FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — Freeport Police on Monday confirmed that the man who was killed in a motorcycle accident Friday was the department’s chaplain, Dennis Jarrard.
Jarrard was killed near Durand, at the intersection of Freeport and Wheeler Road around 1:30 p.m. when he was involved in a crash involving a tow truck.
Freeport Police said Jarrard began volunteering at the department in February 2009 and served for 12 years. As part of his work with the police department, officials said he rode along with officers on a weekly basis and performed marriages.
“It feels like I’ve known him forever,” said Freeport Police Chief Matthew Summers. “Having Dennis at the Police Department was one of the best things that has happened to this police department in the 27-years that I’ve been here.”
The community is now feeling the void Dennis left behind.
“He’s always been here for our guys, at a moment’s notice if we needed anything he would drop what he was doing and come to the police department and assist with whatever he could,” said Chief Summers. “He was a benefit not just for our department, he was a community benefit.”
“I think he was a crutch for many in the community for support,” added Beth Maskell, the Executive Director for VOICES Stephenson County.
Both VOICES Executive Director Beth Maskell and Freeport Police Chief Matthew Summer say Pastor Jarrad loved motorcycles.
“I just talked to his wife today and she described how it was his release, when he was stressed out or just needed to get away that’s where he turned to was his motorcycle,” said Chief Summers.
As Laurel Street Pastor, Chaplain of the Freeport Police Department, and part of the board of directors for Stephenson County VOICES, members describe him as a man that gave his all to his community.
“Always had open hearts and hands for everyone involved, and he’s going to be missed,” Maskell added. “To have that support and someone that you can count on to trust, and to be open-minded and over-hearted, it’s just a loss for our community.”
“Pastor Jerrard will be missed deeply not only by members of the Freeport Police Department but the community as a whole,” the department said in a news release.