Chief of Police James C. Smith

Chief of Police James C. Smith

Barbourville Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Friday, July 20, 1962

Add to My Heroes

James C. Smith

Chief James Smith was shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance.

As he and another officer spoke with the suspect, the suspect grabbed a shotgun and fired once striking the chief in the abdomen. Both officers returned fire critically wounding the suspect.

The 55 year-old suspect was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 21 years in prison. In 1936 he had served a year in prison for biting off the fingers of a Barbourville police officer who had arrested him for public drunkenness.

Chief Smith is survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 43
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Sentenced to 21 years

Most Recent Reflection

View all 5 Reflections

Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 20, 2020

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.