Family and friends come together to honor the life of Willie “Hoot” West

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Dozens came out to the Lowndes Funeral Home on Sunday to remember the life of long-time District One Constable Willie “Hoot” West.

Family, friends, and law enforcement officers from all over the state came to be a part of the service.

Willie “Hoot” West passed away Thursday, three days after he was involved in a one-vehicle crash.

“We’ve lost a really good man and a really good friend,” said friend Gary Collins.

“Just the way he handled things… That in its self was a big asset. You always had somebody you could go to or turn to,” said Lt. Rick Jones of the Columbus Police Department.

“He was very honest. A straight-up guy,” said Collins.

Collins said he’s been friends with Constable West since the early 70s.

He said the Constable’s passing is a loss for the entire community, which he had served for more than 50 years.

“Just such a loss… Him not being around here anymore because I guess we all depended on him pretty much… He was kind of old-school, but he got things done,” said Collins.

Lt. Rick Jones, another longtime friend of Constable West, said West was just as good of a person when he was off duty.

“I remember Constable West when I first started back in my law enforcement career in the early 80s, and he was always there. He was one of those steadfast people that you could always go to… He was very much in tune with his community, and if you had an issue or a problem, you could go to him and talk to him and he would respond like he has so many times before. He was a good servant of the people,” said Jones.

“He cared about people very much. He would do anything to help anybody. He really would go out of his way,” said Collins.

Everyone in attendance agreed that Lowndes County isn’t quite the same without Constable West.

“Definitely he will be greatly missed. He was the mainstay and somebody we always could count on and somebody we always could go to,” said Jones.

Willie “Hoot” West served as the District One Constable in Lowndes County for 52 years and was re-elected 12 times.

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