‘Me? Retire? When the Good Lord takes me home.’ “Buckshot” Smith, 91, still patrols the streets


CAMDEN, AR- Here’s a story that will make you smile. In Arkansas, Officer L.C. “Buckshot” Smith has been patrolling the mean streets of Camden, Arkansas. Now normally that wouldn’t be big news, however in the case of Smith, it’s very big news.

Why? Because “Buckshot” Smith is 91-years-old, Breitbart News reports.

Smith patrols town in an unmarked patrol car, which he drives about in his hometown four days per week.

“This badge and gun don’t make you a police officer. You got to respect people,” Smith told CBS News.


In his previous life, Smith worked for over forty years as a deputy with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department, where everyone called him by his childhood nickname, “Buckshot,” which he has been called since he was 14, according to WUSA-9.

Smith served Ouachita County for 46 years as a deputy when he decided to retire—for five months.

“I don’t hunt. I don’t fish,” Smith said, noting that he didn’t enjoy those five months.

So, what did Smith do? While in his 80’s, he became a rookie cop in Camden. As an officer, he’s required to carry a firearm, however as the mayor of Camden says, he doesn’t have to use it.

“He knows your mama and he knew your grandmother. So he has the authority to speak into our lives,” said Mayor Julian Lott.

Smith said that over the course of his illustrious law enforcement career, he has “taken more people home than I’ve taken them to jail.”  

The chief of the Camden PD, Boyd Woody was asked when Smith plans on retiring.

“He does not want to retire. In his words, to me, he’ll retire when the good Lord tells him to,” Woody said.

Smith, who will turn 92 years old confirmed that he has no current plans to retire. According to WUSA-9, Smith said, “I feel like I’ll live longer at my age if I keep on working.”

Smith has currently served the town of Camden for almost ten years.

According to WUSA, Smith shows absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon. What exactly is his secret?

“I eat a lot of vegetables and I don’t eat much fast food,” he said.

One of Smith’s close friends is Mike Sherman, and as with most people in Camden he has known Smith his entire life.

“The thing with Buckshot is he’s been around so long when someone says I know everybody, Buckshot knows everybody.”

“Buckshot leads by example and that’s what we need more,” Sherman said.

According to KFVS12, Smith works eight-hour shifts four days per week, mostly patrolling school zones in the morning, as well as escorting the occasional funeral.

Lieutenant Jamario Bush, who has worked in Camden for eight years says Smith is a tremendous asset.

“Sometimes he comes and tries to assist us on calls,” Bush said of Smith, whom he looks up to as a mentor.

“Even the new guys we have right now, he’s trying to talk to them and give them a life lesson on how to get into police work and how to stay in police work,” Bush said.

“I tell all the young recruits; this gun and this badge don’t make a police officer. You got to want to do it,” Buckshot said.

God Bless You Buckshot Smith. And stay safe brother.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

We previously reported on someone who’s been serving law enforcement for over seven decades. For more on that, we invite you to:


CLEBURNE, TX – A Texas county is commemorating the over-74 years of law enforcement service rendered by a man who’s been dubbed as the Oldest Law Enforcement Officer in the world. Now that is some dedication right there!

Johnson County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Bill Hardin, at 97-years-old, remarked that he “feels pretty good for an old guy.”

After serving the community for decades, Deputy Hardin is having his very own exhibit showcasing his career in law enforcement displayed at the Chisholm Trail Museum.

Deputy Hardin’s career started back in the 1940s with the Forth Worth Police Department. He spent a career’s worth of time with the FWPD, eventually retiring from the department.

However, he wasn’t done.

He then made his way over to the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, leading to yet another retirement. When his time with the TCSO was done, he then enlisted as a reserve deputy for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

When asked why he hasn’t hung up his proverbial hat for good yet, Deputy Hardin responded with:

“I’m afraid to stop, because I don’t have a starter. I may not get started again… so I’m going to keep doing this until the Sheriff runs me out. If I make it to 75 [years] I may retire.”

Not only has this man served in law enforcement for nearly three-quarters of a century, he’s also a World War II veteran.

Sheriff Adam King, from the JCSO, likened Deputy Hardin to that of a “living legend”.

When commenting on his lifetime’s worth of serving as a law enforcement officer, Sheriff King stated:

“We want him to know that he is important to us and he is important to the community, and we want to thank him for 74 plus years of service to the community.”

We’re thrilled to hear about the dedicatory efforts being enacted by members of the community that Deputy Hardin has served. His career, and dedication, is nothing short of inspirational.


Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First


Submit a Correction
Related Posts