JOPLIN, Mo. — Nearly two decades after his death, there’s a new memorial to a fallen Joplin police officer.
The South Connecticut Avenue Bridge over Interstate 44 is officially named the “Officer Timothy Nielson Memorial Bridge.”
Friends and family members gathered with the Joplin Police Department today to unveil the sign marking the change.
Nielson passed away in 2004, after responding to a call about a suicidal individual.
But the West Joplin house had been filled with natural gas, leading to an explosion.
Nielson sustained severe burns and passed away a month later.
Tracy Nielson-Healey, Nielson’s widow, said, “I think he would be incredibly touched, and I think he would be touched by how many people came today.”
“Tim was an amazing young man. I had the privilege to work with him when he was here. And with this designation, this bridge will be a daily reminder for those who drive over it of the sacrifice he made for our city,” said JPD Chief Brian Lewis.
A similar ceremony honoring Officer Jake Reed was held last month at the 20th Street Bridge near Joplin High School.
The bridge on South Range Line Road near “Sutherland’s” will be named in honor of Corporal Ben Cooper during a ceremony two weeks from today.