Arkansas State Trooper Tragically Dies, Leaves Inspiring Message

Arkansas State Trooper Jeff Hust passed away late yesterday evening surrounded by his family.  The loss has rocked CID Company B and the Arkansas State Police.  He was loved by so many and just a few weeks ago, Cpl. Hust wrote the following in the #whyiwearthebadgewednesday segment on the department’s Facebook Page.

We are sharing it with you below.  These are the words of Trooper Jeff Hust:

“Why do I wear the badge? I’ve often pondered this question. I wear it to protect those who can’t protect themselves. I wear it for those who died wearing it. I wear it so others don’t have to. I wear it to defend the constitutional rights of all people. No matter the color of their skin, what deity they worship, their sexual preference, or their socio-economical status. I’ve seen things I wouldn’t want anyone else to see. This career path puts you in touch with the fragility of human life. It also makes you empathetic towards your fellow man. But for the grace of God go I, right? On the other side of that coin, I work with some of the most incredible people. People who have become my family. People who are non-negotiable. They are rock solid. These are the men and women within the Arkansas State Police. If I should falter in upholding my oath, I expect them to cut me away from this organization without any remorse. The same as I would do should one of them betray the badge. I’ve proudly served with them for the last 19 years and I can safely say I wouldn’t take anything for the experience.

My law enforcement career began in 1991 at the El Dorado Police Department, where I spent seven and a half years. I attained the rank of patrol sergeant before accepting an appointment to the Arkansas State Police on August 23, 1998. My first assignment with the State Police was in Chicot County (Lake Village) in Highway Patrol Troop F. Then I transferred to Union County (El Dorado) where I worked the highway in Post 2 until November 28th of this past year when I transferred to the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) Company B.

My entire law enforcement career has been spent in a uniform up until this last transfer. The uniform is the most seen aspect of any police department and I’m proud to say I’ve worn the best looking uniform in the United States. Arkansas State Troopers are second to none. They are sharp, well trained, well equipped, compassionate men and women, and can handle any situation on the highway. It gives me a sense of security seeing the white car with the blue “V” on the hood. I know whoever is behind the wheel of that vehicle is an Arkansas State Trooper. He/she went through what I went through. They questioned their decision to become a trooper. That’s how the training is designed. They rose to the challenge. They overcame adversity through perseverance and teamwork. We will forever share that bond. We are troopers.

The Criminal Investigation Division Agents are the unseen of the department. They show up, handle the task at hand, and just as quickly and quietly fade into the background in which they came. The public doesn’t know they are there. The people in this division are of the same outstanding caliber as highway patrol troopers. They are intelligent and highly trained. They are experienced in investigating felony crimes; doggedly pursuing criminals, and providing facts to prosecutors in order to provide victims of crimes with restitution and/or closure.

So, I guess I wear this badge because, like my code of ethics says I signed all those years ago; it’s a sign of a “public trust”. You, the public, trust that I, the police, will make the right decision when the time comes. To betray this trust would turn against every fiber of my being. I am part of the community in which I live in. Ask my neighbors. They will tell you, “He is our trooper.” I’ve received many awards during my law enforcement career recognizing my accomplishments, but to hear someone say, “He’s our trooper” is the best recognition of all.”

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