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Dallas Officer Norm Smith Killed in the Line of Duty January 7, 2009

Posted by prairiewoman in Family & Friends.

 Thank you Norm for your service to the City of Dallas.  I will miss you. My heart goes out to you Regina.

The funeral was Friday, January 9, 2008. If you’ve never seen a big city police funeral, it is very impressive.  Those of you who wish to view the funeral or see more pictures of Norm’s family can visit myfoxdfw.com

Slain Dallas Police Officer Remembered as ‘Bigger Than Life’


DALLAS, Texas  —  Hundreds of police officers, family members and friends gathered at The Potter’s House in Dallas Friday to remember the life of Sr. Cpl. Norman Smith.

Smith was shot to death Tuesday night while serving an arrest warrant at an apartment in Oak Cliff.

The Potter’s House in South Dallas was filled with uniformed officers from all over North Texas.

Friends and colleagues remembered Smith fondly.

“He was a warrior that approached people with a great amount of respect,” said Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle.

“Norm had a grace and dignity on the streets that made him stand out from everybody else,” Kunkle said.

Smith, a member of the gang unit, was known to his fellow officers by a number of nicknames including “Normando” and “the big Russian.”

He was remembered as having a strong passion for his job.

“Right now, Norm’s sitting there saying, ‘Why are ya’ll doing this?  There’s somebody out there in South Dallas needs to be found,'” said Sr. Cpl. B.K. Nelson, also a gang unit member.

Speakers also reflected on Smith’s first passion — his wife, Regina, who is also a Dallas police officer.

“Norm loved Regina in a way that I was inspired,” said Kunkle.

“His saying was, ‘If mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,'” said Nelson.

Smith will be buried at Restland Cemetery in Dallas.

He joined the Dallas Police Department in 1991 and would have celebrated his 18th year with the department last Wednesday.

Smith was a member of the gang unit for 14 years and was considered an expert on Dallas-area gangs.

He is survived by his wife, Lt. Regina Smith, and a teenage son and daughter. 

Kunkle said Smith was a former officer of the year who was well-known throughout the department and in the community.

“Norm was doing exactly what he wanted to do,” Kunkle said at a press conference outside Baylor Hospital on Tuesday.


Memorial Fund Created
The Norman S. Smith Memorial fund has been established at the City Credit Union for anyone wishing to make donations on behalf of Officer Smith and his family.

The City Credit Union is at 7474 Ferguson Road in Dallas.






Senior Corporal Norman Smith, Dallas Police Department

Senior Corporal Norman Smith, Dallas Police Department







Dallas police identify officer

killed after being shot in the


 12:04 AM CST on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 By TANYA EISERER and SCOTT GOLDSTEIN / The Dallas Morning News


 A veteran Dallas gang-unit officer was shot and killed Tuesday night while trying to make an arrest at an apartment complex in east Oak Cliff.
Also Online

Link: Read a 2006 Dallas Observer article about Senior Cpl. Norman Smith’s work

Smith was married to Dallas police Lt. Regina Smith. They met when Norman Smith was working at the Dallas County Jail.

“Norm was working there, and he came up to her and said, ‘You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,’ ” Kunkle said.

Lannom said Smith was an expert on the gangs in the southern sector, where Tuesday’s shooting occurred.

“He worked that area in patrol,” she said. “He knew that area. It made sense when he came to the unit to become the expert on the gangs in that part of town.”

Kunkle said Smith “could go into the toughest neighborhoods and be respected.”

G.J. McCARTHY/Staff Photographer
G.J. McCARTHY/Staff Photographer

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (center) and Deputy Mayor Dwayne Carraway (right) console a member of the Dallas Police Department gang unit outside the Baylor Medical Center emergency room after the shooting death of Senior Cpl. Norman Smith.

On Tuesday, Smith and about six other gang-unit officers were in search of a violent felon at the Oak Wood Place Apartments, police said.

Smith, flanked by two other officers, approached the door and knocked. Someone inside asked who was there, and Smith responded with a fake name, police officials said.

When the suspected gunman opened the door, Smith yelled that they were the police, according to the preliminary investigation. The suspect then tried to close the door, and Smith pushed back. That’s when he was shot.

Officers returned fire, frantically trying to pull their fallen comrade out of the line of fire as the gunman opened the door and continued shooting. No one else was injured in the gunbattle.

The three men inside the apartment then surrendered, one at a time, within minutes of the shooting.

Hours afterward, a SWAT unit remained at the scene, and police officers roamed the complex on the northeast corner of Wadsworth and Loop 12.

Surrounded by a black wrought-iron gate, the apartment complex has long been known as a haven for drug and gang activity.

In 1998, it was the scene of a gunbattle between police and drug suspects. Someone fired through an apartment wall, hitting Dallas police officer Edward Menchaca in the hip. A second police officer was grazed by a bullet.

The officers were investigating a tip that a drug deal was going on inside the apartment.

Kunkle said Regina Smith, who works in his office, was devastated by the news, just as he was.

“These are just people that I have tremendous love and affection for,” he said. “They’re all tough, but for me this is a really difficult situation.”

Built like a middle linebacker, Smith stood well over 6 feet tall and was known to be even-tempered, opinionated and even sentimental. Lannom said she was introduced to her husband by Smith.

“I still remember Norm standing there all embarrassed, asking me if I wanted to go out with Jon,” Lannom recalled. “I owe my husband to Norm.”

Lannom said Smith’s mother is from Europe, and he spent a portion of his youth there. Before joining the Dallas police, Smith worked as a Kaufman County sheriff’s deputy.

The Smiths have two teenage children, a boy and a girl. Those who knew the couple well said they enjoyed antiquing, collecting fine china and traveling in their off-hours.

“They were just magical together,” Kunkle said.

Staff writers Marissa Alanis and Joanna Cattanach contributed to this report.



Senior Cpl. Norman Smith, 43, was with about six other officers serving a felony warrant in the 4900 block of Wadsworth Drive. Smith knocked on the door of an apartment about 6:15 p.m. and came under fire almost immediately, police said.

He was shot in the head and taken to Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, where he was declared dead about an hour later.

Three suspects were taken into custody, police said. The men were being questioned and had not been identified.

Police Chief David Kunkle said the officers serving the warrant were attempting a “ruse to try to get the suspects to the door without announcing that they were police officers.”

KYE LEE/Staff Photographer

A Dallas police officer was shot in the head at an apartment complex in east Oak Cliff.

“This was a high-risk situation,” Kunkle said. “The officers were tactically well-positioned, but they were immediately met with gunfire.”

Smith joined the department in 1991 and would have marked his 18th year on the force today. Smith had an extensive knowledge of Dallas’ gangs and was described by Kunkle as one of the department’s finest police officers.

“I would have thought he was invincible,” Kunkle said Tuesday night, choking back emotion. “He was a great, great street officer. He had the heart of a warrior.”

Smith’s death was believed to be the nation’s first fatal shooting of an officer in the line of duty this year. He is the first Dallas officer shot to death in the line of duty since Mark Nix in 2007.

Lt. Sally Lannom, a former member of the gang unit, described Smith as a hard worker who knew his job well and would be sorely missed.

“It’s a huge loss for the department and a huge loss for those of us who knew and loved Norm,” Lannom said.



1. prairiewoman - January 7, 2009

Thank you Tanya for the great story. You always know what to say.

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