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Hero Down: Kalamazoo County Deputy Eric West Dies Of Medical Emergency

Kalamazoo County, MI – Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Deputy Eric West died unexpectedly on Oct. 25 due to a medical issue.

Deputy West, 50, was off duty when the medical emergency occurred, Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Jim VanDyken told MLive.

“It is with deep sadness that we inform you Deputy Eric West of the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office unexpectedly passed away yesterday afternoon,” the KCSO said in a press release on Oct. 26.

The veteran deputy’s exact cause of death was not released.

Deputy West served as a police officer in Decatur and Schoolcraft and later became chief of the Vicksburg Police Department prior to joining the KCSO on July 10, 2017.

He was serving in the department’s Operation Division at the time of his death.

“Deputy West utilized his skills and experience in the role of a Field Training Officer, showing new officers how to apply their police academy knowledge to real life, on-the-job experiences,” the KCSO said.

Deputy West devoted nearly 25 years of his life to his law enforcement career, according to his obituary.

He was also a licensed emergency medical technician and had recently retired from the South Kalamazoo County Fire Authority.

Deputy West leaves behind his wife of 26 years, Shawna, as well as his daughters, Ally and Megan, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his five siblings, many nieces, nephews, and extended family members, and his “special dog,” Rookie, the tribute read.

Deputy West was laid to rest on Oct. 30.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Eric West, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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