L.C. Smith, nicknamed “Buckshot,” has been walking the beat for more than 46 years. That’s nearly half a century!
Officer Smith began his storied police career with the Ouachita County Sherriff’s Office, and then transferred to his current position with the Camden Police Department after returning from a brief 4-month retirement.
According to an article from the National Police Association, the legendary policeman was pulled out of retirement from an invitation by Camden PD executives, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on any officer.
Smith said, “The Camden police wanted me to come work here. They said I had too much knowledge and time and wisdom. I love people. I love to help people.”
His role now is to mostly to be a mentor and a leader for young officers joining the profession. However, he still has other responsibilities: coordinating community watch meetings, safeguarding school zones, and escorting funerals around his jurisdiction for four days out of the week in 8-hour shifts, in full uniform decorated with all kinds of ribbons and metals to commemorate his successful career.
Lieutenant Jamario Bush, who has worked for 8 years at the department, still defers to Officer Smith, saying how much of a role model and inspiration he is to the younger guys.
“Even the new guys we have right now, he’s trying to talk to them and give them a life lesson on how to get into police work and how to stay in police work,” Bush said.
Officer “Buckshot” Smith, who wouldn’t tell the long story behind his intriguing nickname, takes great pride in helping younger generations entering the law enforcement profession during a time of constant negativity from the press and the wider community.
“I tell all young recruits: this gun and this badge don’t make a police officer. You got to want to do it,” said Smith.
When asked when he plans to retire, Smith said, “Everybody asks me when I’m going to retire and I tell them, ‘When the Good Lord says so!’”
Let’s hope Officer Smith doesn’t retire any time soon. He most definitely has a lifetime of experience and all sorts of crazy stories to pass down.