Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
CLARKSDALE– One of Coahoma Community College’s very own was recently recognized during the 39th Annual Mississippi Juvenile Justice Symposium.
The annual event, hosted Feb 25-27 in Biloxi, MS, is made up of workshops designed to highlight practice and policy models for all individuals involved in Mississippi’s juvenile justice system. During the symposiums’ prestigious Tony Gobar Awards Banquet, CCC alumnus and current Community Casework Counselor for CCC’s Tony Gobar program Rico Smith was honored as Most Distinguished Law Enforcement Officer.
Funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, the Tony Gobar program, under the auspice of Adolescent Opportunity Program (AOP) at CCC, works with adolescent youth at risk of entering the juvenile justice system.
The award is given each year to a sworn law enforcement officer who exemplifies unwavering support and commitment to the spirit and letter of the Mississippi Youth Court Act.
In addition to his duties at CCC, Smith serves as the Chief of Police of Tutwiler, MS—one of Coahoma Community College’s service areas.
“He is totally committed to the youth and the families that he works with as well as Coahoma County and the surrounding communities,” said Loretta Palmer, CCC’s AOP coordinator. “He is truly deserving of this award, we appreciate him for all of is hard work and dedication.”
Smith is 1985 graduate of Coahoma Agricultural High School and a 1987 graduate of CCC. He entered the United States Army for three years and was in the Army Band. He later attended Mississippi Valley State University and the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Academy in Pearl, MS.
Smith began his law enforcement career in 1995 as a patrolman and juvenile officer with the Friars Point Police Department. He is the former Chief of Police for Coahoma, MS as well as a former member of the Coahoma County School Board.
Prior to his current position, Smith worked as the Assistant Case Manager for CCC’s AOP from 2007 to 2011.
He was appointed by former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour’s Children’s Justice Act Task Force from 2006 to 2010 and was added to the United States Congressional Record last year after he was recognized by Congressman Bennie Thompson for his diligence as a law enforcement officer and his contributions to the youth of Mississippi.
“I’m totally shocked and humbled, yet grateful for the recognition,” said Smith. “I'm thankful to the CCC staff and to Ms. Palmer for the recommendation. I’m just grateful to be in a position to serve the community.”