Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper Ronald Gordon Smith

Florida Highway Patrol, Florida

End of Watch Sunday, December 23, 1973

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Reflections for Trooper Ronald Gordon Smith

On Thursday January 11th at 1200. The members of NARLEO, The National Association of Retired Law Enforcement Officers, will be holding a 50th anniversary memorial service at the Trooper Smith memorial on US 19 in Crystal River. All are welcome to attend.

Deputy Inspector Tim Hogan (Ret)

January 8, 2024

The scumbag who murdered Trooper Smith, died in prison in 2021. Thank you to Ralph Morris, one of the hunters who caught the two escaped prisoners who killed Trooper Smith.

Florida Highway Patrol

December 24, 2023

Trooper Smith,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the USMC. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!
A fellow LEO;former Marine

United States Border Patrol

December 23, 2023

Trooper Smith- thank you for
Your service to our nation.

SA Ellen Pierson
HSI Retired

November 9, 2022

After getting a burger from McDonalds in Crystal River, I was looking for a place to pull over and eat.
I just happened to turn the corner off of 19 and ended up in front of the Memorial. I didn't notice it at first, but I then saw it. After eating , I got out to read about Trooper Ronald Smith. What a shame he had to come upon two scumbags. RIP Trooper Smith.


February 15, 2022

My late husband FHP Sargent Tom Anderson , was with Ronnie on that sad day to pick up his reports ( Troop C Brooksville Station) Ronnie told him the reports were not ready and he would take them to the Brooksville station later that day. By the time Tom got back to the office the event was taking place. He returned to the tragic scene. We were there for the dedication of the Memorial. After my husband passed, I became a member of NARLEO. I received one of the flags that flew over the Memorial. Thank you NARLEO

FHP Sgt. Tom Anderson (Deceased)
DHSMV Dolly Anderson

January 5, 2021

Rest in peace Trooper Smith.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

December 23, 2019

Not forgotten, just found your memorial. Thank you and your family for your service. Teaching my sons about Honor and self sacrifice to life's choices.

Sgt. Pc Johns

April 1, 2019

Sometimes when I’m traveling through Inglis I stop by the Memorial for him where he was killed. I wasn’t a Trooper when he was killed but I still like to pay my respects for his loss.

Retired/Corporal William Tindle Jr.
Florida Highway Patrol

December 23, 2018

I've been working U.S. 19 between Red Level and Inglis hard the last few weeks in your memory. I stop for my lunch break at the memorial and clear limbs and try to clean things up a bit. Lots of tire tracks tell me you have not been forgotten. When I'm out there, I feel like you are riding right front with me. God knows, there isn't any other backup close. Some of the motorists I stop (locals) comment on your cause. It's amazing with today's goings on, all positive. Big brother, you are a hero indeed and are missed daily.

I spoke to Ricky Starling a few years ago on a traffic stop in Marion County and we shared opinions on your shooting. His decision to only wound your assailant would change if he had the power to go back. I know where I would have aimed.

Thanks to a spineless, tree hugging judge, the death penalty was overturned due to the killer's marijuana influence (now legal). What a shame.

Please rest in peace Sergeant R.G. Smith.

We will be back in that section of U.S. 19 in the morning....... hunting.

M/Tpr. Scott A. Howard Ret./Reserve

October 2, 2017

I live in Lutz Fl and travel back and forth from Mayo Fl ( visiting our family cemetery and other things ) , a few years back I stopped at Trooper Smith's memorial site . As I read the story of what happened I had numerous thoughts running through my head .. What he must have been feeling , thinking ... what his family,friends and coworkers had to go through, why and what were these two men doing out there in the middle of nowhere and why did they have to do what they did !

At the same time that these things were running through my head , I started feeling a sense of connection and I dont know why ! From that moment on whenever I pass by his memorial or when I stop , I always say out loud ... Hello Trooper Smith , Thank You for your service and Thank You for continuing to watch over this section of the hwy !

This past Sat 5/23/15 we were on our way back from my dads and aunts funeral in Mayo and I stopped , this time I had my youngest son ( 21) with me and I wanted him to see the memorial . As we stood there reality set in for me and I had to hold back the tears , you see I have three sons and two of them have been talking about becoming law enforcement officers !!

I am so proud of them but at the same time extremely scared as well . My son read the story and we walked back to the bench and other markers and as we were leaving he asked if I thought there would be anything online about Trooper Smith and I told him yes so that now makes several people in my family who will never forget Trooper Smith !!!!

May Trooper Smith RIP and his family find peace ....

Carolann Solomon
Caring Citizen

May 24, 2015

I think of you often and remember that horrific day on December 23, 1973. I would often visit my family in south Florida, and I had a great interest in the Florida Highway Patrol. I had just completed one of my visits when I heard of your murder. I was thankful for the hunters who apprehended your murderers. I was enraged to hear the death sentence was commuted by a liberal criminal justice system that has forgotten how to protect those who protect us. Every time I have walked up to investigate a parked vehicle I have thought of you! I think of how dangerous it is to perform something as routine as a motorist assist. Your brothers will never forget you and we will do everything we can to keep your murderer from being paroled.

Capt. Glenn Kresge
Delaware health and Social Services

January 26, 2015

the members of narleo are proud to be custodians of the site where tpr. smith made the ultimate sacrifice. what is often forgotten is the fact that you were attempting to assist what you believed to be two motorists that needed assistance and they repaid your good deed with a shower of lead. Your sacrifice was not in vain...two criminals who don't deserve the exist are locked up where they cannot hurt any more honest hard working citizens. R I P Trooper Smith....we will never forget!


May 23, 2014

God rest your soul.

Sgt Jim

December 30, 2013

My heart breaks once again that your life was taken at such a young age...Thank you for your sacrifice and I am making sure I do my part to keep your killer behind bars. You did not get to live your life to the fullest and I believe your killer should pay for their crime. I keep all our brave LEO, Military, Fire, and EMS in my daily prayers.

family of
Sgt. Howard Stevenson E.O.W 1/9/05

December 30, 2013

May final and permanent justice prevail. It is an honor to mail my letter today.

caring citizen
Tampa, FL

December 30, 2013


Patricia Winemiller

December 29, 2013

I was honored to send off my 'No Parole' letter today for you, my brother in blue. Thank you for your sacrifice and may you forever, rest in peace. You are a true AMERICAN HERO !!!

My prayers continue to be with your family, friends and co-workers.


Sgt. Mitch Cheselka (Retired)
Orange County Sheriff, California
Polk County Sheriff, Oregon

December 29, 2013

Warrior and Hero!!!


April 14, 2012

Rest in Peace, Trooper Smith. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

February 9, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 38th 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 who was murdered in the the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

December 23, 2011

Continue to rest in peace Trooper Smith, we will never forget the sacrifice that you and your family made for all of us.

Deb Azure
Mother of Deputy Renee Danell Azure
EOW 08/06/02
Union County SO, Lake Butler,FL


December 23, 2011

My brother you were not and wont be forgotten!

Tpr J. Velez

July 19, 2011

On Tuesday, July 19, 2011, The National Association of Retired Law Enforcement Officers-Citrus County Chapter #1 (NARLEO) invites the public to the formal dedication of Trooper Ronald Gordon Smith Bridge.

The twin span structure of Route #19 crosses the Florida Bridge Canal north of Crystal River, and is named after the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper who gave his life just south of the bridge during a gunfight with two escaped felons from Oklahoma on Dec. 23, 1973.

In October 2010, NARLEO membership and the local community dedicated a monument to Trooper Smith at the actual site of the tragic event, where Basswood Drive intersects Route #19 (Suncoast Highway).

Smith family members and others who played a part in the apprehension of the escapees will be in attendance, and a hearty welcome is extended to all who wish to attend the ceremony.

A motorcade will formerly open the bridge shortly after noon, and participants are asked to meet in the staging area, which will be the parking lot of the Cross-Florida Greenwat, located on the southeast side of the bridge.

There will be signs at the entrance driveway on the northbound highway #19 near Nature Coast R.V. Park. For more information contact NARLEO chairman Chris Talar at 352-746-1866 and leave a mes

Tracie Crawford
friend of family

July 8, 2011

Ronnie - I never met you personally but heard about you my whole life. I was born almost 2 weeks after you died. My parents mentioned you often and you were always a part of my life and family. As my great grandparents and your parents were the best of friends - i always thought of you as a member of our family. I was able to meet Alicia after so many years last year and was able to stop at the memorial with dad last week. It was very emotional for both of us. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. You will always be in my heart.

Tracie Crawford
daughter of Retired State Trooper Tom (or Tommy) Crawford
ggranddaughter of Retired (now deceased) Tallahassee Police Officer Henry Crawford

Tracie Crawford

February 28, 2011

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