea believes the tragedy created a bond between the Rockford community and its law enforcement.
"Our officers are going to do a better job if they feel supported and I can tell you that multiple officers after Jaimie’s funeral said that we didn't realize the amount of support we had in our community until this," said Andrea
Some members of the Cox family are coming together Monday to honor Jaimie in a permanent way.
"We've wanted to get tattoos in honor of him so I think a couple of us are going to go do that tomorrow to try and commemorate him and kind of have that," said Andrea.
Even though a year seems like a long time, Andrea says the impact of Jaimie’s loss is something she'll never forget.
"My personal goal in this is to kind of bring awareness to what is going on in the world of law enforcement because before this happened we heard about it we knew but we didn't really fully understand it. But now every time we hear about an officer down it hits in a completely different way than it did before," said Andrea.
Andrea, along with many others started an organization called Blue 815, as a way of continuing to remember the officers we have lost.