KANAB – At the Utah Sheriffs’ Association’s annual Corrections and Law Enforcement Training Conference, held Sept. 20-22 in St. George, Kane County Sheriff Lamont Smith was honored as Utah’s “Sheriff of the Year” for the second time in his career.
“There (were) a lot of sheriffs retiring this year and some of them have not received it before, and they gave it to him for the second time,” Detective Dan Watson, of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, said. “I think that says a lot about the respect they have for Lamont.”
Watson, who has worked under Smith since the sheriff took office about 20 years ago, said only a few sheriffs in the state have ever received the “Sheriff of the Year” honor twice. All the sheriffs in the state belonging to the Utah Sheriffs’ Association vote for who receives the honor each year.
“They really like him. He’s a respected guy,” Watson said.
Smith’s previous designation as “Sheriff of the Year” was in 2004. He was also honored as the Utah Sheriffs’ Association president’s “Lawman of the Year” in 2001.
Watson said Smith is a very humble, kind man who fills his office with a great deal of integrity.
“He really cares about his community,” Watson said. “He really cares about his employees and the Sheriff’s Office. He’s just a really caring guy.”
Watson said when Smith first ran for sheriff of Kane County back in the 1990s, it was a very heated election and not everybody within the Sheriff’s Office was pleased with the results, some speaking out against Smith. But when Smith took office, Watson said he didn’t fire or retaliate against any of the individuals opposing him or ask anyone to leave; the new sheriff just wanted to roll up his sleeves and get to work.
“That’s just the kind of guy he is,” Watson said.
Smith, who did not run for reelection this year, will be retiring at the end of 2014. Current KCSO Chief Deputy Tracy Glover will take over as sheriff of Kane County when Smith retires.
Smith and incoming sheriff Glover have worked closely together for many years, Watson said, so he believes the change will happen without difficulty.
“I think it’ll be a smooth transition,” Watson said.
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