Tyler was friend, mentor, hero to many

Tyler was friend, mentor, hero to many


Fellow law enforcement officers are remembering Randy Tyler as a mentor, friend and hero after he was fatally wounded in the line of duty last week.

Ridgeland Police Chief Bryan Myers said he met Tyler at RPD in 1998. He said Tyler brought him into the investigations team at RPD in 2000 and that they worked side by side as partners.

“He was an inspiration and an honorable man,” Myers said. “He was a hero and a dear friend.”

Madison County Constable Brad Harbour said that Tyler’s passing has “hit everyone in the gut.” Harbour said Tyler was his mentor and sergeant when he started his law enforcement career with RPD.

“He was an absolute good guy,” Harbour said. “There has never been a better person than him on the job.”

Assistant Madison Police Chief Robert Sanders was among the many officers who said Tyler was a model leader.

“He took everyone under his wing,” Sanders said. “He was always a phone call away and there was never any doubt he had your back. The way he treats people is something I have tried to carry over into what I do.”

Retired Ridgeland Police officer Ken Craft was with the department from 1984 until 2011. He said Tyler was his supervisor for much of his tenure with the department as well as his time as head of communications.

"He was an exceptional supervisor and a good friend," Craft said.

Craft said Tyler garnered the respect of his men without having to demand it.

"He believed in his people," Craft said. "He counted on his people and his people did what they needed to do because of the kind of person he was."

Ridgeland Police Sgt Ryan Jungers described Tyler as a ‘heck of a man” and a “cop’s cop.” Jungers said to him, Tyler was simply known as “Chief.” Tyler hired Jungers in 2008 and continued to mentor him throughout his career.

“He was instrumental in getting me to the road as an officer a little over a year later,” Jungers said. “He congratulated me and presented me with an acceptance letter a few years later after I was selected to be a part of his SWAT team. That was an experience that changed my life and changed me as an Officer; a brotherhood that I still cherish to this day.”

Jungers said June 1, 2023, is a day he will never forget.

“I keep hearing the radio transmissions of an Officer down,” Jungers said. “Calling each intersection while they rushed him to the hospital. Not having the slightest idea that it was one of my greatest mentors, a brother, a friend. Thank you, Chief for all you did for me. Rest easy, Sir. We got it from here.”

Myers said Tyler held health and fitness in high regard. 

“He kept himself in the best physical shape,” Myers said. “He was 64 and still on the tactical team. That is quite a feat.”

Sanders said he remembers a particular chase at Tyler’s side where a suspect had left his car on I-55 in Jackson and was running on foot. Sanders said Tyler bounded over the road barriers “like track hurdles” to continue the pursuit.

“He always led by example,” Sanders said. “He never asked anyone to do anything he was not willing to do himself and that is a true leader.”

Before working at Madison, Randy Tyler retired as the chief of Police for the Ridgeland Police Department. 

Chief Tyler was a graduate of the 228th Session of the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Va., and was an active member of the Mississippi Chapter of the F.B.I. National Academy Associates.

Tyler was hired as the Ridgeland Police Chief in June 2014 and held the position until the summer of 2015. He succeeded Chief Jimmy Houston following his retirement. Tyler had been assistant chief for 12 years under Houston, as well as serving as Interim Chief while Houston ran for Madison County Sheriff in 2011. He had started with RPD in October of 1987. 

Reaction pours in

Local and state dignitaries offered their condolences to the family of Randy Tyler, those who knew him and the law enforcement community at large as the news spread of his passing.

“May God bless his precious family and the men and women of the Madison Police Department,” Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler said in a statement. “We covet your prayers.”

A statement from Governor Tate Reeves said Tyler sacrificed his life to keep others safe. 

“He is a hero and our state will never forget him,” Reeves said. “Today, Mississippi grieves for Officer Tyler, his loved ones, and the rest of the law enforcement community. His courageous sacrifice likely stopped others from being injured or killed. Please continue to pray for his family and friends at this difficult time.”

The City of Ridgeland issued a press release on June 1 following the news. The statement in its entirety reads:

“It is with tremendous sadness that we communicate that Ridgeland’s former Chief of Police, Randy Tyler, lost his life this morning in the line of duty,’ the statement from the city says. “Chief Tyler worked in the Ridgeland Police Department for over 27 years and became the Chief of Police in 2014. His service to our community from 1987 – 2015 will not be forgotten.” 

“Mayor Gene McGee, Ridgeland Board of Alderman, and City staff send their deepest condolences to his family and are thankful that we were able to have Randy as a part of our City family for all of those years.”

Brandon Police Chief Wayne Dearman and the Brandon Police Department issued a statement.

“Chief Dearman and the Brandon Police Department would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of this fallen hero and ask that you join in praying for them in the coming days,” a statement from BPD reads.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions