Newly-promoted Sherman Police Lt. Charley Smith had been serving as patrol lieutenant for five days at the time of this interview.
“I’m still getting my feet wet,” Smith said. That statement may ring true for his most recent position, but Smith is no newcomer to the Sherman PD or to law enforcement in general.
Smith grew up in several area towns, including Sherman, Denison and Howe. He graduated from Pottsboro High School. During his high school years, Smith got to know some county deputies and the chief at the Pottsboro PD. As he became friends with law enforcement personnel, he decided it was a field he wanted to go into.
After graduating from the Texoma Regional Police Academy, Smith worked at the Pottsboro PD for four and a half years, then worked at the Gainesville PD for three years. Finally he came to the Sherman PD where he has been since Feb. 1, 1992.
Since starting at the Sherman PD, Smith has worked in almost too many positions to count.
“I’ve been a regular patrolman, worked three years in narcotics, one year as the department’s public information officer, one year as the supervisor of the traffic safety unit, eight years as a sergeant, and just varying other jobs,” Smith said, before remembering more positions still that he served in. “I’ve been a field training officer. I also supervise our critical accident investigation team, and I’ve been doing that since 2000.”
While working in the narcotics division from 1998 to 2000, Smith occasionally went under cover. The Sherman PD would receive tips about locations with known drug activity, and sometimes Smith would go to the location in a disguise and try to gather information.
“I had a beard, and my hair was in a ponytail, and I had an earring,” Smith said while laughing, “the whole nine yards.”
All of Smith’s positions so far have involved frequent interaction with the public. Smith said the interaction has been his favorite part of being a police officer, whether that be by helping people or “putting bad guys in jail.”
When Smith is not putting bad guys in jail or fulfilling one of his many other duties at the Sherman PD, he enjoys spending time with his wife (who was a civilian employee at the Sherman PD for 23 years) and son. Smith owns a piece of property he calls his “mini-ranch,” where he raises, breeds and sells longhorns and miniature horses.
As far as plans for the future go, Smith said he hopes to “keep things moving along at the Sherman Police Department.”