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Nebraska State Patrol Honors Trooper Jerry L. Smith

June 20, 2020 (Scottsbluff, Neb.) — Family, friends, and colleagues gathered today near Bridgeport to honor the memory of Trooper Jerry L. Smith #373, who was killed in the line of duty on June 20, 2019. The event marked the completion of a year-long journey by Trooper Smith’s daughter, Mechelle, to run 373 miles to honor her father.

“After I returned home from his funeral, I was reading through emails that he had sent me when he was in Iraq. In one he stated, “If you’re bored and you can’t find anything to do, go run,” said Mechelle Smith. “I stared at that email for a while thinking about how one of the things that I love most in life was introduced to me by my dad. I was going to keep running, but for him.”

Today’s run started one mile from the site of the crash that claimed Trooper Smith’s life. Mechelle Smith finished her 373-mile effort at the site of the crash on Highway 26, just outside of Bridgeport.

At the conclusion of the run, the Nebraska State Patrol unveiled a new sign on Highway 26, created by the Nebraska Department of Transportation to honor Trooper Smith.

“Today is a day about remembering,” said Colonel John Bolduc. “Jerry’s memory is going to live in our hearts, and that’s what remembering is about.”

Trooper Smith was the 12th Nebraska State Trooper to fall in the line of duty. All 12 are memorialized on the Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial in Grand Island and the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.

The State Troopers Association of Nebraska was formally formed in 1985, after troopers across the state recognized the need for a representative organization of the state patrol officers. From its first days until the present time, S.T.A.N. has provided a unified voice for Nebraska’s troopers regarding public safety issues, professional law enforcement concerns and legislative initiatives.