The tragic loss of Officers Richard Halford and Shawn Smiley is a reminder of the sacrifice APD officers make every day - risking their lives to keep our city safe.
They were flying an APD Air Unit helicopter, while responding to assist with the search of a 9-year-old boy, when they hit a power line and crashed. Both men were outstanding officers and served our community with honor and integrity.
Officer Smiley joined the APD in October 2010 and joined the Air Unit earlier this year, serving as a tactical flight officer. He previously served in the Department's Zone 2 precinct. He is survived by his wife and three children, ages 5, 7, and 9.
Officer Halford joined the APD in May 1986. He had been with the Air Unit for more than 16 years, serving as a pilot, and 26 years with the APD . Throughout his career, he served in various roles at APD - the Zone 4 precinct, the Motors and DUI units. He is survived by his former wife, and a 21-year-old daughter. He was a beloved member of the APD family and is often described as a first-class officer.
Please join us in extending our sympathies to their families and to the brave men and women at the APD who worked side-by-side with Officers Halford and Smiley.
-W. David Wilkinson
-President & CEO
-Atlanta Police Foundation