About the Smith County Sheriff's Department
The Smith County Sheriff's Department was established in 1846, with the establishment of Smith County. Smith County
Sheriff J.B. Smith took office on January 1st, 1977 and currently in his sixth term. The Smith County Sheriff's Department
has grown from approximately 28 employees in 1977 to approximately 250 today. This includes almost 150 detention personnel,
35 patrol personnel, 17 investigative personnel, and other non-sworn personnel. The Smith County Sheriff's
Department also has a Reserve Deputy force of approximately 70 certified officers that perform law enforcement duties at no
cost to the citizens of Smith County.
The Smith County Sheriff's Department responds
to calls for service and investigates criminal offenses that occur in the unincorporated areas of Smith County. They also
assist police departments for the cities of Arp, Bullard, Lindale, Overton, Troup, Tyler, and Whitehouse. The Smith County
Sheriff's Department also maintains four detention facilities, handles security for the county courthouse and tax building,
and a 150 acre "work farm."
Dickinson was a full-time officer with the Smith County Sheriff’s Department (Texas) during the 1970s and 1980s. It
was while with the Smith County Sheriff’s Department that he became involved in a fatal shooting wherein he and his
partner interrupted an armed robbery. This event provided Randy Dickinson with some of the fundamental
insight that led him to teaching and writing about trauma mitigation.
the 1990s, Randy Dickinson was employed by the Austin Police Department in a non-sworn role within the Crisis Response Unit.
The unit provides a broad range of services including crisis intervention, suicide intervention, post-incident support for
officers and other first-responders, and services to victims and witnesses. Randy Dickinson is a co-author
of Officer-Involved Shootings and Use of Force: Practical Investigative Techniques.
According to the book description of Officer-Involved Shootings and Use of Force: Practical Investigative Techniques, it “continues to provide sound and sober models, protocols, and procedures to handle the highly charged fall-out
from officer involved shootings. Written by cops for cops, it is designed to address the needs of the agency, the rights of
the employee, and the concerns of the public, and give law enforcement the policies and tools to properly investigate and
document this high profile area. Updated and expanded, the second edition welcomes contributions from Randy Dickson, one of
the nation's leading experts, who presents new recommendations for post-incident support and the emotional aspect of these
traumatic events, including the potential for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder suffered by the officer. Other new chapters include
a study of incidents involving less lethal weapons, such as Tasers, a model policy for documenting these incidents, and the
latest findings on positional asphyxia and Excited Delirium Deaths. The book also includes additional information on report
writing and the proper handling of media and public information policy. The author offers expert tips on procedures including
handling suspects, interviewing witnesses and employees, and investigating the scene, as well as critical points for working
with assisted suicides. New, up-to-date case studies illustrate and explain the need for consistent, reliable protocols to
protect the agency, the officer, and the public from unnecessary litigation, public distrust, media frenzy, and harm to either
the agency's or the officer's reputation.”