Howard County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Jordan Buckley was back on patrol Monday after spending the last seven weeks recuperating from a bullet wound he sustained during a shootout that killed fellow officer Carl Koontz.

Sheriff Steve Rogers said Buckley was back to full duty Monday serving on the department’s day shift.

“He’s been chomping at the bit to get back,” he said. “It’s good to get him back, but what’s really good is he tells us he’s glad to be back. He said he’s ready.”

Buckley was wounded while serving an arrest warrant in Russiaville on March 20. He was shot in the upper thigh during a shootout with Evan Dorsey, who was wanted on a failure to appear warrant.

Buckley was first transported to Community Howard Regional Health before being airlifted to Indianapolis for treatment. He was released from the hospital the day after the shootout.

Koontz died March 20 from a bullet wound to the pelvis.

Rogers said it was good to have Buckley back in the line of duty, but said the department hasn't been the same since the shootout seven weeks ago that killed Koontz.

“This all really brought it home – the real dangers of what law enforcement officers all over the country face every day,” he said. “We train for things like this, but we never had a lot of experience. Now we have that first-hand experience of violence against us.”

“Our lives have all been changed, and especially Sgt. Buckley’s,” Rogers said. “Each day you just take the next step in your life.”

He said Buckley on Monday was “getting back into the swing of things and easing into it.”

“The folks here are glad to have him back,” Rogers said. “He has stood very tall throughout all of this and I’m very proud of him.”

Donations can still be made to Buckley and the Koontz family at GoFundMe.com.

Rogers said despite the tragedy of the situation, officers and staff at the sheriff’s department are focusing on their jobs and trying to stay positive.

“The first positive that came to light was the response from the community,” Rogers said. “We know the silent majority we don’t hear from often are the folks that came out and supported us and stood beside us. That’s been a big thing for us. It makes our deputies realize they’re part of a strong community.”

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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Carson Gerber is a reporter for the Kokomo Tribune and can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.