Two Iowa State Patrol Troopers who served out of the same district post will be honored this week at the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial near the State Capital in Des Moines.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that Troopers Ted Benda and Sgt. Jim Smith both served out of the District 10 post of Oelwein. Sadly, both troopers died in the line of duty just over six months apart in 2021. On Friday, May 6th Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and other state officials will lead a memorial service to honor Benda and Smith at the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial, according to the Press-Citizen.

37-year-old Trooper Ted Benda was injured in a crash on October 14th of last year. He was on his way to assist the Clayton County Sheriff's office when he swerved to avoid hitting a deer and crashed. He was airlifted to a hospital in Wisconsin. He later died from his injuries on October 20th, according to the Press-Citizen. He is survived by his wife and four children.

Sgt. Jim Smith was shot and killed on April 9th, 2021 as he led a team into a Grundy County home where a man had barricaded himself after allegedly assaulting another police officer. The Press-Citizen reports that Michael Lang is set to stand trial in Smith's death starting May 9th. Smith was a 27-year veteran of the State Patrol and only the second Iowa trooper to die of a gunshot wound in the line of duty, according to the Press-Citizen.

As we honor these fallen heroes this week, a reminder that National Police Week is May 15th through the 21st. We salute all who protect and serve.

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