Camden holds claim to the oldest active police officer in Arkansas. Officer Leonard Charles Smith, better known as “L.C. Buckshot,” celebrated his 90th birthday on May 12.
Officer Smith spent 46 years with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department. He worked in various roles before retiring in September 2010. Just four months later, he went to work with the Camden Police Department.
“They wanted me to come work with the Camden Police Department,” Officer Smith said. “They said I had too much wisdom and knowledge and they needed it over here.”
Officer Smith has worked for both departments for a total of 56 years. He works a typical eight-hour shift during a four-day workweek.
“If you’re able to go to work, go to work,” Officer Smith said. “I love law enforcement. That’s one of my careers.”
Community members say Officer Smith has helped many residents in the county on and off the clock. Once he takes off his police hat, that’s when he steps into his other power roles.
“I’m the assistant coroner and I also work for the funeral home,” he said.
He’s also heavily involved at his church where he serves as a deacon and mentors younger men around the community. There’s nothing that keeps him from working for the county he loves, not his age or his health.
“I haven’t had any major surgeries or nothing,” he said. “I’ve been healthy all my life.”
Officer Smith is the neighborhood watch coordinator and special events coordinator at the police department. He also works in the district courts and is patrolling the school zones in the mornings.
“I feel good,” Officer Smith said. “Trusting in the good Lord and I don’t eat no fast food.”
He keeps busy and loves it that way. Even those younger than him can’t keep up to his speed.
“I think Mr. Smith gets around better than I do and I’m a long way from 90 years old,” Billy Reddick, Director of Reddick Funeral Home said.
The department and city held a celebration for the now 90-year-old. Mayor Julian Lott declared May 12 as L.C. Buckshot day.