In Memory of Sergeant Jeffery Robert Smith
Georgia Sergeant Dies from COVID19
Officials in Georgia were disheartened to announce a veteran police sergeant’s loss to the COVID19 pandemic, which has claimed countless American lives. On Friday, January 29, 2021, Sergeant Jeffery Robert Smith, age 58, died from complications from the coronavirus. It is suspected that he came into contact with the virus through his work with the Berry College Police Department.
Sergeant Smith had spent a lifetime in service to his community. He had been working in law enforcement for a total of 33 years. His most recent assignment was working with the Berry College Police Department, where he had been for the last 25 years. Prior to joining up with Berry College, Smith had worked with the Rockmart Police Department and the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office.
At the beginning of 2020, the news of a pandemic frightened many across the globe. It has taken hundreds of thousands of lives in the past year. While everyone is impacted, there have been higher percentages of lives lost in certain professions, like first responders, law enforcement, and essential workers. Officers like Sergeant Smith, who were at higher health risks due to their age, continued to serve their community’s residents despite facing an invisible enemy.
Smith was born in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was a devout Christian and attended services regularly at the DeSoto Park Baptist Church. Sgt. Smith volunteered at his church by serving as Deacon. After he had graduated from Rome High School, Smith entered service with the US Army. Smith was a US Army Veteran. He began his law enforcement career in 1988 and has had a total of 33 years in service.
Berry College Police Department
Sergeant Smith gave 25 years to the Berry College Police Department. This agency is a fully accredited law enforcement agency that handles all police duties on Berry College’s grounds. Officers pride themselves on providing safety and property protection to the students and staff at the university.
Officers on campus provide patrol duty, enforce parking regulations and have full police arresting authority if a crime or other issues are presented. They help students with parking stickers, safe escorts to vehicles, and community efforts to keep the area safe and productive. Officers on many campuses during COVID have helped with food drives, COVID testing sites, and now, vaccinations.
COVID had taken its toll on families. Many families have lost more than one family member to the virus. Hearts are broken everywhere. Sergeant Jeffery Robert Smith leaves behind his wife, two children, four grandchildren, and siblings. It will take the community, friends, and extended family to help his family through their grief. Law enforcement from around the area will come together to help the community show their gratitude and respect for the sacrifice he made.
Port Clinton Police Department joined in sharing their condolences for the loss of a fellow law enforcement officer. They posted the loss on their social media pages. “Rest in Peace Sergeant Jeffery Smith of the Berry College Police Department (Georgia)… EOW 1/29/2021.”
The National Fraternal Order of Police shared Sergeant Smith’s loss with their members and followers on Facebook. “Blessed Are the Peacemakers. Sergeant Jeffery Robert Smith. Berry College Police Department, Georgia. EOW: Friday, January 29, 2021. #EnoughIsEnough #OfficerDown #EOW #ThinBlueLine #COVID19 #BeatTheVirus.”
The IACP or International Association of Chiefs of Police shared their message of condolences to the Smith family online. “We send our condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Sergeant Jeffery Robert Smith of the Berry College Police Department, Georgia.”