Lazaro Aleman, ECB Publishing, Inc.
Efforts are underway to rename portions of two state highways in memory of two local law-enforcement officers.
The two state roads under consideration for renaming are sections of U.S. 90 and U.S. 19, the first after Deputy Christopher Smith, who served in the Sheriff Departments in both Jefferson and Leon counties, and the second after Jefferson County Sheriff David Hobbs.
Leon County officials initiated the resolution to rename a portion of U.S. 90 in Leon County in honor of 47-year-old Smith, who was fatally shot in November 2014 in Tallahassee when he responded to a house fire that had been set by a man intent on killing first responders. Smith had previously served 20 years with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.
As a consequence of the latter service, the Leon County Commission asked its Jefferson County counterpart to join the resolution and name its own portion of U.S. 90 in honor of Smith. Hobbs, a Jefferson County native and popular four-term Sheriff, died in November 2017 at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (TMH) from cancer complications at age 59.
The resolution approved by the Leon County Commission designates the portion of US 90 between Chaires Cross Road and SR-59 in Leon and Jefferson counties as the Deputy Christopher Smith Memorial Highway.
It further directs the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which is charged by law with such tasks, to erect the appropriate markers at two locations on the designated portion of road. As a courtesy, because a part of the designated portion of road is in Jefferson County and Smith served here, the Leon County Commission asked the local board to be part of the resolution.
The Jefferson County Commission, however, decided to extend its designated portion of the road from the Leon County line to the very courthouse circle.
Following the Jefferson County Commission's approval of the Smith resolution, County Coordinator Parrish Barwick requested that he be allowed to draft a similar resolution to rename the portion of US 19 between US 27 at Capps and the Georgia County line the Sheriff David C. Hobbs Memorial Highway. The commission assented to the request, but asked Barwick to check with the Hobbs family and get their approval of the project before proceeding. The latter resolution was expected to come up again before the commission at its Sept. 6 meeting.
Both resolutions will then be forwarded to the Florida Legislature for final action.