Transitioning to retirement

Aug. 25, 2013 @ 05:03 AM

After nearly three decades with the Sanford Police Department, Capt. David Smith announced his retirement from the department he considers a “second family” — effective Oct. 1.

Smith, who has served as the lead detective agent and media spokesperson within the department for nine years, intends to stay in the reserves at the Sanford Police Department and his last day is Sept. 10.

“I hope to maybe find a job teaching in some sort of criminal justice field,” he said. “... I’ve got four grandsons, between the ages of 6 and 2, and I am hoping to spend more time with them.”

Smith joined the local department in 1982 and was promoted to detective four years later. In 2001, he was named a detective sergeant and then captain in 2004. He plans to use the remainder of his vacation days to fill the gap between Sept. 10 and October.

“I’ve dealt with everybody,” Smith said. “From all walks of life. I’ve seen some things I would like to forget and seen some things that I thought were great and would never forget.”

Increasing the department’s solvability rate — the likelihood of a case being solved — was a top priority, Smith said, adding the largest change in police work during his tenure was the new technology at police officers’ disposal.

“Technology has increased and [it] changes every year,” Smith said. “There is always something new. But the department has done a great job keeping up with it. When we have a major crime, we jump on it.”

One of the things Smith said he’ll miss about working within the department daily is the camaraderie among the officers.

“Every day I felt like I was at home,” he said. “I felt welcome. If I had to do those 32 years over again, I’d walk through those doors again. I can’t think of a better place than working here with my second family.”

Sanford Police Chief Ronnie Yarborough said Smith was a great employee who filled an important role at the office and in the community.   

“David has been a great asset to us, and we hate to see him leave,” Yarborough said. “He’s done an excellent job heading up the investigative unit for many years. He’s done an outstanding job, and we hope him well in his future endeavors.”

In the interim, Sgt. Harold Layton will perform Smith’s duties until a decision is made on how to move forward, Yarborough said.

Sanford City Manager Hal Hegwer thanked Smith for his service and dedication to the city of Sanford, along with the long hours spent serving the public.

“It’s a difficult job, and he’s devoted a lot of time and energy to it,” Hegwer said. “His expertise will certainly be missed. We wish the best for him and his family.”

A retirement luncheon for Smith is scheduled for his last day at the office.