PICKENS COUNTY—As major change makes its way into the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, the surrounding community is waving goodbye to a few respected fixtures.
Capt. Dewey Smith recently announced his retirement after more than 40 years of service. Smith leaves with Sheriff David Stone, Assistant Sheriff Tim Morgan, and Capt. Dorothy “Dot” Trotter.
“My decision is based on 41 years,” Smith said. “I think it’s just time move on. I just want to enjoy my grandkids and golfing.”
His time with the sheriff’s office was the best career he could ask for, Smith said.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” he said. “Besides the times where we’ve had to work homicides and child abuse, I have really enjoyed it. A lot of change has come through.”
Smith puts the finishing touches on a career that began at the Easley Police Department.
“My brother (Larry) and I were hired together at the Easley Police Department,” Smith said. “For about a year, he and I were the only two officers working during the daytime. That’s just how it used to be. It was kind of unusual.”
“I made detective in 1974-1975,” he continued. “In 1977, Sheriff (David) Stone wanted me to come work for him as a detective. It was a hard decision for me, but I did come to work for him, and ever since 1985 I have been a commander.”
Through the years, change has been constant.
“Everything has changed to be honest,” Smith said. “From radios to cars there has been plenty of change, but the biggest thing that has changed has been (the community). It used to be that we would know everybody’s name and, most of the time, you would know exactly who was causing trouble.”
One thing that never changed, according to Smith, was the excellence of his coworkers.
“Sheriff Stone hired some excellent people,” Smith said. “We’ve had several four year degree guys and teachers that have come to work with us. Sheriff Stone was really strict on that. For a long time, you had to have at least a two year degree to come and work for him.”
Smith said Stone was the perfect person to work for.
“He was just a good Sheriff. There’s no doubt about that,” Smith said. “His door was always open and he always fought for us. He would expect you to do things and get them done in a hurry.”
Through the hard work of Smith and those around him, he believes the sheriff’s office has earned a reputation of success.
“We’ve become known in the southeast as a good law enforcement agency, and that’s the way we wanted to keep it,” Smith said.
So after a long and successful career, what’s left to do? Whatever it is, it won’t include a holiday, Smith said.
“I found out that if you retire, you never get another day off,” Smith said with a laugh. “That’s not right. I’m going to need a holiday or something.”