Funeral held for Midland police officer killed on-duty

MIDLAND, TX (KOSA) -- Friends, loved ones, and hundreds of law enforcement officers said goodbye to fallen Midland police officer Nathan Hayden Heidelberg on Friday. Those in attendance experienced the full spectrum of emotion as they paid their respects.

The mix of feelings was exemplified by a tremendous eulogy given by Midland Police Chief Seth Herman.

“Hayden was a hulk of a man,” Herman said. “A strong man. Well over 6-feet tall, 240 pounds. Just a mountain of muscle. I, being 5-foot-5 and three-quarters inches, 180-ish pounds, shared his burden. Realizing that people thought of us as superheroes.”

Herman continued that he and Heidelberg shared a love for science, as well as music. However, he said there was something they didn’t have in common.

“You see as much as I try,” Herman said, before pausing several seconds fighting back tears. “I will never be as good a man as Hayden. He was a warrior in every sense of the word. I truly wish I could be more like Hayden.”

For those who knew Heidelberg, and even those who didn’t, there is no easy way to deal with the loss.

“The only way that I get through this,” Herman said, “Is believing in my heart that, like the Midland Police Department, Heaven is short on good patrolmen. And ladies and gentlemen, God only takes the best.”

Following songs, prayer and a message of comfort from First Baptist pastor Darin Wood, Herman once again took the podium, and awarded Heidelberg with Midland PD’s highest honor.

“He willingly placed himself in immediate danger to protect the lives of citizens and fellow officers,” Herman said. “He stood in the breach to provide cover to those he loved without a second thought, as if it was second nature to him. For his actions, and the man he was, I present the Medal of Valor to Field Training Officer Nathan Hayden Heidelberg.”

Herman then walked over to Heidelberg’s family, knelt down, and presented them with the medal.

Following the service, Heidelberg was escorted to his final resting place at Greenwood Cemetery.