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Fallen officer Joseph Shinners honored, remembered

Law enforcement officers arrive at the UCCU Center in Orem prior to the arrival of the hearse carrying the casket of slain Provo police officer Joseph Shinners on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. in Orem on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Steve Griffin/ Deseret News

OREM – Hundreds gathered to remember Provo Police Officer Joseph Shinners in a funeral service held on Saturday.

The funeral was filled with family, friends, and first responder colleagues from across the country.

Master Officer Joseph Shinner was remembered as a father and officer who is full of compassion and joy.

Remembered by the state

Utah Governor Gary Herbert was present at the funeral for the fallen officer.

He says he was speaking on behalf of people of Utah, and was speaking at the funeral to offer condolences from a grateful state.

“We are grateful for men and women who work to preserve our way of life in spite of the evil in the world today,” says Governor Herbert.

Governor Herbert quoted from a verse in the Book of Mormon, calling it an appropriate passage of scripture for this solemn occasion.

“When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are in the service of our God. Joseph was always finding ways to serve.”

The governor says Joseph Shinners is a “hometown hero” and that “he distinguished himself with his passion for his job.”

Governor Herbert said we should not forget Joseph Shinners and we should improve our lives by being more compassionate like him.

Remembered by the police

Approximately two hundred men and women of the local police department were in attendance at the funeral, including Joseph Shinners’ own police chief, Provo Police Chief Richard Ferguson.

Provo Police Chief Richard Ferguson remembers interviewing Joseph Shinners for the position of a Provo police officer.

In the interview, the chief asked Shinners if he had any traffic tickets. Shinners replied, “Kinda.” At the conclusion of the interview, Ferguson said he loved that man because, “Joe was honest.”

He says Joseph Shinners was an aggressive officer, but he was compassionate and kind.

“He exemplified everything that is noble. He was the best kind of police officer,” said Chief Richard Ferguson.

Citing Joseph Shinner’s father and two brothers who also work in law enforcement, Ferguson says “I have a great understanding of where a great cop like Joe comes from.”

Chief Ferguson says that, “without reservation, Officer Shinners put himself in a place of danger to save another officer.”

Chief Ferguson sought to comfort his wife Kaylyn, saying that Joseph has never been alone since he was killed. He has been constantly in the presence of law enforcement officers, Ferguson says.

Throughout the funeral today there was a constant presence of two guards of honor.

Chief Ferguson spoke to the Shinners’ one year old son, Logan: “Your daddy is and always will be, a hero.”

Chief Ferguson told the young boy that his father possessed two traits which are a rare combination, saying he was “humble and competent at the same time.”

And he told Joseph’s wife Kaylyn, “I am so sorry for the grief and loss you are experiencing.”

He told her that justice would be pursued for her husband’s death.

Chief Ferguson reiterated the sacred trust that was frequently placed on Joseph Shinners. He had the trust of his fellow police officers, Ferguson says. He was a field training officer, one who is entrusted with training other officers. Shinners was also found worthy to take upon himself the challenging responsibility of being a member of the Provo SWAT team.

Chief Ferguson says an officer who is willing to sacrifice himself for other officers is a hero. Joseph Shinners is a hero, his chief says.

Remembered by his family

Kyle Swanson, a brother-in-law, spoke in remembrance of Joseph Shinners’ sacrifice.

Swanson quoted from a Bible passage, John 15:13, which states, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Swanson says, “This described the man he was in life and in death.”

Swanson talked of the love Joseph Shinners has for protecting his community. “He loved taking down bad guys and serving the community of Provo.”

“He never hesitated to help those around him,” Swanson added.

Michael Shinners, a brother of Joseph Shinners, is also a police officer.

Michael Shinners says that Joseph Shinners was loving, loyal, brave, honorable, motivated, and compassionate. And he loved riding anything with a motor.

Michael Shinners says Joseph is the definition of a great man.

He was a devoted father. Family was everything to Joe, says Michael Shinners.

“Joe always found time for family.”

Joseph Shinners also loved his law enforcement family, his brother says.

“He didn’t just tell you that he loved you. He showed you he loved you.”

Michael spoke of how reliable and brave his brother is.

“Joe was the first man you want next to you when things go bad.”

His brother continues, “Joe was a sheepdog. He fought the wolves.” He also says that Joseph watched over the sheep.

Joseph Shinners’ grandfather taught his family to be a giver to society, not a taker.

“Joe was a giver,” Michael Shinners says.

Kaylyn Shinners, the wife of Joseph Shinners, thanked the community for the support she and her family has received in the days following the death of husband.

She says she wants to honor the man he was.

Kaylyn says he was a man who loved clean sheets. For this reason Kaylyn always showered before she went to bed.

She says he taught her the true meaning love, which requires hard work and loyalty.

Kaylyn says he loves hockey even though, she says “he spent 40% of the time in the penalty box.”

She says he had no fear, unless it was snakes.

Joseph Shinners’ bishop, Don Swain, told the gathered mourners that the only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.

Officer Shinners was killed by a fugitive who was being pursued by police outside of a Bed Bath and Beyond in Orem on January 5.

Hundreds turned out for a viewing in Springville on Friday night. Many honored Joseph Shinners at the viewing by placing American flags or standing with hands on their hearts.

The funeral was presided over by Elder Dale H. Munk of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The funeral was conducted by Don Swain, the bishop of Joseph Shinner’s ward.

Joseph Shinners was preceded in death by his sister Carolyn Kay Shinners.

Joseph Shinners is set to be interred in the Evergreen Cemetery of Springville today.

KSL Newsradio’s Dan Bammes has this report on today’s funeral.