Bobby E. Smith, PhD
December 12, 1952 – October 2, 2016
Bobby Smith, a Louisiana State Trooper who was shot in the face and blinded in the line of duty, passed away on October 2, 2016. He was 66 years old.
In 1983, Bobby became a Louisiana State Trooper. In March 1986, Bobby was left blind after he was shot in the face by a drug dealer. Bobby then attained his Masters in Education and a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. In the years following his shooting, he met and married the love of his life, Janie Dupuy Smith, and lost both his daughter Kimberly, at age 22, and his son Brad, at age 20, to tragic circumstances.
Bobby and Janie devoted their lives to supporting others though challenging circumstances. They established the motivational company, Visions of Courage, Inc. Despite the troubles in his life, Bobby spent his days serving, counseling, and speaking to over one million law enforcement officers across the world about how to deal with the tragedies of life. He authored three books: Visions Of Courage: The Bobby Smith Story; The Will To Survive: Dealing With The Aftermath Of Trauma; and What’s In Your Heart Comes Out Your Mouth. In 2001, Bobby and Janie founded the nonprofit Foundation for Officers Recovering from Traumatic Events (FORTE Foundation). After being reinstated to the Louisiana State Police (LSP) in 2008, Bobby developed the Trooper Assistance Program for the LSP, where he served until his passing.
March 1, 1957 – January 11, 2017
Steven McDonald, the New York Police Department detective who forgave the teenager who paralyzed him, died of a heart attack on January 11, 2017. He was 59.
McDonald was shot three times by a 15-year-old boy in Central Park in July 1986. He was paralyzed from the neck down. He remained on the department’s payroll and made many appearances at public events in support of other wounded officers. In 1987, he wrote a statement about the gunman, read by his wife. “I’m sometimes angry at the teen-age boy who shot me,” he wrote, “but more often I feel sorry for him. I only hope that he can turn his life into helping and not hurting people. I forgive him and hope that he can find peace and purpose in his life.” He reached out to the gunman’s family and attended church services with them. He also maintained a correspondence with his attacker, Shavod Jones, after the young man was convicted and sent to prison. Jones died in a motorcycle accident four days after being paroled in 1995.
McDonald’s story was documented in the book “The Steven McDonald Story” (1989), written by his wife and E.J. Kahn III. He had to breathe with a respirator and used a wheelchair for mobility. He found strength and support in his family and Roman Catholic religion.
Charles Mark Styron
September 17, 1962 - December 19, 2016
Charles Mark Styron, 54, passed away on Monday, December 19, 2016 peacefully at home, surrounded by his family. Born September 17, 1962 in Houston, Texas, Mark was the youngest of four children born to the late Charles and Billie Ann Styron. He attended Westbury High School in Houston (1981), earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Abilene Christian University (1985), and completed his Juris Doctorate at Texas Wesleyan University (2012).
During his childhood, he was adored by his three older sisters, and developed a strong work ethic at a young age. He learned team-building skills through playing football, and earliest work experiences included newspaper delivery, assisting his father with civil engineering surveys, and fence building.
Mark was humble in regard to his academic and professional achievements, and a man of honor and integrity. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, and son, caring for his parents in their later years. Throughout his life, he held strong to his Christian beliefs. God and family were paramount. He led by example to his children and friends. The highlight of Mark’s life was the joy he received from his three children.
Mark held himself to the highest standards in both his personal and professional life. Following college, he was proud to serve as an Officer with the Dallas Police Department. In 1987, he became a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, and worked at the Dallas Field Division for fourteen years. He became fluent in Spanish and completed Army Ranger School prior to a variety of overseas assignments, including Bolivia, Costa Rica, Belize, and Colombia where he worked as a Group Supervisor of the Heroin Task Force. After returning to Dallas in 2008, his career continued with positions as Group Supervisor for the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), Inspector with the Office of Professional Responsibility, and Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) at both the Dallas Field Division and later, Operational Commander of the HIDTA Task Force.
He will be remembered for his strength, integrity, intelligence, determination, attention to detail, as well as his wit, wisdom and compassion. Quitting was never an option for Mark, even when it came to battling his cancer. Mark had the ability to balance his commitments to family, friends and work, along with his pursuit of numerous personal interests including cycling, skiing, hiking, wood crafting, gardening, cooking, painting, traveling and reading. He touched many lives and was loved by all who knew him.
Robert McNatt Polley
April 4, 1948 - June 30, 2016
Robert "Bob" McNatt Polley passed away on June 30, 2016 at his home in Waxahachie at the age of 68. Bob was born on April 4, 1948 in Los Angeles, California. He worked for the Dallas County Sheriff's Office for 28 years and the Ellis County Sheriff Department for 8 years. Bob was a member of the Texas Narcotic Officers Association where he served as Vice President of the North Region for several years. He was also a member of the Dallas County Sheriff Association.