The entire loop came to a stop and paid respect to Midland County Sergeant Mike Naylor. No one honked a horn or tried to go around. A few people stepped out of their vehicles and bowed their heads.
The silence was palpable. The procession flashed their lights in unison.
More than 750 police officers from the area and as far away as Chicago participated in the procession.
On Thursday, Oct. 9, Sgt. Mike Naylor was shot in the line of duty while serving a warrant. The suspect who may have shot him is in custody. Naylor died at the hospital, much to the despair of all who knew him.
Midland was not the only community to mourn his passing. Family, friends and fellow law enforcement traveled to his funeral in Midland, and a motorcade led the procession to Hobbs, New Mexico. He was buried in Prairie Haven Cemetery on Tuesday, Oct. 14.
Several Midland College employees honored him through their testimonials.
“Sergeant Naylor is a former EMT student and to date did lectures on mental health emergencies for the EMS Program,” EMS Program Coordinator Leland Hart said. “His dream was that all the staff in the Mental Health Unit at Midland County Sheriff’s Office be EMT certified. Naylor was caring to everyone he met, whether it was stranger or a person in a mental health crisis. He really did change the world around him and certainly made a difference.”
Dean of Health Sciences Carmen Edwards also will miss Naylor. “Mike showed genuine compassion for the clients with mental illness,” she said. “He supported the nurses and helped in any way he could.”
She worked at a local psychiatric hospital by the airport for 10 months.
Allison Chair of Journalism Bob Templeton said he remembered the unique friendship and talents of Naylor.
Eight years ago Naylor saved Templeton’s son when he had an incident at his group home.
Templeton and Naylor worked together in the jail-diversion or mental health unit of the sheriff’s office.
It was created in 2005 when Templeton was a trustee of the Permian Basin Community Centers of MHMR governing board.
“Mike and his team have devoted their lives, now sadly literally, to protecting the marginalized such as my son Brian,” Templeton said.