Former State Trooper Inspires Others

After being shot in the face while on duty, a former Louisiana state trooper says his mission is to inspire other law enforcement officials to keep living.
The nationally known speaker was in Ocean Springs today. News 25’s Gina Tomlinson caught up with him and shares his story.
Once called one of the toughest state troopers in the south, Bobby Smith now depends on a walking cane to guide his steps. He tells News 25 it took losing his sight permanently to really see what he was meant for. “I’ve been there. I’ve been on the edge of the bed with a gun in your hand thinking I can’t take any more of this.”
The former Louisiana state trooper was shot twice in the face by a criminal, cutting his ten year career as a law enforcement official short and leaving him totally blind. “I didn’t know if I was going to live or die,” said Smith.
Now an author with a PhD in psychology, Smith says his mission is to be a hero for other blue and first responders who might need a helping hand in realizing that choosing to live is the right choice.
His message is very strong to our Coast after the recent suicide of Bay St. Louis Police Chief Mike De Nardo. “I think we, as cops, need to learn how to ask for help when we need it and we, as fellow officers, need to go up and say ‘Dude, you need some help, let me help you,’” said Smith.
Smith has written three books, one dedicated to his son, another to his daughter, both of them lost after he was shot. “What would they tell you to do if they were alive? Would they tell you to be depressed for the rest of your life and drink yourself to death or would they say go forth and conquer and be the best you can be,” said Smith.
Smith says that if he could just save one cop from taking their own life, it is well worth the battle he’s still facing each day. “Hopefully as a result of my blindness, some of the things I’ve said can help you see.”

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