Smyrna police Public Information Officer named Smyrna Citizen of the Year

Keith Zgonc, Police Chief, Smyrna Police Department; Sharon Mason, CEO and President of the Cobb Chamber; Lt. Louis Defense, 2021 Smyrna Citizen of the Year; Derek Norton, Mayor of Smyrna; John Loud, 2021 Cobb Chamber Chairman (photo courtesy of the Cobb Chamber)

The Smyrna Area Council of the Cobb Chamber named the Smyrna Police Department Public Information Officer Lieutenant Louis Defense as Smyrna Citizen of the Year.

Lt. Defense also serves as the

The Cobb Chamber press release announcing the award described Citizen of the Year as follows:

The Citizen of the Year Awards are given to honor an individual whose impact through the years will be recognized and regarded with pride throughout the area as a role model. These outstanding citizens are chosen for their definable, exceptional deeds, with which he or she have made their community a better place to live. Awards are given based on local area nominations. The 2021 Smyrna Citizen of the Year award was presented at the Smyrna Area Council breakfast at Brawner Hall.

Defense served in the United States Marines before joining law enforcement.

The Smyrna Area Council, in the Chamber press release, gave the following statement on why Defense was chosen as 20201 Citizen of the Year:

Louis Defense, Lieutenant for the City of Smyrna Police Department, is an active citizen whose true love for the City of Smyrna and Cobb County shines through his actions every day.

Defense began his law enforcement career in November of 2000 with the City of Smyrna Police Department, and today serves as the face of the Smyrna Police Department in his active role as the City’s Public Information Officer/Community Liaison. He has served time in uniform patrol and most notably as the supervisor of the Community Relations Unit with Smyrna Police.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Defense found an unmet need in our community. He realized that our most at-risk populations could not be in public and thus could not pick up their basic life necessities such as food and medication. Defense began delivering groceries and medication to Smyrna’s at-risk populations and, due to the program’s popularity, expanded his reach into areas of unincorporated Cobb that bordered Smyrna.

In the wake of tragic events across the country, Defense found himself again thinking outside of the box in finding ways to regain the public’s trust in law enforcement. Defense coordinated and instructed Smyrna Police Department’s inaugural Youth Police Academy where kids from our area attended a one-week “police academy” where they learned about law enforcement and how to succeed in life. Defense is a common face in our local schools and colleges where he enjoys spending time and mentoring our youth in both law enforcement and life skills. Additionally, Defense can be found in local civic organizations where he is often seen giving updates on crime and other city happenings. He truly is the go-to guy for many citizens of Smyrna.