First Black Captain Appointed at BCSO

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Panama City One Bay County Sheriff's officer is taking a huge step in his career.

Officer Joe Smiley became the first African American captain at the BCSO this month.

He's been with the sheriff's department almost 25 years.

Smiley says reaching this rank has been a dream for him.

He says he hopes to serve as a role model for younger officers. He advises them to learn to overcome criticism and to never give up.

"I'm hoping that this will let them know too that you might have to start at the bottom, but you can rise to the top if you believe in yourself, you can make it," Capt. Smiley said.

Capt. Smiley's training continues this week as one of more than 30 area law enforcement officers to take part in a resiliency seminar this week.