Police Officer Irving W. Smith

Police Officer Irving W. Smith

New York City Transit Police Department, New York

End of Watch Friday, February 29, 1980

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Irving W. Smith

Police Officer Irving Smith was shot and killed when he attempted to stop a robbery in progress while off-duty.

Officer Smith was in a bar at 477 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn, when two men who were in the bar attempted to rob it. One man drew a .32 caliber handgun and the other a 12-inch knife and ordered all the customers to lie on the floor. Officer Smith drew his firearm and identified himself as a police officer and ordered the men to drop their weapons.

The suspect armed with the gun opened fire, and in an exchange of gunfire Officer Smith and the suspect were both killed. The suspect with the knife was also struck by Officer Smith's gunfire but was able to flee. He was arrested later that night when he arrived at the hospital seeking medical attention.

The surviving suspect, who as on parole for robbery, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. He was paroled in 2001 after serving 21 years.

Officer Smith was assigned to the Transit Authority Police Academy, where he was a firearms instructor.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge 4381

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed by Ofc. Smith

Most Recent Reflection

View all 25 Reflections

I remember watching a memorial video for Fallen NYC Transit Patrolman Micheal Melchiona who was lost in the line of duty in 1970. His brother, Retired, Officer Henry Melchiona, mentioned you in his tribute to his fallen brother. He explained to the younger cops how you were his partner and knew how to dress very sharply.

I never realized how small the nyc transit police department really was when you are the partners with a police officer whose brother was lost in the line of duty yet you lost your life in the line of duty after attending the funeral of a fellow transit police officer who was killed in the line of duty. The 2nd Transit Police Officer to lose his life in that time frame in 1980 in such a short period of time.

Life can be very tragic at times. These coincidences listed above really show how dangerous the nyc transit system really was and how you and others made it safer sacrificing your lives for others to help keep it safe!

As a former New Yorker who rode the subway from my teens to college and patrolled it, Thank you Officer Smith!

Christian Durante
-Retired NYPD Auxiliary Police Sergeant-68 pct Auxiliary Unit
-Proud Federal Employee & Proud American
-Volunteer USCG Auxiliary

December 4, 2023

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