Captain Lorie Smith becomes interim chief effective Oct. 1
Garner Police Capt. Lorie Smith has been named the Police Department’s interim chief effective Oct. 1 when Chief Joe Binns retires.
Capt. Smith, a lifelong Garner resident and 1992 graduate of Garner Senior High School, joined the Police Department in 1997 as a member of the Patrol Division. She was promoted to sergeant in 2004 and became the first sworn female member of the Police Department’s command staff when she was promoted to lieutenant in 2015.
As lieutenant, she commanded the Criminal Investigations Division until her promotion to captain in October 2017. She was the first female in the history of the department to be promoted to the rank of captain and commanded the Administration Bureau through December 2020, serving as the department’s backup public information officer (PIO), primary internal affairs investigator and administrator overseeing the department’s $8 million annual budget.
Currently, Capt. Smith leads the Operations Bureau with oversight of the Patrol, Support Services and Criminal Investigations Divisions. She is also the department’s primary PIO.
“Captain Smith has been a dedicated police officer for many years and is certainly deserving of this opportunity,” said Town Manager Rodney Dickerson, who appointed Smith the interim chief. “She brings knowledge from her various roles in the department, and she has always been professional in my dealings with her.”
Capt. Smith will fill the top spot on a temporary basis after Chief Binns, who announced his retirement last month, steps down from his post with 30 years of creditable service to the Police Department. He has served for a year as interim chief and a year as chief.
During her career with the Police Department, Capt. Smith has been a field training officer, general instructor, Crisis Intervention Team officer, negotiator, team leader and team commander for the department’s Crisis Negotiations Team.
Capt. Smith graduated from N.C. State University in 1996 with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice. She received her master’s degree in justice administration from Methodist University in May 2015 and is a 2018 graduate of the FBI National Academy (session #273) in Quantico, Va.
Capt. Smith also is a 2013 graduate of the year-long Management Development Program (session #25) through the N.C. Justice Academy, a 2014 graduate of the Administrative Management Officers Program (session #69) through N.C. State University and a 2014 graduate of the West Point Leadership Program through Methodist University.
Capt. Smith is active in the community as a volunteer. She has served as a board member of the North Carolina Victim’s Assistance Network from 2016 through 2021, with her most recent appointment as board vice president.
She has been a member of the Garner Educational Foundation since 2015, currently serving as the Scholarship Committee chair, and has volunteered with the Schools and Community Organized to Read (SCOR) program at Timber Drive Elementary.
In addition, Capt. Smith has been an active volunteer with the Police Department’s Police Athletics and Activities League (PAAL) since its inception and has served as a PAAL coordinator at Rand Road and East Garner Elementary Schools. She was recently appointed to serve on the finance committee, and as interim chief, will serve as the program’s executive director.