‘We will not forget his legacy’: Former Miss. Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner dies at 74

David Huggins, 74
David Huggins, 74(DPS)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 1:50 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A law enforcement giant in Mississippi has died.

Friday, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety announced the passing of its former Public Safety Commissioner and Chief of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, David Huggins.

He was 74.

The Brandon resident and native of Biggersville died Wednesday afternoon due to health complications.

Huggins had a love for law enforcement and started his career in the early 1960s at the Alcorn County Sheriff’s Department, DPS said.

“One of the first homicides he helped investigate, was the infamous case of McNairy County Tennessee Sheriff Buford Pusser’s wife, who was killed in August of 1964. From there, he went on to become a State Trooper and graduated from Cadet Class 27 in 1969, and was assigned to Tunica, Mississippi,” the agency said in a statement.

In his lengthy career of working for the safety of the State of Mississippi, Huggins was chosen to serve as Chief of the Mississippi Highway Patrol from 1988-1992 under Governor Ray Mabus.

In 2000, Huggins was named Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, he served in this role until 2004 under Governor Ronnie Musgrove.

After his time as Commissioner, he was Sergeant at Arms for the Mississippi Senate from 2004-2008, then became Chief Investigator for the State Auditor’s Office in 2008.

“Commissioner Huggins was a visionary, mentor, and friend,” said Colonel Randy Ginn. “We will not forget his legacy and the impact he has made on the lives of the men and women of this agency.”

“We send our thoughts and prayers to Commissioner Huggins’ family and friends,” said Commissioner Sean Tindell. “Huggins leaves a great legacy and served a historic role within the Department of Public Safety, Mississippi Highway Patrol, and the State of Mississippi. He will be greatly missed.”

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