Waller County Sheriff R. Glenn Smith has passed away of an apparent heart attack according to an announcement by Waller County Judge Trey Duhon. Smith had 43 years in law enforcement experience …
Waller County Sheriff R. Glenn Smith has passed away of an apparent heart attack according to an announcement by Waller County Judge Trey Duhon. Smith had 43 years in law enforcement experience during his life with about a dozen of those years as Waller County Sheriff.
“Sheriff Smith cared deeply for all of the citizens of our County and the employees under his care. This comes as a huge shock to all of us here within the county, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time,” Duhon said.
Smith is survived by his wife, Deedee Smith, their daughter and extended family.
During his tenure as sheriff, Smith helped the department deal with the unfortunate death of Sandra Bland which made national headlines in 2015, and was involved in the planning process for the new Waller County Justice Center which offers improved safety for both detainees and officers. Shortly before his passing, Smith said he had created a culture within the department that promoted fair and just policing.
“It must always be mandated that everyone be treated the same - with courtesy, fairness and respect,” Smith said during his reelection bid earlier this year.
Smith was first elected as Waller County Sheriff in 2009.
Smith was very proud of his officers for the care they provided to Waller County residents and their eagerness to educate those they serve and work toward preventive solutions, including the department’s Criminal Activity Target Team. The CATT has helped prevent the incursion of gangs, drug dealers and manufacturers, sex offenders, burglars and other serious crimes in the county on a proactive level, Smith said in a January statement. He was especially proud that the CATT had been developed by its members out of dedication to county residents.
Smith also felt that outreach programs such as neighborhood watches, citizens police academies and sponsorship of youth sports were important to maintain and improve law enforcement’s relationships with the community.
Outside of law enforcement, Smith was active in the community through his memberships in various organizations including Waller Baptist Church, as president of the Hempstead Lions Club, Gideons International, the Waller County Fair Association, the National Rifle Association, the Sons of the Republic of Texas and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Smith’s education included a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University, a graduate degree in Juvenile Justice from Prairie View A&M University and certification as a master peace officer. He was also a licensed insurance agent.
It is unknown at this time who will occupy the office of Sheriff in the interim between Smith’s passing and the election in November. This was to be Smith’s last year in office after he lost a runoff election in June to Republican candidate Troy Guidry.
“We are sending out our prayers to Glenn Smith’s family, friends and co-workers. He was a great man and will be truly missed,” Guidry’s campaign said in a Facebook post.
Friends of the Smith family also took to Facebook to offer their condolences.
“I was completely shocked and heartbroken when I received the call today that Glenn had passed. I had the honor and privilege of working for Glenn & Deedee at Sabine Insurance for over 15 years! He was truly one of the best! I have a lot of great memories of Glenn that I will cherish forever,” said Teresa Neal on social media platform.
Duhon’s statement said funeral arrangements were under the direction of Cannon Funeral Home out of the city of Waller and additional announcements would be made in the coming days. In the meantime, Smith will be honored at offices throughout the county.
“In honor of Sheriff Smith’s service to Waller County, I have ordered flages in Waller County to be flown at half-staff for the next 30 days,” Duhon said.
Note: This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.