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Utah Rep. John Curtis honors MPO Shinners on House Floor

WASHINGTON DC — Tuesday afternoon Utah Representative John Curtis (R) took to the floor of the US House of Representatives to remember fallen Master Officer Joseph Shinners. The 29-year-old Officer Shinners died on Saturday after a shooting while in the line of duty on Saturday in Provo.

You can read a transcript of the full speech Rep. John Curtis gave below.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life and sacrifice of one of Utah’s finest. Master Officer Joseph Shinners, of the Provo Police Department, was tragically killed on Saturday night in the line of duty.

At the time, he was responding to assist in the arrest of a dangerous fugitive with a history of violence toward citizens and police officers when he was struck by gunfire and died as a result of his injuries. Joe leaves behind his loving wife Kaylyn and one-year old son Logan.

Mr. Speaker, my heart aches every time an officer is killed in the line of duty but this one is personal. When Joe Shinners made the decision to work for Provo PD, I was his mayor. In a real way, I feel a burden for his training, his work at Provo and his safety. I am deeply saddened by this terrible news.  I stand here on the floor of the House of Representatives, I speak for the entire Provo community when I say that Joe is a true hero. He gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect us and we owe him and his family our deepest gratitude.

The Chief of the Provo Police Department, Richard Ferguson, described Officer Shinners as intelligent, honorable, hardworking, and one of his all-star officers. Chief Ferguson describes him as “the officer who you would like to show up at your door in your biggest crucible moment.”

Officer Shinners was born in Boston and graduated high school in Springville, Utah. He grew up in a home that values and respects public service, with his siblings serving as policeman and his father, a retired fire captain.

During his three years of service on the Provo Police Department, he worked mostly in Provo’s thriving downtown and on the SWAT team. He also served on bicycle patrol and as a field training officer.

Most importantly, he was a good man and a loving husband and father.  One of his fellow officers remembers that “there was once a time when Shinners hugged someone he’d just arrested to offer comfort. That was the kind of cop he was.”

My wife Sue and I offer our deepest sympathies to Provo PD, the family and friends of Joe and hope they know that we will never forget their sacrifice—especially to Kaylyn and Logan .

Our brave police men and women face serious potential danger every time they say goodbye to their families and leave their homes to go on patrol, and they know that it’s  possibly the last time they could see them and it could be their final goodbye.

I take this moment to express my sincere appreciation to all of our nations first respoders and police officers but today especially to those of Provo City.  We love you, respect you, and thank you.

Mr. Speaker, I yield the floor. ”