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still remembers his first meeting with 21-year-old Smithee. “I could see that he really wanted to be a reserve with us, he had that desire to work for us,” Giusiana said. “He has such a strong core belief that if you have the right ethics and you have the right morals, you make the right decisions and that’s how he’s lived his life.” Smithee discovered his love for the job as a reserve officer. “I think any- time you can do something or you are able to help somebody, especially if it’s a traumatic type of a situation and you think you can make a positive difference, that just leaves you with a feeling inside that you can’t replicate any other way,” Smithee said. After graduating from the police academy, he was hired by the Gilroy Police Department in June of 1986. By 1997, he’d achieved the rank of Captain. He continued as Captain, overseeing the police department’s field operations, Special Operations, and Administration, until his retirement in July of 2015. That allowed him to devote more time to teaching at the police academy. Six months later, he was asked to return to the force as interim Police Chief. Smithee accepted but made it clear that he “wouldn’t be applying for the permanent position.” Brenda knew better. “Honestly, by February I knew that he was going to stay, and he hadn’t even been asked at that point.” It seemed as though everyone who knew Smithee thought he was the right man for the job. “The support from the department, from the city, and from community members, was frankly overwhelming,” Smithee said, explaining that he would find fliers for the Chief’s job all over his office. On August 1, he was sworn in before a big crowd at New Hope Community Church as Gilroy’s Chief of Police. “Scot really knows community,” Jay Baksa, retired Gilroy City Administrator, said. “He knows everybody and he knows how it’s supposed to function. He also knows the dynamic of the law enforcement issues in Gilroy. So you got a chief coming in here immediately hitting the ground running. That’s an enormous leg up for the community.” “I think the more people get to know us and the more people we engage with in a non-enforcement role, the better it is because I think that develops the trust and that develops the confidence in the community,” Smithee said, adding that he takes his new role very seriously and knows that now, as Chief, he is “responsible for everything.” “As a Captain, I’m focused down in the organization, how we’re providing the service, are we being efficient and effective in what we’re trying to do?” Smithee said. “As the Chief, you’re more focused outward from the department. I interact more with the community. It’s almost like an interface between the functioning part of the department and all the rest of the world.” Giusiana believes Smithee is the GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 perfect man for the job. “He really believes in Gilroy, he’s part of Gilroy. This community has got some very unique and special things about it that are very positive and he fits right in with all of it.” “If I can help to make this community a better place, if I can help to solve problems and make people’s lives better then I’m willing to do what- ever it is that I can do within my power to bring that to fruition. That really is my motivation,” Smithee said. “My expectation is that everything we do, we’re doing it to make this a better place and as long as that’s the end goal then OK, I’m good with that.” “Scot will be a great Police Chief. He has the true heart of a servant. Scot will continue to build on the organization he helped establish over the past three decades. He knows the staff, the city workers and more importantly, he knows this community! I have such a good feeling about his appointment. He will lead with integrity. Scot is a humble man and he makes it all about the organization, not himself. That is a refreshing quality in a leader! I wish him well in his new role leading our city police force!” advised Denise Turner Sellers, Former Gilroy Chief of Police. Mentor and friend Dan Crumrine, Retired Police Sergeant said of Scot: “Early on, Scot knew that police work would be his passion. He was self- motivated. And all his actions in the department were driven. I feel honored that Scot thinks of me as one of his mentors. I have no doubt that he is up for the job of Chief.” gmhtoday.com 45