Chief Deputy Resigns from Smith Co. Sheriff's Department

The man second-in-charge of the Smith County Sheriff's Department is leaving after 18 years in that job.

Chief Deputy Johnny Beddingfield wrote in his resignation letter that life's priorities are "God, family and then, job."

The 59-year old Beddingfield says it's time to step away from the position that's kept him working long hours, and many nights and weekends. Sheriff J.B. Smith says Beddingfield has talked about retirement for a while... and praises him as an exceptional lawman.

"He's been in many shootouts over the years, he has confronted many criminals without having been hurt, this man has an outstanding track record," says Smith.

Beddingfield's resignation is effective November 15th. Before joining the Sheriff's Department, he had worked for Tyler Police.