WOOD RIVER - Old Alton Edwardsville Road has been officially renamed to Tyler Timmins Drive following a dedication ceremony to honor Tyler for his service as a police officer.
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Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, marked the second anniversary of Tyler’s passing. Friends, family, fellow police officers, community leaders and members of the Tyler Timmins Memorial Foundation gathered at the intersection of Rock Hill Road and Tyler Timmins Drive in Wood River to unveil the new street sign and share stories about him.
“Two years ago today, in a matter of seconds, I lost the love of my life. My daughter lost her father. My family lost their protector and this community lost one of their own,” Linsey Timmins, Tyler’s wife, said. “However, within an instant of all of that loss, we gained this community as our own…My family and I have been so blessed by the members of this community and I cannot express enough how thankful we are for the love and support you all have shown to us and to our hero. Tyler was a proud member of this community his entire life.”
Tyler grew up in Wood River and started his law enforcement career as a cadet for the Wood River Police Department. He went on to work at the Roxana, Worden, Hartford and Pontoon Beach Police Departments. He was killed in the line of duty on Oct. 26, 2021.
“Every single day, those of us who were fortunate enough to know Officer Tyler Timmins miss him, and we realize the weight of the sacrifice he made for all of us. Fortunately, his honor and legacy continues on,” said Pontoon Beach Police Chief Chris Modrusic. “Every person who passes by this location will see Tyler Timmins Drive and be reminded of the great person, son, husband, father, friend and upstanding officer he was.”
Wood River Police Chief Brad Wells organized the dedication ceremony. Mayor Tom Stalcup has said that Wells was “instrumental” in the renaming process, and Linsey addressed Wells during her speech and thanked him for his leadership and “consistently going out of [his] way to find ways to honor Tyler.”
Wells said the Wood River Police Department will eventually have a memorial for fallen officers, and Tyler’s name will be included. Stalcup added that Wood River’s plans for expansion will likely lead to more traffic on Tyler Timmins Drive.
State’s Attorney Tom Haine promised to “always hold accountable” people who harm police officers, noting that the man who killed Tyler is now serving the maximum sentence of life in prison. He added that the renamed street is a sign of hope that people will continue to improve the community like Tyler did and show the same selflessness, dedication, courage and love that he had.
“We know Tyler will never be forgotten here, and that peace of mind means more to us than any of you can ever know,” Linsey said. “Tyler used to tell me that there is always purpose within tragedy and beauty within chaos, and it’s our job to look for it and to embrace it. I haven’t found the purpose within this tragedy just yet. But I know that I have a sea of people behind my family and I, willing to walk through this life while we search for it. I am so proud to be the wife of Tyler Timmins, and I’m so proud to be a part of this community.”
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