Ceremonies were held Wednesday to unveil signs along a four-mile section of U.S. 177 to honor the memory of fallen Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney.
TECUMSEH — Ceremonies were held Wednesday to unveil signs along a four-mile section of U.S. 177 to honor the memory of fallen Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney.
Terney, 22, died March 27 after being shot by a suspect during a traffic stop in Tecumseh.
At a dedication ceremony Wednesday at Tecumseh City Hall, Tecumseh Police Chief Gary Crosby shared how Terney's story has already had a profound effect on many, and will continue to do so.
“With these signs going up — everybody who passes through Tecumseh on 177 will certainly know the name of Justin Terney,” Crosby said.
Terney, originally from Canadian, Oklahoma, had been on the job a year before the incident.
A family member noted Terney had wanted to become a law enforcement officer since childhood.
“Justin wasn't born here (in Tecumseh),” she said. “Yet, all of you have shown us nothing but overwhelming support — and support for Justin and keeping his memory alive.”
She said though the community can't have him back, the one thing it can do while traveling down the Terney Memorial Highway is remember that all of the service men and women are putting their lives on the line every single day.
“We know they don't do it for the pay,” she said. “They do it because of their love and dedication for protecting all of us.”
During the ceremony, state Rep. Josh Cockroft awarded Terney's family with a citation of appreciation and gave them a prototype of the memorial sign; he also gave a sign to the TPD.
The highway — beginning at the intersection of U.S. 177 and Benson Park Road and going south to Tucker Road — is now designated as Officer Justin Terney Memorial Highway. As the memorial sign was unveiled Wednesday afternoon on U.S. 177 along the eastern edge of Tecumseh, blue balloons were released in his honor.
Of the nearly 75 in attendance, most were members of the TPD, Tecumseh Fire Department and the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Department. Some of Terney's family members also were there, as well as Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon and state Rep. Dell Kerbs.