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Buddy East, long-time Lafayette County sheriff, dies at 76

F.D. “Buddy” East, who served as Lafayette County Sheriff for over 40 years, died  Saturday morning following a brief illness, the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

East was 76 years old and had recently celebrated 46 years serving the county as sheriff, having been elected for 12 consecutive terms dating back to 1972.

“This is what I always wanted to do all my life, to be sheriff,” East said to the EAGLE in a report about his 46 years of service. “It’s been a dream come true.”

“Words cannot describe the impact and legacy left on Lafayette County and the entire law enforcement community in the state of Mississippi over (East’s) 46 years of honorable service,” the LCSD said.

During his long tenure as sheriff, East established many programs in Lafayette County, including implementing a 10-man SWAT team and Project Lifesaver, which applies tracking technology for searching and rescuing those with cognitive disorders.

East’s 46 years as sheriff earned him the distinction of longest-serving sheriff in Mississippi.

East is survived by wife Mary East, son Joey East and daughter Melissa Westbrook, daughter Shannon Lomax, son Steve Lewis and son Scott Lewis and several grandchildren.
Arrangements for East will be announced by Waller Funeral Home in the coming days, LCSD said.