TECUMSEH, Okla. – Flowers, flags, and signs can be found outside the Tecumseh Police Department as symbols of love and support from a community that is leaning on each other to find comfort.
Hundreds of people from across the state came together Thursday night to honor the life of fallen Tecumseh Officer Justin Terney at a memorial service.
“Protecting people was his ultimate passion and he loved it and he loved you guys,” said Terney’s best friend.
Friends told stories that brought tears to the eye.
“Tears. To see a young man that really care, and you can tell that he just cared,” said Andy Coates.
Others shared memories that made people laugh.
All comforting words directed to a hurting family, community, and police department.
“This has probably been one of the toughest weeks of our lives here at Tecumseh Police Department. Been an officer here for about 21 years and this is the first time in my history to ever have to bury one of my brothers,” Assistant Chief J.R. Kidney said.
Those who knew the 22-year-old officer say he was a go-getter.
The memory of his dedication and love for life now encourages the community to stand strong, keep going, and carry out his mission.
“We don’t want this to stop here with Justin because he was one person, but we still have other men and women that are out there serving tonight and we have to do something for the future in remembrance of Justin,” said Terney’s sister.
Officer Terney’s funeral will be held Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. in his hometown of Canadian, Oklahoma.