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Meet Lt. James Smith

My name is James Smith and I am a Lieutenant in the Lancaster City Bureau of Police. I oversee the officers who work in the southeast quadrant of the city. This includes the neighborhoods of Stevens, Mussertown, Churchtowne and Connestoga Heights.

I was born and raised in Lancaster City by my mother. I attended kindergarten at Higbee Elementary (now King Elementary). I went first through sixth grade at George Washington Elementary and grades 7 through 9 at Edward Hand. During my three years in Edward Hand I was on the wrestling team – becoming captain of the team in 9th grade. My fastest pin was 23 seconds against Ephrata High School. I was also a member of the Civil Air Patrol for a short time and the Boy Scouts. I attended J.P. McCaskey High School for grades 10 through 12. During my time in high school I held two jobs (not at the same time). I worked at Giant Food Store on N. Reservoir St. as a bagger and then I worked at Lancaster Osteopathic hospital on East Orange St., in the kitchen. During my time in McCaskey I was not involved in any sports. I focused on my academics. I graduated in 1985.

Literally, hours after graduation from High School, I went to Parris Island, SC for boot camp. I was 17 years old when I went there and turned 18 while in boot camp. I did not alert my Drill Instructors to my birthday, which was 6 days before I graduated from the camp. I graduated from boot camp on August 28, 1985 and was accepted into Millersville University on a full scholarship. I spent three months in 29 Palms California attending Communications School for the Marine Corps. After completing my Marine Corps training I then reported to my reserve unit in Allentown.

I attended Millersville University for a semester before leaving to work full time at R.R. Donnelly and Sons. I was hoping to get an apprenticeship as a pressman (A decision I now regret). After working at Donnelley for three years, it became apparent that the job was a dead end. I applied to the police department and was hired in May 1990. During my time here at the police department I have been a K-9 officer, involved in the Neighborhood Oriented Policing Program and have moved up through the ranks to the position of Lieutenant.

Three people now living I would like to have lunch with: Billy Graham, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman

The cause I most believe in is: Evangelizing the saving grace of Jesus Christ

Name three things on your bucket list.

Travel to Israel
Learn to fly an aircraft
Go to France to watch the Tour De France bicycle race

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A United States Marine
A police officer

Lt. Smith overseas the southeast quadrant of Lancaster City. Click the map to see the list of sector officers.

My greatest accomplishment is... My three children

My unfulfilled ambition is... Learning to fly an aircraft

Three words to describe me are... Compassionate, Faithful, Dedicated

Tell us something about you that most people don't know. I attended (4) years of biblical instruction through the Assemblies of God Bible Institute.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? On my day off: Plans for the day (running errands and extracurricular activities). Work day: 3:00 am - This is too early to be getting up for work and then what things I need to do at work

What's the farthest-away place you've been? Tijuana, Mexico

What do you think Lancaster will be like in ten years? Do not know where Lancaster will be in 10 years. However I would like to see more of a variety of activities offered to children and young adults that are inexpensive. I would also like to see more activities geared towards the residents of Lancaster City, rather than just catering to people who do not live in the city.

What do you consider to be Lancaster City's greatest asset? The history that this city has. Historical events, presidential and celebrity visits, just to name a few.

At the station.

Grabbing a bite in Lancaster with - $5, $10, $30 - Where (and what):

$5 - Subway
$10 - Rendevous Cheesesteak
$30 - Long Horn Steakhouse

What are the best aspects of your job?

Working with the people in the community

Would you describe yourself as introverted or extroverted?


What is your coffee shop drink of choice?

Colombian coffee with Half and Half, French Vanilla and Sugar
Earl Grey tea, two teaspoons of raw sugar

What music are you listening to now? "Jump" by Van Halen

Best advice from your parents... Be careful how you treat people on your way up the ladder of success, because you never know who you will meet on your way down.

What should they have taught you in school but didn't? Spanish (I requested Spanish, they gave me French)

If there is one thing life has taught me it is... Always treat people fair and equal so that there are few regrets when you look at yourself in the mirror

Lancaster City Living – Lancaster PA