OELWEIN, Iowa (KCRG) – A public memorial for Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith has been set up in a northeast Iowa city.
The display, which includes Smith’s patrol car with memorial wreath, is located at the District 10 office, located at 15239 35th Street in Oelwein. People are welcome to come to pay respects or place memorial items at that location.
Smith, who lived in Independence, worked out of that post for more than two decades in his 27-year career with the Iowa State Patrol.
Mary Lou Cosselman of Oelwein, who stopped by the memorial Monday afternoon to bring flowers, said the sight of his lone, parked patrol car was an emotional one.
“It’s like a horse without their soldier, how it used to be. They’ve lost what you associate them with,” she said.
This car was the one driven every shift by Smith, who was shot and killed in the line of duty Friday.
Cosselman said the news hit close to home for her family.
“I have a son who is a police officer in Farley, and hearing news like this is heart-wrenching,” she said.
It was as well for Amanda Anderson of Waterloo, especially when she saw that lone car.
“It made my heart sink because he went to work, and he kissed his wife goodbye, he kissed his kids goodbye, not realizing that that was going to be the last time he was going to see them,” Anderson said.
More memorials joined Smith’s car around Oelwein.
Across the street from the post, a neighbor parked his tractor, adorned with the American and Iowa flags, and in town, the Oelwein Police Department added another car to the tribute, one of its cars draped with the “thin blue line” flag.
“I think people forget what they truly stand for and how they need us to have their six while they have ours,” Anderson said.
“I sometimes think as a community, we take it for granted how dangerous it actually is to be a police officer or a state trooper,” Cosselman echoed.
Things that are left there will be gathered and presented to Smith’s family, according to officials.
Smith was killed during a police operation at a standoff in Grundy Center on Friday, April 9.
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