2/3/03 - In an effort to tarnish
the reputation of a dedicated and decorated Key West Police Officer, a
local publication reported that Sgt. Scott Smith was arrested 21 years ago
for a DUI. Although a true report, it was not reported that this was a
personal turning point for Smith, who was recently promoted to the head of
the Traffic Division.
"I hope that if I do stop someone for
DUI, they will take that opportunity to change their behavior, avoiding
future DUI's, jail, or possibly worse - the injury or death of themselves
or another human being," Sgt. Smith said. "This arrest is in my
past, when I was teenager, and I regret that it happened. But I learned a
valuable lesson from the experience. It is also something that has been a
part of my personnel record since I applied for the police department. It
is nothing I ever tried to hide."
Friday night, the Key West Police
Department embarked on their monthly Traffic Safety Enforcement Night to
try to prevent Driving Under the Influence. "We publicize these types
of efforts to try to make people more aware of the dangers of driving
under the influence," noted Sgt. Smith. "We don't merely want to
arrest people for DUI - we want to try to prevent it from happening by
being on the streets in force and publicizing it." The focus of
Traffic Safety Enforcement Night is not only on DUI prevention but all
traffic violations such as speeding, running lights and aggressive
Both City Manager Julio Avael and Chief of
Police Buz Dillon thought it was unfortunate that once again a biased
story in a local paper overshadowed the commendable work of a Key West
police officer. "Sgt. Smith is an exemplary officer who is doing a
great job as head of our Traffic Division," said Chief Dillon.
"I have full confidence not only in his abilities as an officer but
in his integrity as a person."
Kelly L. Haglund, Public Information Officer
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