WACO, TX — On Saturday, the Waco Police Department announced the loss of Waco Police Officer William Michael McKinney. He leaves behind a wife, a daughter, his father, his sister, as well as a community he spent a lifetime giving back to.
"Ofc. McKinney lost his battle with cancer Saturday, December 19, 2020," Officer Garen Bynum wrote in a post on the department's Facebook page. "Ofc. McKinney was a graduate of the 55th Waco Police Academy on February 18, 2005. Prior to becoming a part of our police family, he attended Whitney High School and graduated in 1989."
McKinney leaves behind a life of service, starting from his time in the U.S. Navy when he attended Master of Arms School and was a military policeman. He received multiple military awards, including the National Defense Service Medal, South Asia Service Medal, and a Bronze Star.
From the military, McKinney would attend Hill College with a course study as an Emergency Medical Tech, and then McLennan Community College, where he received his Fire Academy Certification.
In 2004 McKinney started his career with the Waco Police Department before taking a short leave to become a Waco firefighter.
In 2008, he would return to Waco PD and excel on the Patrol Division, the Street Crimes Unit, and as a detective with the Drug Enforcement Section, where he served up until Saturday.
As an officer, McKinney received the Waco Police Department's Life-Saving Award, the Certificate of Merit, and multiple Meritorious Unit Awards and written commendations.
Commander Steve Mosley is a current Commander in the Patrol Division of the Waco Police Department. In an interview with 25 News on Tuesday, Cmd. Mosley spoke about his time working with McKinney.
"He was the ultimate professional, and his work ethic was outstanding," said Commander Steve Mosley, a Commander in the Patrol Division of Waco PD and a friend of Ofc. McKinney. "Very easy to supervise, and on a personal level, he and I became good friends."
When McKinney was on the street crimes unit, Mosley was his sergeant and direct supervisor.
"Officer McKinney and I worked together in the street crimes unit for probably six years," he said.
Perhaps as unimaginable as it is admirable, McKinney continued serving his community with the department amid his battle with cancer.
"Mike was proud and private man, and I think that battle that he was having with cancer he wanted to go through with his family," he said. "As far as his police family, we would occasionally get updates on how he was doing or when he would have to go back to Houston to have another treatment."
In between cancer treatments, McKinney would find a way to get back on the job.
"Our drug enforcement unit doesn't normally work on the weekends, and because Mike was the kind of man that he is, a lot of the hours that he worked we're on weekends when no one else was there," said Mosley.
Aside from a dedicated and competent officer, Mosley said McKinney was just an exceptional a person to be around.
"He was very quick-witted and made all the rest of us feel better when we were around him," he said. "I don't think there's a person among us in this department that ever spent any time around Mike that doesn't have some type of either fond memory or really funny story that we could tell about our time."
Through it all, McKinney's focus was always on the community.
"During our time in Street Crimes together, he would collect toys for Blue Santa," Mosley explained. "And not only would he collect the toys for Blue Santa, he would personally go out and deliver those bags to the less fortunate families that needed our help. That is the kind of person he was."
For now, a community and a police department are at a loss.
"For our police family, it is just something that we're going to have to to cope with," said Mosley.
And more importantly, a family.
"For his family, I just want them to know how much he was cared about here," Mosley explained, holding back tears. "Even though he is gone.They will always be a part of it our family."
Officer William Michael McKinney's funeral will be on Monday, December 28 in Whitney, TX.