SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Nebraska (KTIV) – Five days after he was shot twice in an officer-involved shooting, in South Sioux City, Nebraska, Officer BrianVan Berkum got out of the hospital, on Thursday.
What greeted him was an outpouring of support as he left MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center.
The community was on hand to recognize and honor Officer Van Berkum with a walk of respect.
Inside the hospital, doctors, nurses, and administrators lined the hallways as he was wheeled from his room to the car that would be taking him home.
Waiting for him outside?
Family, friends, colleagues, and the general public.
“We don’t care what color badge or pants you have, we’re as one and we stand united as one,” said Dave Drew, Woodbury County Sheriff, “and when ones hurting, we are here to help them and its one of the best things of the Law Enforcement family. We help each other, we reach across the river, we reach across wherever to help each other.”
It would just be the beginning of the show of support for Officer Van Berkum as he made his way home.
After he left MercyOne, a motorcade crossed the Veterans Memorial Bridge into South Sioux City.
It was led by his “brothers in blue”, members of the South Sioux City Police Department.
KTIV caught the procession, which included law enforcers from many local, county and state agencies, on KTIV’s Prospect Hill Skycam, as it made its way from Sioux City to South Sioux City.
Once across the bridge and into South Sioux City, the procession stopped briefly at Flag Park to pick up Van Berkum’s family.
The motorcade drove down Dakota Avenue to South Sioux City’s City Hall.
That’s where Officer Van Berkum took the time to thank the community for their support and shook hands with city leaders.
City streets were crowded with people, who wanted to thank Van Berkum for his act of heroism.
Among them local students, and members of the local American Legion post, all there to pay tribute to Van Berkum, and welcome him home.
City leaders say South Sioux City is a close-knit community, and days like today show how everyone can come together.
“Very proud, very prideful of South Sioux City and just very proud of Sioux City and the surrounding communities as a whole,” said Rod Koch, South Sioux City mayor. “Just having all the law enforcement personnel, the fire department personnel showing up from different communities, just the outpouring of love from those communities and the respect. I’m feeling very proud of South Sioux City.”
Koch said Thursday was “emotional”, but the community is very grateful to have Van Berkum home.
From City Hall, Van Berkum’s motorcade continued down Dakota Avenue.
People, from all walks of life, took time out of their days to honor Officer Van Berkum’s service and sacrifice.
South Sioux City’s Police Chief Ed Mahon said he was touched by the outpouring of support.
“All the community members and the tons and tons of kids that came out to say hi to “Shorty” welcome home, that was about more than I could take,” said Mahon.
Van Berkum is a 19 year veteran of the South Sioux City Police Department.
He served as a school resource officer.
He also coaches the high school swim team, and 7th and 8th-grade soccer.
SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Nebraska (KTIV) – A South Sioux City Police officer shot in the line of duty last week is returning home.
Officer Brian Van Berkum has been discharged from Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City. He was escorted back to South Sioux City by South Sioux City Police and other local authorities.
After he is escorted to Flag Park in South Sioux City, his travel path will be
- West on 15th Street for one block.
- South on First Avenue to Dakota Avenue
- A stop at City Hall.
- South on Dakota Avenue from 17th Street to 33rd Street.
- East on East 33rd to G Street.
- South from 3300 G St. to Cardinal Drive.
- West on Cardinal and Regency Parkway
On May 11, Van Berkum was shot in the leg and abdomen outside of a bar in South Sioux City.
South Sioux City is getting ready to welcome home Officer Brian Van Berkum. You can see a sign here that says “Welcome Home Shorty” referring to Officer Van Berkum’s nickname. pic.twitter.com/nZksuBxRnQ
— Ashly Richardson (@AshlyKTIV4) May 16, 2019
We have multiple crews covering Officer Van Berkum’s homecoming.
We will have our reports today on News 4.