Photo courtesy of Alex VuchaCOLLINSVILLE - Pontoon Beach Police Chief Chris Modrusic was another who showed significant courage and dignity this week in keeping his department in check and all the details surrounding the funeral for late Officer Tyler Timmins.

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At the funeral, Chief Modrusic said October 26, 2021, will be marked as the worst day in the Pontoon Beach Police Department’s history. Timmins died after a shooting at a convenience store on that fateful day.

“Few soar about the rest the way Tyler Timmins operated every day as he faced the unknown on the streets,” the chief said. “It is so difficult to understand when bad things happen to good people, and it should not happen to officers who protect their community. The turnout today is not only a tribute to his service in the community but the impact Tyler had on family and friends in the community. Tyler always strived to keep the community safe.”

Chief Modrusic took the time to speak with the media before the funeral, which was very appreciated by the reporters at the scene. He is the type of chief who always calls people back and provides what information he can to those in the news media.

The chief said words can't explain how much it has helped the Pontoon Beach Police to have strength from the people who have shown they cared for them since Officer Timmins' death.

"I had a private meeting with others who have experienced similar things in law enforcement, from Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, and all over, which helped," he said. "We are going to get all our guys the counseling they may need, and we are exploring other options including a support dog to bring us through this difficult time."

The chief admitted it had been a roller-coaster week and he would have never dreamed that his department would have to encounter what they did with Officer Timmins' death.

"We are a smaller community with about 15 square miles and a population of roughly 5,800 and a lot of it is businesses," he said. "You would have never thought this would happen here. Getting that call at 7:46 in the morning, was such a surprise."

The chief said his wife and daughters provided him enormous support since Officer Timmins death.

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"They constantly told me they love me and asked if I needed anything at all," he said. "They have even texted me some today asking that. I have texted the different officers today and asked them the same thing."

Chief Modrusic was back in the Pontoon Beach Police office at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday and some of his other officers returned for the day at 6 a.m.

Sergeant James Autery described Officer Timmins as really good at his job and very smart.

"He was just an overall great guy to work with and be around," he said.

Chief Modrusic agreed: "Tyler was the type of person who never seemed to be upset and always had a smile on his face. "We never heard him complaining, and he was always happy to be here and serve the community."

Chief Modrusic said the Illinois COPS organization, Club 100 and Backstoppers and so many others provided them volunteer help and support over the past week.

“It was amazing the support we have had,” the chief added. “Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Granite City Police, and Edwardsville Police stepped up and helped with our agency and the Illinois State Police did so much with the funeral. This support allowed us to focus on our men and women here and make sure they had the support they needed.”

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