Longtime former Montgomery County Sheriff Smith dies - WSMV Channel 4

Longtime former Montgomery County Sheriff Smith dies

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Billy Smith served five terms as Montgomery County sheriff. (Source: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office) Billy Smith served five terms as Montgomery County sheriff. (Source: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Authorities say former longtime Montgomery County Sheriff Billy R. Smith has died.

Smith was elected sheriff in 1978 and served five consecutive terms before retiring in 1998.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office says Smith, who was a past president of the Tennessee Sheriff's Association, was instrumental in making a number of improvements to Tennessee law.

He pushed for 15 years to get the Legislature to pass a law requiring that all candidates running for election for sheriff in the state have experience in law enforcement and be certified by the state to be a police officer.

Officials say he helped write a law modernizing Tennessee's handgun carry permit bill, which put the state Department of Safety in charge of issuing carry permits, instead of the local sheriff's office.

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