PROVO — While condolences keep pouring in at the Provo Police Department, especially at a growing memorial on the patrol car of fallen officer Joseph Shinners, some police offices in the area are lending a hand to their brothers in blue.
“I wanted to come down and help work patrol; myself and another Orem officer are down there today, just trying to lighten their load,” said Orem police Sgt. John Arnoldsen.
The officers volunteered to come in on their day off to patrol the streets of Provo, allowing for fewer regular Provo officers to be on duty and allow others to help organize funeral arrangements.
It’s a courtesy that Orem police and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office is extending to Provo this week, allowing their sworn officers to respond to accidents and other emergencies.
“The general feeling of the officers of the different departments is we want to do what we can to help out. We know that Provo police is suffering right now and so are we to differing degrees, and we all want to do something to make a difference in this situation, and this was one the ways that was offered to us,” Arnoldsen said.
Even though they are different departments, Provo and Orem share a border and in many ways are part of the same community.
“During my career, there have been a lot of Utah police officers who have been killed in the line of duty and I have attended a lot of funerals, this one hits home, even though I didn’t know Officer Shinners,” he said.
While these officers say volunteering their time for these extra shifts is a way to show their support to Provo police, they say it’s also a way to honor Officer Shinners and his family.
“We want them to see how much we care about them and the sacrifice they made for us and the communities we serve,” Arnoldsen said.
So that’s why Sgt. Arnoldsen calls it a privilege to be patrolling the streets of Provo in memory of a fallen hero and finding some good in the midst of a devastating tragedy.
“One of the good things that can come out of this is for us to come closer together and I know that is happening with our agencies right now,” he said.