Tecumseh, Oklahoma – As we arrived at the police department of Tecumseh, Oklahoma, we were overwhelmed by the countless cards, messages, and gifts that decorated the police station; each addressed to the same young man, Officer Justin Terney. While we took in the impact Justin had imprinted on his community, we were greeted by a warm and inviting Tonisha Rapp, the oldest sister of Officer Justin Terney. Assistant Chief JR Kidney welcomed us into the department and provided us an opportunity to speak to the entire family.
We felt the pain and heartbreak as the family recounted Justin's childhood. They reminisced about an 8-year-old Justin handing out homemade tickets to cars that he saw speeding. They spoke about the fund created in his name that will provide a K9 unit for the city, with the first recruit being Justin's orphaned puppy, Ox. His drive and passion to be a law enforcement officer from each stage of his life were truly inspiring.
As we prepared for the ceremony, Andrew and I met with local news stations to explain Thin Blue Line USA, Give Blue, and why two young men from Michigan wearing suits were in Tecumseh at 8:00 am. We spoke with Mecca Rayne, KOCO News 5, and Tiffany Liu, News 9 Oklahoma, about our fundraiser for both Justin Terney another David Wade, another Oklahoman officer that was shot a few weeks after Justin.
At the start of the ceremony we witnessed a week's worth of gifts, including the medal of honor, get presented to the family. As our segment began, we were welcomed onstage for our remarks. We had the opportunity to speak about Justin and the incredible outpouring of support through the website. At the conclusion of the ceremony, we presented our donation of $25,142.91 to the mother of Justin Terney. Her emotion and gratitude were overwhelming, and at that instant, we truly got to see the good that Thin Blue Line USA can accomplish.
With our departure from Oklahoma, Andrew and I reflected on the opportunity Thin Blue Line USA has given us. We find ourselves in an incredible position; with the chance to truly impact families and communities around the country. With the help of our team at Thin Blue Line USA, we will continue to honor the men and women that gave this country all they had.
To take part in Give Blue, please click here
To learn about the young Wayne State Officer that inspired Give Blue, please click here.
Coverage of the ceremony:
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.
Fallen Tecumseh police Officer Justin Terney's family was presented with gifts Wednesday during a small but intimate gathering. The gifts were impactful because they were all things that in some way represented Terney and his legacy.