By David Sedeño
The Texas Catholic
Sgt. Michael Smith was described as a “Cop’s Cop.”
Many officers may call others that, but it actually was what the Dallas Police Department bestowed on Sgt. Smith back in 2010 when he was honored with the “Cops Cop Award.”
His accolades as a Dallas police officer were many. It included 86 Commendations, the Certificate of Merit Police Shield, Certificate of Achievement Award, Officer of the Month and Officer of the Year, among others.
Friends and co-workers described Sgt. Smith as not only a devoted husband and father, but one who always seemed to want to do the right things and encourage others to do the same. After graduating from high school, he joined the Army, serving as a Ranger before entering college. He graduated in 1989 from Lamar University and joined the Dallas Police Department, rising through the ranks over the past 27 years.
Dallas Police Officer Marcie St. John, Sgt. Smith’s former partner, said often times during shifts, their conversations were perfunctory in nature.
“But some nights, we would discuss much deeper choices—the choices of good versus evil, righteous versus unjust,” she said at a citywide candlelight vigil at Dallas City Hall on July 11. “Mike always, always chose the path of righteousness. It wasn’t always the easy task. In fact, sometimes, it was a downright difficult task.”
Ray Ball, a retired Dallas police officer who worked with Sgt. Smith at the North Central Station, called him a great leader.
“He was great. He was always making sure that people did things right,” he said. “He was a hard worker and did an excellent job.”
When he was not working either at his regular job or his off-duty job as a security officer at Watermark Community Church, Sgt. Smith could be found with his family, Heidi, a fourth-grade teacher at Mary Immaculate Catholic School, and his two daughters: Victoria, a recent eighth-grade graduate of the school, and Caroline, who will be entering fourth grade at the school next year.
He loved swimming with the girls, gardening, landscaping and playing other sports. He loved mentoring, whether they were family, the police officers who fell under his command or at-risk youth.
David and Martha Mehl are neighbors of the Smiths and also are members of Mary Immaculate Catholic Church. He stood in line for about an hour on July 12 along with more than 1,000 mourners to pay respects to the fallen officer.
“If you saw him, you would never know that he was a cop,” Mehl said. “He was always looking after his family, his kids; he was a loving father and husband.”
At the funeral Mass at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church on July 13, his sister, Yea-Mei Sauer, called him a great mentor, brother, father and warrior.
“He worked tirelessly to provide enough for his daughters, not just materially but spiritually, intellectually and emotionally,” she said. “As a spouse, his love and devotion to Heidi was unparalleled, the two made a perfect team.”
St. John said that his police officers everywhere, not only in Dallas, join his family in grieving for him and the other slain officers.
“I think those that love Mike the most want to honor his legacy by choosing,” she said. “because it is a choice, not to let our anger drag us into a darker place, but instead choose to continue Mike’s fight for good and to not let the evil prevail.”