Community gathers to honor deputy Bill Smith in procession

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ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WKRG) — A procession for Deputy Bill Smith followed his funeral, where law enforcement agencies from across the state continued to pay their respects. 

As raindrops fell, law enforcement agencies from across the Gulf Coast rode along Highway 59 in a procession paying their final respects to their brother in blue.

Baldwin County social worker Niki Whitaker and her colleagues stood through the downpour to honor deputy Bill Smith.  

“I’ve worked with law enforcement so much that I feel it’s important,” Whitaker said. “I feel it’s important also as a parent. I have a 17-year-old and you want to pass those values along as well. I was able to watch the service today and see the legacy he left behind, and despite the weather, we needed to be out here to show our support and our love for the family for the greatest sacrifice that anyone could ever give.”  

“For me, it was the least I could do to show the respect for a remarkable legacy of a life that he lived, and he lived it very well,” Bonnie Hindman said. 

People in community lined the streets holding American flags. 

They didn’t know deputy Smith personally, but they felt compelled to pay respects, remembering his life in law enforcement and how he spent his final moments living by the oath that he took many years ago. 

“I never met him, but I’m definitely very proud of his job here and the way he served the community. He just jumped in regardless of the risk,” Maribel Peturis said. 

The rain, reminding them of the old Victorian adage, saying the weather means the fallen deputy made it to heaven. 

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