First responder of week: Smyly has decade of service

Published 10:06 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Patrol officer Matthew Smyly with the Selma Police Department has been serving the community for more than 10 years now.

He began working as a police officer when his friend asked him about joining the force, but he had no idea that 10 years later he would still be patrolling the streets of Selma.

“I didn’t grow up wanting to be a policeman,” Smyly said. “I enjoy it. I just never saw myself as a policeman. But it’s kind of hard seeing myself do anything else after doing it this long.”

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Smyly wears many hats in the division, serving as a field training officer, traffic homicide investigator, firearms instructor, mace instructor and more.

He said he enjoys being able to train people and have a leadership role in the department.

“I enjoy it,” he said. “It’s challenging. It’s different.”

Smyly said he is getting more involved in the traffic side of the department, and that he enjoys being the first to a scene and taking charge of the situation.

“I’ve been doing this so long, that I’ve learned the patrol side of this job like the back of my hand, and I like getting there and making thigs happen,” Smyly said. “I like beating everybody to the scene because I like being the one to make something happen.”

Smyly said the job can be difficult, especially when he wants to please everybody, but he now knows that is an impossible feat.

“One thing I learned is you’re not going to please everybody,” he said. “At the end of the day, not matter what, somebody is not going to be pleased in the way you did your job on the streets.”

But that doesn’t stop him from trying to do his best for the community that he grew up in and loves.

“The community is the reason I’m still doing this job. I enjoy helping people and of all the calls we get, you’ll get that one call where you actually help somebody and that person appreciates it. That’s what keeps me going,” Smyly said. “When you quit liking your job, it’s time to find a new job … and I like my job.”