Retired ATF Senior Special Agent Larry Smith announced Thursday his intention to file as a Republican candidate for the office of Smith County Sheriff.
Citing his energy, dedication and 34 years of law enforcement experience, Smith said, “My candidacy is motivated by a need to continue public service, by giving back to a community and county that has supported me throughout my career.”
The 54-year old Smith began in law enforcement as a 20-year old patrol deputy for the Gregg County Sheriff’s office. After achieving the rank of Captain in the Criminal Investigation Division, he accepted a job as a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1987. In 1989, Smith joined the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). He was assigned to the Tyler office where he became a specialist in arson and explosives. He retired January 31, 2011.
A recipient of more than 40 awards and commendations, Smith promises to bring his on-the-job experience, leadership skills and 3,300 hours of training to bear as Sheriff of Smith County in order to build a more efficient and innovative department, seeking a team effort from law enforcement, criminal justice and the Commissioner’s Court.
“We want to put folks in jail who need to be there, then move them through the system in a manner that meets the requirements of the law while holding down costs to our tax payers,” added Smith.
Smith was born in Big Sandy. He and his wife, Leslie, have lived in Tyler since 1989. Leslie works as a registered nurse at Chapel Hill Middle School.
The Smith’s have two children, Landan and Lauren, now attending college in Tyler. Smith received his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from The University of Texas at Tyler.
Members of Green Acres Baptist Church since 1989, Larry serves on the church’s Security Committee and Leslie teaches Sunday school.
Community work has involved coaching youth baseball and football, serving as a Boy Scout Assistant Scout Master and as a member of Sharon Shrine Temple where he participates on the Sportsters Competition Trap and Skeet Team and helps Shrine efforts to support hospitals for crippled children and burn victims.
Smith’s hobbies include hunting, fishing, playing golf and shooting trap. He is a member of the National Rifle Association.