Captain Jack Smith
Toledo Police District Commander
Scott Park District Station
1975 Owens Graduate
"A community college allows you to meet a lot of people from many viewpoints. "It definitely broadens your horizons."
Public Service Technologies
Profile of Excellence: Captain Jack Smith
Owens Community College Alumnus
Captain Jack Smith recognizes being a police officer is not the same job today that it was 20 years ago. Police have had to change with the times and devise a community-oriented, counselor type approach. He mentors new recruits that as visible public servants, they must continually uphold the high standards set by the Toledo Police Department.
Capt. Smith has lived through this evolution and the Toledo community is safer because of him. He is the District Commander for the Scott Park District Station, the Commander of the Northwest Ohio Bomb Squad and a 1975 graduate of Owens Community College.
When he graduated from high school in the mid '60s, the world was in turmoil. Capt. Smith joined the U.S. Marines to serve his country and spent 1968-69 in Vietnam. In 1970 with his tour of duty completed, Capt. Smith wanted to pursue his dream of being a policeman. At the time, to qualify for the Civil Service test, he needed two years of college. "I looked at all the law enforcement programs," said Capt. Smith. "Owens was the only choice for me."
In 1973 the Civil Service requirements changed and Capt. Smith was eligible to take the test. He passed and was hired full time by the Toledo Police Department. Still wanting to complete his degree, he continued at Owens Community College and graduated in 1975 with an Associate of Arts Degree in Law Enforcement Technology. His decision paid off. "My Owens education gave me a substantial advantage in the Police Academy," he says. "I finished 4th out of 57 candidates."
From there, Captain Jack Smith began a 31-year career that has spanned our community and impacted the safety of citizens in Northwest Ohio and abroad.
For the first seven years, he was a patrolman. Capt. Smith then moved to the Metropolitan Drug Unit in undercover assignments. His largest bust was a 1-ton shipment of marijuana that fortunately never reached our streets. After two years, he made Sergeant. Nine years later, he was asked to head the communication section of the force - 9-1-1 Dispatch. He did but longed to return to the streets. "My heart has always been in uniform," said Capt. Smith. "The uniform officers are the backbone of the unit."
In December 1990, he had passed the lieutenant's test and was activated to serve in Desert Storm. After interviewing long distance, by phone and 1,200 miles away, Capt. Smith was promoted. He returned from duty to battle crime on our streets as the Commander of the Vice Squad - covering drugs, gambling, prostitution and liquor law enforcement.
After Toledo vice, Capt. Smith moved to Lieutenant in charge of Investigative Services. Shortly thereafter, he moved to the Scott Park District to handle all property crimes. Then in May 2002, he was promoted to Captain and District Commander.
In this position, Capt. Smith enjoys the flexibility to effectively serve the district. Focusing on enforcement with a community orientation, he has the opportunity to implement initiatives such as Block Watch, school outreach initiatives and agency referrals.
Owens Community College gave Captain Jack Smith the education package to achieve his career goals on his own terms. "A community college allows you to meet a lot of people from many viewpoints," Capt. Smith says. "It definitely broadens your horizons."
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