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Police Benevolent Association Holds Memorial For Fallen Officers

By Bryan Bass
Friends, family members, and co-workers gathered May 25 at the First Assembly Church of God in Raleigh to remember and honor corrections officers who have died in the line of duty.

Officers David Shawn Cortner and Shannon Cuddington Smith died in 1999.

Cortner, a probation/parole officer in Franklin County, was killed in a head-on collision in July. He is only the second probation/parole officer to die in the line of duty in North Carolina. Division of Prisons Director James French said Cortner felt he was called to his profession. "He was dedicated to doing the right thing and was a career probation/parole officer," French said.

In November, a car struck Shannon Smith while she was supervising an inmate road crew. She was a correctional officer at Johnston Correctional Institution. French said Smith enjoyed her work, and "was always willing to assist a fellow officer whenever it was needed."

At the close of the ceremony, Cortner and Smith received a 21-gun salute. The ceremony was sponsored by the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association. Bruce Barrett, president of the Correctional Officers Chapter of the PBA, said the ceremony was meant to also pay tribute to families of the deceased. "We honor the sacrifices these officers made, and we want to honor their families as a part of our department," Barrett said. Barrett is a correctional officer at Central Prison.

The names of Cortner and Smith were recently added to Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. and to the DOC Roll Call of Honor Memorial at Central Prison in Raleigh.

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