Mary Lynn Smith

Mary Lynn Smith

In a time when women are breaking through the proverbial glass ceiling, filling positions once only held by their male counterparts, local police officer Mary Lynn Smith can now add her name to that long list of pioneers after becoming the first female Captain at the Russellville Police Department.

Smith comes from a long line of law enforcement being the third generation in her family to serve the citizens of Logan County.

Kisselbaugh's grandfather Morris E. Kisselbaugh was the first detective for the Russellville Police Department in the early '70s, becoming Assistant Chief of Police. In 1978, he was elected Sheriff of Logan County where he served for four years. In 1982, he became the Logan County Jailer. In 1978, Smith's father Morris L. Kisselbaugh began his career in law enforcement and left in the late '80s where he worked for Logan Aluminum for 25 years and retired. He later returned to law enforcement with the Russellville Police Department where he retired as a Patrol Sergeant. He was a Medal of Valor recipient. Her Aunt Donna Kisselbaugh was the first female law enforcement officer at the Russellville Police Department and her grandmother Nancy Kisselbaugh was a dispatcher for many years during this time.

"I have heard from many that say it is in my blood to be in this line of work," said Smith adding, It wasn't something she saw coming.

Smith was born and raised in Russellville. She attended the Russellville Independent School System and played basketball, soccer, and softball. Sports for her was like being a fish in the water. It all came very naturally and she thought for some time sports would be the direction her life would take.

Smith was an All-District, All-Region, and an All-State softball player. She graduated high school with honors in 2004 and played shortstop for Roane State Community College where she received an athletic scholarship to play catcher. In 2005, she was selected to represent the United States of America on the USA International Fastpitch Softball team where she traveled to Europe and won gold in Holland.

After accomplishing what she wanted to achieve athletically, Smith traveled west to Klamath Falls, Ore. in the summer of 2006 and began to fulfill another passion she had of working with large breed animals at Shasta View Animal Clinic. She cared for a variety of cattle, equine, and other livestock under Dr. Bloomfield. In 2007, she returned back to her hometown where she was asked if she would be interested in law enforcement. At the time, she didn't realize that her life was about to change.

When Smith was approached about joining the force, she says she considered the obstacles and challenges, took into consideration the service work her family had dedicated to the Logan County community and decided it was a career opportunity that she wouldn't want to miss out on.

"I was told by retired Chief of Police Barry Dill that it was in my blood, that I was made for this," said Smith who took his advise and is glad she did.

Smith was hired at the Russellville Police Department in April 2007. She graduated from the Department of Criminal Justice Training Basic Police Academy in that same year. During her career as a law enforcement officer thus far, Smith has been a Taser Instructor, Master Patrol Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Detective, Detective Sergeant, and with her recent promotion in August, an Administrative Captain. She has over 1000 training hours, is a graduate of the Academy of Police Supervision and Values-Based Leadership, and has an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice.

The new Captain is active in the local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #41, is a Western Regional Representative of the Kentucky Women's Law Enforcement Network, President of CrimeStoppers, and developed and organized the department's Teen Police Academy which is a program to bridge the communication gap between our youth and law enforcement that has deemed success.

Smith is married to Logan County Sheriff's Deputy Jakop Smith and has two children Ruby (3) and Charlie (8). She continues as an athlete by being an avid crossfitter. She also enjoys painting and drawing.

"I hope to continue my family's legacy in law enforcement and set a good example for my children and other women to follow," said Smith.