Most children have dreams of what they want to be when they grow up.

Children might want to be a doctor, lawyer, policeman, firefighter, teacher, journalist, singer, dancer, chef, TV personality, professional athlete, politician, homemaker, pilot or a soldier. The list of things kids dream of doing when they get older is way too long to list here and, quite often, kids will change their minds plenty of times throughout their lives before they eventually figure out what they want to do.

Some stick with their childhood dreams and actually fulfill those dreams in their adult lives, which we think is pretty special.

Since Daniel Priddy was a kid, he dreamed of being a Kentucky state trooper. Growing up in Edmonson County, 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, and he knew that was what he wanted to do for a living.

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 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. While Priddy said the academy in Frankfort was very tough mentally and physically, he made it through.

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.

Reconstructing how accidents occurred has to be very tough, especially those ending in fatalities, and then explaining to surviving family members what actually occurred that took the life of their loved ones.

Priddy said while it is rough doing the work, he does find it rewarding.

“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.”

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.

These actions by Priddy show a very genuine and caring person, which is all the more reason why he was most deserving of the recent recognition as statewide KSP Trooper of the Year.

This is a very big deal, to say the least, for the 15-year veteran of the force.

We couldn’t be more proud of Priddy and commend him for all the hard work he has done for people in the area he serves.

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