It was March 29.
“I had just gotten off, I got a call from my sergeant telling me what happened,” said Lieutenant Adam Smith with Hopkinsville Police Department.
He remembers rushing to the hospital.
“I had that moment of you know, you lose it when you realize what’s happened,” Smith said.
His friend and fellow officer Phillip Meacham was shot and killed while off duty.
“It was tragic,” said Lt. Kyle Spurlin. “It was horrible. There are so many words you can use to explain it.”
Nearly three months later, the pain that was starting to heal was felt all over again, triggered by the death of Dickson County Deputy Sgt. Daniel Baker who was shot and killed May 30 while on duty.
“Brings back a lot of those raw emotions of what we just went through,” Smith said.
“It was hard for a lot of officers,” Spurlin said.
Smith says they got through that dark time by having counselors available and teaming up when they went out on calls.
“We rode two-man units on those first several days back just in case there was a call that triggered something, you’d have somebody with you to pull you back or help you through it,” Smith said.
Smith says what helped him most was learning that it’s okay to cry.
“We’re police officers,” Smith said. “We’re supposed to be tough, but it’s okay to show that emotion. It’s a part of the recovery of it.”
Recovery he says that takes time as his department now offers support to Dickson County, going through a pain they know all too well.
“Your heart reaches out for them because it’s such a difficult time,” Smith said.