Remembering Johnson City Police Officer D.W. Smith 9 years after his tragic passing

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 12:16 PM EDT
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JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) -- Friday marks nine years since Johnson City Police Officer D.W. Smith lost his life while on duty responding to a disturbance call.

Johnson City Police Chief Brent Dodge said even after almost a decade Smith’s loss is always felt around the department.

“Those years haven’t done very much to dull the sense of loss that all of us here at Johnson City Police Department feel in regards to D.W.’s passing,” said Dodge. “I think of him often as many of us do and we are just constantly reminded of the presence that we had here and the sense of loss that we feel.”

Smith spent more than 18 years with JCPD, spending almost two decades serving and protecting the community he grew up in. Dodge described him as someone who cared deeply about his hometown.

“He was born and raised here in Johnson City so this community was very near and dear to his heart,” said Dodge. “It meant a lot to him to work here and to serve where he grew up.”

For the Johnson City Police Department, the death of D.W. Smith emphasized just how important officer safety is.

“It wasn’t something that we had seen here in Johnson City ever before,” said Dodge. “I think it hit home that it can happen any day, on any call and officers who had maybe gotten complacent upped their level of awareness.”

As one of the hardest days of the year rolls around once again for JCPD Dodge said he expects a solemn feeling around the office tomorrow, but also expects fellow officers to remember D.W. with light-hearted stories from his days with the department.