By Ms. June
NASHVILLE, TN — Mr. John Smith affectionately known as “Big John” is not only a standout at a healthy six feet four inches tall but he comes from a long lineage of law enforcement. His grandfather known as Big John was one of the first black African American police officers in Nashville in 1948 and his father, also Big John joined the Nashville police force in 1963. As a Davidson County Sheriff Deputy for over 25 years, Big John is a recognizable presence that has been serving dispute documents for court dates and orders of protection throughout Davidson County. He has consistently provided a good rate of service with extreme professionalism while representing the community in the field of law enforcement.
According to Big John, “He says although I’m not police officer enforcing law on the street I am very involved with the community, I respect people and treat them how they should be treated.” He spends time talking to kids every day because he feels they need to know there are many officers in uniform such as himself that are not bad guys and he is obligated to set a good example. He acknowledges what is going on in the media with law enforcement and feels punishment should be set accordingly. He stated, “I’m a minority and I hate to see black men and women out there getting in trouble.” Big John has been mistreated by whites and blacks alike but his faith and knowing how his father taught him, helps him overcome and still teach others how not to be judged.
Big John feels that it’s important for the community to know that officers from the Sheriff’s Department do not go to people’s homes and do what they want to do. Citizens are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect. As an officer that has passion for the law, Big John has decided to step into the arena of politics for the first time and run for Brenda Gilmore’s vacant House Seat in District 54. He wants to put the uniform away and remain as a loyal public servant that can help people in a different way. Big John says, “I lived in District 54 and I want to get out there and solve problems for the people and make a difference.”
The first thing he addressed was adults with firearms and feel they need to be responsible with their guns especially if they have children. Big John says,” Kids need to be taught about guns, have classes and know that guns can take people’s lives.” He went on to further elaborate that schools need to consider adding gun safety education to their curriculum.
Big John stated that he understands the opiod crisis and the pressure the doctors are under to keep writing prescriptions but the State Senators have to protect the citizens. In reference to drugs, legal marijuana and the “pill presses” all over the United States, he said, “the country is being put in danger because it is very hard to know who is brining in the drugs.”
The two things Big John is interested in enforcing is school safety and the education system in general. He stated that “the taxpayers send children to school to learn and there’s too much emphasis on the troublemakers instead of the learners on the inside. “ The main job of the State Senators is to protect their community and the listen to their needs and concerns. He is adamant that more direct communication needs to occur with the parents about bullying, physical violence and the school to solve these problems. Big John wants to know what the children are being taught. He says that, “Children should be able to get decent jobs immediately after high school.” He recognizes that not everyone is college material and wholly supports ready-to-work programs. The citizens are behind in this regard.
Lastly, Big John says the citizens of District 54 are seeking someone they can trust. He said, “I will listen to the people, be accessible and will work tirelessly on their behalf.”