Officers honor retired colleague who lost battle to cancer

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport retired officer, Sgt. Davy Kirkland lost his battle with cancer on Sunday. Friday afternoon, blue lights flashed as far as the eye could see, as officers from all over South Mississippi gathered for a motorcade in honor of Kirkland.

Sgt. Damon J. McDaniel with the Gulfport Police Department remembers Kirkland as more than a fellow officer.

"Davy Kirkland was not only a coworker, a tact team member, or a policeman, he was a friend. He was a friend to a lot of us out here," said McDaniel.

Sgt. Davy Kirkland was diagnosed with colon cancer more than a year ago. Throughout his battle, fellow officers were there to support him every step of the way. Now that Kirkland leaves behind a wife and five children, Sgt. Bradley Walker believes the police department will be there for his family however they can.

"We're going to love them. That's all we can do right now is love them. If they need something physically, we're going to provide it for them, but most off all we're going to be there to love them," said Walker.

Sgt. Bradley Walker worked narcotics with Kirkland for several years. He adds, Kirkland taught him most of what he knows, and he was a huge asset to the narcotics division.

"A lot of people don't know this about Davy, but he actually set the state record in the state of Mississippi for most undercover drug busts back in 2005," said Walker.

Kirkland's diagnosis sent shock waves through the police department. Many of them wondered how a healthy man could become ill at such a young age. But his death has shed light on the importance of early cancer screenings.

"Usually the common rule for guys is you get checked about 50. But Davy was 42, 41 when he found out, so this will definitely make us be more observant. If we have any pains at all, we're going to get it checked out," said Sgt. Walker.

Sgt. Kirkland's visitation will be Saturday morning at First Baptist Church in Gulfport.

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