Growing up in Edmonson County, Daniel Priddy saw the gray Kentucky State Police cruisers travel the roads of his community and the uniformed troopers visit his school to promote public safety.
Those experiences left an impression on him, leading him to a career in law enforcement.
A 15-year Kentucky State Police veteran, Priddy has amassed a distinguished record of service, culminating in his recognition last week as KSP’s Trooper of the Year for the state.
Priddy received the award at a KSP ceremony in Lexington, where he and other troopers and detectives were recognized for outstanding service.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Priddy said of the award. “You don’t go into this expecting awards or any type of recognition, you just want to help your community, and being recognized is just a tremendous honor.”
Priddy graduated from Edmonson County High School in 2004, the year he also began his KSP career, serving as a dispatcher for 10 years.
His eventual plan was to transition over to road duty as a trooper, but Priddy first had to complete the comprehensive six-month course at the KSP Training Academy in Frankfort, which he did in 2014.
“It’s a very difficult academy, very strenuous mentally and physically,” Priddy said. “It’s one of those things that you know going into it, so it was a great accomplishment to be able to do that and come back to Bowling Green to be a trooper here.”
Priddy currently serves as a collision reconstructionist for KSP Post 3, which is based in Bowling Green and covers eight counties.
With well-traveled interstates and highways cutting through the region served by Post 3, Priddy has worked several crashes since becoming the full-time reconstructionist last year.
A number of those crashes have been fatal and some within that group have resulted in criminal charges for drivers suspected of being impaired.
Priddy said he feels a responsibility to the surviving families of crash victims to provide them answers about how a crash happened.
“The best reward is to help someone in their darkest hour ... that’s what keeps me wanting to put on the uniform day in and day out,” Priddy said. “Somebody’s got to work these accidents and see this stuff and you just try to do the best you can. You want to give voice to those who are unable to speak, do the best you can to investigate and let their loved ones have that closure.”
KSP Post 3 Commander Capt. Tim Adams joined the agency around the same time Priddy started as a dispatcher and has seen Priddy’s professional growth.
In addition to his work on the roads, Priddy also visits schools to take part in the same public safety programs that influenced him as a youth.
“He’s very dedicated and very passionate about his work,” Adams said. “From the time he was a dispatcher to being a trooper to his position as a reconstructionist, he always tries to do his best. ... He’s grown up here at this post and really developed to become the trooper that he is.”
Each of KSP’s 16 posts nominates a trooper and detective of the year within their respective post, and a nominating committee based at KSP headquarters in Frankfort reviews the nominations to name a trooper and detective of the year for the entire state.
Priddy was named Trooper of the Year for Post 3, while Detective Josh Amos was recognized as Post 3 Detective of the Year.