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Sergeant Darrell “Lance” Smith Retires After 34 Years


Information by Reno County, Kansas Government


HUTCHINSON, Kan.  — On Friday, Sept. 22, Sergeant Darrell “Lance” Smith celebrated his retirement from the Reno County Sheriff’s Office. 

Smith has been with Reno County for 34 years and many were there on Friday to wish him a happy retirement. 

Sergeant Darrell “Lance” Smith (Photos by Reno County Government)

According to a Facebook post made by Reno County, Kansas Government, Smith became interested in law enforcement after doing several ride-alongs with his sister Reno County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Joleen Smith’s crew. In 1989, Smith put in an application with the Reno County Sheriff’s Office and after the long process was hired and started his first shift in the jail Jan. 1, 1990.

Smith began his patrol career on March 10, 1991, and started the 116th Basic Training class at KLETC, graduating May 3, 1991, becoming a Commissioned Deputy Sheriff. Smith was selected to be one of three Deputies to start a new DUI / Drug Interdiction Traffic Unit. Smith led the unit in DUI arrests.

On Nov. 11, 1997, Smith was one of the first to arrive to a large, fully engulfed fire at the Pheasant Acres Nursing Home southwest of South Hutchinson. Smith, along with Sergeant Wayne Baughman and Deputy Randy Headings were able to rescue nine residents. They were awarded the Life Saving Award from the Sheriff’s Office and the Silver Award from the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police.

Smith was promoted to Patrol Sergeant on Jan. 29, 2000, and took over the KDOT Traffic Safety grants and ran them for almost 20 years. In 2009, Smith was awarded the KDOT Traffic Safety Leadership Award for his push of the program and leadership. Throughout that time, he instructed and certified hundreds of Deputies on the use, handling, deployment, and after-action procedures for the Taser device.

Sergeant Smith Retirement Cake

Reno County also shared that during Smith’s 23 years as a Patrol Sergeant, he mentored so deputies that there have been too many to count and many of them have been promoted up the rank to Sergeants, Detectives, Captains, Under Sheriff and even Sheriff. For the last few years, and additional duty Smith had was being in charge of bidding and purchasing new patrol vehicles and vehicle equipment for Patrol.

During his tenure in the Patrol Division, Smith was a Field Training Officer, Radar Instructor, Taser Instructor, member of the Honor Guard, member of the Response Team Unit for over 15 years, and for 24 years a firearms instructor from 1999 until present.