Hooper LaVigne, former police chief, dies

Published 4:48 pm Friday, October 6, 2006

Hooper LaVigne, 63, a former Picayune police chief, died Tuesday Oct. 3, 2006 in Hattiesburg.

“I started my law enforcement career under him,” said Picayune Police Chief Jim Luke. “He will certainly be missed by those in law enforcement that worked or served under him.”

Luke said he was hired by LaVigne in 1976 and described him as a dedicated law man that was extremely fair in his dealings with the public. LaVigne served the City of Picayune as police chief from February 1976 until December of 1978, Luke said.

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Back in the days when LaVigne was chief, the position involved hands on activity in law enforcement from the police chief, Luke said. Today, the police chief deals mostly with administration, he said.

A former Picayune police officer, Greg Dickerson, described LaVigne as knowledgeable and knew how to get along with people.

“I always thought he treated people pretty good,” Dickerson said. “He was a policeman’s chief. You could always go in his office and talk with him. I don’t know of anybody down there that didn’t like working with him.”

While LaVigne was described as a good person, he was not a person to trifle with.

“Hooper was from the old school,” Dickerson said. “He was a tough one. He was not a man to fool with if you got him mad. But he was a good person, he had a big heart.”

After LaVigne left the Police Department, he went to work for Stennis Space Center, Dickerson said. According to LaVigne’s obituary, “he was a quality control man for NASA.”

Services for LaVigne are today Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. at the White Chapel Church of God in Carriere. Visitation was 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Thursday Oct. 5, at McDonald Funeral Home. Burial took place at the Gipson Cemetery.

LaVigne was survived by one son, Hooper Dwayne LaVigne of Houston; a daughter, Joan Marrero of Mobile, Ala.; three brothers, Willie LaVigne, John LaVigne and Steven LaVigne all of Carriere; five sisters, Glenda Alligood, Linda Pitre and Addie Mae LaVigne all of Carriere and Alice Delaney and Myrtle Bradshaw both of Alabama and two step-sons, Wayne Johnson and Jody Johnson both of Poplarville.