It has been a long-held truism that many public service organizations could not function adequately without the help and assistance of citizens who volunteers their time, talents and energy in support of an organization be it a public service agency or many private organizations as well.
In the coming weeks and months, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office will be spotlighting these unsung citizen volunteers who donate these qualities to the sheriff’s office in different ways to give support assistance to Sheriff Bobby Rader and the personnel of the LCSO without any cost whatsoever to the ta paying public and with little or no public recognition.
To lead off these recognized citizen volunteers is a man who wears many hats to not only help his immediate community with his full time career field as Father Ted Smith who shepherds his congregation at the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Liberty, but still finds time to serve as Father/Chaplain/Sgt. Ted Smith with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
One of the many hats that Sgt. Smith wears is that of a Reserve Sergeant with the LCSO Reserve staff. As with any reserve deputy or officer, they must be a graduate of a police academy of which Sgt. Smith completed and became a commissioned peace officer four years ago. After doing so, a reserve has the exact same arrest powers and training requirements as do full time deputies with the only difference being they do not get paid for their service.
Prior to becoming a reserve deputy, he became one of eight chaplains assigned to Sheriff Rader’s Family Assistance Unit that stands ready to render spiritual guidance and/or assistance to families who have lost loved ones on some of the many service calls rendered by full time deputies each day and night of the week. Father/Sgt. Smith stands ready to assist other agencies and individuals with his spiritual assistance upon their request. Regarding additional training, and again on his own personal time, Father Smith has a Senior Certification from the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC) which is the largest and most respected Law Enforcement Chaplains Training facility in the nation.
One would think all his volunteer assignments might fill Father Smith’s regular job off-duty time and service but once again other hats he wears are for being a very active member of the LCSO Honor Guard Team, LCSO’s Standard Operation Procedures Committee, the LCSO’s Crime Stopper Deputy Coordinator position while also serving on the Liberty County Child Fatality Review board and the Liberty County Leadership Advisory Board. To say Father/Sgt. Smith wears many hats might even be an understatement.
On a more personal basis, when Father/Sgt. Smith was asked why he volunteers for so many LCSO projects, his response is heartfelt and sincere. He said that during his prior years as a quality control and project manager, he always had a calling and a faith-based desire to help others. This desire led him into helping establish smaller churches in Florida, Texas and other states, and later into a full time ministry and taking over leadership of the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in 2007 where he is to this day. He later joined the Liberty Rotary Club and the LCSO and those events were just a natural extension of his continued desire to serve on a volunteer status as best he could.
There is an old saying that exemplifies the citizen volunteer nature of Father/ Sgt. Ted Smith as it does with all volunteers: “Volunteers are not unpaid because they are worthless. They are unpaid because they are priceless!”
This will be he standard by which all future LCSO citizen volunteers will be judged, and by this standard, the LCSO asks that everyone tips their own hats to Citizen Volunteer Father/Sgt. Ted Smith.