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Hero Down: Wilson Police Capt. Reginald Smith Dies From Medical Condition

Wilson, NC – Wilson Police Department (WPD) Captain Reginald “Reggie” Smith died in the line of duty Jan. 7 due to a medical condition, according to his department.

The 43-year-old captain’s exact cause of death was not released.

“With deep sadness, the Wilson Police Department announces the death of Captain Reggie Smith,” the WPD said in a Facebook post later that afternoon. “Captain Smith died from a medical condition while in the line of duty.”

Capt. Smith served nearly 23 years with the police department, promoting through the ranks until he achieved the rank of captain in 2018.

He was also an integral member of the Wilson Police Athletic League, where he served as president.

“Captain Smith served as a mentor and friend to countless Wilson youth,” the WPD said.

Dozens of people honored Capt. Smith with memorial tributes in response to his online obituary.

“I always remember that smile on his face that smile like he never had bad day and that warm heart and gentle spirit that firm handshake,” one post read. “I thank you captain reggie for serving our community and may you rest in peace…To the family i keep you in my prayers im so sorry for your loss cause he was a great man. And a friend to many.”

Another friend referred to “Coach Reggie” as his “bonus dad.”

“[Capt. Smith] always did things to help others and NEVER asked or expected anything in return,” he wrote. “The most selfless individual you would ever meet. The best Coach, big brother, and mentor. We love you and miss you.”

The City of Wilson posted footage of the police procession that escorted the fallen captain’s body from Vidant Medical Center to Stevens Funeral Home on Jan. 8.

“We are grateful for Capt. Smith’s life, his service and his legacy, and we mourn his passing with all those who knew and loved him,” the city said.

Capt. Smith was laid to rest Jan. 14, according to his obituary.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Wilson Police Department Captain Reginald “Reggie” Smith, 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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