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Notable Southern Oregonian Dennis 'C.W.' Smith Passes Away

Dennis Smith was Jackson County Sheriff for 12 years, served two terms as County Commissioner, and spent time leading both Talent and Medford Police.

Posted: Jun 11, 2018 2:00 PM
Updated: Jun 11, 2018 4:52 PM

EAGLE POINT, Ore. — Dennis C.W. Smith died overnight after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

A native Oregonian, C.W. was born in Medford and raised in Central Point. He graduated from Crater High School in 1966, where he was elected as the student body vice-president.

Following high school, he served in the United States Air Force and is a Vietnam veteran.

From 1983 to 1995 C.W. was the Jackson County Sheriff, where he was involved with new and innovated programs, including Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) which he brought to the kids of Jackson county. He was elected president of Southern Oregon Drug Awareness and is responsible for revitalizing Jackson county's Search and Rescue program and reinvigorating the Jackson county Marine Patrol program. C.W. was voted Oregon “Sheriff of the Year” from 1989 to 1990. From 2003 to 2004 C.W. served as the Jackson County Sheriff's Administrative Services Division Captain.

In addition to Jackson county law enforcement C.W. served as police chief for the city of Talent, the interim city manager for Lakeview, a radio talk show host, a private insurance business owner, a farmer, and an artist.

In 2005 he was elected as a Jackson County Board Commissioner and was re-elected in 2008. In the past, he served as chair 2007, 2008, and 2011, and vice chair 2010.

According to his website biography, during the 2012 calendar year, Commissioner Smith was the board liaison to the following county departments and/or committees: Animal Control Program under Health and Human Services, Community Justice, District Attorney, Justice Court, Urban Renewal and Economic Development, Natural Resources Advisory Committee (NRAC), Veterans' Advisory Committee, and Watermaster, as well as the Urban Renewal Agency, White City Enhanced Law Enforcement District, and White City Lighting District.

Commissioner Smith also serves as liaison to the following: Association of Oregon Counties (AOC), Job Council, Regional Advisory Committee (RAC), Rural Community Development (RC&D), Soil and Water Conservation District, Vector Control, and Watershed Council.

On his website biography he says "I was born and raised in Jackson county and have served in the public and private sectors all my adult life. I am pro-people and pro-business and have devoted myself to issues related to our environment. My goals include enhancing education, promoting family wage jobs, and supporting a robust economy while preserving our unique quality of life."

He leaves behind his wife Gina, and three adult children.

This is a developing story, and we will be updating it with more information and remembrances of C.W. If you have any thoughts, memories, or well-wishes regarding C.W., please share them in the comments below—or visit our Facebook page to post photos.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4810682

Reported Deaths: 70604
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147569426398
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3641044163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
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