Highway dedicated to state trooper attacked in 1986 traffic stop
WINNSBORO - A portion of US 425 south of Winnsboro has been dedicated to former Louisiana State Trooper Bobby Smith, who was shot and blinded during a traffic stop exactly 32 years ago Wednesday.
Smith survived the encounter, which happened back in 1986. On Wednesday, state troopers gathered around a sign proclaiming the stretch of road the "Vision of Courage" Memorial Highway.
After the attack, Smith dedicated the rest of his life to psychology and helping law enforcement officers overcome personal struggles with on-duty trauma. Police say the shooting cost him his career as an officer, caused financial hardship, and eventually destroyed his marriage.
32 years ago today, #Trooper Bobby Smith was shot & blinded during a traffic stop in Franklin Parish. Today a portion US 425 south of Winnsboro was dedicated to him & named “Vision of Courage” Memorial Highway. #NeverForget https://t.co/cghElgSL3b pic.twitter.com/7stRiposvy— LA State Police (@LAStatePolice) March 14, 2018
In 1997, his 22-year-old daughter, Kim Smith, was killed in a car accident. He later lost his only son, 20-year-old Brad Elliot Smith, who died in 2010. Smith wrote on the website for his public speaking firm, these losses are part of what inspired him to help others.
Smith earned a Ph.D. in counseling and psychology in 2000, rejoined the State Police in 2008, and helped establish the Troopers Assistance Program where he worked as a peer counselor helping Troopers cope with the stress of the job.