Searcy, AR – White County Sheriff’s Deputy James “Lynn” Smith died unexpectedly on Sunday night, after complications from a routine surgery on March 27, his department said.
Deputy Smith, 30, joined the White County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) in the spring of 2013, Captain Brandon Grimes told Blue Lives Matter.
He also served the Searcy Police Department (SPD) from 2009 until 2013, “and is still considered SPD family,” the department said in a Facebook post.
Despite his youth, Deputy Smith had already developed an ultimate goal for his career path when he came to the WCSO, recalled Capt. Grimes, who was also the deputy’s field training officer.
“He knew he wanted to be in the schools,” Capt. Grimes said. “That’s where his heart was.”
By the start of the 2013-2014 academic year, Deputy Smith was named as the school resource officer for Riverview High School.
“He always said, ‘If I can make a difference in one kid’s life, then it was worth it in the long run,’” Capt. Grimes told Blue Lives Matter. “I can’t tell you how many kids and parents were at the hospital praying, and hugging, and crying…He accomplished his goal all right. Not just with one kid, but with a lot of kids.”
Deputy Smith began working with youth even prior to becoming the school’s resource officer, Capt. Grimes said.
“In his off-time, he went in and taught the Smart Choices Better Chances program at the school, just trying to reach kids,” he said. “To him, it was about helping kids at an early age. ‘That’s where change comes in,’ he’d say. ‘Let’s fix it before it ever gets started.’”
In the years that followed, Deputy Lynn became “the go-to guy for those kids at the school,” Capt. Grimes said. “When they needed someone to talk to – for anything – he was it.”
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Lynn,” the captain continued. “I love him, and he’s my brother. This is a big loss not only to the sheriff’s office, but to the kids and the citizens, too.”
Deputy Smith left behind his parents, brother, and his girlfriend, Jackie Pearrow, who works as a detention deputy for the WCSO, Capt. Grimes said.
Deputy Smith will be laid to rest on Saturday.
His memorial service will be held in the gymnasium of the Riverview High School, the department said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of White County Sheriff’s Deputy James “Lynn” Smith, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.