Speaker, local groups remember crime victims

Former Louisiana state trooper Bobby Smith, who was shot in the face while on duty in 1986, gave a special presentation at a crime victims luncheon held at Hattiesburg Community Church Tuesday.

The event, sponsored by the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter, The Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention and the Hattiesburg Police Department, was held as part of National Crime Victims Week.

His injuries left him completely blind, and he has since become a motivational speaker who visits groups of law enforcement officers and social workers to talk about how to deal with the emotional subjects they face every day at work.

"Realize that you are only human," said Smith. "The rape of a child or the abuse of a woman does affect us. I talk to them about how to appropriately deal with this stuff. Go home. Find someone to talk to. I suggest your spouse, or it should be your best friend."

Smith has written several books on the topic and speaks at hundreds of events each year. A remembrance service was held to honor the victims of crime, and candles were lit in honor of different types of violence. Caroline Hester was given the Jackie Dole Sherril community award.