When news started to trickle in on the events unfolding at Wilson Hospital in Johnson City, I couldn't help but wonder who was involved.  You see, I grew up in Johnson City and have a lot of friends on the force.  Over the years, I even helped out with their yearly fundraising event they used to have called the "Ox Roast!"  And, even though I 'talk' for a living I had no idea what to say, other than the fact that I was heartbroken!

My friend, who is a retired sergeant with the Johnson City Police Department, Gregg Thomas, wrote something that I think was beautiful:


"Today starts the stressful process of taking Patrolman DW Smith to his final resting place after he made the ultimate sacrifice for his community. Over the last few days I I have seen many young officers of the Johnson City Police Department in shock and sadness, yet they still have been stepping up and performing with the highest level of professionalism in order to pay homage to their brother officer. Everyone is running on automatic and after tomorrow things will slow down and it will settle in of what this tragic event has brought about. I strongly encourage officers and family members to not be afraid to speak about this, their thoughts and feelings, seek out a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen. This is a fine and honorable profession and would not want to see another tragedy come from this. Even though retired, i am still very proud of the current and retired members of the JCPD and the way they have all come together as one large family. A special thank you to all of the local agencies assisting to ease this process and I have certainly enjoyed listening to the many different "DW" stories that have been told this week. Thank you Patrolman David W. Smith for your time, service and commitment to the residents of Johnson City, New York. Rest in Peace, your family will be taken care of and we have the watch now."  (Gregg Thomas, Retired Police Sergeant, Johnson City, New York)

The next time you see a police officer, fire fighter or other emergency personnel, Shake their hand and say THANK YOU!