Hundreds Turn Out to Say Goodbye to Fallen BART Officer

The funeral services were held today in Castro Valley

CASTRO VALLEY, Ca: Funeral for BART Sgt. Tommy Smith.
CASTRO VALLEY, Ca: Funeral for BART Sgt. Tommy Smith.
By Bay City News—

Hundreds of law enforcement officers from all over California have converged on a Castro Valley church this morning to attend the funeral of fallen BART police Sgt. Tommy Smith.

A long procession of police cars and motorcycles streamed to the church for the 10 a.m. service at the Neighborhood Church of Castro Valley, where Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris are scheduled to speak.

Smith was accidentally shot by a fellow officer while they and several colleagues were conducting a probation search at an apartment in Dublin on Jan. 21. The officer who fired the shot, Michael Maes, planned to attend the funeral.

Law enforcement agencies from throughout the state and beyond sent officers to Castro Valley this morning to show support for Smith and his loved ones.

Placer County sheriff's Lt. Andrew Scott said he and about six of his colleagues came out today to pay their respects and "recognize the sacrifices" Smith and other officers make every day.

He said the sheriff's office tries to send members to officer funerals when they can. They attended several last year, and this is the first this year, he said.

Numerous Bay Area police departments sent officers, as did agencies from outside the region, including the Los Angeles Police Department and the West Sacramento Police Department.

Among those filing into the church this morning was attorney Michael Rains, who defended BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle in the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant III at the Fruitvale BART station on New Year's Day 2009.

Smith was an investigator assigned to that case, and Rains said he found Smith to be a "credible guy and a very honorable guy."

After this morning's service, there will be a flyover by three California Highway Patrol helicopters.

Smith, 42, lived in San Ramon with his wife, BART police K-9 Officer Kellie Smith, and their 6-year-old daughter. A viewing was held on Tuesday evening at the Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward.

Contributions can be made to Smith's family by donating to the Tommy Smith Memorial fund at any Wells Fargo bank branch. Donors should reference account #5148561086 under the name of Kellie Smith.

Donations can also be mailed to the Tommy Smith Memorial Fund c/o
Wells Fargo, 11020 Bollinger Canyon Road, Suite 1, San Ramon, CA, 94582.

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Maurice Duenas January 30, 2014 at 12:51 AM
Why was the US flag at First and Livermore at 1/2 staff today? Only the President of the United States can order the US flag to fly at 1/2 staff and no such order or proclamation was made by the President for today. The City of Livermore apparently decided to do it for themselves in clear violation of the Presidential Proclamation in 1954 that dictates the only times that the flag may be lowered to 1/2 staff. Shame on the city of Livermore!
Longtime Resident January 30, 2014 at 02:04 AM
it was ordered to be flown at half staff by Governor Brown's proclamation. Shame on you.
Smitty January 30, 2014 at 03:16 AM
In Maurice's righteous indignation, strict adherence to the flag code, which is by and large a guide, trumps public acknowledgement of some notable person's death. He is wrong by the way about "only the President of the U.S. can order the flag flown at half mast". A simple Google search of the flag code will clarify that. In any case, I can't see coming unhinged by publicly expressing sympathy for whoever died. Thank you Longtime Resident for clarifying the source of the order.
anon January 30, 2014 at 04:30 AM
Its kinda annoying that law enforcement always conducts all this hoopla - all this pomp and circumstance, sending officers from agencies that aren't even located near the one where the officer died, a flyover from not just one but THREE CHP helos? How much is all this costing us? When a citizen dies, none of this stuff happens. We don't requisition a vast array of taxpayer funded when John Q Public dies in a car crash or falls off a ladder. Why do we allow our public servants to put on elaborate funerals at your expense?
Willis January 30, 2014 at 08:19 AM
Maybe it's because cops and firefighters sign up and volunteer to do things the general public will not do. And when they do these things, and are killed, we honor them??
Willis January 30, 2014 at 08:23 AM
And cops and firefighters call off ladders too. They too have heart attacks, car accidents, and cancer. But when they die in the line of duty, it is a big deal. I went to a cops funeral a couple weeks ago and it was your normal funeral.
Chris Heston January 30, 2014 at 10:13 AM
RIP Tommy. My heart goes out to his family during this horrible time.
livermoron January 30, 2014 at 12:48 PM
shut up maurice
Monika Harris January 30, 2014 at 07:24 PM
Ken Briggs January 31, 2014 at 11:49 AM
sorry for Tom Smith and his family . but why did the other cop shoot to kill for ? his butt knew where to shoot and kill and knew the vest was not covering that part of the body , after all he is a smart ass cop . so what is this cop going to do now ? where is he going to work nat now ? make his butt pay something for the little girls school fund , make him do something for the family for life .
Desert Rat February 13, 2014 at 09:52 PM
Pathetic Briggs. It was an accidental shooting. Why not show some class like the surviving spouse of the slain officer who said that her heart also went out to the fellow officer who was responsible and that she knew his life was also forever damaged.
Ken Briggs February 13, 2014 at 11:44 PM
Desert Rat how the hell can the cops call this friendly fire ? shows how much they care about a life , oh yes bart cops seem to do a lot of stuff like this , why not use the dogs ? so what is this cop killer going to work at next ? other cops may not want him around for he just may kill another cop . guess he gets away with it .
Ken Kirby February 15, 2014 at 12:17 PM
. The heads of the several departments and agencies of the Government may direct that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff on buildings, grounds, or naval vessels under their jurisdiction on occasions other than those specified herein which they consider proper, and that suitable military honors be rendered as appropriate.
Desert Rat February 15, 2014 at 12:24 PM
Are you completely devoid of reading comprehension Ken? The shot was an accidental discharge. The shooter wasn't intentionally shooting at something else, or at his co-worker. I suspect it is likely that he had his finger on the trigger during the search, which is not good practice, and he stumbled or in some other way squeezed his finger and discharged his weapon. It is called an accident for a reason. As for working, that police officer has also had his life ruined. Unintentionally he killed a fellow officer. This will no doubt probably cause him to resign and/or seek extensive therapy. His fellow officers also know that accidents happen. It is common to hear of our military members killed in training accidents and friendly fire as well. I suppose you think we should crucify all those involved in those incidents as well?
Ken Briggs February 15, 2014 at 02:05 PM
Desert Rat how the hell can you say accidental dascharge ? that means that this cop shoots at anything that moves with out looking or know what he was doing . so where is this cow boy cop going to work at now , sure the hell would not want him around if he is going to shoot first and then say sorry . after all the apartment was no one in it til the cow boy cop and the rest of the friends were in the place, so his ass knew that only cops were in the place ,so how the hell can it be a friendly fire . he knew what he was doing .
anon February 17, 2014 at 09:54 PM
BTW, "willis" replied to my comment that the reason why there is a lot of pomp and circumstance is because "sign up and volunteer to do things the general public will not do". Uh, no they don't. They are paid a ton of money, it is not volunteer work. They are paid. Volunteers are not paid at all, let alone very lavishly, 100-150K a year and with lifetime pensions and benefits that increase every year until assuming the recipient lives the normal life span, they can earn far more in retirement than they did while working...millions of dollars worth of pension payments. So please, do not insult our intelligence by suggesting the honor, the pomp and fanfare for this "fallen officer" is because he "volunteered". He was not a volunteer, but a highly paid sworn officer. So let's try this again....its annoying, that there is all this pomp and circumstance, and use of official equipment and resources, put into a death that while in the line of duty, wasn't connected to the apprehension of a suspect (just a search of an apartment), and was caused by another police officer! It baffles the mind - where are the ostentatious funerals using the same public resources for regular citizens who are gunned down "accidentally" by cops? Or shot by cops and then the slaying is later ruled "justifiable" simply because the officer claimed they "feared for their life"....often a claim that has no supporting evidence other than the officer's testimony...this happens even when the slain citizen wasn't even armed! Where are the CHP helicopter fly-overs for all those people?
Desert Rat February 17, 2014 at 10:39 PM
If you think $100k a year is lavish, get on down and sign up to work. By the way, I suppose you feel the same for our military folks right? We should dig up all the tax payer sponsored cemeteries for our fallen warriors and turn that valuable land into condos or strip malls right? I mean, military members volunteer and then get paid. We should ignore their needs since they made their beds, let them sleep in them right? Or perhaps we should tear down the Lincoln or Washington monument. After all, they were paid for their public service. And it goes without saying that we should not have a Presidents day off work to honor people who get paid to be president. Nor should we have any other holiday off that honors anybody who might have gotten any reimbursement for any service at any time. The only people worth anything in this world are those that sacrifice for free right?
Desert Rat February 17, 2014 at 10:40 PM
As for Briggs, I give up. Your reading comprehension is nil.


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