Former Port Royal Police Chief Smith dies at 74

Before allowing him to so much as step in the boat, Port Royal Police Chief James Cadien had to prove to George Smith that he was a serious fisherman.

"He invited me over and I had to practice casting," Cadien said with a chuckle. "I had to cast into a bucket -- gosh, I don't even know how many times. He was kind of particular about (who went) fishing with him."

Smith, a former Beaufort Police Department patrolmen and Port Royal police chief, died Friday of natural causes at his niece's home in Beaufort. He was 74 years old.

Having begun his police career in Port Royal with Smith as his sergeant in 1974, Cadien said his former boss and predecessor will be remembered as a light-hearted but effective leader with a passion for the outdoors.

"He was kind of a jokester," Cadien said. "He was always pulling practical jokes. He was a really good guy. He loved fishing and he loved training dogs. He was just a nice guy."

Smith was in charge of Port Royal's police force when it was part of the department of public safety. Its police officers often doubled as firefighters. The town dissolved the department in 1991, creating the Port Royal Police Department now in operation.

Smith retired in December 1998 and the town hired Cadien to replace him.

Funeral services for Smith will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Carl Anderson Memorial Chapel with a burial to follow in Beaufort National Cemetery. Smith will receive full military honors and Masonic rites, according to Anderson Funeral Home.