Bikers Rally To Help Carry On Legacy Of Fallen Tecumseh Police Officer
DEPEW, Oklahoma - On Sunday, a group of bikers traveled Oklahoma’s roadways in honor of fallen officer Justin Terney.
Now, a memorial rally will help carry on his legacy at the department.
“He was an excellent officer,” said Sgt. Jesse McCord, one of Terney’s partners. “We put our uniforms on, you know, and we know every day that we take a chance, that's something he knew and he loved to do his job.”
On the night of March 26, his partner worked a traffic stop alone when he was shot and killed in a shootout. Byron Shepard, 35, is charged with first-degree murder in his death.
“He meant a lot to me and I still have problems but we're getting through it and going day to day, you know, that's all we can do,” he said.
In some ways, Terney is still by his partner’s side, through a 3-month-old Belgian Malinois named Onyx.
“Right now, wherever I go, Onyx pretty much goes,” said McCord. “Being a puppy, he's real high-strung like Justin is. I mean, he's a real go-getter, he loves to get out and about.”
Terney got the young pup with the hopes of training him to become a certified K9 officer, the first for the department.
“I thought it was a good idea and I kept telling him just give us time, give us time and we'll get it there,” he said. “Unfortunately, we ran out of time.”
That’s where Bikers Backing the Blue steps in, ready to help finish what Terney started.
“It means a lot to be able to do one for our own,” said Matthew Llewellyn with Bikers Backing the Blue.
On Sunday, hundreds of riders set out on two rides, one starting in Sapulpa and the other in Seminole. The two met in Depew to hold a memorial rally.
“The people are still behind them, there's a reason to put that badge on and go to work and take that risk every day,” said Llewellyn.
The group raised $15,714 with all the money going to the Justin Terney Memorial Foundation, which will in turn pay for Onyx’s care and training.
“Hopefully he'll take to the training and become an awesome officer,” said McCord.
Onyx will begin training when he is around 8 months old, and if all goes well, he’ll be ready to report to duty in about a year and a half.
If you would like to donate to the Justin Terney Memorial Foundation, just contact the Tecumseh Police Department at (405) 598-2115.