Friends and family are remembering Cpl. Michael Middlebrook, one year after he was shot and killed in the line of duty.
During Monday’s ceremony at Our Savior’s Church, it was evident that Middlebrook’s generosity, as well as his ultimate sacrifice, has not been forgotten.
“Thank you Cpl. Michael Middlebrook for your bravery, your courage, your heroic efforts and your many years of service. You will not be forgotten. Dispatch clear,” that end of watch call, played again during the service, still holds true a year after his death.
Cpl. Michael Middlebrook is remembered as a family man, a selfless police officer and man of God, someone who went above and beyond the call of duty.
“I talk about Michael being a lion, who towered over the City of Lafayette, with vigilant eyes, the eyes of a sentinel, and with a compassion of angels. It’s really the best way I can describe his life, his work, his ministry,” said Chief Toby Aguillard to the dozens of law enforcement, friends and family of the fallen officer who filled the church.
Our Savior’s Church also built a memorial to Middlebrook next to the church.
The stone pathway is painted with the thin blue line. At the end of the pathway, a small monument dedicated to him.
In the last year, Middlebrook’s brothers and sisters in blue, and his wife and children have become one family.
“We remembered the good times that we shared with him. That’s something that he wanted us to do. I know he wanted us to do, to remember him for the good times. We don’t want to be sad today. The pain doesn’t get any better but it helps with the community that’s loving and caring with the department,” said Cpl. Bridgette Dugas, the spokeswoman of the department.
Middlebrook’s legacy is being carried on by his fellow officers.
Eight of them were nominated for the prestigious “Beyond the Badge” award.
Middlebrook himself won that same award shortly before his death, for helping the less fortunate in the community.
“I brought in a few of them and asked them ‘what lead you to do that? Why did you help that old woman? What made you reach into your own pocket to pay for that hotel room for that family?’ And I want his family to know that all of them have said, ‘I did it for Michael, I did it because of Michael’…Michael’s legacy is real, it’s going to live on. He will never be forgotten because he was who he was,” said Chief Aguillard.
Monday night at 10:20, which was the time Cpl. Middlebrook was killed last year, the Lafayette Police Department went silent on their radio in honor of him. You can listen to that here.