Lt. Mike Aycock, a 15-year veteran with Killeen police known fondly among fellow officers as “Big Country,” died Thursday, losing a fight against cancer.
Aycock, 40, was the head of special operations within Killeen Police Department’s Traffic Division.
Fellow officers thought fondly of Aycock. Good friend Lt. Jeff Donohue said Aycock’s sense of humor endeared him to every officer he met. The two worked with each other for nearly all of Aycock’s career, starting as patrol officers.
“As soon as you met him, you loved him,” Donohue said.
“Mike was a valuable member of the Killeen Police Department, and everyone here will sorely miss him,” Chief Dennis Baldwin said. “It is difficult to say goodbye to someone as special as Mike, and our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
As a teenager in Temple, Aycock discovered a love for police work. In a story relayed by his father, Mike Aycock was about 16 when he came home and complained to his father about an officer harassing his friends.
To show his son the other side, Jimmy Aycock took him down to the station and had him ride along with an officer.
“From that point on, he was hooked,” Jimmy Aycock said. “He rode constantly with Temple, and he just knew that’s what he wanted to do.”
After high school, Mike Aycock went to Temple College. Upon graduation, he went straight into the police academy.
His training led him to become a police officer in Mart and then McGregor, where he met his wife, Angela. He also worked in Hewitt before settling down at KPD.
Aycock’s first love was his family. After them and police work, came boating and deer hunting.
Aycock was an avid outdoorsman, his father said. Even while undergoing chemotherapy for testicular cancer, Aycock would make it to their deer lease.
“He said, ‘I can be sick at home or sick at the deer lease. I’m going to the deer lease,’” Jimmy Aycock said.
A hunter until the end, father and son had been at the deer lease as recently as last weekend. It was there Mike Aycock made mention of headaches.
Doctors had recently told Aycock he was cancer free. But the headaches got worse, and soon he was in the emergency room. Doctors performed a CT scan and discovered brain cancer.
Several police officers visited with the family during Aycock’s last days. It was there that Jimmy Aycock said he learned his seemingly stoic son was actually a cut-up at work.
They also told him his son was considered a “true professional who always put others first,” as Baldwin put it.
“When you walked down that dark alley, he was the one you wanted beside you,” Jimmy Aycock said.
Services for Mike Aycock are pending.
He is survived by his wife, Angela Aycock; son, Dalton; daughter, Dakota; parents, Sherrie and Jimmy Aycock; sister, Cristi Cleveland, and nephew, Brian McGuire.