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City to rename roads in honor of longtime sheriff

Oxford is recognizing the longest-tenured sheriff in Mississippi for his service to Lafayette County and Oxford communities. During Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, a resolution was unanimously passed to rename two roads in honor of the late F.D. ‘Buddy’ East.

With all of East’s surviving family members in attendance, including his son, Joey East, who is running for sheriff this year, Mayor Robyn Tannehill read the resolution. The Board and those in the gallery of the city hall courtroom responded by rising for a standing ovation.

“They let me know about it a couple weeks ago. It’s just an honor,” Joey said following the passing of the resolution. “His life was about service and for them to recognize him I think is just classy. It lets you know that people appreciate what he did.”

The resolution will rename County Road 2020, currently under construction, to North F.D. ‘Buddy’ East Parkway. The road will eventually connect Sisk Avenue to Highway 6. County Road 406, where construction of the new business center, arena and Lafayette Elementary School is taking place, will change its name to South F.D. ‘Buddy’ East Parkway.

East served as sheriff of Lafayette County for 46 years, from 1972 until his passing last September. Prior to becoming sheriff, East worked his way up the ranks of the Oxford Police Department, eventually becoming assistant chief of police. East worked a total of 54 years in law enforcement.

“The City of Oxford desires to recognize and memorialize the service to this community of the former Sheriff F.D. ‘Buddy’ East,” the resolution read. ‘The changing of the names of Lafayette County Road 2020 to North F.D. ‘Buddy’ East Parkway and Lafayette County Road 406 to South F.D. ‘Buddy’ East Parkway will call attention to the legacy, dedication, memory, and years of service of a great man and great member of the Lafayette – Oxford – University Community.”

With the 2018 annexation, both roads fell inside of Oxford’s city limits, allowing the Board to propose, and pass, the resolution.