September 10, 2020 by Lauren Mora

Trooper Daniel Harrell: 2019 Motorola Solutions/IACP Trooper of the Year Finalist North Central Region

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Trooper Daniel Harrell

Every year, IACP and Motorola Solutions recognize state troopers and provincial police who have demonstrated bravery, courage, leadership, and professionalism. At the annual Division Midyear meeting, the IACP and Motorola Solutions honor four regional finalists, and announce the 2019 IACP/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year. This year, due to the unexpected circumstances of COVID-19, the Trooper of the Year Award will be presented virtually at the October Annual IACP Conference in New Orleans. 

There were many submissions detailing the courageous, dedicated acts of troopers in state and provincial agencies that exemplify what it means to serve and protect their communities. Leading up to the IACP’s National Conference in October, Motorola Solutions and the IACP will recognize the 2019 Trooper of the Year finalists from each region. 

One of the finalists to highlight, from the IACP State and Provincial Police Southern Region, is Trooper Daniel Harrell of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Read and watch his courageous story below, which exemplifies why he was the Southern Region finalist for the 2019 Trooper of the Year Award. 

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 US301 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.  

Despite overwhelming adversity, Trooper Harrell showed bravery and dedication to public safety. Motorola Solutions thanks and congratulates Trooper Harrell for his dedication, service and being a finalist for the 2019 Trooper of the Year Award. 

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