WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois State Police patrol hundreds of miles of highway in Illinois, but one District 16 Trooper’s actions in 2019 set him a part from the rest.

Trooper Tyler Earnest has been leading the charge when it comes to DUI arrests in Boone, Jo Davies, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties, racking up 26 arrests in 2019 alone.

“It could have potentially saved a lot of lives,” Earnest said of his record.

But, on August 2nd, 2019, Earnest literally saved a life, when he came upon a man contemplating suicide.

“The subject was on the other side of the ledge of the bridge, sitting on the concrete barrier,” Earnest said. “It came to a point where I knew if we didn’t pull him back over the bridge, he wasn’t going to come back willingly.”

Earnest stepped into action:

“I reached out, wrapped my arms around him and pulled him back to safety,” he said.

That bravery and dedication made him Trooper of the Year for his district, an honor he says he doesn’t take lightly as he trains the next group of recruits.

“To be able to…help them out..and to lead the next generation into the district is very nice,” he said.

For the first time in 2019, the ISP District 16 had a trooper on shift from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. to catch more intoxicated drivers in the early morning.


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