Officer Eric Smith (SPD) connected to the Smyrna Community
“I’ve noticed a shift since 9/11,” Eric Smith observed. “It seems more people come up and say ‘Hi’ than previously.” The SPD is “close knit,” he said, and it feels a deep “relationship with the community.” This sense of community is reinforced, therefore, when “random people” greet him, and he is appreciative of the community’s efforts on his behalf.
As a child, Smith frequently visited relatives in Maine, where he had a police officer uncle. The excitement of the job interested him, and “catching bad guys seemed like fun.” Smith’s uncle allowed him to drive the police car at about 8 years old and he also “played with the lights and sirens.” His interest blossomed from there. Smith has been a police officer for over 11 years now with 7 years of service in Smyrna.
Smith looked forward to the 2011 Smyrna Auction for Heroes Gala on 9.10.11. Unlike his day-to-day experiences dealing with the public, the Gala “allows us to meet the community at a good time, having fun.” Proceeds benefit the SPSF and the many programs and services it funds, and “In these bad economic times,” Smith observed, “any dollars are appreciated.” The community involvement behind the Gala impressed Smith: “We know the community cares, and it’s good to see that.”
“I’m a spiritual person,” Smith says. His faith, family, and fellow police officers sustain him when he experiences what he calls “shocks to the conscience,” particularly horrific experiences such as the death of a child. “We see people at the worst time in their lives,” he adds, and “faith that everything will be ok” is a crucial aspect of him getting through these times.
Smith was Rookie of the Year for 2003-04, and his training includes as a POST Certified General Instructor, POST Certified Field Training Officer, POST Certified Peace Officer, POST Certified Jailor, and Certified Jail Tactical Response Team training.
Thank you, Officer Smith, for being an important part of our community.
By Karen Carter