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Hero Down: Smyrna Police Department Officer David Balkovetz Dies Unexpectedly

Smyrna, GA – Smyrna Police Department (SPD) Officer David Frederick Balkovetz died “tragically and unexpectedly” on Jan. 16, according to his family.

The 24-year-old officer’s exact cause of death was not immediately released.

Officer Balkovetz had dreamed of serving his community as a law enforcement officer since he was a young boy, according to his obituary.

“In elementary school, he wore a dress shirt, a tie, a police badge and carried a briefcase,” the tribute read. “He wanted to be a police officer and an ‘Army Guy’ like his Dad.”

Officer Balkovetz graduated from the University of North Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and also spent time interning for a district attorney’s office.

The SPD posthumously awarded Officer Balkovetz with the department’s Life Saving Award on Feb. 3 in recognition of the heroic action he took to save a man from a burning home, his mother said in a Facebook post.

“We just learned days ago that, about 4 weeks ago, David was first on the scene of a house fire. He ran into the burning house and saved a man’s life,” her post read. “I will always be so proud of the good, kind and courageous man David was.”

In addition to his work with the SPD, Officer Balkovetz was also a Georgia National Guard Reservist.

“David wanted to make the world a better place, and he served as a police officer with that goal in mind. David had such a big heart,” his obituary read. “As a police officer, David was fearless and empathetic. He was committed to respectfully engage and serve to protect citizens and community each shift. He dutifully served his monthly National Guard commitment with pride. David was a patriot, a great American, and an exceptional human being. May his light continue to shine on us all.”

Officer Balkovetz leaves behind his parents and siblings, as well as his grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

“David always valued his friendships and had many ties for ‘best friend’ status,” his family noted.

His memorial service was held on Jan. 21.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Smyrna Police Department (SPD) Officer David Frederick Balkovetz, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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