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Russell Smith

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About the San Angelo Police Department

The San Angelo Police Department is a full service law enforcement agency with an authorized strength of 159 sworn officers.  As of February 12, 2003, the San Angelo Police Department employed 147 sworn officers.  The two major components of the San Angelo Police Department are the Field Operations and Investigations. 


According to the San Angelo Police Department, “The function of Patrol Division [Field Operations] is to protect the lives and property of the citizens of San Angelo and maintain the public peace. Uniformed officers proactively prevent and deter crime and respond to citizens calls for service. As first responders, the preservation of life and the prevention of injury is the highest priority of the patrol officer. In addition, the patrol officer is responsible for the protections of property, maintenance of public order, prevention of crime, enforcement of laws and ordinances and arrest of law violators. The patrol officer will attend to any complaint, call for service or other duty with courtesy and without unnecessary loss of time.”


The Criminal Investigation Division of the San Angelo Police Department is divided into three units: General Assignment; Fraud/Family; and, Support Services. The Criminal Investigation Division is staffed by a Lieutenant, three Sergeants, seventeen Detectives, four Crime Scene Technicians, two Evidence Technicians and one Crimestoppers Coordinator along with clerical support.  Also assigned to the Criminal Investigations is the Gang Unit.  According to the the San Angelo Police Department, the “Gang Unit has been in existence since the early 1990's, when it was formed to address a growing problem with street gangs. The unit under the control and direction of CID and is staffed by two investigators who are responsible for the investigation of gang related offenses, street level suppression of gang activities, investigations and tracking of known prison gang members and providing training for area law enforcement and citizen groups, such as schools churches and businesses.”




Chief Russell Smith’s law enforcement career began as a reserve deputy with the Tom Green County Sheriffs Department in 1977 and ended when he retired as the San Angelo Texas Police Chief in 1999. This experience spurred his professional writing career when he sold his first article to a police trade magazine in 1980. Russell spent five years as an outdoor columnist for the San Angelo Standard-Times and several magazines. He received numerous awards for his writing and photography from the Texas Outdoor Writers Association. Chief Russell Smith is the author of The Gun That Wasn't There.


According to the book description of The Gun That Wasn't There, “Chief Russell Smith, with an introduction by Elmer Kelton, meticulously outlines the true story of rural West Texas communities under attack by an armed criminal in the 1960s. At times graphic, this vivid true crime story is an unusually perceptive assessment of the criminal mind as told with the surprising empathetic voice of both survivors and victims of crime.”

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