Local street hoops program renamed for Randy Naylor
Published 11:00 am Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The Vicksburg Police Department’s summer basketball program “Street Ball” is getting a new name, honoring police detective, juvenile officer and constable Randy Naylor, who died Nov. 7.
“Today is a very important announcement for an individual who served this city well for over 25 years,” Police Chief Walter Armstrong said Monday at a meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. “We’re here to announce changing the name of our Street Ball Program that’s been around for a number of years to be (the) Randy Naylor Summer Youth Program.
“Detective Naylor was very compassionate to this community and the kids he served,” Armstrong continued. “He spent countless hours making sure our youth had activities throughout the year. He even adopted the Head Start Center in Kings. He wanted to make sure the youth of our community were well-represented.”
Naylor, the chief said, was known as a kind-hearted person, adding he worked with the department’s summer youth program last year.
“Although he was not feeling well, he wanted to make sure our youth was represented with activities,” Armstrong said. “I know of no other officer in our department who consistently represented this community as regards to our youth.”
He followed his announcement with a presentation of Naylor’s professional certificate from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and his badge to his family. Armstrong and deputy police chief Bobby Stewart then unveiled a banner announcing the summer program as the “Randy Naylor Summer Youth Program.”
State Rep. Oscar Denton also presented a resolution from the Mississippi House of Representatives honoring Naylor to his family.
Naylor, 60, died in a Bossier City, La., hospital, where had been hospitalized since July 17 and was awaiting surgery to implant a heart defibrillator. He began working for Vicksburg police department in 1988 and was elected Central District Constable in 2007. He was best known as a school resource officer and juvenile crime investigator, and for his work with local youth.
“We (he and Mayor George Flaggs Jr.) knew him all our entire lives,” North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said. “We truly enjoyed the time we had with him.”
The Vicksburg Police Department began the Street Ball Program in 2009 was a way to combat juvenile crime during the summer when children are out of school. The program is held at the Vicksburg and Warren Central Junior High School gyms.