Police Detective as Local Pastor, Dallas Ambush

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The Rev. Doris Smith is a full-time Dallas police detective, assigned to the traffic division, where she investigates hit-and-run cases and others involving vehicles. On Sundays, and once or twice during the week, she’s at Warren Chapel United Methodist Church, in Terrell, Texas, where she’s part-time pastor. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

By Sam Hodges
Oct. 4, 2016 | DALLAS (UMNS)
She’s a plainclothes cop, but on Sunday mornings she wears a uniform. That would be her clergy robe.
The Rev. Doris Smith, 49, works full time as a Dallas police detective while serving as a part-timelicensed local pastor, leading Warren Chapel United Methodist Church in Terrell, Texas.
When not solving cases, she’s preaching, teaching, counseling and visiting the sick.
“With anything you do, it has good and bad, ups and downs,” she said of pastoring on top of policing. “Mostly, it’s a lot of joy.”
Smith puts some 10,000 miles a year on her car, making the 45-minute drive to and from Terrell two to three times a week.
And while she does get paid about $10,400 annually as a pastor, Smith said she gives most of the money back to Warren Chapel. …
Smith as detective-pastor has been a singular figure in the North Texas Conference, but on July 7, she also became an object of concern and compassion.
That’s when four Dallas police officers and a transit officer were killed in an ambush. Smith was working nearby, and one of the victims was a good friend and former patrol partner.
“In my whole career, that’s the worst thing I’ve ever experienced,” said Smith, in her 27th year as an officer.