Thursday, March 21, 2013
Warren – attention to detail, technology, justice
By SUE WATSON
If a person’s personality can be summed up in one main trait, Jimmy Warren will be remembered for his love for and attention to detail, said Susan, his wife of 40 years.
It was his love for mechanical and technical know-how that made him a valuable asset throughout his years of service to law enforcement.
“We had lots of gadgets,” Susan Warren said.
He taught Sheriff Kenny Dickerson how to text after he talked the sheriff into an iPhone and showed him how to use it.
“Kenny said, ‘I have never had an index card that had a virus,’” said Susan Warren.
It was Warren’s savvy at technical know-how that was the biggest asset to Dickerson’s department after he joined the sheriff’s office as liaison to the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service, working in the Asset Forfeiture Office.
“I couldn’t slip anything by him,” Susan Warren said.
James “Jimmy” William Warren Jr. departed to his heavenly home, after 65 years, Monday morning at daybreak. He leaves his wife, daughter Alexis Williams, son-in-law Clay and 5-year-old grandson Warren behind.
Warren is the son of Dorothy Warren of Holly Springs and the late James William Warren Sr. of Waterford. His father served with the Mississippi Highway Patrol and served in Germany in World War II.
Susan Warren said his father’s example probably had a lot to do with his interest in law and justice.
Warren taught at the Ole Miss Law School for one year before coming home to Holly Springs to practice civil law. He was the first city judge in Holly Springs and shared a practice with Peggy Jones. Warren took the position of attorney to the county board of supervisors, filling the seat of Wall Doxey after his death. After serving about 15 years as board attorney and in his own law practice, he was offered to serve in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Oxford under Bob Whitwell. He remained there for almost 20 years before retiring.
Dickerson gave Warren the position of special liaison after the FBI requested he continue to serve with the Asset Forfeiture Office, while on the force in Marshall County.
Dickerson said in his capacity with the Tobacco Task Force, Warren brought about $150,000 to the county as a share for its work on a large cigarette case that was investigated and prosecuted by the criminal division of the FBI in Oxford. Before the work is completed, Dickerson said he expects the county to eventually get close to $1 million as its share for the work that Warren did.
The case involved the black marketing of unstamped cigarettes in the United States.
About three years into the investigation, a number of indictments and arrests were forthcoming. He said Warren traveled to several states working on the case.
He served about six years at the sheriff’s office.
Warren brought technology in phone systems, fingerprinting and radio - “anything to do with space-age technology,” Dickerson said.
He described Warren’s unexpected death as “a terrible blow to all of us.”
Warren was a lifelong friend to the sheriff, and they both served in separate units of the Mississippi National Guard.
Warren was also a volunteer firefighter and served very unselfishly, the sheriff said.
“He’d go the extra mile,” the sheriff said. “He shared a great enthusiasm for the Department of Legal Studies at Ole Miss.”
Susan and Jimmy Warren set up a scholarship – the Robert T. “Rob” Warren Outstanding Criminal Justice Student Award, a legal studies scholarship – in memory of their son who was a beginner in law enforcement before his untimely death to cancer.
It was Warren’s broad range of knowledge and expertise in many fields that made him a valuable asset to any law enforcement agency.
“He was second to none when it comes to firearms knowledge,” the sheriff said.
Warren’s love for the outdoors and for wildlife led him to share his good fortune of great places to hunt with underprivileged children. Having given up an interest in hunting just to take game, Warren loved to study animals – deer and turkey – in the wild. He was on a turkey hunt the day before he died.
Susan Warren said her husband was given a deferment to go to law school during the time when everyone was being drafted to go to Vietnam.
He served six years in the Mississippi National Guard, instead.
Although Warren was hard of hearing, Susan said he always had his ears tuned in to sirens. He would get out of bed at night to go help if he heard a siren, she said.
“He dearly loved public safety and law enforcement,” Dickerson said.
Warren was best at researching titles and preparing legal documents. Dickerson said he was very careful to review every document he prepared over and over. He had developed many sources over the years, and was personally able to get people to assist on short notice.
Warren loved Gene Holbrook, whom Susan said was her husband’s right-hand man. They built things together, fixed things together. Holbrook had knowledge of plumbing and electricity.
“They understood each other,” Susan Warren said. “They just always clicked.”
She said her husband was good at “bird dogging” a case.
“He could find things quickly,” she said.
Warren served as president of the advisory board with the Department of Applied Sciences at Ole Miss. He was president of the Rotary Club at one time and maintained his membership in the Mississippi Bar Association.
The Warrens had just celebrated their 40th year of marriage with a trip to France last summer, where they took a riverboat cruise, visited Normandy and other sites.
They took a trip to Alaska together and visited Germany twice.
The family had a good Thanksgiving and Christmas with their children and Warren had taken his grandson out to the farm in Benton County for an outing just a week ago.
Everything had fallen in place, Susan Warren said.
“Law school helped him have a good life,” she said.
Family friend Irene Strickland said Warren’s greatest gift was his willingness to help others.
For Warren’s obituary, see page 2 of this week’s edition of The South Reporter.
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