Officers mourn loss of longtime policeman, former chief killed in Thursday standoff

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 7:28 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Each time an officer is killed in the line of duty, colleagues say that death is felt throughout the law enforcement community, especially among officers who train for those very intense situations that led to Officer Randy Tyler’s death.

While flags remain at half-staff outside Madison’s police headquarters and ribbons mark a solemn remembrance of Tyler’s seven-year career with that department, his colleagues across the metro say it serves as a constant reminder of the dangers law enforcement faces every day.

Tyler also served as a member of Madison’s Special Response Team and trained new officers in those techniques as a field coordinator.

That alone resonates with officers at the Jackson Police Department, particularly those who train for the most unpredictable situations.

“You always have to train for the unknown variable or the unforeseeable. When we are deployed, when we are activated, that’s a situation that has overwhelmed patrol,” Jackson Police Dept. Assistant SWAT Commander Deon Taylor said. “So we know we are going into a volatile situation to begin with, right. And all of your training has to come together.”

JPD Capt. Christian Vance, the director of training for the department, said he believes that training and leadership are what brought Tyler to the scene that day.

“The legacy of somebody who gives it their all for such a long period of time is that even if they’re gone, whether it’s through tragedy or retirement, or they just move on, you can’t take away those nuggets of knowledge that they’ve given to people who were ready and hungry for it,” Vance said. “That’s the legacy, and that’s respect for a man of that caliber.”

Interim Chief Joseph Wade said when an officer is killed, it can drastically affect officer morale.

That’s why he believes it’s important to always let those men and women who wear the badge know how much they’re needed.

“We understand the sacrifice that they make every single day, not only the sacrifice of their family and what their family has to deal with, what they are putting their life on the line every single day. But also the trauma that the officer suffers just being on this job, the trauma that he or she sees on a daily basis. We have to make sure that we appreciate them, we celebrate them,” Wade said.

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