Chief of Police James Charlie Smith

Chief of Police James Charlie Smith

Central City Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Saturday, September 26, 1931

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James Charlie Smith

Chief of Police Charlie Smith was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle he suspected of bringing a load of illegal alcohol into Central City.

He had received information that the vehicle would be making the delivery and he stopped it on the outskirts of town. One of the three occupants of the vehicle opened fire on him, striking him twice and also killing one of the other occupants. Chief Smith died from his wounds the following day.

The other two were charged with Chief Smith's murder. The occupant, who was killed, shot and killed Patrolman John F. Allen of the Hopkins Police Department on August 8, 1925. One of the other two suspects was his 18-year-old son. It was the other suspect who accidentally killed him. It was unclear who killed Chief Smith. But evidence narrowed it down to the father or the son. Newspaper stories were also very confusing since they both had the same name. The surviving two were sent to prison in 1932 and paroled after three years.

Chief Smith was survived by his wife, adopted son, and two brothers.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 1 week
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, September 25, 1931
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Charged with murder

alcohol violation, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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Chief Smith,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Central City.


United States Border Patrol

September 26, 2021

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