RALEIGH – The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and Motorola Solutions has named Trooper Daniel Harrell from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol as the IACP/Motorola Solutions 2019 Trooper of the Year. He was chosen from among four very worthy finalists serving state and provisional agencies in the United States and Canada.
In the announcement, the IACP and Motorola described Trooper Harrell’s bravery and dedication to serving the people of North Carolina.
“On Monday January 14, 2019, at approximately 5:21 p.m., Trooper Daniel Harrell, a five-year veteran of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, was patrolling his assigned area of Wilson County. As Trooper Harrell was finishing a traffic stop, he observed a vehicle traveling north bound on US 301 improperly towing another vehicle. Trooper Harrell conducted a traffic stop, made contact with the driver and passenger, and informed the driver of the infraction. Both the driver and passenger were unable to produce their licenses or identification and drove off in an attempt to escape Trooper Harrell. A short chase ensued, then the driver pulled over. As Trooper Harrell was preparing to exit his patrol car, the driver leaned out of his vehicle and opened fire. The suspect fired approximately four shots, striking Trooper Harrell twice in the face. Trooper Harrell was able to immediately return fire and continued to stay engaged while providing vital information to the communications center. The suspect then drove away and Trooper Harrell continued to pursue the suspect. After a short chase, the suspect stopped to disconnect the towed vehicle. Trooper Harrell engaged the suspect with gunfire, however the suspect drove off again. The suspect then realized that they could not outrun Trooper Harrell. At this time, the suspect made a U-turn with the vehicle and collided head on with Trooper Harrell’s vehicle. The collision disabled Trooper Harrell’s patrol car. Despite this, Trooper Harrell continued to engage the suspect with gunfire again before the suspect was able to flee on foot. Thanks to the description Trooper Harrell provided, the involved suspects were located and arrested the night of the incident and no further persons were injured.”
United States Attorney Higdon commented, “Trooper Daniel Harrell is truly a hero; a dedicated public servant who laid his life on the line to enforce the Rule of Law and to protect the citizens of North Carolina. He represents the selfless men and women of the North Carolina Highway Patrol and law enforcement agencies all across North Carolina who give their all to keep our communities safe every day. The United States Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office congratulate Trooper Harrell as he receives this great honor and we thank him for his service every day.”
The individual who attempted to kill Trooper Harrell was prosecuted for firearms violations here in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He received a sentence of ten years. Charges related to the attempted murder of Trooper Harrell are pending the North Carolina state court system.