Kevin West, a longtime Chattanooga radio personality and recent spokesperson for the Chattanooga Police Department, died Monday, the department announced. He was 61.
West experienced a medical emergency Monday morning and was taken to a hospital where he died, according to a news release.
He was building up the department's public affairs division to boost media presence and share timely messaging on social media, according to the release.
He worked in radio for 43 years, most recently as the program director at Chattanooga's WGOW, leading its AM and FM talk stations.
West announced his retirement from radio in June.
"Kevin has been the trusted voice guiding our stations, audiences and neighbors for over three decades," Scott Chase, Cumulus Chattanooga operations manager, said in a release at the time.
In July, he joined the Chattanooga Police Department as its director of public affairs. In his three months at the department, West oversaw communications with the public and the press.
"I wasn't born here; I chose to be here," West, who grew up in Michigan, said in a release announcing his appointment to the post. "Chattanooga is my home, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to serve the city in this capacity."
West was also a 24-year Navy veteran and served as a public affairs deputy at Resolute Support Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, between 2016 and 2017. He retired as a captain in 2021.
He was a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he began his career as a DJ for the school's radio station.
He is survived by his wife, Carlene; five children; and his parents, Ken and Bertha West.