Colleagues remember APD officers killed in crash - Dallas News |

Colleagues remember APD officers killed in crash

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Fellow Atlanta police officers are remembering their law enforcement brothers who were killed in the line of duty. Officers Richard Halford and Shawn Smiley were flying a helicopter Saturday night when they hit a power line and crashed.

The void has left even veteran officers like Lt. Jeff Hensal fighting back tears.

"He was a first class officer. He was a supervisor's dream.  You could put him off on something and trust that he was not just going to do the minimum -- he was going to go over and above and achieve," said Hensal.

Hensal said that he has received hundreds of calls from people who were touched by these two officers and want to reach out and help.

Smiley was a 40-year-old married father of three who had a passion for flying.

"He had an infectious smile. His name was definitely fitting. He was always jovial," said Hensal.

Halford had 26 years on the force and is the father of a 21-year-old daughter.

SWAT Team bomb technician Tim VanJohnson met Halford on the job and grew to love the man behind the badge.

"He was a kind person. He was a quiet person. He exuded confidence. He entered the room with the confidence and poise about the person. He was a really good friend and officer," said VanJohnson.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday for Officer Richard Halford. The service will be held at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church, located at 534 Fairburn Rd NW in Atlanta.

On Saturday, a funeral will be held for Officer Shawn Smiley at First Baptist Church of Atlanta, located at 4400 North Peachtree Road in Atlanta. The service begins at 11 a.m.

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