In late March, Tecumseh police officer Justin Terney was shot and killed during what started as a traffic stop.
A ceremony was held Wednesday to remind the family their loved one will not be forgotten.
Andrew Jacob, Thin Blue Line USA president, and his VP, Pete Forhan, flew to Oklahoma to meet Terney’s family. It struck these two young men, knowing they are about the same age as the fallen hero. Terney was only 22 years old.
“He gave his life for our country, and as a citizen of this country, he gave his life for me,” said Jacob.
Since Terney’s death, Thin Blue Line USA started a fundraiser for his family. More than $25,000 was raised. The family was presented a check today, along with a Thin Blue Line flag.
There were also gifts and donations from other people and organizations. Through an account started by fellow Tecumseh officers, the community raised more cash donations for Terney’s family.
There were also plaques, pins and paintings given to the family from around the world.
Toward the end of the ceremony, a group of officers from the Los Angeles Police Department cycled all the way from the west coast to meet the family. They are on a “Hollywood Memorial Ride” to Washington D.C., and made a stop in Tecumseh just for the event. The officers presented the family with a blue and white wreath and gave hugs and kind words to the family.
Terney’s sister spoke on behalf of her family.
“I wanted to take a brief moment for our family to let you know how much we appreciate that overwhelming support that we’ve received,” said Tonisha Rapp.
Rapp is Terney’s oldest sister.
“Words can’t even describe when you’re going through something as tragic as this, and losing someone like Justin, because he was a great person. He was funny and he was kind and he would do anything for anyone,” she said.
Her brother’s life was cut short, but he served honorably. Terney sacrificed himself to protect others.
Rapp said she is grateful.
“It’s just things like this that really show us that Justin was important and Justin will never ever be forgotten,” she said.
Shortly after Terney was killed, Logan County Sheriff’s Deputy David Wade also lost his life in the line of duty. Thin Blue Line USA already started a fundraiser for Wade’s family as well.