LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Detective Justin Terry was the kind of person who was always interested in what you had to say. That’s one of the ways his friends will remember him.
“He was a great cop, but a better man,” Detective Ricky Farris said Friday, nearly a year after Terry died when a steel beam fell on his car in a construction zone. It happened on U.S. 95 near the Centennial Bowl in the northwest valley — about two miles from where Terry’s entire squad ran in his memory on Wednesday.
Terry’s widow, Stacey, and one of his sons, Sean, ran with the officers as they went up Fort Apache Road, from Tropical Avenue to Farm Road. It was the fourth leg of the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Relay Run.
“A time to reflect and think about everything,” Farris said. Two miles. Time to think.
And while there were difficult reminders that Terry was gone, Farris did something to lighten the mood for the squad. “We have a picture of Justin that was a squad joke where he had a drill and was posing for the camera. So I made that picture into stickers for us all to wear.”
And Farris carried a drill as he ran.
Losing Terry, a member of the Sex Crimes Bureau, Sexual Assault & Abuse Section, was hard for everyone who knew him.
“It’s definitely tough,” Farris said. “We still walk by where his desk was and that still brings up feelings every once in a while.” He said he sometimes sees Terry’s name on a file, or hears his voice in a recording, and it brings back memories.
The interactions at Wednesday’s event helped. “He did a lot of good work, so it was cool to see the lives he touched in the bureau,” Farris said.
Seeing Stacey Terry and the rest of the squad at the run brought everyone a little closer.
“The thing that helped us the most was being able to share memories. We helped her build her fireplace a couple weeks ago,” he said.
Farris was an intern when he met Terry. It was early in his career with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and he spent an entire summer riding with Terry, learning the ropes.
He remembers Terry’s secret stash — a big drawer behind his desk, full of white Monster energy drinks — he was supposed to be cutting down on caffeine, but the intern needed to know where to go if he ever needed a snack or a boost. And Terry was there to help.
The relay continues today on the 487-mile route up U.S. 95.
On Saturday, runners started just north of Goldfield at mile marker 21 on their way to Tonopah.
On May 4, the relay will arrive in Carson City for a ceremony. The names of eight officers — Terry, Truong Thai, Philip Closi, Ed Contreras, Douglas King, Shawn Hennessee, Ray East and Joe Gomez — are in a baton that is carried along the route. The names have been added to the Law Enforcement Memorial in the courtyard surrounded by the Capitol, the Nevada Supreme Court and the Legislature.