As a young woman, Kista Smith always wanted to help people and keep them safe. She took that passion and grew up to be a hero in uniform.
Smith fondly remembers her early years in law enforcement. As a 25-year-old, she was surprised by the strenuous physical requirements. Police work is physically demanding, stressful and dangerous. Working around the clock in shifts is common, so the hours can be daunting. The training required a lot of running, weightlifting and working out. She also had to watch her diet.
Her first day as a police officer was in the North Precinct (now called Fort Apache) on the day shift. Smith began her career patrolling and responding to calls to protect lives and property. When she started in 1989, she was embraced by other women officers who showed her the ropes.
“Once, while working the streets of Birmingham, I responded to a disturbance call at an apartment complex. Medics were already on the scene when I arrived and people were shouting and crying,” said Smith. “I was the first officer to arrive, so I had to resort back to my academy training. I had to detain a shooter and gather as much information as I could while the medics attended to the bleeding victim. I will never forget the image of that young man lying on the ground bleeding.”
Smith began her journey at Alabama Power in April 2015, while still working at the Birmingham Police Department. She wasn’t quite ready to retire.
“Working at Corporate Headquarters has been a humbling and challenging experience,” said Smith. “My time here has been short but fulfilling. Working at Alabama Power has allowed me to utilize the training and skills I learned while working with the Birmingham Police Department.”
On a day-to-day basis she may be faced with a variety of situations, such as alarm monitoring, access control, traffic control, hostile intruder response and medical emergencies. She monitors entrances, exits and deliveries, ensuring employees and their belongings are safe.
“In the event of an incident at Corporate Headquarters, Generation or Hydro facilities, Alabama Power officers will not hesitate to put themselves in harm’s way to ensure the security and safety of all employees,” said Ed Earp, Uniform Security and Training supervisor. “Alabama Power Company has a strong security force that aids in keeping a lookout for, and averting, any negative events.”
Smith is passionate about being an officer and has a true love for the job.
“If there’s one message we hope to convey, it’s that Corporate Security isn’t one-dimensional,” said Security Manager Steve Luciano. “We’re not just security monitors like you see in the LifeLock commercial. We’re highly trained and experienced security officers dedicated to the protection of company employees and property.”
Smith said she would rather stay out of the spotlight and focus on her work, which makes her a true unsung hero.
During Women’s History Month, Alabama NewsCenter is celebrating the culture and contributions of those who have shaped our state and those working to elevate Alabama today. Visit AlabamaNewsCenter.com throughout the month for stories of female Alabamians past and present.