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Remembering Mearl Justus

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Dozens of police and firefighters from throughout Illinois and Missouri attended the funeral of former St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus in Cahokia, Ill. on December 22, 2012. (KMOX/Brad Choat)

Dozens of police and firefighters from throughout Illinois and Missouri attended the funeral of former St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus in Cahokia, Ill. on December 22, 2012. (KMOX/Brad Choat)

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CAHOKIA, Ill. (KMOX) - One of the Metro-East’s longest-serving law enforcement officials of all time has been laid to rest.

Police and firefighters from throughout the bi-state region came to Cahokia, Saturday, to pay their last respects to former St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus, who died Tuesday at age 81.

Master Sergeant Thomas Trice served under Justus for many years, most-recently as county jail administrator. At the funeral, Trice spoke about the late sheriff as being an innovator during his 60 years in law enforcement, “Through it all, he did it with pride, integrity, respect, and an uncanny ability to bring people together.”

Trice mentioned that Mearl Justus left his imprint on the community in the form of the knowledge he shared, social programs for the elderly, and scholarships for youth.

Justus was also one of the founders of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis.

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