Grand Prairie Police provided a final sendoff for an officer lost to COVID-19.
Officer Andrew MacDonald died Monday. His passing provides the latest test for a department all too familiar with loss.
Grand Prairie Police Chief Daniel Scesney agreed to share his reflections with NBC-5 this week because he admitted it would simply be too difficult on the day he delivered a eulogy for his fellow officer.
“I can just tell you he was beloved by our department,” Scesney said. “He’s part of the heart and soul of our department.”
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Officer MacDonald started his public safety career in 1999 as an officer with the Grand Prairie Police Department.
He has served in patrol, special weapons and tactics, and most recently in the community services division during his 22-year career with the department.
"The men and women of the Grand Prairie Police Department are hurting and still trying to process how we lost our brother so quickly," Grand Prairie Police Chief Daniel Scesney said. "I have no doubt Andy is patrolling the streets of heaven as we speak."
At Gateway Church in Grand Prairie, Scesney and the officer’s father and brother talked about a public servant many knew as “Mac” - an officer with a deep love for animals – working closely with the city’s animal services department to find homes for rescues.
Scott MacDonald said his brother wanted to be a police officer since he was a young child.
“You want to honor Andy? Be God’s hands,” MacDonald said. “Use them to help someone.”
Reverend Joseph MacDonald told the audience of mostly fellow uniformed officers if there is anything to take from a funeral, it is fellow officers remember what they admired about his son and share it with fellow officers.
“Don’t wait until this time to say ‘he was a good officer, she was a good officer’,” MacDonald said. “Don’t wait until this time. Live it. Everyday.”
MacDonald is the third Grand Prairie Police officer to die since 2019.
A.J. Castaneda died in June 2019 after being struck by a vehicle while running radar on the George Bush Turnpike. His loss was followed by the death of Officer Joshua Jefferson who was killed in an off-duty single-vehicle crash in May 2020.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page – which tracks in the line of duty deaths – COVID-19 is responsible for 60 of the 70 deaths of Texas law enforcement officers so far this year.
On Friday, Scesney shared the depth of that amount of loss by imploring his tight-knit department to tighten the bonds of support even more.
“I also need you to lean on one another,” Scesney said. “Lean on the resources that are available to you. This requires backup.”