Former Coach & Teammate, Community Members Remember Fallen Officer Shinners
SPRINGVILLE, Utah – It’s not unusual for Utahns to gather on Sundays.
But not here. Not like this.
Some braved slick roads, others sloshed through slush to remember someone who lived his life even more dangerously because he was protecting us.
The procession of Officer Joe Shinners’ body began at the Medical Examiner’s Office in Taylorsville and ended in Springville where hundreds of people lined the streets of where he lived.
“We have lots of friends and family in law enforcement,” said local Brian Deushane, who went to the procession with his family to support Shinners’ family.
“I got a citizen’s alert on my phone about an hour ago and I said to my sister ‘let’s go,’” said Springville resident Barbara Andrews, who felt a connection with Shinners because they were both from the Boston area.
Those who saw Shinners as family shared stories about their friend.
“He was on a soccer team that we participated in,” said Shinners’ former soccer coach Rick Bertelsen. “He’s just awesome. We’ve just always known him and loved him.”
He and his son say Shinners had everyone’s back whether on the playing field, “There were a lot of times coaches would actually come up to him and be like are you sure he’s 14,” laughed Rick’s son and Joe’s former teammate Jake Bertelsen. “I mean at 14 he had a full beard.”
Or patrolling the streets, “I’m not at all surprised that he died a hero’s death because he was pretty much a hero his whole life. Everything he did,” said Rick Bertelsen
Their family has set up a GoFundMe account to support Joe’s wife and one-year-old son.
A somber Sunday gathering to remember a remarkable Utahn.
Community members are also honoring him by laying mementoes on the hood of his police cruiser in his memory.
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