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LOCAL: Madison native promoted to Chief

John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Madison native, Major Derek Barrs has just been promoted to Chief of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Director, Colonel Gene Spaulding, appointed Major Derek Barrs to the position that went into effect Friday, Nov. 3., Barrs has 26-years of law enforcement experience, and most recently served as the Commander of Troop J with the FHP.

Barrs graduated from Madison County High School in 1991 while working on his Law Enforcement career as a dispatcher. In 1992, Barrs graduated from the Police Academy at North Florida Community College (NFCC) and went to work as a Deputy Sheriff. He went on to complete his A.S., with a focus on Criminal Justice with NFCC in 1996. in 2012, Barrs graduated from Flagler College with a degree in Public Administration.

In 2011, Barrs accepted a Law Enforcement Officer position with the Florida Department of Transportation's Office of Motor Carrier Compliance where he rose to the rank of Law Enforcement Captain. Since July 2011, Chief Barrs has been with the FHP. In Oct. 2015, he was promoted to Major; and from there, he served as the Commander for Troop J, within the Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.

“Chief Barrs is a respected leader who is dedicated to accomplishing the mission of a safer Florida,” said Colonel Spaulding. “Chief Barrs brings his strong knowledge of commercial vehicle regulation to this important division of the Florida Highway Patrol.”

Chief Barrs currently lives in St. Augustine with his wife, Robin, who is a kindergarten teacher. Barrs and his wife, Robin have two children together: Brett, 20, attends NFCC in Madison, and Bentley, 16, attends Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns County, Fl. Barrs and his family have plans to relocate for his new position in Tallahassee.

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