A brotherhood bids farewell but never forgets

By Kelly McCarthy

April 4, 2014 Updated Apr 4, 2014 at 6:53 PM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Standing in formation outside the Sarah Jane Johnson Church were hundreds of members of law enforcement. They came from all over New York State and some from across the country.

For many people in uniform it's more than just a job, it's a calling. And the people always by their side are more than just coworkers, they are family.

"Basically it's a brotherhood," Lt. Troy Boice, Cortland County Sheriff's Office, "We all look out for each other, we all know the responsibilities that we have as police officers."

Agencies from all over New York State and surrounding states came to honor Officer D.W. Smith's life and help our local officers cope with their loss.

"Guys who never knew him, are from all over the country," said Sgt. Shaun Carnevale, Broome County Sheriff's Office, "But they know what it means to be here for him and his family."

Brotherhood is what they call it, because when one of them falls, they all help each other back up.

"It's a little easier when we band together and we grieve together," said Sgt. Scott Nell, Troop D, New York State Police, "Show our respects to the family and it helps. Helps everybody to get through it."

They stand tall and proud for their fallen brother, and know that what happened to Officer David Smith could have happened to any one of them.

"Everyday we walk out the door from home, we're not sure we're going to be coming home," Sgt. Nell said.

"It can happen to anybody at any time, not knowing the circumstances of each call," Lt. Boice said, "We all understand that, we all know, that's what we're sworn to do. Unfortunately nobody ever wants to go through this."

The brotherhood knows after the procession leaves, and after they are commanded "at ease," that the family in uniform will never be the same.

"It changes them, it'll change how they do their jobs now," Sgt. Carnevale said, "And it shouldn't have happened."

Officer David Smith joins other heroes who were killed in the line of duty but his brothers promise none of them will be forgotten.

"The sacrifice they made, these officers and D.W.," Sgt. Carnevale said, "It's the ultimate sacrifice."

A sacrifice that deserves the ultimate farewell from the brotherhood and community.

There will another candlelight vigil in honor of Officer Smith Saturday night at CFJ Park. The gathering will start at 7:30 p.m. Organizers of the event ask for people to bring their own candles, and to have stories and memories of Officer Smith ready to share.