Flags hung at half staff today in Sumter County as law enforcement officers remembered the lives of fallen police officers who lost their life in the line of duty.
“We feel like all of our law enforcement brothers and sisters are family, so it’s a chance that they take everytime they put the badge on everyday that something bad could happen. We just try to train and work toward making sure that they’re safe everyday,” Scott said.
The names of the fallen soldiers were listed off in a roll call. Each family was escorted by an officer to place a white flower on the wreath of their department.
“I wanna honor the police officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Jody and Nick were killed in the line of duty. This is a special day for me,” Johnson said.
Officer Jody Carl Smith and Nicholas Ryan Smarr graduated from the police academy exactly four years after they were killed in 2016. Smith’s stepfather, Paul Johnson says the two grew up together and were part of a group of friends that were called the “Bros.”
Johnson says Smith’s parents were in law enforcement and when he served you could tell it was as if he had a calling for it. Johnson says officer Jody Smith’s sister recently had a baby and she named her daughter after her late uncle.
“I really don’t know if it was a life long dream, but he kind of got a calling to it and he was a great officer. Anybody that knew him, anybody that he ever met as serving as a police officer would tell you that,” Johnson said.
Smarr and Smith were two of seven officers honored today for losing their lives in the line of duty to protect and serve the people of Sumter county.