AASU Alumnus Named U.S. Marshal
(January 12, 2010) Steve Smith, a 28-year veteran of the Savannah Police Department and a decorated Vietnam War veteran, has been appointed by President Barack Obama as the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Georgia, following U.S. Senate confirmation in December.
"This is a tremendous honor and a call to duty that I take very seriously," Smith said.
Smith earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice from Armstrong State College in 1975 and 1987, respectively. He joined the Savannah Police Department in 1973 and rose to the rank of captain during his tenure. He served as commander for the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team from 1996 to 2002. His law enforcement career also included his service as Thunderbolt (GA) Chief of Police from 2002 to 2005.
He remembers several professors from Armstrong who had a positive influence on his life.
"I did greatly benefit from having had criminal justice professors like Dr. Bill Megathlin, Dr. Michael Donahue and Dr. Dennis Murphy," Smith said. "Each of these professors took a personal interest in their students and they are a great part of any success that I have had."
A faculty member in psychology, Ruth Arger instilled in Smith a valuable lesson.
"She taught me that if you don't apply for a job you will never get it," Smith said. "But if you apply, whether you get the job or not, you are making a statement about who you are and the expectations you have about yourself."
Smith also has worked closely with Wynn Sullivan, director of AASU's Center for Justice Administration. "She has served as an ambassador to regional law enforcement and keeps Armstrong very well connected in law enforcement circles," said Smith.
Smith is a 1989 graduate of the FBI National Academy and the recipient of a 2005 Fulbright Scholarship to study law enforcement issues. He graduated from Savannah High School in 1964.
He received two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart for his service in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from 1969-1967.