AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - The names of fallen police officers Nick Smarr and Jody Smith will be memorialized on the building that is home to Georgia Southwestern State University's (GSW) Public Safety Department.
At their monthly meeting on Tuesday in Atlanta, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved a proposal from GSW Interim President Charles Patterson to name the building the "Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith Memorial Building."
"It is with great honor that Georgia Southwestern State University names the home of our Public Safety Department the 'Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith Memorial Building,'" said Patterson. "Officer Smith was an energetic member of our campus community. He and Nick Smarr – a member of the Americus Police Department – were great officers, dedicated members of our community and the best of friends. We are grateful to the families of Jody and Nick and to the Americus Police Department for allowing us to honor them in this way."
Smarr, an Americus police officer, and Smith, a GSW police officer, lost their lives in the line of duty in early December 2016. Officers Smarr and Smith were high school classmates, roommates after high school, and they graduated together from the Police Academy at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Their names will be remembered the way they lived, side-by-side.
"The dedication of our building to our fine young fallen officers is an honor to our department," said GSW Public Safety Director Mike Tracy. "Both of these men, at a young age, dedicated themselves to a profession of public service. This naming event gives special honor to Nick and Jody and highlights Georgia Southwestern's continuing partnership with the citizens of Americus, the Americus Police Department and the City of Americus."
Smarr and Smith took pride in their work as public servants and cared about family. Americus Police Chief Mark Scott said their legacies will reflect that.
"Nick Smarr and Jody Smith were outstanding police officers and great human beings," said Scott. "They will always be remembered for the sacrifice they made in the name of the profession they both loved, but more importantly, they will always be remembered as beloved sons and brothers, friends, and comrades. We thank the Georgia Southwestern State University community for choosing to honor Nick and Jody's legacies by naming the public safety building after them."
The date of the naming ceremony will be determined later this spring.