Smithville reopens police department after being closed for 5 years

Smithville reopens police department after being closed for 5 years
After nearly five years, residents in Smithville will now have a police department. (Source: WALB)
In December, the city council voted to bring on one officer to reinstate the force. (Source: WALB)
In December, the city council voted to bring on one officer to reinstate the force. (Source: WALB)
Smithville Police Chief, Henry Brown (Source: WALB)
Smithville Police Chief, Henry Brown (Source: WALB)
Smithville Mayor Jack Smith (Source: WALB)
Smithville Mayor Jack Smith (Source: WALB)

SMITHVILLE, GA (WALB) - After nearly five years, residents in Smithville will now have a police department.

In December, the city council voted to bring on one officer to reinstate the force.

Chief and only officer Henry Brown said his first mission was to get an assessment of the needs of the police department, then go out and meet the residents.

The streets of Smithville will now be a lot safer thanks to Police Chief Henry Brown.

"Community is very pleased to have the police department operational again," remarked Chief Brown.

Five years after it closed, there's now an officer available to quickly respond to emergency calls, a big issue in the past.

"I can be anywhere in the city within two to three minutes," added Brown.

And if he needs additional assistance, he can call on Lee County Sheriff's deputies and Leesburg Police officers.

"Just being here helps a lot whether you have crime or not," said Mayor Jack Smith.

With a city of about 600 residents, many crimes aren't committed but there are a few he's tackling, like speeding on U.S. 19.

Now Chief Brown waits with his radar gun to stop those drivers.

"They try to come through here because they had no police department, they're doing excessive speeds," added Brown.

Some reaching nearly 92 miles per hour

He's also on the lookout for drugs.

"They're glad to have a police department maybe to address that issue with other resources," said Brown.

But as a one-man band, he can't do the job without the help of residents.

"Without the citizens giving us the tips that we need to stop crime, I can't do it on my own," explained Brown.

Smithville Police Chief Brown has two patrol cars, new radios, and other new equipment.

Mayor Smith hopes to bring on more officers over the next several months.

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