Checotah officer remembered

The flag-draped casket with the body of Justin Durrett is carried out of Checotah High School on Saturday where funeral services were held for the former assistant police chief. Serving as casket bearers were Darren Glover, Tim Turner, Scotty Burge, Andy Blizzard and Richard Beaty with Misty Johnson as honorary pallbearer.

Staff photo by Mike Elswick

CHECOTAH, Okla. — A community came together in a big way to mourn the loss of one of their finest, Justin Durrett, a man who was remembered as a caring son, a loving father and friend, and a hard-working police officer. 

Funeral services for Durrett, 34, were held Saturday morning at the Checotah Event Center at the high school with hundreds of family, friends, co-workers and law enforcement officers from throughout the region on hand.  

Checotah officer remembered

The flag-draped casket with the body of Justin Durrett sits on the floor of the Checotah High School gym Saturday where funeral services were held for the former assistant police chief. 

Durrett was seriously injured in a one-vehicle wreck on Feb. 11 on Oklahoma 71 near West Liberty Road, officials said. He had been hospitalized in Tulsa after being injured in the wreck on the icy road.

He died from those injuries at the hospital on Monday.

In remembering Durrett during the funeral service, lifelong friend and Haskell County Sheriff Tim Turner said Durrett was a dapper dresser who had a habit of not being very punctual.

"Among the words to describe Justin would be perfect, hardworking, loyal, grateful, proud, but always late," Turner said. "Justin would have his hair and clothes on point ... not just to suit him but to suit everybody else."

Turner said Durrett was well respected by law officers not only in Checotah but throughout the region on joint drug investigations.

Checotah officer remembered

The Tulsa Police Department Honor Guard was joined by law enforcement personnel from throughout the region saluting as the casket carrying former Checotah Assistant Police Chief Justin Durrett was about to be carried out of Checotah High School where funeral services were held Saturday.

"He was one of a kind. Justin would stay true to your friendship, even to his own expense," Turner said. "Justin was loyal to his family, his friends, his department and his community 100 percent of the time."

Checotah Police Chief Darren Glover said the affection Durrett share for his community was returned.

"Justin loved his community, and his community loved him back," Glover said. "Justin loved his family, and kiddos, don't you ever forget how much he loved you."

Former Checotah Police Chief Andy Blizzard said hiring Durrett was the best professional decision he ever made.

"His professionalism and dedication" carried over in whatever position Durrett held with the department as he worked his way up to being named assistant chief this past July, Blizzard said. 

Checotah officer remembered

Sandy Chronister was among the hundreds of people attending Saturday funeral services for Checotah's former Assistant Police Chief Justin Durrett. A number of attendees were wearing black T-shirts like Chronister's reading "We will miss you, friend. In memory of Justin Durrett" with the likeness of an American flag and Durrett's No. 25 badge number in the center.

Glover said Durrett is the father of two children. He said an account has been set up at First Family Credit Union in Checotah in Durrett's name so that anyone who wants to contribute to help with expenses may do so.

Durrett grew up in Warner and graduated from high school there in 2001. Durrett had been with the Checotah Police Department for 13 years, Glover said.

The Tulsa Police Department provided its honor guard team for the service, while dozens of law enforcement officers from across the region were on hand to honor their brother in blue. Serving as casket bearers were Glover, Blizzard, Turner, Scotty Burge and Richard Beaty, with Misty Johnson as honorary pallbearer.

Reach Mike Elswick at (918) 684-2954, @melswickMPhx or


This Week's Circulars