Indiana police Trooper Aaron Smith remembered as a man of service, integrity, character
(WISH) — The funeral service for Indiana State Police Trooper Aaron Smith drew law-enforcement representatives from across the country.
Friday’s hourlong service at a Greenwood church gave a glimpse into the life a man who lived to serve.
Christopher Marlin, a pastor, said, “I have thought about Aaron’s life, and his service to his country and fellow human beings. It made me ask how much more could have been done for others if his life had lasted 80 or 90 years.”
Smith died last week after being struck by an 18-year-old driving a stolen vehicle in Plainfield during a police chase. He was trying to put down a tire-deflation device when he was hit by the stolen vehicle.
In addition to being a state trooper, Smith was an Indiana National Guard sergeant. He had taken oaths to serve and protect Indiana and the country. People who knew him well expected nothing less from him.
“From an early age, he felt most comfortable behind the wheel chasing bad guys so the good guys could arrive safely,” Marlin said as he read a letter from the church podium. “From an early age, others winning was the real win for Aaron.”
Smith joined the ranks of the state police in 2018. At the time, he had been with the National Guard for seven years and taking a new role required some thought. Smith and his wife, Megan, were very active in their church, and the couple together sought guidance from a friend, John Hill, a retired Indiana National Guard major.
Hill wrote in a letter, “In listening to Aaron speak about his interest in serving others and wanting to make a difference in his community, I was particularly impressed with his demonstrated compassion and concern for others while balanced with his strength of character and his commitment to integrity when the two of us left our home that day. I told my wife the Indiana State Police will be a richer community to have them join their ranks.”
After 4-1/2 years with the state police, Smith was offered an opportunity to join a family business. Before leaving the state police, he had to explain his decision to Superintendent Doug Carter.
“He sat with me and explained his desire to be with his wife, Megan, shockingly,” Carter said from the church podium. “A stable schedule, more time at home, and an opportunity to join a family business, within just a few minutes into our discussion with Aaron, I knew two things: one, there was no way I was going to be able to talk him out of it, and, second, he will ask to come back.”
Four months later, he rejoined the state police.
“Last Wednesday, June 28 in the evening hours, Trooper Aaron Smith was initially struck and killed,” Carter said.
Smith and his wife are deeply religious people. Just hours after he died, his wife knew he was in a better place.
Carter said, “It was one of the most beautiful and gut-wrenching moments in my lifetime. Megan made the comment that she knows where Aaron is and she does not think he would want to come back. She does not think he would want to come back because he is now in the presence of God.”
After the funeral, the procession made its first stop at Whiteland Community High School, from where Smith graduated.
At the high school, the coach carrying Smith’s body stopped for the ceremonial tradition of passing under a Garrison flag. The coach paused under the flag and a radio call marking Smith off duty for the final time was played.
Smith was laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery and Funeral Home in Indianapolis with full police and military honors late Friday afternoon.
Smith was a member of the 78th Indiana State Police Recruit Academy, according to his obituary. He has recently been awarded two Lifesaving Awards for his work as a trooper.
Prior to working as a trooper, Smith graduated from Indiana State University in 2014.
“Aaron also enjoyed smoking a good brisket, flying drones, hunting, and spending time with family and friends,” his obituary said.
News 8’s Kyla Russell contributed to this report.
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