"The kind of officer that any chief would have been proud of" - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chief Snyder: "Justin was the kind of officer that any chief would have been proud of"

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -- Cleveland Police Chief Wes Snyder told reporters Monday that Officer Justin Maples was the type of officer any chief would be proud to have on the police department.

This loss is taking a very emotional toll on the Cleveland Police Department. It has been almost 60 years since the department has lost an officer in the line of duty. Chief Snyder says Officer Justin Maples was a prime example of what an officer should be.

"We knew it was a bad wreck. We knew it was a tremendous accident," says Chief Snyder.

A day after Cleveland Police Officer Justin Maples lost his life in a horrific single-car crash, the department grieves by reflecting on his life. "Justin was a good officer. Justin was the kind of officer that any chief would have been proud of," says Snyder.

Thirty-five-year-old Maples was a seven-year veteran of the force. "Loyal. Dedicated. Respectful." At one point he was a member of the SWAT Team and the Honor Guard.

"Now we find him to be the recipient of such an honor guard," says Snyder.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Maples lived to serve his community. "Very enthusiastic. Loved his job. Was one of those officers who, on any given day would prefer himself standing in the gap between what's good and what's evil," says Snyder.

He always carried himself with pride. "Always 'Yes sir' and 'No sir' and 'How was your day sir?' That type of officer."

Married to the sister of a fellow officer, Maples leaves behind three small boys all under the age of five. "Our prayers and thoughts certainly go out the Maples family."

Snyder says the department is also praying for peace and understanding. "We know that there is a purpose for everything. And a season for everything. We'll miss Justin," he says.

Counseling is being made available for Cleveland Police Officers.

Maples' funeral will be handled by Buckner Funeral Home. They are expected to hold that service later this week.

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