Mitch Woods bids emotional farewell

Woods’ administrative assistant Edie Francis said Woods had been a great boss.

An emotional Sheriff Mitch Woods bade a fond farewell to staff, fellow peace officers and friends of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office during a retirement celebration for the longtime lawman on Dec. 2. Woods is saying goodbye after 42 years of service to the Southeast Texas community.

“You’ve all made me look good,” a tearful Woods told deputies and staff at the party. “I can’t express my appreciation enough. My wish is that the sheriff’s office continues to progress. … I’m confident it will.

“Every one of you should be proud.”

Woods’ administrative assistant Edie Francis said Woods had been a great boss and dear friend for many years since they worked together at the District Attorney’s Office. When Woods went to Francis and told her he wanted to run for sheriff, he asked if she would join him in his effort. They never looked back.

“I said, ‘We’ll do this together,’” Francis shared. “I’m going to miss the best boss I ever had.”

Nederland Police Chief Darrell Bush said he and Woods became officers at about the same time, 42 years ago, in 1974.

“He and I are like brothers,” Bush said of the outgoing sheriff. “We’ve backed each other up on quite a few occasions over the years. He’s a heck of a guy, and I’m going to miss him.”

Woods’ youngest son, Tyler Woods, said he was happy his father was readying himself to enjoy his hard-earned retirement.

“It’s great,” he remarked. “He’s been doing it for a long time, and we’re ready for him to take a break.”

Woods said he and his wife plan to move to a home they own at Crystal Beach and that he has plenty of things to do to keep him busy – busy relaxing, that is.

According to him, “I’m going to go to the beach. I’m going to ride my motorcycle, fish and have fun. I’m looking forward to it.”