Lincoln County Sheriff Curtis Landers publicly recognized Deputy Hugh Smith and presented him with a life saving award. Sheriff Landers explained to the Lincoln Count board of commissioners that on February 13, 2022 while Deputy Smith was in booking he heard a gurgling noise coming from one of the booking cells. He responded and requested the assistance of additional staff members. He used an office issued noose cutter to remove a blanket, which had been tightly wrapped around the neck of an individual in the booking cell.
The person's face was turning purple and they became unresponsive and shaking when the blanket was removed. Deputy Smith then performed the necessary medical aid until the person in custody became awake and was aware of what had happened. The person in custody then started screaming and crying to Deputy Smith that "they just wanted to die and he should have let it happen."
Sheriff Landers stated "The actions that Deputy Smith took speak to his character and dedication to the profession. Had he not reacted due to his prior trainings and quick actions not administered the outcome could have been much different for this individual." Landers said the instinct Deputy Smith showed after hearing something coming from the cell and knowing that something was not right. Landers then presented Deputy Smith with a life saving pin, the second one he has received and a glass plaque.