FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – A local private investigator and Franklin resident has close ties to the Dallas Police Department.
Rick Berry was an officer with the department for 15 years. He went through the Dallas Police Academy with Sgt. Michael Smith, who was killed in the shooting attack on Dallas officers on July 7. The two men started on the force together in 1989.
Smith was 55 years old and leaves behind a wife and two daughters.
Berry said, “No one deserves that, but especially a man like Michael, with the highest integrity and the commitment he had to other people. He’s what I call a true believer. He truly believed in what he did and in helping other people.”
Berry also spoke of Smith’s kindness and sense of humor.
“He was very outgoing. He was very funny, kind of a goofball sometimes, but he was very proper too, and I’m not. And I always got a kick out of saying something kind of outrageous to see his ears turn red from embarrassment.”
After the attack, Berry reached out to some of his former police colleagues in Dallas.
“There’s a lot of sadness, anger, and I guess, confusion as to how and why this would happen.”
They were out there protecting the First Amendment rights of everyone who had every right to be out there protesting. They were getting along with everyone, then all of sudden this happens. So, there’s a lot of hurt and there will be for quite a while.”
A fund has been setup to support Sgt. Smith’s family and the loved ones of the other fallen Dallas officers. To donate, click here.