Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 25, 2013

School officer dies

Garner had worked with Mabank since ’04

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

Athens — Mabank Police Officer Mike Garner died from apparent natural causes Monday morning, according to Mabank Police Chief Kyle McAfee.

McAfee said Garner did not show up for work on Monday, which was very unusual for him not to notify someone. He said the police went to his home, and found him.

Chief McAfee said “Officer Garner had not been feeling well, not with anything serious, like a cold or alergies.”

Garner had been a familiar face around Cedar Creek Lake since the mid 1980s. He started his law enforcement career in Duncanville in 1979. In the early 1980s, he moved to Henderson County to take the role of Texas Alcohol, Beverage Control  officer.

Following his stint with TABC, he was with Gun Barrel City Police Department. Garner  moved to the Mabank Police Department in 2000.

Garner was reassigned as  Mabank Independent School District resource officer in 2004.

McAfee said he worked very closely with the school. Garner had been teaching a class on law enforcement at Mabank ISD. McAfee posted a message on the  Mabank Police Department Facebook page that said,  “Mike was very knowledgeable in the law-enforcement field, and was instrumental in the schools. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.”

“He was my son's favorite teacher,” said Ruth van der Plaus, who's son, Oliver, was a student of Garner’s. “Oliver is very upset. He just couldn't believe it.”

Funeral arrangements are pending with Eubanks Funeral Home in Mabank.