‘Hero Weekend’ honors Jesup officer killed in the line of duty

A state trooper killed in the line of duty is being remembered by his church.
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 11:30 PM CDT
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JESUP, Iowa (KCRG) - An Iowa State Patrol trooper killed in the line of duty was honored by his church Saturday.

Jesup Bible Fellowship hosted “Hero Weekend” to honor Sgt. Jim Smith. He was shot and killed last year while attempting to make an arrest in Grundy Center.

Cory Hartmann, a patrol deputy with the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, was at Saturday’s event and said he “crossed paths” with Smith while on duty, backing each other up on several calls for service.

“It’s hard to put in words. I mean, he was definitely a true friend. I mean, he’d be one of them guys that you can call up at any point in time in the morning, ask for advice. Professionally or ask for advice as a friend,” Hartmann said. “I mean, he just always had your back, whether it was on-duty or off-duty. So, an incredible guy.”

The event was organized by Smith’s church, Jesup Bible Fellowship. Pastor Clint Bunting said church members were “devastated” after Sergeant Smith was killed. So, they sought a way to honor him.

“We kind of thought about, ‘What might make Jim proud?’ and so we came up with this and the idea just kept growing,” Bunting said.

The event was inspired by Smith, but it was also in honor of all first responders.

“We recognize that he’s not the only one. We’ve had multiple people lose their life in the line of duty. But then we recognize how hard the job is, especially in the climate that we’re in,” Bunting said. “And so we just wanted to say, ‘Hey, come on out. We want to honor you.’”

Ron Slagle was at the event with the group Honor and Respect. He is a police officer and has served for 28 years. He said support from the community, in the form of events like the one on Saturday, was crucial.

“No police officer or fire department wants a red carpet treatment, but hearing ‘I support you’ or ‘nice job” is really good,“ Slagle said.

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