Americus remembers two fallen officers on one year anniversary of passing

Mary Green (WFXL)

AMERICUS, Ga. -- This week marks one year since the murders of officers and best friends Jody Smith and Nick Smarr.

Amercus police officer Smarr was killed responding to a domestic dispute at a home near Georgia Southwestern State University.

Jody Smith, who was a campus officer, heard the call and responded as backup. He was also shot and later passed away at a local hospital .

Nigel Poole with the Smarr and Smith Foundation said, "We lost two of our own. The community was shaken by the event, and we're still shaken."

So too are those who lost their brothers in blue.

Sgt. Nate Milledge, with GSW campus police, said, "We still grieve, you know, we'll grieve for a long time. Probably forever."

Their jobs continue on, but it's different for the officers who worked alongside Jody Smith and Nick Smarr.

"It's easy to get into complacency, and we certainly don't have any of that anymore," said Chief Mark Scott with the Americus Police Department.

Chief Michael Tracy with the GSW campus police said, "It heightened what we do and our understanding of what we do. And not only us, but our community's understanding of what we do."

As far as protocol goes, Chief Tracy said there are a few changes with campus police, including keeping new officers in training for a little longer.

The big change that everyone can see is the renamed campus safety building at GSW.

Sgt. Michael Lew with GSW campus police said, "With seeing that, we know we need to come out and do a good job, and in order to do that job, it feels like we're honoring their memory."

For Chief Scott, it's all part of a promise made nearly a year ago.

"That we would not forget. That we would make sure that their families knew that we would never forget the sacrifice that they made, and more importantly, the lives that they lived and the lives that they impacted," he said.

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