UVU mourns loss of Provo police officer, UVU alumnus

Joseph Shinners

The Utah Valley University joins the community in mourning the loss of Provo Police Master Officer Joseph Shinners. The beloved officer was a UVU alumnus. He lost his life Saturday night while trying to apprehend a fugitive in Orem.  
Master Officer Shinners graduated magna cum laude in 2016, with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and a minor in Spanish. “From the time he walked into the academy office, you could tell his heart was in the right place,” said Norman (Buckey) Walters, director of the UVU Law Enforcement Academy. “He was immediately appointed as the leader of Class no. 33.”  The appointment proved to be the right decision. Numerous peer reviews from his classmates portrayed a man of character who was intelligent, kind, and hardworking: “He is a great man, great leader, will be a great officer.” “Smart, athletic, and trustworthy.” “Very helpful, seems to really care about people.” “I would really like to work with him.” 
“Command Presence’ means looking, acting, and being sharp,” said Walters. “Being sharp is more than just skills and tactics, it’s also about displaying honor, possessing integrity, demonstrating teamwork, building trust within subordinates, teaching to play by the rules, and treating people fair. Law enforcement officers must carry themselves with professionalism and authority while actively doing a difficult job. Master Officer Joseph Shinners led by example. There’s not a better way to put it.” 
Shinners was a Boston area native, and a three-year veteran of the Provo Police Department. He was assigned to the patrol division, and was also a member of the bicycle patrol and the SWAT team. The 29-year-old was a husband and the father of a one-year-old boy. 
UVU President Astrid S. Tuminez said, “This is a tragic loss of a young, very promising and kind police officer. My heart goes out to his young family. We mourn with you, and we honor the life and service of Master Police Officer Joseph Shinners.” 
Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 12, in the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University, located at 800 W. University Parkway. Services are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.