Former Atlanta police officer serving the community by feeding the body and soul

ATLANTA — A former Atlanta officer may have retired, but he is still helping the community that he swore to serve and protect.

Karl Smith spent 16 years as an Atlanta police officer, but realized something was missing when he retired.

“I went through a little depression and I’m like, ‘What now?’ and I’m not fulfilling what God has in place for me,” Smith told Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston.

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His desire to help others led him to a Midtown restaurant and bar owned by two of his friends called Sea Salt. He asked his friends Juan Farmer and Kaleb Edwards if they would be willing to feed people for free while he brings in a guest speaker to teach life lessons.

“So we filled the room with volunteers and healthcare workers and we talked about conflict resolution and I hadn’t been fulfilled like that in quite some time,” said Smith.

“The more we give back, the more energy we give out to somebody else who will want to do the same thing,” said restaurant owner Juan Farmer.

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The next month was geared toward young people and teaching them the importance of hard work and expanding your dreams, like owning your own business.

“I want everybody to leave here with their bellies full, their hearts full and some knowledge. I really could use that for the next phase of my life.

The trio are gearing up for September’s Sea Salt Cares event that will focus on mental health.

“We’re trying to fill the room with people, connect with the community, connect with speakers,” said Smith.

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Smith says he has gotten something out of it too.

“I’m doing what I think I was placed here to do,” he said.

The three are still working out the date for the Sea Salt Cares event.

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