Verdell Smith honored as Officer of the Year

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. --A fallen Memphis hero is being honored as the Officer of the Year by the Memphis Kiwanis Club.

On June 4, Officer Verdell Smith was attempting to clear the intersection when he was intentionally struck and killed by a man accused of shooting three people in Downtown Memphis.

He lost his life trying to save the lives of others.

"It`s a tough time for first responders where we become targets and we become the enemy," said Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham.

Smith was honored on Wednesday for his heroic efforts and his selfless attempt to spare others even at his own demise.

Although the honor centered around Smith, Director Mike Rallings took time to recognize the sacrifice that all law enforcement makes each day.

"On a day when we just lost two other officers in Iowa, definitely a tough year."

For Smith's fiancée, Jualonda Green, the pain is only made bearable through knowing the gravity of the impact he had in the community.

"It's a calling because by being a police officer he was able to reach a lot of people whether they were young or old.
Smith not only was called to protect and serve, he lead a prison ministry and he read to students. A clear choice for this year's Kiwanis Policeman of the Year," Green said.

"I just miss him, him being around, his corny jokes. I just miss him very, very much," she added.

Honored yet missing her own personal hero.