These Ga. police officers grew up together. Last week, in the line of duty, they died together.

RealClear Contributor


Friendship is a very powerful force in the world today, whether it be in a social setting or financial setting, everyone needs a good friend.

And in this story, even though sad, is centered around friendship. 

Nick Smarr and Jody Smith were the best of friends in the best of times and in the worst of times. They grew up together in Americus, GA as childhood buddies and graduated from Americus-Sumter High School in 2009 and went on to the police academy together.

They were on cop duty last Wednesday morning when they heard the domestic call come over their radios.

According to Americus Police Chief Mark Scott, Smarr responded to the call, which came from an apartment complex adjacent to the Griffin Bell Golf Course, located just south of the GSSU main campus.

Smith heard the call and also responded as a backup to the officer and his friend.

Police said 32-year-old Minquell Kennedy Lembrick shot and killed Smarr — and critically wounded Smith, who died Thursday at Medical Center Navicent Health in Macon.

Both officers were engaged to be married in 2017.

"Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families. This is a devastating loss to our family here in Americus. It's just unbelievable. It's a tragedy beyond words," Scott said. "One of our family members has been taken from us."

"Our hearts and prayers go out to Officer Smith and Officer Smarr and their families," said Mike Tracy, Georgia Southwestern State police chief.

There is so much talk about police shootings but not enough about officers who actually died on duty. The heroes who sacrificed their lives in an attempt to do something good and noble. I salute Smarr and Smith for their bravery and my condolences go out to the family and friends of these two men. Rest in peace!!



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