It's been 25 years since a Trooper from the Great State of Arkansas was named National Trooper of the Year, well, we won't be able to say that again for a while.

Congratulations to Arkansas State Trooper Spencer Morris, he has been selected as National Trooper of the Year by the leadership of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, State and Provincial Division. This prestigious award was presented Wednesday night, March 24, 2022, during a ceremony in Seattle, Washington before an audience of law enforcement officers from across the nation.

Trooper Morris, 34, of Crittenden County, graduated in 2018 from the Arkansas State Police Training Academy and was one of four regional state trooper finalists. Trooper Morris works the Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, headquartered at Forrest City.

Trooper Morris was recognized for his heroic actions of December 16, 2021, during an attempted traffic stop that ended in Memphis, Tennessee.

Morris was working his usual interstate patrol duties that day, when he answered a radio call from the United States Marshals Service. The Marshals were requesting assistance in the apprehension of a wanted fugitive from South Carolina believed to be armed and considered dangerous who was reported to be traveling through West Memphis along Interstate 55 headed toward Memphis. Trooper Morris was the closest law enforcement officer in the area who would have been able to intercept the vehicle. Around 2:30 that afternoon, Trooper Morris observed the suspect’s vehicle and began to position his patrol car for the traffic stop. As he closed in on the car, multiple gun shots were fired from the suspect vehicle were directed at the Trooper. One of those rounds caught Morris in the upper chest, luckily, his body armor slowed the round, causing a minor wound.

Arkansas State Trooper Spencer Morris - National Trooper of the Year 2022
Arkansas State Trooper Spencer Morris - National Trooper of the Year 2022
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Even though Trooper Morris was injured he managed to return fire as they traveled into Memphis. The suspect vehicle slowed and eventually came to a stop as they approached the I-55 McLemore interchange, the wounded trooper radioed his location and requested assistance. Trooper Morris then took up a defensive position at a safe distance from the suspect vehicle.

Local Memphis police quickly arrived on the scene and joined Trooper Morris, including paramedics who extracted him from the scene and moved him to a local hospital where the doctors determined that his wounds were not life-threatening... thank goodness.

A SWAT team moved in on the suspect vehicle a while later to find the wanted fugitive and another occupant still in the car, both deceased.

Trooper Morris was released from the hospital later that day and reunited with his family.

In his comments to the Seattle audience, Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police said, “Arkansas State Troopers patrol more than 16 thousand miles of state highways every day and along the way, they stop to serve the citizens, whether it’s to help change a flat tire, or just take a minute to listen to someone’s concerns or troubles.”

 Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police said “These men and women we know as Arkansas State Troopers are part of the fabric that hold local communities together, they are among the best-trained law enforcement officers in the country, dedicated and always ready to serve.”

Colonel Bryant continued, “Trooper Spencer Morris is just one example of more than 500 other Arkansas state troopers, just like him, who set aside awesome risks to themselves each day to make their state a safer and better place to call home.”

Trooper Morris returned to active duty and continues patrolling the Arkansas highways, in and around, Crittenden County.

Again, we congratulate Trooper Spencer Morris, Arkansas is proud to have Troopers like you patrolling the highways of our state.

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