Montgomery County, TN — Following yesterday afternoon’s downpour, a group of approximately 60 people gathered to celebrate the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Complex (PSCT)'s formal opening at 2275 Dotsonville Road. The official name of the complex is Sheriff Billy R. Smith Public Safety Complex in honor of former Sheriff Billy Smith, who served as Sheriff of Montgomery County for 20 years and who passed away in May 2017. The 326-acre location was also the family farm of Billy Smith, born and raised on the site.
Among those who joined the celebration were PSTC Department Heads, Elected Officials, the Smith Family, neighbors and other representatives from the Sheriff’s Office, County Emergency Management Agency and County Emergency Medical Services.
Mayor Jim Durrett opened by welcoming everyone to the site and thanked the Sheriff’s Office for having the vision and the County Engineering Department for sharing their expertise to help bring MCSO’s vision to life. He also thanked the Smith Family for working with the County through the process.
“This is an important step forward in public safety for our growing County,” said Mayor Durrett.
Emergency Medical Services Director Chief William Webb followed Mayor Durrett, expressing his gratitude for the complex and the ability to conduct training and certifications at the site.
Yesterday’s ceremony was also done to celebrate the completion of Phase I of the PSCT, including a firearms training facility, improved road network, security and utilities and a small arms outdoor range.
Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson said, “I think everything just worked out here to be on this site for a reason. Several people were looking at the property once it was listed. Tom had made a promise to Billy that this land would not be developed, so when I shared our plans, it was a win.”
At the time of purchase in June 2017, the farm already included two residential structures, a refurbished barn, a 7,000 square-foot hanger, an FAA-registered 2,400-foot runway, a 6,000-foot garage, and pole barns, springs and creeks, which allowed MCSO to start training right away.
“Our vision is for all public safety. That includes fire, EMS, EMA, and we can bring our sister counties right in here with our county and get on the same page with training. I’m grateful that our team, the county commission and the Mayor all shared the same vision of what this complex could do for our community,” added Fuson.
“Elaine Smith, the wife of former Sheriff Smith, said, “Billy would be so honored to have the complex named after him. He did not want a subdivision to replace the farm. The complex is the perfect way to honor his wish. I am grateful to have my family here with me. Billy was a great husband and father to our children. He worshipped his grandchildren, and they worshipped him. This is a good day.”
Phase II will include a USPCA canine training course and a fire tower building. The fire tower is part of the 2022-23 County budget. Public safety professionals are required to maintain certifications in their areas of expertise. The development of the PSCT will allow Montgomery County safety professionals to certify on-site rather than travel to other communities for certifications.
Caption PSCT 3: Pictured from left to right from the Smith Family is granddaughter Megan Goder, grandson Matthew Goder, son-in-law David Goder, daughter Wendy (Smith) Weis, Elaine Smith, daughter Lesa (Smith) Goder and son-in-law Joe Weis.