Hydron named ’22 Trooper of the Year

An Arkansas State Police lieutenant who was wounded in a gunbattle with a man who had fatally shot a Stuttgart police sergeant was named the state police Trooper of the Year for 2022 on Wednesday.

State police Lt. Phillip L. Hydron Jr., a state police SWAT team member and assistant commander of Troop D in Forrest City, was injured on Dec. 15, 2022, as SWAT team members attempted to arrest Jacob Cole Barnes, 31, of Mountain View.

Police said Barnes led officers on a vehicle chase, then abandoned his vehicle and fatally shot Stuttgart police Sgt. Donald Scoby while fleeing from officers on foot.

Barnes then barricaded himself in a home and exchanged gunfire with SWAT team members, wounding Hydron in the left forearm, before Barnes was fatally shot by police, authorities said.

Jeff Taylor, digital evidence lab manager for the state police, was named the state police Civilian Employee of the Year. He is responsible for overseeing 90% of the electronic evidence processed by the state police, according to a news release. State police said in the release that Taylor's work has influenced dozens of arrests and successful prosecutions during the past year.

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