Bob Smith, 85, of the Forest Police Department, talks about his role as the West Carroll Parish town's only law enforcement officer on Wednesday, January 11, 2017. He has been named the 2017 Louisiana Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame in July.
Smith has served as the village's police chief since 1998. He is the oldest elected official in Louisiana. "I wouldn't be doing anything if I wasn't doing this," he said. Every morning, he directs traffic as students arrive at school, then walks the hallways to greet students. He works from an office at the West Carroll Sheriff in the mornings and from the Forest City Hall in the afternoons, before he directs school dismissal traffic. If he needs backup for a shooting or wreck, the parish sheriff provides it. Smith, who is from North Carolina, wound up in Forest when he married a woman who grew up in the village. As a member of the U.S. Air Force, he traveled all over the world. Forest is the best place he's ever lived, he said, because everyone knows everyone else.
Shot from @thenewsstar
#makeportraits #westcarrollparish #usairforce #policechief #forestlouisiana #louisiana #octogenarians #AARP #aging #americana #LouisianaJusticeHallOfFame #LawEnforcementOfficerOfTheYear #latergram