Home Medical Factors Facing Pilots Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Aviation News Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics General Aviation Helicopters
Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Links To Other Sites Editorials Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Upcoming Events Editorials


Atlanta Police Mourn Loss Of Two Officers In Tragic Helicopter Crash
By Shane Nolan

November 4, 2012 - The City of Atlanta Police Department (APD) lost two officers in a helicopter crash late Saturday night.

The Department’s Air Unit had been called to assist with a search for a missing 9-year-old boy in northwest Atlanta when witnesses said the helicopter lost control and crashed to the ground around 10:30 p.m. 

"Our hearts and prayers are with the families of Officer Shawn Smiley and Officer Richard Halford on this difficult day in the City of Atlanta," said Mayor Reed. "The entire city stands with the families and the Atlanta Police Department during this time of grief." 


“Officer Richard Halford and Officer Shawn Smiley died honorably, serving our citizens and our police force,” said Chief Turner. “Every day, they provided air support for our officers, assisting in major events and searches for suspects and missing persons. Their value to our citizens and our officers on the street is incalculable. Last night they made the ultimate sacrifice in those endeavors. Please join us in honoring their valiant legacies and praying for their families and our Department as we grieve their loss.” 

Shortly after 9 p.m. on Saturday, November 3rd, Atlanta Police Department officers responded to a report of a missing child at 1855 Joseph E. Boone Blvd. N W. One of APD's Air Unit helicopters responded to assist with the search. Around 10:30 p.m., witnesses reported that the helicopter crashed to the ground at Hamilton E. Holmes, near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Both officers on board were killed on impact. 

The accident is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA. Chief George Turner and Mayor Kasim Reed expressed their sympathies for the families of the fallen officers and concern and support for their grieving colleagues. 

"Losing an officer is the most difficult thing a police chief can face," said Chief Turner. "Losing two is an unthinkable tragedy. Our hearts go out to the families of these officers and our thoughts and prayers are with them. This is a difficult day for the APD family and it is a reminder of their bravery and the sacrifices made by our officers every day."



"I am deeply saddened by the terrible accident that claimed the lives of two on-duty Atlanta Police Department officers," said Mayor Reed. "We mourn these two brave men and offer our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. We also pause to extend our sympathy to the men and women of the police department who place their lives in harm's way every day to keep our city safe, and who especially feel the pain of this loss." The two officers killed on impact were: 

- Oficer Richard J. Halford of Lithia Springs, age 48, joined the APD in May 1986. He had been with the Air Unit for more than 16 years, serving as a pilot. Officer Halford has also served in the Department’s Zone 4 precinct, the Motors and DUI units. He is survived by his former wife, and a 21-year-old daughter. 

-Officer Shawn A. Smiley of Lithonia, age 40, joined the APD in October 2010. He had been with the Air Unit since 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.
Other News Stories (For the latest news please checkout our home page)
blog comments powered by Disqus  
Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ©AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share

AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine