AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon for Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith.
After serving his community for more than four decades, Sheriff Smith passed away on October 14th. Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Eric Bryant says that Smith had an incredible bond with the community he protected.
“Nobody met a stranger when they met Sheriff Smith and he didn’t ever meet a stranger and he was always interacting with this community in which he loved so much,” Bryant said.
Bryant became Chief Deputy in 2004 the same year that Pete Smith became Sheriff, but says his favorite memory of Smith came many years before they started working together.
“Well of course Sheriff Smith wrote me my first ticket on my sixteenth birthday,” said Bryant.
Bryant said he hopes to carry on the Sheriff’s legacy, which consists of an attitude of compassion and dedication to the community
“He’s left some big shoes to fill but with his compassion and the organization that we have established together over the last 15 years, every day we’re going to continue to live on his tradition, his way of caring for people, but at the same time serving and protecting this community.”
Smith had been at a hospital in Eastman for a couple of weeks for physical therapy and then later got sick, and died of natural causes.
People can pay their respects to Sheriff Smith at Oak Grove Cemetery in Americus.