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Waco Police officers keep promise, support daughter of departed colleague on coronation night

Officer Michael McKinney lost battle to cancer in 2020; daughter crowned homecoming queen on Friday
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 4:24 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas homecoming queen was crowned Friday night surrounded by uniformed police officers making good on a promise to always be there to support the young lady after her father, longtime Waco Police Department Police Officer Michael McKinney, died in December after battling cancer.

Macy McKinney, 17, was named homecoming queen for Whitney High School during the team’s halftime Friday night.

Macy McKinney, 17, was named homecoming queen for Whitney High School during the team's...
Macy McKinney, 17, was named homecoming queen for Whitney High School during the team's halftime Friday night.(Courtesy Photo)

Michael McKinney, an officer and later detective with Waco Police Department from 2005 until his death in December 2020, died after a six month battle with thymic cancer, a rare cancer affecting the small organ that lies in the upper chest above the heart and under the breastbone.

Instead of the traditional father escort onto the field Friday, the nominee, walked arm-in-arm with her mother, April.

Instead of the traditional father escort onto the field Friday, Macy McKinney, the nominee,...
Instead of the traditional father escort onto the field Friday, Macy McKinney, the nominee, walked arm-in-arm with her mother, April.(Courtesy Photo)

In the backdrop of it all were 16 uniformed Waco Police Department officers, standing watch on the edge of the field, all who made the trip to Whitney off duty to support their longtime co-worker’s family.

“My father loved his blue family and I’m so thankful for all the support they have given my mother and me,” Macy said. “I would like to thank all the officers who came out to be there for me and honor the memory of my father.”

The officers lined up behind the nominees on the visitor’s side of the field facing the homecoming crowd while Macy’s name was read over the loudspeaker as the winner.

It was a moment so moving April says she still can’t find the words.

Michael McKinney with a fellow officer with the Waco Police Department.
Michael McKinney with a fellow officer with the Waco Police Department.(Courtesy Photo)

“I’m thankful for each officer who took the time to come to Whitney and stand in Michael’s place,” April said. “It’s difficult to express just how special they made this night for Macy. I appreciate the love each officer showed us with their presence on that field.”

It was the moment that fulfilled a promise many officers made to April following Michael’s death at the age of 49.

“There were several officers that had reached out after Michael died and said that they wanted to be there for the important things and events in Macy’s life and to support her,” April said.

Macy with her father throughout the years
Macy with her father throughout the years(Courtesy Photos)

“And one of the officer’s wives had reached out and was asking to let us know about homecoming so I contacted her to let her know Macy was nominated. And they didn’t come on city time, they all came on their own.”

The gesture meant the world to the mother and daughter, but especially to Macy, an only child. She and her dad shared a very special bond.

Macy was known as a “daddy’s girl” who loved to spend time with her father dressing up in costumes, going on cruises and attending rock concerts together that Michael enjoyed.

Macy has been a cheerleader since a very young age.
Macy has been a cheerleader since a very young age.(Courtesy Photos)
Macy and her father
Macy and her father(Courtesy Photos)

When the longtime officer was in the thick of his cancer treatment in the fall at MD Anderson, Macy was chosen as a princess of the Whitney homecoming court.

April says her husband was incredibly sick and weak on the day of the homecoming game in 2020 and spent most of the day in a local emergency room receiving two units of blood.

But nothing , she says, could stop him from being there for his little girl.

McKinney Family (left)  The night a cancer-stricken Michael accompanied his daughter at the...
McKinney Family (left) The night a cancer-stricken Michael accompanied his daughter at the 2020 homecoming celebration. (right)(Courtesy Photos)

“We didn’t think he’d be able to walk her on the field,” April said. “But we were able to get all of that done and we rushed home and he was able to escort her last year.”

April and Macy say they’re forever thankful that the men and women in blue backed her in a special moment they’ll never forget.

“It meant so much to me by having the Waco Police Department be there honoring my father’s memory and supporting me,” the homecoming queen said. " It made a memorable night even more special by having the presence of the Waco police department.”Macy will graduate in the spring and hopes to attend Baylor University in the fall.

Macy and Michael McKinney
Macy and Michael McKinney(Courtesy Photos)

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