Sumter County Sheriff’s Office celebrates Pete Smith

Published 11:14 am Monday, October 25, 2021

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The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) celebrated Sheriff Pete Smith’s life on the one-year anniversary of his death. There was a large gathering of staff in the lobby of the Law Enforcement Center on McMath Mill Road on Thursday, 10.14.21. Among staff, Pete’s wife, Dot Smith, who is loving refers to, just as the Sheriff did, as “Miss Dot”, was also there to soak in the words of her husband.

Sheriff Eric Bryant welcomed all in attendance to pause and simply remember and celebrate their memories of Pete. There was no lack of remembrances and plenty of celebration for being able to work under his leadership. Three reflections were offered. Those included Stacy Williams, Kyle Selph, Donald Mason, Lee Gibson and Jay Lewis. In addition to those, two others accepted the invitation to join in by sharing their stories of joys and laughter.

The themes were some of Pete’s favorite quotes. “Make sure everybody gets fed.” “Let’s get one of those.” “Call the news media.” And perhaps the one which reflects Pete’s truest supporter, “Let me call Miss Dot.” Among all those participating there were common sentiments. Our sheriff made sure every one of his staff felt taken care of. He saw the worth of every employee. He loved our citizens well. He was patient and kind and invested in our home. He loved his family well, and there were many promises to take care of Miss Dot as long as she would allow.

Pete Smith is a Sumter County institution. There is no denying this fact. Even those who didn’t want to like him, somehow couldn’t help but fall in love with him anyway. The SCSO still reaps the benefits of such a man as Pete Smith. It is not unsaid we enjoy our current sheriff because of Pete’s influence upon him. We stand upon Pete’s firm foundation. For this reason, it was only appropriate to set aside a time to remember him.