CAMDEN, AR – The Camden Police Department is home to one of the oldest working police officers within the United States, and this officer doesn’t seem like he’s going to be hanging up his uniform anytime soon.
And his secret to longevity is simple and straightforward.
Buckshot worked for the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office for more than 46 years. He came out of retirement after just four months to work for Camden police. https://t.co/ECdJzZJm1C
— 5NEWS (@5NEWS) February 6, 2021
Officer L.C. “Buckshot” Smith had served a bona fide a career’s length of time with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, having spent over 46 years within the sheriff’s office.
And just four months into his retirement, he had to get back to work.
Officer Smith has since spent nearly 10 years with the Camden Police Department and has his 92nd birthday coming up in May. To Officer Smith, simply continuing to work at his old age tends to keep him feeling good:
“I feel like, I live longer at my age to keep on working. A lot of people my age and younger will tell you they wish they had kept working.”
When Officer Smith retired from the OCSO, he said that the Camden Police wanted him to come aboard so as to bring his level of law enforcement experience to the department:
“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.”
With now hosting over half a century’s worth of law enforcement experience, one would be hard pressed to stumble upon someone with as much knowledge as Officer Smith carries.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE: L.C. “Buckshot” Smith worked for the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office for more than 46 years and came out of retirement after just four months to work for Camden police. #WakeUpCLT
— WCNC Charlotte (@wcnc) February 8, 2021
Officer Smith functions as the CPD’s community watch coordinator, working 8 hour a day, 4 days a week doing anything from escorting funerals to patrolling school zones.
A good friend of Officer Smith’s, Mike Sherman, said that not only does Officer Smith seem pretty capable in his age, he’s also deeply rooted within the community:
“He gets around pretty darn good for his age… The thing with Buckshot is he’s been around so long, when someone says I know everybody, Buckshot knows everybody.”
“Buckshot leads by example and that’s what we need more of.”
Lieutenant Jamario Bush from the CPD says that Officer Smith’s is substantial when it comes to some of the new officers coming into the department:
“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.”
Officer Smith briefly touched on some of the advice he shares with some of the newer officers:
“I tell all the young recruits; This gun and this badge don’t make a police officer. You got to want to do it.”
For someone to reach 91, almost 92, years of age and still be working full time, is something to marvel at. So, when Officer Smith was asked what’s the secret to staying youthful – his response was simple, in that he keeps a sensible diet:
“I eat a lot of vegetables. I don’t eat too much fast food.”
And when asked about when he’s thinking about officially retiring, Officer Smith offered this response:
“Everybody ask me when I’m going to retire and I tell them ‘When the good Lord says so!’”
One can’t argue with that answer.
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We at Law Enforcement Today reported on the man who was dubbed as the oldest law enforcement officer in the world back in March of 2020.
Here’s our previous report on the man who has nearly three quarters of a century’s worth of law enforcement experience.
CLEBURNE, TX – A Texas county is commemorating the over-74 years of law enforcement service rendered by a man who’s been dubbed as the Oldest Law Enforcement Officer in the world. Now that is some dedication right there!
#LivePD #LivePDNation Deputy Bill Hardin, became a police officer at 23.
He’s worked for the Fort Worth PD, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, now he’s a deputy with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, a job he still holds today.
Deputy Hardin is 97.https://t.co/wtAqnfKjS5
— Matt Gulick (@mattgulick) March 7, 2020
Johnson County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Bill Hardin, at 97-years-old, remarked that he “feels pretty good for an old guy.”
After serving the community for decades, Deputy Hardin is having his very own exhibit showcasing his career in law enforcement displayed at the Chisholm Trail Museum.
Deputy Hardin’s career started back in the 1940s with the Forth Worth Police Department. He spent a career’s worth of time with the FWPD, eventually retiring from the department.
However, he wasn’t done.
— Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (@OhioPBA) April 2, 2017
He then made his way over to the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, leading to yet another retirement. When his time with the TCSO was done, he then enlisted as a reserve deputy for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
When asked why he hasn’t hung up his proverbial hat for good yet, Deputy Hardin responded with:
“I’m afraid to stop, because I don’t have a starter. I may not get started again… so I’m going to keep doing this until the Sheriff runs me out. If I make it to 75 [years] I may retire.”
Not only has this man served in law enforcement for nearly three-quarters of a century, he’s also a World War II veteran.
Sheriff Adam King, from the JCSO, likened Deputy Hardin to that of a “living legend”.
When commenting on his lifetime’s worth of serving as a law enforcement officer, Sheriff King stated:
“We want him to know that he is important to us and he is important to the community, and we want to thank him for 74 plus years of service to the community.”
We’re thrilled to hear about the dedicatory efforts being enacted by members of the community that Deputy Hardin has served. His career, and dedication, is nothing short of inspirational.
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Author: Gregory Hoyt