Americus police officers' memory still alive and impactful

Americus police officers' memory still alive and impactful
Sharron Johnson the mother to Jody Smith shares how important the fundraiser event is to Americus and law enforcement agencies. (Source: WALB)
Sharron Johnson the mother to Jody Smith shares how important the fundraiser event is to Americus and law enforcement agencies. (Source: WALB)
Janice Smarr is the mother to Nick Smarr. Tonight the family will receive the Congressional Badge of Bravery from Congressman Sanford Bishop for Nicholas Smarr. (Source: WALB)
Janice Smarr is the mother to Nick Smarr. Tonight the family will receive the Congressional Badge of Bravery from Congressman Sanford Bishop for Nicholas Smarr. (Source: WALB)
The Smarr Smith Foundation raised money on Saturday for law enforcement agencies and candidates in the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy. (Source: WALB)
The Smarr Smith Foundation raised money on Saturday for law enforcement agencies and candidates in the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy. (Source: WALB)
A mural of Jody Smith and Nicholas Smarr was painted in their honor. (Source: WALB)
A mural of Jody Smith and Nicholas Smarr was painted in their honor. (Source: WALB)

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - Saturday night community members in Sumter County continued to keep the memories of two fallen police officers alive.

The Smarr Smith Foundation held its 2nd annual Paint the Town Blue Gala in Americus.

People rallied together not only to honor the two officers who died in the line of duty more than a year ago but to raise money to help other officers just like them.

Both the officers' families said this was exactly how they would want to be remembered.

"It's going to help others you know to give them the tools they need to survive," said Sharron Johnson, mother to Jody Smith.

Sharron Johnson got emotional talking about her son, Georgia Southwestern State Campus Safety Officer Jody Smith and the second annual gala held to honor Smith and his best friend, Americus Police Officer Nick Smarr.

"To see all of these people for the reason that we are here in honor of Jody and Nick, it just means the world to me," said Johnson.

Nearly 400 people helped "Paint the Town Blue," not only to honor the officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty but to to raise money to help local law enforcement.

"It keeps Nick and Jody's memory alive every year to do this," said Janice Smarr, mother to Nick Smarr.

The Smarr and Smith Foundation raises money to buy equipment for local law enforcement agencies, and give scholarships to people in the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy.

"It keeps the memory alive of them boys and it shows what they did to try to protect this city," said Janice Smarr.

"The main focus is to preserve the memory of Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith," said Nigel Poole, Public Relations Chair, Smarr and Smith Foundation.

And it's clear the memory of these officers will last forever in Americus -- in the form of giving back to the community.

"There's not a day that goes by in this community they're not missed and we don't ever want them to be forgotten."

Congressman Sanford Bishop presented the family of Nicholas Smarr with the Congressional Badge of of Bravery.

Last year the event raised $60,000 and this year organizers hope they'll raise more.

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