Waller County sheriff dies after apparent heart attack

HOUSTON – Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith has died Saturday from an apparent heart attack, Waller County Judge Trey Duhon announced.

“Sheriff Smith will be greatly missed by his family, all of the employees of Waller County and the Sheriff’s Office, and the Waller County community,” Duhon said. “Sheriff Smith cared deeply for all of the citizens of our county and the employees under his care. This comes as a huge shock to all of us here with the county, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”

Duhon said in honor of Smith’s service the flags in Waller County will be flown at half-staff for the next 30 days.

Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell was a good friend of Smith.

“He was a good friend, neighbor, neighbor sheriff, neighbor comrade, colleague, just a good man of work coalition of law enforcement with,” Sheriff Sowell said.

“He and I served on a sheriff’s coalition fighting a high-speed rail good memory on that,” Sheriff Sowell said. “You just never know day to day life’s certainly a blessing. This is one of those examples. You never know what’s in store for us.”

Sheriff Smith handled the death of Sandra Bland in a county jail back in 2015. KPRC 2 spoke to Sheriff Smith about recommendations to build a new jail, purchase body cameras, and anger management for deputies.

“Things like that I guess for lack of better words are already in the process of doing,” Smith said in 2015.

Smith started his career as a correctional officer at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in 1978, according to the Waller County Sheriff’s Office website. A year later, he became a deputy sheriff in Grimes County. During this period, he also received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University.

In 1995, he served as a police chief in Kountze. Since then, he has worked as commander of a narcotics task force, chief deputy of Sabine County, where he grew up, and chief of police in Hempstead before being elected as sheriff in Waller County and taking office on Jan. 1, 2009, according to Waller County.

Smith served the Waller County Sheriff’s Department for nearly 12 years, including three terms as a sheriff.

He also held a master peace officer license and earned a graduate degree from Prairie View A&M University in Juvenile Justice.

Smith lived in the Hempstead area with his wife.

Funeral services will be handled by Cannon Funeral Home in Waller. The funeral announcements will be released at a later date.

Officials across the Houston area send their condolences:

Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said: ”Glenn was not only my sheriff, he was a friend, and he loved Waller County. His life was cut short way too early. I hope we can all set aside any differences and come together as a community to pay tribute to a man who devoted his life to Texas and the rule of law. God Bless him and his family in this difficult time.”

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