A fitting name for a good program

Published 11:32 am Thursday, March 13, 2014

The legacy of Vicksburg’s beloved lawman, the late Randy Naylor, will continue this summer under the banner of a youth program that will bear his name.
Police Chief Walter Armstrong announced Monday that the police department’s summer sports program would be renamed from Street Ball to the Randy Naylor Summer Youth Program.
“I know of no other officer in our department who consistently represented this community as regards to our youth,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong is right. Naylor was a familiar face at the annual Street Ball programs and at almost every other activity involving Vicksburg’s children.
The program, which is designed to keep young people off the streets and in a positive environment during their summer break from school, is the perfect way to honor Naylor’s memory.
He embodied the spirit of community police work, especially when it came to helping our young residents and offering them a kind, compassionate ear, no matter what their troubles were.
There is hardly a child who grew up in Vicksburg during his lengthy career as a juvenile officer and school resource officer who doesn’t have a positive story about him.
“He was not only my hero, he was Vicksburg’s hero,” his daughter Brandy Naylor-Wilson told us when her father died in November.
Naylor, the hero that he was, would be proud knowing the work he dedicated his life too will continue as part of the program under his name.
Armstrong summed up Naylor’s career well when making the announcement about the name change during Monday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
“Detective Naylor was very compassionate to this community and the kids he served,” Armstrong said. “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’s death has left a hole in our community. There is no doubt. No one will ever be able to replace him, but the visions he had for the youth of our city and county can be achieved.
It will take lots of difficult work, but we can do it.