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Year in Review: City to honor 'Buckshot' with birthday parade

by Bradly Gill | December 14, 2021 at 5:00 a.m.

The Following story appeared in the May 12

By Bradley Gill

News Editor

This Saturday, May 15 at 5 p.m. downtown Camden will play host to a very special parade honoring Camden Police Department Lieutenant L.C. "Buckshot" Smith celebrating his 92 birthday.

While his actual birthday is May 12 and in 2019 it was proclaimed "L.C. Smith day" by Mayor Julian Lott, Saturday will feature a variety of friends and well wishers and start on West Washington Street.

Smith has recently received national and international fame as one of the country's oldest active duty police officers. From interviews with Anderson Cooper to the Kelly Clarkson show, 'Buckshot' is quickly becoming a household name, though he's been famous in Camden for years, serving nearly 56 years in law enforcement.

When asked when he knew he wanted to be a policeman, Smith replied "When I was a little boy, When I was growing up about six or seven years old. I wanted to be a police or else a fireman, because I liked the excitement."

Dana Wetherbee, Public Information Officer for the Camden Police Department says, "A German equivalent of our CBS Nightly News sent a news crew and that was aired earlier this week. It was uploaded yesterday and it already had 21,000 likes."

Smith was also awarded a Lifetime achievement award by the Black Peace Officers association in April, a fact that Wetherbee said she "kept under her hat" in order to surprise Smith.

In an interview with the Camden News in 2018, Smith said that since the time he began his career the biggest change in law enforcement is the hiring process.

"A long time ago you didn't have to go to school. You would just put on a badge and if the man liked you, he'd hang a gun on you," Smith stated. "I worked 30 years with an officer who never wrote a ticket. I had to do all his writing for him."

He said he took a Golden Rule approach to law enforcement during his time with the force.

"I treat people like I want to be treated, y'know?" said Smith. "If all law enforcement would do that, we'd have better community, city and state if all police officers would treat people like they wanted to be treated. This gun and this badge don't make a police officer. You got to want to do it , and you got have it in your heart and be fair with everybody. You can't treat everybody the same, but you can treat everybody right."

People interested in participating in parade can pick up an application at the Camden Police Department or call Wetherbee at 870-836-5755

Print Headline: Year in Review: City to honor 'Buckshot' with birthday parade


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