Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office employees remember their late colleague Deputy Dedrick Mustiful as a loyal employee and joyful Christian man.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office employees remember their late colleague Deputy Dedrick Mustiful as a loyal employee and joyful Christian man.

Mustiful died of natural causes on Sunday. He was 34 years old and leaves behind a finance, Sonia Townsend, and daughter, Makiya Mustiful. Mustiful joined the sheriff’s office on Jan. 16, 2014.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Maj.Lafayette Woods Jr. said that Mustiful was initially assigned to the transport division and later transferred to the uniformed patrol division after his completion of law enforcement training. Mustiful mentored many youth during his career, helping to mold them into responsible professionals, Woods said.

"It is with profound sadness that we remember the passing of Deputy Mustiful," Woods said in a written statement. "It is also the sense of our agency to convey its grateful appreciation and heartfelt regret in recognition of the loss of Deputy Mustiful, who selflessly dedicated his purposeful life and career in faithful service to his family and to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

"Deputy Mustiful served with dedication, loyalty and compassion, and devoted his life and career to serve and protect," Woods said. "Deputy Mustiful was well respected amongst his peers and fellow deputies; the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office benefited from his loyalty and commitment to the safety of the community and the citizens that we are sworn to protect.

"Deputy Mustiful was a dedicated public servant who performed his duties in a manner that brought honor to the entire agency and law enforcement profession," Woods said. "He leaves behind a legacy which will long endure the passage of time and will remain as a comforting memory to all he served and befriended; Deputy Mustiful will be deeply missed and truly merits the grateful tribute of this agency."

The agency expresses its deepest condolences to his family, Woods said.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dot Rowland said she had the privilege of working with Mustiful for 10 months. She remembered his as easygoing, gentle and joyful.

"He was always smiling and brought a positive outlook on life," Rowland said. "He always had a smile on his face and was very easy to work with. We are going to miss working with him. Deputy Mustiful knew a lot about Pine Bluff. He was very informative and helpful. If you asked him to do something, he would go out of his way to get it done. He was always punctual. Even on his bad days, he was always smiling."

He transferred inmates and arrested people wanted on outstanding warrants, she said. Mustiful would share an uplifting scripture verse and sing a Christian worship song, she said. He worshipped at Truth Vine E Missionary Baptist Church and was a coach to an east side Little League baseball team, she said.

"I cannot believe this young man is gone," Rowland said. "He is not in pain any more."

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy James Hoffman recalled his colleague fondly. Mustiful took a sick leave on July 24, Hoffman said.

"Every day was a good day in his book," Hoffman said. "He was always out there beside us when we needed him. He very much made an impression. We lost one of the brightest deputies we had around here. Every day he woke up and praised God."

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Yohance Brunson remembered Mustiful was affectionately called "Big D." Brunson said that his father was in the hospital and died last month, during which Mustiful comforted him even through he was ill.

"He prayed with me on the phone," Brunson said. "We told him be more worried about yourself. Big D never questioned [why he was sick]. He never changed even though he knew he was going through a difficult time. He was a good old country guy."

Brunson said that Mustiful made an impact; his death leaves a hole in the department.

"Law enforcement is like family. We look out for each other," Brunson said. "He is irreplaceable. You always feel for the family."

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Vince Edwards remembered his colleague in a written statement.

"Big D was a man who loved Jesus Christ," Edwards said. "He was truly an inspiration to others. He used multimedia to reach volumes. Big D: a job well done, a soldier to the end."

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Glenn Barnes Jr. recalled Mustiful as joyful and looking forward to getting married. Barnes said he met Mustiful when they worked at Tucker Maximum Security Prison.

"He has always been easygoing, fun to be around, a goodhearted person," Barnes said. "We always talked. [His illness] caught us all by surprise."

Barnes said that he spoke with Mustiful last week for 30 minutes.

"He was talking about getting married. He had set a date," Barnes said. [His death] is shocking. I cannot believe he is not here. He looked forward to doing good things."