The police department is organizing a "Welcome Home'' event for Van Berkum, a 19-year veteran of the force, Police Chief Ed Mahon said. After leaving MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center, Berkum's vehicle will receive an escort from his fellow officers. The procession will begin at the Siouxland Veterans Memorial Bridge and continue down Dakota Avenue before ending at the south end of town.
Mahon said Van Berkum is expected to be released from the hospital sometime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday.
"Our intent is to get squads over there, not have a parade, but show him unity and we'll take him home on Dakota Avenue around that time," Mahon told the Journal. "There's some businesses that wanted to know about it so they could kind of be out and give him their respects, and City Hall wanted to know."
Van Berkum was shot in the abdomen and leg during a gunfire exchange with Luis A. Quinones Rosa, outside Los Amigos bar and liquor store around 2 a.m. Saturday. Van Berkum underwent surgery Saturday and was "doing very well" by that evening.
Quinones Rosa died of extensive blood loss after a shot severed his femoral artery. Van Berkum was one of the officers called to the scene after reports of an armed man at the bar.