One of the most memorable and emotional parts of a police officer’s career is that final radio call when they retire and hang up the gun and badge — but L.C. “Buckshot” Smith decided to pick them back up and is still serving at age 91.
“Buckshot” (who earned that handle in his younger years) is from Camden, Arkansas, and he always wanted to be a police officer. As a result, he spent 46 years with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department as a sheriff’s deputy.
“I’ve taken more people home than I’ve taken to jail when I was patrolling,” he said, according to KDFW-TV.
The reason? Simple.
“I love people,” he said.
“I wore a lot of hats at the sheriff’s department. A lot of hats.”
When the time came for him to retire in 2010, he realized after five months that retirement simply wasn’t for him.
According to an interview with CNN, he didn’t like hunting or fishing and said he had nothing to do. He’s definitely a people person, which is clear in his job history and his involvement as a deacon at his church.
And then the Camden Police Department reached out to him in 2011.
“The Camden Police Department kept calling me and wanting me to come and work here,” he said. “I love law enforcement and want to … I always wanted to be a police officer, so I accepted.”
Now, at age 91, Smith still works a few days a week for the Camden Police Department doing things like escorting parades and funerals, patrolling school zones and performing traffic stops. He’s something of a local celebrity and is generally admired, a fact that is supported by all the positive comments the posts about his story have garnered on the police department’s Facebook page.
He’s currently the oldest working police officer in the state of Arkansas, and told KTHV-TV he thinks the work will keep him alive longer.
One thing Smith reiterated to all the stations that interviewed him was that he loves people and loves helping people.
“This gun and this badge don’t make a police officer,” he explained. “You got to want to do it, and love people and care for folks.”
Though he is advanced in years, he has a clear idea of when he will finally be finished working: “When the good Lord says so.”
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