Night Chief James Vallard Smith

Night Chief James Vallard Smith

Barbourville Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Wednesday, October 25, 1967

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James Vallard Smith

Night Chief Jim Smith was accidentally shot and killed by another officer while struggling with a drunk driving suspect.

Chief Smith and three other officers in his patrol car had pursued the vehicle to Gillam Hill, where they forced it to stop. When Chief Smith approached the driver, the man punched him in the face. A second officer then struck the driver on the head with the butt of his service revolver, which was then discharged. The round struck Chief Smith in the head, killing him.

The driver of the vehicle was arrested and held on a drunk driving charge.

Chief Smith was a U.S. Navy veteran of WWII. He was survived by his wife, child, five brothers, and five sisters.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

accidental discharge, drunk driver, vehicle pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest In Peace Brother. We remember and honor you on the 50th anniversary of your E.O.W.

Officer Mike Robinson, (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

October 25, 2017

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