The Smith County Communications Office strives to promote transparency by providing the public with the most accurate, accessible and up-to-date information possible while promoting the county's brand and message of "Striving for Excellence."
Located on the first floor of the Smith County Annex Building
200 E. Ferguson, Suite 100
Tyler, Texas 75702
Email: Casey Murphy
Smith County Recognizes Employees During Monthly Commendations
The Smith County Commissioners Court Tuesday recognized employees for their service to the organization.
District Attorney April Sikes brought glowing expressions of gratitude for Office Director Jennifer Barfield, who celebrates 15 years with the county.
“In 2003…Smith County became a better organization without a doubt,” she said of Ms. Barfield.
Sikes praised Ms. Barfield’s ability to accomplish whatever is needed in the office, from getting thousands of pages of discovery prepared for cases to re-keying locks that stick and even cleaning the office’s bathrooms.
“There’s literally nothing she can’t do. Her heart is bigger than the entire state of Texas. Smith County is better because Jennifer Barfield has spent the last 15 years here.”
Office Director, District Attorney’s Office
Jennifer Barfield grew up in Mineola, moving there from Philadelphia, Penn., when she was a child. She began with the Smith County District Attorney’s office in 2003 as a legal assistant in the felony division. Prior to that, she worked for four years with the City of Tyler Municipal Court.
“I have worked with many great people in the County over the last 15 years and have made many friends,” she said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my years in the DA’s Office, and being a part of an office that gets to advocate for victims of crime and see that justice is sought is such a blessing each and every day.”
In 2005, Ms. Barfield took on the role as the legal assistant to District Attorney Matt Bingham and April Sikes, helping the management of the capital murder, murder, and high-profile cases for the office. In 2011, she was given the opportunity to become the Office Director when Deloris Johnson retired.
“Though I do not go to court anymore on cases, the office director position keeps me on my toes and keeps me very busy,” Ms. Barfield said. “It’s hard to believe 15 years has passed so quickly. Time definitely flies! When I started here, my children were little. Now, one has graduated college and the other two are in college!”
Ms. Barfield says she is still trying to find new life interests. Over the years, her primary hobby has been her children and their activities.
Probation Officers/HOPE Academy Official
Smith County Juvenile Services Director Ross Worley recognized two employees for their commitment.
Probation Officer Shaunda Petty has worked for the county for more than 15 years, Worley said. She began as a part-time case aide and worked her way through the various positions in the department.
Currently, Ms. Petty works to help those in the HOPE Academy to transition back into the regular flow of living.
“She does a wonderful job,” Worley said. “It’s good to work with friends.”
Worley also recognized Yvonne Edwards. She has worked with the county for 10 years and is a supervision officer. Worley commended Ms. Edwards on her “excellent work.”
Smith County Facilities Services Director Ed Nichols commended Jack Walder for five years with the county.
“Jack’s a great guy,” he said, appreciating Mr. Walder for being able to work at any level of the department’s need. “He maintains his own equipment and is everybody’s friend.”
Office Manager, Pretrial and Personal Bond Office
Lynda Swann serves Smith County with a heart truly carved out for helping others.
“I enjoy helping people,” said Lynda Swann, office manager for the Smith County Pretrial and Personal Bond Office.
Ms. Swann, who was unable to attend Tuesday’s court session, has served Smith County in the Pretrial Release/Personal Bond Office since 1998.
As the office manager, Ms. Swann handles everything that has anything to do with bail bonds. She educates and assists the public about the bond process and the different types of bonds available to those in need.
Ms. Swann also is record keeper of all things related to the Bail Bonds Board. That board meets on the third Wednesday of each month. She compiles its agenda and respective dockets and notifies members of the meetings.
It could be said that Ms. Swann has experienced somewhat of a boomerang love affair with Smith County. She’s actually worked for the organization two times before this 20-year tenure.
She began working at Smith County after graduating high school in 1980 through a special program in the Hot Check Division of the District Attorney’s Office. After that assignment ended, she officially returned to work at the Smith County in 1982 for the District Attorney’s Hot Check Division through 1984. In January 1985, she began working with the Pretrial Release and Personal Bond Office under the supervision of Tom Jackson for just a decade. After Jackson’s retirement in 1995, Ms. Swann returned in 1998 to work in the office and hasn’t looked back.
In her spare time, Ms. Swann enjoys cooking, spending time with her grandchildren, music and live performances by seasoned soul and R&B artists.
Other Smith County employees recognized this month for their years of service include:
25 Years: Patricia Blalock, Sheriff’s Department
20 Years: Travis Breazeale, Sheriff’s Department
15 Years: Justin Hall and James Spark, Sheriff’s Department
10 Years: Sheridan Dowdy, Tax Office
5 Years: Carol Bragg, Tax Office; and Kevin Londoff, Sheriff’s Department