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Honoring Corporal Gene Crawford

Corporal Gene Crawford, a 29-year-veteran of the Smyrna Police Department, was struck Tuesday afternoon in a hit and run accident.

Smyrna-Vinings Patch ran this profile about Corporal Gene Crawford last year leading up to the 2011 Smyrna Heroes Gala. On Tuesday, May 8  in a hit and run accident while on duty. Smyrna police say Crawford was in good spirits, but substantial pain later that evening. He will undergo surgery Wednesday. In light of the accident, Smyrna-Vinings Patch is rerunning this story about Crawford and his service to the Smyrna Police Department.

Gene Crawford knew he wanted to become a police officer was he was only 2 years old.

His mom was at work, and his dad was babysitting him . . . not too well as it turned out. The front door was unlocked, and Crawford wandered outside and down the road. Cobb County police officers found him about a mile away from his home. Although he wasn’t old enough to know his address, he was able to direct the officers to his home. When they pulled up, Crawford’s father was outside, searching frantically. “That’s my dad!” said Crawford. When his mother arrived home, Crawford told her, “I want to be a cop and carry a big gun!”

He never looked back. Corporal Crawford has been with the Smyrna Police Department for 29 years now and works in the motors division. Obviously he has matured from that 2-year-old once fascinated by the “big gun;” now he focuses on making Smyrna safe.

“I enjoy being able to help people by doing what I do,” he said.  “I make it safer for people to live in and travel through the City.” He’s also involved in traffic analysis, working problem zones, and addressing violations complaints from neighborhoods in the community.

Oddly enough, Crawford had a déjà-vu experience a few years ago. A neighbor called in a police report about an unattended child wandering her neighborhood.  Crawford responded, found the child, and, as in his own experience, the child directed him home. When Crawford knocked on the door with the child in hand, he woke the mother, still asleep with an unlocked front door. Mother and child were reunited, and Crawford’s own experience as a child came full circle.

Crawford is an avid motorcyclist; he’s been riding since he was 16. His wife of 31 years also rides, and one way the couple unwinds is by riding in the mountains.  Favorite trips involve riding the mountains in North Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and North Carolina. They can be gone for hours, days, or weeks. They don’t camp out on the longer trips, though.  “My wife wants a comfy bed and a hot tub after a long day’s ride,” said Crawford with a grin.

Crawford’s training includes as a field training officer, Lidar (laser) and radar operator, first responder, child passenger safety seat specialist, and as a crisis intervention team member with additional training in defensive driving and accident avoidance. 

Thank you, Corporal Crawford, for making our community safer.

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