First Lady Tonette Walker

A Janesville man is officially a hero

By John Meerdink, WCLO News
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rock County Deputy Chief Coroner, Louis Smith, was recognized Monday with a Wisconsin Heroes Award, by Wisconsin’s First Lady, Tonette Walker.

Smith Says he was surprised with the recognition. “Well, it’s quite an honor and unexpected. I didn’t have any idea this was happening or that there was even such an award to get.  This is something we were trying to do to make the office more interactive with the community.”

Smith’s work with suicide prevention programs in the county garnered him the award. He said the programs could be helping drive down the suicides in the area.

“Last year we had a record year of suicides. At the same time this year, we’re at about half.”

Smith says they’re helping more people reconsider their choices.

“By way of feedback, I think we’re at 13 or 14 people who were considering suicide who stopped or got help as a result of part of the program. From a non-scientific point of view, it seems as though we are having some kind of effect.”

First Lady Tonette Walker says Smith went above and beyond the call of duty. “He is out there on his own just giving back to the community. We find that a lot of our heroes are kind of these lone soldiers out there doing the work and helping their community and that is exactly what Louis is doing.”

Walker says she’s proud to recognize heroes who do their work outside the public eye.

Listen to the audio.