LCSO colleagues remember Deputy Chris Smith

Community remembers Leon County deputy killed on duty
Community remembers Leon County deputy killed on duty
Posted at 4:34 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 13:06:34-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - November 22nd, 2014 was a tragic day in Leon County.

That day, Deputy Chris Smith paid the ultimate sacrifice when he was ambushed and killed while trying to protect the community he served.

His name is engraved at the Florida Sheriff's Association. His initials and badge number, painted on a Leon County helicopter.

Deputy Chris Smith is remembered for serving our community.

"He didn't complain. He went about his business. He knew his business," said Sgt. Tom Hildebrandt with the Leon County Sheriff's Office. "He handled it very well, very professionally."

"It's a very dangerous job, and we know this coming into it," said Detective Pepper Norman who is also with the Leon County Sheriff's Office. "It's a dangerous job that there is a possibility we're not going to go home."

Smith was responding to a house fire on November 22nd, 2014 when he was ambushed and gunned down in the line of duty.

"Still, almost three years later, hard to believe that it happened," said Lt. Wiley Meggs with LCSO. "It's really still kind of a surreal instance."

When Deputy Smith and a colleague headed to the fire, dispatchers failed to notify them about a man who had intentions of harming first responders. That mistake led Smith's widow to file a lawsuit.

"We want to make sure that this never happens again to any other first responder -- or, for that matter, any member or citizen of Leon County," said

Matt Foster, who was the attorney for Deputy Smith's widow, Erika.

Earlier this year, the Consolidated Dispatch Agency board agreed to pay Smith's family $950,000.

"This is a computer-aided dispatch system," said Dee Crumpler, the director of the Tallahassee-Leon County Consolidated Dispatch Agency. "Humans are involved. We're going to make mistakes, but we are 100 percent committed to fixing those problems."

Looking back at Smith's life, colleagues say he'll never be forgotten.

"He was much more than just a lawman, deputy sheriff," said Sgt. Hildebrandt

"He was a great guy, great family -- and is truly missed," said Norman.

In a statement, Chris Smith's widow Erika says she thanks everyone for continuing to honor Chris and supporting her and the family.