D.W. Smith was born and raised in Ormond Beach.
Ormond Beach's newest police captain knows the city through and through. After all, it's his hometown.
After 22 years with the Ormond Beach Police Department, D.W. Smith was promoted to his latest rank, though the 42-year-old said the possibility of one day holding a leadership role in the Police Department never crossed his mind when he first started. One thing is for sure: He always wanted to be a police officer.
“You can’t have much more fun than catching bad guys," Smith said.
He grew up watching cop shows like Adam-12, CHiPs and Dragnet. Beyond that, he watched his own father become a Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary trooper when he got out of the Air Force.
And when it was time, Smith began his own law enforcement career with OBPD as a community service officer before entering the police academy. In the past two decades on the force, Smith said he has served and supervised almost every unit in the Police
Department — from criminal investigations to crime suppression. He was also a motor sergeant for five years, which Smith said has probably been his most fun assignment.
Since 2006, he's also been involved with training, a job he considers to be crucial.
“Training equals safety out here," Smith said.
This is not the first time Smith has been promoted to captain. It's actually his third.
As a child, Smith rose to the ranks of captain of the safety patrol at Pine Trail Elementary, where his mother worked. She never let them get away with anything, he recalls fondly.
At age 13, he was also captain of OBPD's police explorers, an outreach youth cadet program for teens who sought a future career in law enforcement. The program isn't active anymore, but starting it back up again is one of Smith's goals as captain.
One of the challenges he's faced in his new position is resisting the urge to be on the streets, as he said his favorite part of being an officer is protecting people and serving this community. He said he's gotten a lot of support from Chief Jesse Godfrey and Capt. Chris Roos during the transition.
He said his parents are his true inspirations every day. Smith said his father was one of the hardest working men in the air conditioning business in the city for over forty years and that his mother was an incredible media specialist. He credits his parents for his success.
“This is what you get when you have a mom and dad like mine, you know," Smith said. "You have someone who’s deeply involved in the public service and trying to teach others the same.”