Smith County Sheriff wants your feedback at town hall meeting

Town Hall

TYLER (KYTX) - Let your voice be heard. That's what Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith is hoping you'll do at his second town hall meeting since taking office in January.

"It means something to me," he says, "if they see a deficiency that we have in this department that needs to be addressed or whatever, that-- the only way I can figure out what those deficiencies are is to go to the people and ask them to come, and meet with them and discuss that."

He says one way the sheriff's office has met the needs of the public is by becoming more transparent and social media savvy.

"Facebook and Twitter," says Sheriff Smith, "And also, being completely open to all the local news media here, whether it's in our favor or not in our favor."

A recent example of that, 38-year-old Kimbrick Jones, one of the Smith County Sheriff's own deputies- arrested on federal drug charges.

"They just did completely illegal things." says Sheriff Smith. "But, we're going to take care of that. I assure you, we're going to take care of that."

Sheriff smith says his team has also made improvements by cutting down on call response times.

"Less than half of what they were before."

And, slowly trying to phase out the fleet of small cars to SUVs for safety reasons.

"We're trying to get away from that, get a little bit bigger of a vehicle." he says. 

Chief Deputy Robert Carlson says outfitting patrol officers with tasers has also been a huge improvement.

"That alleviates a lot of the problems where officers are assaulted or injured on these calls. And, it's just a real good tool that we've been able to obtain, and train with, and put to use."

Another tool available soon, Tip 411. It's an app anyone can download to receive important safety information from the sheriff's office.

"Push it to that area and surrounding areas and say, 'be on the lookout for this or this.'" says Sheriff Smith. 

He says making sure the public is informed and involved is always the goal.

The town hall meeting is Tuesday night from 6 to 7:30 at the R.B. Hubbard "Hub" Center. That's on East Ferguson street across from central jury parking in downtown Tyler.

The central jury parking area has been reserved for people attending tonight's meeting.


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