By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Poarch Band of Creek Indians Police Chief Mike Reynolds, who died last Wednesday, January 18, at age 59 of a heart attack, was remembered by his local colleagues as a true blue lawman who cared for his department, the community he served, and his fellow human beings.
Reynolds, who became the tribe’s top policeman in 2016, had reportedly undergone surgery recently and was recuperating at home when he suffered the fatal heart attack.
The late police chief put together a law enforcement career of 35-plus years. It began when he became a military policeman in the U.S. Army. He later worked as a deputy for the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, from which he retired in 2007 with the rank of captain. He also served eight years as Chickasaw’s public safety director prior to accepting the PCI job.
Poarch CEO Stephanie Bryan said Reynolds was a police officer to the core, respected by other law enforcement officers throughout the area.
“Mike was a policeman through and through, and on learning of his passing, members of law enforcement from Mobile and Baldwin counties came together to escort his remains from the hospital to a funeral home in Mobile County,” Bryan said in a press release.
The Poarch CEO said in a separate release that was broadcast and published by WKRG-TV that Reynolds “worked tirelessly” to provide public safety for the tribal community and that he “forged deep connections with countless tribal members and our neighbors.”
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks said he was dumbfounded when he got the news of the PCI chief’s death.
“Hearing of Chief Reynolds’ passing was a great shock,” Brooks said. “Chief Reynolds was a great man who I considered a great friend. He cared for his department and community. He will be missed.”
Escambia County Sheriff Heath Jackson expressed similar sentiments in an interview with WKRG.
“Always pleasant, took care of his people, just one of those supervisors and chiefs everybody wanted to work for,” Jackson said. “Mike was never scared to take on new opportunities and did everything with honesty and integrity. He had very strong values and was well liked by everyone, mostly due to his positive energy. Mike had incredible patience and always made time to help others. He was always willing to listen to others and help any way he could.
“This is something that is going to linger around for a long time, because replacing somebody of his caliber … those are some big shoes to fill. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians Police Department is a very tight-knit organization, and he was the leader.”
Reynolds, who was buried at Serenity Memorial Gardens on January 24, is survived by his wife of 40 years, Debbie (née Blocker); his children, Court and Megan; his mother, Bettye Catherine, and several siblings, grandchildren and other relatives.
A complete obituary is published on page 3 in this edition.