A Lyons area man has been promoted to the second-highest post in the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department.
Matt Smithmeyer is now a major after action by Sheriff Roy Miller. The move fills a need for a second-in-command and follows the sheriff’s goal of promoting from within.
Smithmeyer is a 23-year veteran of the department and has worked extensively with Miller (26 years).
“I’ve seen what he’s capable of,” Miller said in his office March 10.
For the sheriff, Smithmeyer was the obvious choice based on his leadership style, that he is next in line in the chain of command and the respect he gets from others.
“He has the same commitment to the community that I want from somebody,” Miller said. “We have to make arrests, but we are accountable to the community and Matt is involved in a lot of stuff.”
Having someone around with the rank of major is rare in the department, but other departments have someone at that rank. The rank of corporal is available but not in use for senior officers currently, Miller said.
“There’s nothing between him (Smithmeyer) and me, so he’s my back-up guy,” Miller said.
Smithmeyer is excited about the new rank. He is involved in the community, doubling up as the fire chief for the Royalton-Lyons Fire Department.”
“I look forward to the new challenges and new responsibilities,” Smithmeyer said. “They come along with the job.
“I kind of follow in his footsteps.
“It shows how much the Sheriff’s Office is appreciated in the community.”
So far, the response to the promotion has been positive, Miller said. The act is a little different from some sheriffs who hire their second-in-command from the outside.
“It really kills the morale,” Miller said. “You have got to give them a chance to fail or get better.”
James Pruitt may be reached at email@example.com