AZDPS Trooper Jeremy Barr Named Trooper of the Year by the American Association of State Troopers
Trooper Jeremy Barr, a 12-year veteran of the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS), was named the American Association of State Troopers 2016 Trooper of the Year for risking his life and preventing injury to innocent citizens traveling on Arizona highways.
On August 22, 2015, during the early morning heavy traffic period, Barr responded to the call of a wrong-way-vehicle north of Phoenix on Interstate 17 at milepost 244. The call indicated a vehicle was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of the two lane roadway at approximately 70 miles per hour.
Interstate 17 at milepost 255 is located in a mountainous region between Phoenix and Flagstaff and there are only two lanes dedicated for southbound traffic. Due to the geographical location, the section of road has a blind curve with a rock ledge bordering its western side, and a rock ledge bordering on the east side.
The combined factors allow little room for maneuvering and avoiding hazards.
As Trooper Barr approached milepost 255, he observed the wrong-way vehicle, a Ford F-150 pickup truck, still traveling northbound in the southbound lanes.
Without hesitating, Trooper Barr continued toward the wrong-way driver with his lights and siren activated, knowingly placing himself between an active lethal threat and innocent motorists. Although his fully marked police vehicle was illuminated, the wrong-way driver continued to approach Trooper Barr.
As the wrong-way vehicle came head-on towards him, Trooper Barr skillfully drove the left front corner of his Chevrolet Tahoe into the pickup truck’s left front comer. The resulting impact effectively crippled both vehicles, and the velocity of the impact successfully pushed the truck into the rock ledge.
Trooper Barr's heroic, and possibly lifesaving actions came with a personal cost. He suffered extensive injuries including seven herniated discs in his back, fractured vertebrae, a broken neck, injuries to his shoulder and kidney. Trooper Barr's substantial injuries recently forced him to take a medical retirement from the agency.
Trooper Barr has not only loyally served the citizens of Arizona as a State Trooper, but also served with the Phoenix Police Department, and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Trooper Jeremy Barr risked his life to prevent injury or death to innocent citizens traveling on Arizona highways. For this reason, the AAST said it was an honor to recognize him as the 2016 Trooper of Year from a pool of quality nominations from across the country.
Barr was presented with the award at a ceremony held during the National Law Enforcement Police Exploring Conference in Flagstaff.