Boat named for former Lincoln Park officer launched into duty

Honoring a fallen officer
Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Prior to a launch ceremony last month, officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection presented a commemorative wreath to Josephine Terry in honor of her son, Brian A. Terry, who was killed in the line of duty.

Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON — The memory and life’s mission of Brian A. Terry lives on, both in the hearts of friends and family and on the Detroit River courtesy of a 25-foot U.S. Customs and Border Protection vessel named in his honor.

Terry had served as a police officer in Ecorse and Lincoln Park before he joined the federal agency. Terry was killed in December 2010 while conducting a Border Patrol Tactical Unit operation in Arizona.

Lincoln Park Police Chief Brian Hawk said that Terry — who began with the Lincoln Park department in 2000 — had first encountered the ultimate risk of public safety on his second day on the job. He’d responded to calls in April 2000 of a shooter who had gone on a rampage at the Senior Tower. “He courageously served our citizens and his country in an honorary fashion,” Hawk said. “[He made] the ultimate sacrifice and truly is remembered as a hero.”

A ceremony at the Elizabeth Park Marina was held Friday, Aug. 30 to christen the “Brian A. Terry,” the newest vessel in the Customs and Border Protection fleet. The traditional champagne spray was performed by Terry’s mother, Josephine, in a ceremony attended by family, friends, officers from police and federal agencies and local, state and federal officials.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Michael J. Fisher said that Terry’s lifelong ambition dating back to his growing up in Flat Rock — and many days spent boating the same stretch of river — was to serve and protect, and under his name that dream will continue.

“What Brian did in life, throughout his career in law enforcement and certainly with the Border Patrol was the epitome of honor,” Fisher said.

(James Mitchell can be reached at