One-On-One with Mayor Reed over deaths of officers

Updated:

The helicopter went down near the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Hamilton E Holmes Drive, just south of Interstate 20.
ATLANTA —

Emotions were running high at City Hall Monday after the deaths of two officers, killed when their helicopter crashed while searching for a young child over the weekend.

Even at the top seat of the city of Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed said Monday was one of the toughest of his career as mayor.

"This is one of the hardest days that I've had as the leader of this city. I mean, first and worst is always the loss of life," Reed said.

Saturday evening, officers Richard Halford and Shawn Smiley were trying to find a missing 9-year-old boy when their helicopter crashed at the intersection of Hamilton E Holmes and Martin Luther King Junior drives.

Reed talked to Channel 2's Ryan Young about the crash that killed the officers.

"What I feel right now is a gaping sense of loss, but what I need to do right now is to make sure that their families are well provided for and that the city does every single thing we can do to make this terrible time, and ease the pain as much as we can," Reed said.

Reed told Young that his top priority is making sure the families' needs are met and he believes the people of Atlanta will help out as well.

"We need some help. We have children involved. One officer has a very young family. Another officer has an older daughter, so working with Wells-Fargo we've opened up a trust fund for the family. This is extremely helpful and so for those folks who want to help, the biggest thing that we can do for the family is make sure that they have financial resources," Reed said.

"Richard was considered the best," Councilman C.T. Martin said, having to take a moment to gain his composure over the loss of the officers.

As emotions remain raw, Reed said his heart remains with those who serve.

"When they leave home during the day or at night to come to work here, if something should have happened to them during the course of the day while them keep us safe, then we are going to stand with them and we are going to stand with their families.

Young said he saw several people crying during his time at City Hall for the mayor's interview. Young said it got silent when the families of the victims walked through.

Young said he also received no less than 50 text messages from officers saying how much their fallen counterparts were going to be missed and how they were role models for kids in the community.

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