Widow Of Fallen State Trooper Presented Replica Badge
RALEIGH, NC (May 2, 2019) — During a memorial service to honor fallen law enforcement across the state, a special presentation was made to Mrs. Margaret Padgett, the widow of a fallen state trooper.
While on a recent shopping trip at a Leland Walmart, Padgett’s wallet was stolen out of her shopping cart which carried a patrolman badge once worn by her husband, Paul Winifred Smith. A WWII decorated war hero, Smith joined the Patrol in 1947 and was assigned to Stanley County. Shortly after reporting, he was involved in a single vehicle collision in 1948 where he succumbed to his injuries.
Since his untimely death, Margaret carried his shirt badge with her, in honor of her fallen husband and his service to North Carolina. Thousands have taken to social media attempting to spread the unfortunate news of the theft in hopes the missing family heirloom would be returned safely.
Today, Colonel Glenn McNeill Jr. along with Major Daryl Conley presented Mrs. Padgett with a replica badge in an attempt to offer closure while the search for the original badge continues. An inscription on both the original and replica badge reflects ‘Paul W. Smith EOW 05-27-48’.
Authorities from both the Leland Police Department and the State Highway Patrol are requesting the public’s assistance in locating the original badge. Anyone with information can contact Leland P.D. or their local State Highway Patrol office.
A photo of the badge in question is being provided for dissemination.