One year later, Sgt. Smith remembered as family man, man of faith, who loved his job
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Saturday marked the one year since Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith was ambushed while working on the line of duty; his church, Jesup Bible Fellowship, held a run-walk event in his honor.
On April 9, 2021, officials said they chased Michael Lang during a traffic stop. Authorities said Lang pulled over, out of the vehicle, and started assaulting the officers. Police said he led police on a short chase back to his residence in Grundy Center, leading to a standoff. That’s where investigators said Lang shot and killed Smith.
“He always wanted to grow up and be a superhero,” Kathy Smith, Jim’s wife, said to the gathered crowd of dozens.
Smith accomplished that goal of superhero status by spending 27 years in law enforcement. With Smith’s wife leading the group in songs and messages of God, the group ran or walked 4.62 miles to honor Smith’s badge number, 462.
“He had so many roles here,” Clint Bunting, pastor of Jesup Bible Fellowship, said.
As a member of his church, Smith played drums, served on the elder board, and would sometimes give sermons. Bunting said his loss was felt greatly.
“People have a lot of emotions, obviously,” Bunting said. “People struggle with the grief process, but it’s not good to isolate. If people need to shed a tear, let’s shed a tear together.”
Smith was Trooper Heath Muller’s supervisor for several years. While he was alive, it was Smith’s role was to support him and the other troopers while on the job; now that responsibility to support Smith’s family in their time of need falls to Muller.
“For all of us to come together again and show support for the family and friends, it’s just an overwhelming and honorable experience,” Muller said.
A run to remember Smith, support his family, and continue to spread his message of faith.
“God will always walk with you through the valleys to the wonderful plans he has for you,” Kathy Smith said. “I know he will continue to bless our lives on Earth until our last days when he will bless us by bringing us to heaven with Him for all eternity.”
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