Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Chief Michael Henry Smit

Garwin Police Department, Iowa

End of Watch Sunday, November 6, 1977

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Reflections for Police Chief Michael Henry Smit

This is my little hometown. I never knew about this until I began my career in 2007 in Knoxville, Iowa. So young and such a tragic accident.

SRO Kyle Keller
Knoxville Police Department

May 14, 2021

Gone way too young. Rest in peace Chief Smit. Your courage and honesty won't be forgotten.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

December 28, 2017

Hey, Mike. I went to high school with you. You were the son of two extraordinary school teachers for the LaPorte City schools. Both you and your Dad are buried just a couple of rows up from my dad at Westview Cemetery.

Most folks don't understand that Garwin is a town of around 500 people and having a police chief your age isn't unheard of - but you were a special guy. Mike, I remember the day your Dad awarded me the very first Michael Smit Memorial Scholarship and it helped me to get through school. I appreciated that.

Just wanted you to know I think of you sometimes.

C. Baker
Just an old family friend

September 22, 2015

Rest in Peace, Chief Smit. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

May 26, 2013

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 33rd anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

When I saw your picture and age, I was astonished. You must have been one of the youngest chiefs in history. How very proud your family must have been of you. I pray for the solace of all those who love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever.
Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

November 6, 2010

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

January 14, 2008

If I read correctly, you were 19 at the time of your death AND Chief of Police. If all that is true, you must have been very special. No question you were far too young to die, but to think of the career you would have had is just unfathomable.

Garwin's loss is truly the loss of all of Iowa and all of us in law enforcement, no matter where we are. At 19, I was an Auxiliary in my home town, to be Chief of Police even now at 47 years of age is a pipe dream at best. I truly am in awe of you and respect you. Chief Smit, you are a hero.

God Bless and may you continue to Rest in Peace, Brother.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Dept.

November 6, 2007

You are remembered today and thank you for your service

Pat Van Den Berghe, Manchester, NH
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

November 2, 2007

While doing some research work for the ODMP I came across your memorial page, and had the pleasure of talking to both your mom and brother. It's evident they were very proud of you, and miss you. My thoughts and prayers are with them, and may you rest peacefully, blue angel. God bless.


September 13, 2007



September 28, 2005

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