In celebration of National Police Week, the city of Staunton has hosted "Paint Staunton Blue" and asked businesses to participate in decorating their windows to show their support. We are honored to be able to share memorabilia from officer Fitzgerald, State Captain Smith, and Retired Late Sargent Smiley.
Many of you know Angela Brady of Craftations who works for us. She was kind enough to allow us to share her grandfather's (Sargent Smiley) photos, memorabilia, and story.
Charles E. Smiley joined the Staunton Police Department at the age of 24, in 1944. He served 15 years in Staunton law enforcement. He started as a traffic patrolman and traffic records keeper working 12 hour shifts with one day off a month and was paid $155 a month. At age 62, he retired for less than a day and then went straight to work as the City Sheriff and court bailiff. At age 69, June 30th, he finally retired for the second time.'
During his time with the department, he was awarded several veteran awards for being loyal, cooperative, respectful to his superiors, and dedication to his job. Also during his time, he has issued tickets to several famous people such as Conway Twitty. Early on in his career he told the story of having to corral a steer that had jumped from the back of a truck that had been at the stockyard that day. Officer Smiley can also be seen posing with other famous people such as, well known Western actor, Gabby Hayes.
As his Granddaughter, it is gratifying to know first hand how the police force in Staunton has evolved. To be able to put tat appreciation into words is very difficult. Hearing all of the stories from him and my family is almost overwhelming. In no way shape or form can the work of an officer, especially one that served for 45 years, be put into the words of a short article. Officers, especially those serving today, go through ups and downs and see ad do tings that sound as if they coma from a novel. They do this because they have an internal passion that not everyone can attest to, and do it everyday. They put their lives on the line just to put food on the table for their families. So please before you judge an officer, Appreciate an Officer.
We are so grateful to all of the officers, past, present, and future, who serve and protect us. Please take time this week and every week to "Thank an Officer". As always, remember to "Cherish Every Moment".