Hundreds of law enforcement officers from all over California have converged on a Castro Valley church this morning to attend the funeral of fallen BART police Sgt. Tommy Smith. A long procession of police cars and motorcycles streamed to the church for the 10 a.m. service at the Neighborhood Church of Castro Valley, where Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris are scheduled to speak. Smith was accidentally shot by a fellow officer while they and several colleagues were conducting a probation search at an apartment in Dublin on Jan. 21.
The officer who fired the shot, Michael Maes, planned to attend the funeral. Law enforcement agencies from throughout the state and beyond sent officers to Castro Valley this morning to show support for Smith and his loved ones. Placer County sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Scott said he and about six of his colleagues came out today to pay their respects and “recognize the sacrifices” Smith and other officers make every day. He said the sheriff’s office tries to send members to officer funerals when they can.
They attended several last year, and this is the first this year, he said. Numerous Bay Area police departments sent officers, as did agencies from outside the region, including the Los Angeles Police Department and the West Sacramento Police Department. Among those filing into the church this morning was attorney Michael Rains, who defended BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle in the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant III at the Fruitvale BART station on New Year’s Day 2009.
Smith was an investigator assigned to that case, and Rains said he found Smith to be a “credible guy and a very honorable guy.” After this morning’s service, there will be a flyover by three California Highway Patrol helicopters. Smith, 42, lived in San Ramon with his wife, BART police K-9 Officer Kellie Smith, and their 6-year-old daughter.
A viewing was held on Tuesday evening at the Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward. Contributions can be made to Smith’s family by donating to the Tommy Smith Memorial fund at any Wells Fargo bank branch. Donors should reference account #5148561086 under the name of Kellie Smith. Donations can also be mailed to the Tommy Smith Memorial Fund c/o Wells Fargo, 11020 Bollinger Canyon Road, Suite 1, San Ramon, CA, 94582.
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