Hundreds Gather To Remember Fallen Officer

By Carol Cavazos, CBS 11 News

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Officer Jillian Smith was remembered Monday night as the all-American girl turned police officer. Hundreds gathered to honor her in front of the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Arlington.

Officer Smith, an Arlington native, attended Mount Olive Baptist Church all her life. So, it was fitting that a light so bright should be honored there.

Many arrived before sunset to honor Officer Smith, who had fallen in the early dawn of her career. But there were many at the vigil, like University of Texas at Arlington student Christine Nicholson, who never knew her. “It’s beautiful to see all the people out here, but that she had to die at such a young age is just sad,” Nicholson said.

Jillian Smith was only 24 years old, but those who knew her say her light shined bright in those short years.

Arlington Police Chaplain Harold Elliott spoke at the vigil. “When the light glows, we will remember her light that has been glowing throughout her lifetime, through this church, through this city, through the police department,” he said.

Smith had wanted to become a police officer all her life. Two weeks out of field training, she died protecting an 11-year-old’s life. “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” Chief Theron Bowman said.

And so, longtime friends came to say goodbye to Officer Jillian Smith, and remember a light lived bright.

Anita Ortiz was a neighbor who had watched Smith grow up with her granddaughter. “I felt she’s family. It’s in my heart. I have to be here,” Ortiz said. “She did a great thing, what she did. But she was a beautiful child.”

Blue glow sticks were given to the crowd who gathered at the vigil. The blue represented Officer Smith’s sacrifice and those who sacrificed their lives before her.

A final farewell is planned for Tuesday morning, again at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Arlington.

  • BDK

    Apparently no one seems to care that a little girl died too, who’s life was just as important.

  • guest

    The little girl didn’t die, her mother did though. People do care and that has been covered in other stories.

  • Susan

    There’s an Adam Ezra song called “Shiny One,” you can find it on iTunes… when I read this article, it made me think of that song… it is definitely about this courageous woman.

  • Belinda Tarver& Family

    My heart goes out to both families. May God Bless each and everyone of you. I didn’t know either women, but my heart was saddened by this tragedy.

  • Magalie Hall

    Why does the district attorney’s office give the woman seeking help such a hard time?

  • Magalie Hall

    Pray for comfort for her family…..

  • Stephanie Swan

    Yes, Officer Jillian was a hero. That little girl is alive and well thanks to her sacrifice. All of us are praying for both families, espeically that young one who witnessed the whole scene. May God heal and comfort her in His time and let her know that SHE is very precious to Him.

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