MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - "He's been there for so long and had the utmost respect," said Madison County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Brent Patterson.
That's how the Madison County Sheriff's Office describes fallen Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams' interaction with his community.
With a law enforcement career spanning 40 years, Williams, affectionately known as Sheriff 'Big John' was shot and killed just over a week ago.
Local law enforcement officers plan to attend his memorial service Monday.
"Anytime you have an officer that is killed in the line of duty, injured in the way the sheriff was down South, it affects us all," explained Patterson.
He said he's never heard Williams' name put to shame.
"Sheriff Turner knew him well, our previous sheriff, Sheriff Dorning knew him well. I never heard one bad thing about him," Patterson added. "Not one time and that's not always the way it is in law enforcement, you're going to hear some negativity. That's just the life that we have. Never heard one bad thing about this man."
And while the funeral service is something no one is looking forward to, Patterson said he knows fellow deputies would do the same for his department.
"We're going to pay our respects and we're going to offer our prayers to them. Because you know if it happened here, they'd be here for us," said Patterson.
Several Madison County deputies left for the funeral Sunday night.
Sheriff Big John's funeral service is set to take place in Montgomery at Garret Coliseum.