By Utah National Parks Council
Jan 15, 2019

Exemplifying Duty to Country: Honoring Officer Shinners

Last Saturday, we said goodbye to Master Officer Joseph Shinners, who selflessly gave his life to protect others.

In addition to his exemplary service in the Provo Police Department, he was also a dedicated Scoutmaster. Officer Shinners committed his life to serve the city of Provo. Through his bravery and promise to protect others, he demonstrated his Duty to Country.

Scouts and Scouters in the Utah National Parks Council are so grateful for his service and his sacrifice.

Memories of Scoutmaster Shinners

“Joe was loved by the boys in his troop. He wasn’t just a leader to them, but also a friend. Joe took the time to reach out to the boys in his troop. My son struggled in Scouts. He was very shy and had a hard time being around people. Joe reached out to my son, became his friend. He helped my son by encouraging him to reach out to others. He encouraged him to attend Scouts and worked with him to get merit badges and increase in his ranks, even though my son didn’t really want to do it. My older son was not in Joe’s troop, but he was also touched by Joe’s compassion. He said Joe was one of the best Sunday School teachers he had. Our whole family has felt the love from Joe and his wife, Kaylyn.”   ~Tonya Smith (Mother of Scout)

Scoutmaster Shinners (left) with his Scouts at camp.

“Joe would always go out of his way to talk to people. I remember playing catch with some friends after football practice and was interrupted when I heard someone yell “is that Harrison?” I turned around to see Joe walking towards me with his wife, Kaylyn, and their dog. I gave them a wave but they wanted to come talk to me. I remember having a somewhat lengthy conversation that lasted about ten minutes before they finally let me go to play catch again with my friends. They continued to run around the track together. Around the time my friends and I were leaving, I turned around to see Joe and his husky in a tightly contested race towards Kaylyn. Their husky won. The brief chat meant a lot to my 15-year-old self. Joe always knew how to connect with people and to show how much he cared about what was going on in your life.” ~Harrison Holley (Former Boy Scout in Scoutmaster Shinners’ Troop)

Two GoFundMe accounts have been set up to help Shinners’ family with future expenses — one by his friends* and one by his family*.

* and the Utah National Parks Council do not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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