Longtime Westlake leader dies

January 11, 2011 at 2:25 am

Westlake residents are mourning the passing of Jim “Hawk” Herford, 63.

A native and longtime resident of Westlake, he served as its chief of police, was a member of the state pardon board and recently served on the Lake Charles Port Board. He also worked with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Current parish Chief Deputy Gary “Stitch” Guillory worked under Herford for 15 years before succeeding him as chief of police and called him a close friend.

“He was for Westlake through and through. He cared about the town,” Guillory said.

Former Westlake Mayor Dudley Dixon, who worked with Herford, said the former chief worked hard for the city of Westlake.

“He was elected by the people to serve them, and that’s exactly what he did,” Dixon said.

Both Guillory and Dixon said one of Herford’s favorite hobbies was cooking.

“I think most of his hobbies were taking care of people,” Dixon said.

Dixon said Herford treated his police department employees well.

“He was always one of the guys, but when he needed to use his authority, he did,” Dixon said.

Guillory said he didn’t know of any health problems Herford had.

“He was a pretty healthy guy. He had a hip replacement, but he exercised every day and took pretty good care of himself,” Guillory said.

Herford reportedly collapsed Sunday in a hotel lobby in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as he and his wife were ending a vacation trip. His cause of death is unknown and funeral services are pending.

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