New York City, Michael Smith

Michael Smith To Become Oldest Rookie Cop In Washington, D.C. History

Smith will become the oldest graduate of the program, making him the oldest rookie police officer in the city’s.

Michael Smith, a 60-year-old former professional athlete, is set to make history when he graduates from the Washington, D.C. police academy in April. Smith will become the oldest graduate of the program, making him the oldest rookie police officer in the city’s history. Smith spoke to NBC Washington about what the upcoming graduation means to him personally. “I’m proud that I have an opportunity to give back to the community and fulfill one of my dreams, but I think that age has nothing to do with it,” he said. “If you’re physically fit and mentally fit and you’re willing to really dedicate the time necessary to fulfill this opportunity and dream, you can do it. I’m a prime example. A perfect example.”

Michael Smith, who grew up in New York City, wanted to be a police officer when he was younger but he was a good enough basketball player to play professionally overseas for 15 years. Smith still had a love for the game, so he coached overseas for an additional ten years before exiting the game of basketball for good. Along the way, he even got to share the same court as NBA Hall of Famers Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Michael Jordan. Now, he’s bringing his talents to D.C. to achieve what he calls his all-time dream.

Though the city caps the retirement age for officers at 65, Smith is determined to make his mark. “I’m just here to fulfill my dream and show myself, my family, who are behind me 100%, to fulfill my bucket list, my ambition, lifetime dream,” Smith told NBC Washington. “And if it’s four or five years, I’m going to dedicate 100% to do it. I’m giving my best and show everybody during those five years that Michael Smith enjoyed his time and he did the best he can. And I hope that also passed down to the younger generation and my colleagues.”

Because Smith will be forced to retire in less than five years, he will not receive any pension, but Smith says it doesn’t really concern him. What would be more important to him would be attaining the rank of sergeant, which his father held as a member of the NYPD, but Smith told NBC Washington that realistically there’s just not enough time for him to cross that off his bucket list. “I wish I could have enough time to maybe be a sergeant like my father,” Smith explained. “My father was a sergeant, like I said, in NYPD, and that was my ambition. If I could have stayed here and least had enough time to at least be the same as him, that would have been a beautiful objective for me to go out.”

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