NWGA Scanner | March 25th, 2021

Dalton Police officer honored with Division Commander’s award

Officer Terry Smith was honored with the Division Commander’s Award at Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission. The recipient of the award is chosen each year by the officers in charge of each of the department’s divisions, and Officer Smith is the Patrol Division’s honoree. The award is given to employees who have “significantly contributed toward reaching the division’s goals, consistently shown initiative in achieving the Department’s mission, and displayed a very high degree of professionalism for this commendation.” Officer Smith joined the Dalton Police Department in 1996 and has served much of his career as a School Resource Officer (SRO). In 2020, he took on a leadership role in the SRO unit when the sergeant supervising those officers had to take an extended leave of absence, serving as an unofficial supervisor for the SROs in the sergeant’s absence. When presenting Officer Smith with the award, Assistant Chief Chris Crossen read a notation from Smith’s file that he “communicated with other SROs regularly to ensure each officer had what was needed. Smith also assisted the other SROs with issues that arose by either finding a solution or by speaking with other department supervisors to solve the problem.” During the past year, Officer Smith also was instrumental in helping to set up a new traffic pattern for parent pickups at Blue Ridge Elementary School. Crossen said that Smith “pointed out how the current traffic pattern was a safety issue due to vehicles staging on Fredrick Street and causing other vehicles to violate state laws to avoid the pick-up line. Officer Smith was able to show the school officials how the traffic pattern would benefit the safety of the parents, staff, and teachers.” Smith worked with the DPD’s Traffic Unit and requested additional officers during the first few days using the new traffic pattern to ensure that it worked smoothly. Chief Crossen noted that both examples show Officer Smith’s initiative to find solutions to problems and to lead by example and make him deserving of this honor.

Below: Assistant Chief Chris Crossen (left) presents the Division Commander’s Award to Officer Terry Smith (right)