Funeral Service Today For Slain Johnson City Officer

04.04.14 | Sarah Harnisch

Nearly 1,000 law enforcement from around the state and community members attended Smith’s calling hours at Chase Funeral Home on Chenango Street in Port Dickinson.

Those who knew Smith ”called him “D.W.,” a nickname few could recite Thursday without drifting back to some fond memory.

“That smiling face, always joking around — but always so serious about the job,” said Paul Burnett, a retired Johnson City officer who served with Smith. “He was there because he wanted to be there.”

Waiting for a chance to bid farewell in a line that stretched around the block past the funeral home, toward Church Street, many echoed their fallen comrade’s renowned upbeat personality as a way to break through the inescapably somber atmosphere of grief that surrounded Thursday evening’s services.

For retired Johnson City police Lt. David A. Smith, who was once the deceased officer’s supervisor, thinking back to fond memories serves his fallen colleague best. He described the fallen officer as one who set an example for others.

“He’s the kind of guy you could rely on,” Smith said. "I could call him in the middle of the night because I needed someone, and he’d do it.”

But before taking his post in Johnson City, as a police academy cadet, David W. Smith’s passion for the job and infectious personality shone through, said Vestal police Sgt. Scott Mullins. They attended the academy together from 1995 to 1996, Mullins recalled, and Smith somehow handily dissolved the stress that coupled with the rigors of training.

The service will begin at 11 a.m. in Sarah Jane Johnson Church, at 308 Main St., Johnson City. Street closures are expected from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day, with limited access to UHS Regional Medical Center during that time.
Burial will be at the Chenango Valley Cemetery.