Police chief looks to make a difference

After helping a man jump start his car, Chief of Police Chad Smith stops to say hello.

Renee Fite | Democrat Journal

Chief of Police Chad Smith enjoys getting to meet people on a daily basis – especially children – and helping people with the problems they face.

“I also enjoy the ability to provide safety to the city’s citizens. We have a great working relationship with other Adair County law enforcement agencies," he said.

Smith has been with the City of Stilwell since September 1992. His responsibility is serving as the head law enforcement agent of the City of Stilwell.

“I oversee 12 officers and six civilian employees. I am responsible for policy/procedure knowledge, and I have to maintain knowledge in local, state, federal, and tribal laws and ordinances,” said Smith.

Priorities for Smith are to maintain law and order in the City of Stilwell, and to protect and serve the citizens.

“Just like any job, there are many challenges we face on a daily basis. We face death, tragedy, the worst of peoples lives. We have to maintain our emotions at times when most people would crack and crumble,” said Smith.

There are also reasons to celebrate.

“The joys include seeing the smiling faces of children when they come tour the Stilwell Police Department, the safety fairs, and the people who come back from jail, or accidents, or a bad situation and say, 'thank you' for helping them or what you did to change their lives,” Smith said.

The Stilwell Police Department has a vast arsenal of knowledge and experience.

“Most of our officers have 15-20 years experience in law enforcement. We have accident investigation specialists, certified school resource officers, have Drug Task Force officers, and all of our officers are cross-deputized with Cherokee Nation, and federally trained through Special Law Enforcement Commission (SLEC) and many other trainings," Smith said.