On the Beat with Lt. Smith

Traffic Stop

Guest written this month by Sonja Szubski, City-Community Connector

Recently, the Communications Department for the City of Tucker had the opportunity to participate in a ride-along with our Dekalb County Police Liaison, Lt. R.S. Smith. It was an evening filled with eye-opening experiences and lessons in gratitude.

We started our shift in Roll Call at Tucker Precinct. About a dozen officers were in attendance and, as they received updates and assignments for the day ahead, these men and women also took time to poke fun at each other and have some laughs, illustrating the “family” feel within the evening watch team.

From there we moved to directing traffic for the Tucker High School Homecoming Parade. Knowing it would be a long night ahead, we then met with other officers for dinner at Local 7. At the end of the meal, we found out that a generous citizen had paid for all of our meals. Lt. Smith commented that it happens quite often, but rarely with a hand-written, heartfelt note.

The evening watch wasn’t too exciting on this particular night, so it allowed for more observation andnapkin conversation. For us, each traffic stop got our adrenaline pumping. For our seasoned host, it was routine. Still, it was interesting how he was noticeably aware of all that was going on around him. Officer safety and awareness, Lt. Smith told us, are key in any situation. Watching him approach and back away from a car was fascinating, as it was apparent that he was prepared for any surprises.

During the course of the evening’s conversation, Lt. Smith made it clear that his fellow officers are his family and they all have each other’s backs. He also spoke about how he and the other officers work very hard to foster a relationship of trust and safety throughout all the communities, but especially in those where the children might need a little more love and guidance.

Police ride-alongs are available to any citizen 18 years or older with a clean criminal background check. You can contact the Tucker Police Precinct and they will help start the paperwork process. Be prepared, though, as the officers do not alter their routine just because a citizen is in the car. You’re going to see exactly what they see on a nightly basis.

To get a better picture of our police ride along and to learn more about Lt. Smith, check out the video we produced for our YouTube page.


JUST SAY NO – On September 13, Officer O’Brien was patrolling his territory and driving through the Stone Mountain Inn, when he was flagged down by a female saying that she had been assaulted. After interviewing her, it was discovered that she was at the location to purchase marijuana from a subject in one of the rooms. As she was in the suspect’s room, she changed her mind and started to leave. At that time, the suspect struck her in the face with a closed fist and took her cell phone and cash from her possession. The officer determined which room the suspect was in and detained him without incident. The Criminal Investigations Division was notified and responded to the scene. Once they verified all of the information, the suspect was arrested for robbery and lodged in the DeKalb County Jail. Additionally, once management of the location was advised of the incident, they also removed the other occupant from the room and banned both subjects from the property.

 – On September 19 at 3 o’clock in the morning, Sergeant Davis was patrolling in the area of the Walmart on Lawrenceville Highway when he heard an audible alarm going off. As he approached the Walmart to determine where the alarm was coming from, he observed a male on a bicycle with a backpack fleeing from the location. Once he caught up to the male at the other side of the parking lot, he no longer had the bike and was attempting to run away on foot. Sergeant Davis got the male stopped and began questioning him. The suspect admitted that he had just stolen the bike from the Walmart and hid it behind the Applebee’s when he saw the police car. Sergeant Davis located the bike and was able to confirm through Walmart security that the suspect had jumped the fence and stolen the bike from inside. CID was notified and responded to the scene where the suspect was arrested for burglary and transported to the DeKalb County Jail.

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