Master Trooper Darron Holliman is a homegrown policeman. He was born and raised in Crittenden County, the son of parents whose families had been here for generations.
He knows the landscape, the backroads and most importantly the people. He understands that there are many shades of gray in this world, but Holliman can boil it all down with far greater contrast.
“You are either part of the problem or part of the solution,” he said.
Holliman, 48, has choses to be on the side of problem-solving and for that he was recently recognized with a multi-county regional award.
Serving his community and country was the primary reason Holliman went into law enforcement 1997. It is the same reason he joined the U.S. Navy not long after high school.
A few days ago, Holliman was chosen as the Pennyroyal region’s top cop when it comes to state law enforcement’s efforts in crisis intervention, a specialized form of training that commonly involves someone suffering from mental illness.
Kentucky State Police Post 2 Captain Brent White nominated Holliman for the honor because the Marion native had performed responsibly, ethically and professionally during a number of situations.
“Over the past year, he had many incidents where he had to use his crisis intervention team skills,” Captain White said. “There were attempted suicides in his presence and times when individuals were in crisis because maybe they hadn’t taken their medications properly.”
White explained that major depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder are the most common types of mental illness encountered by law enforcement in Kentucky. Holliman, he said, is well trained to deal with those types situations, and others.
Holliman is the longest serving highway trooper at Post 2, headquartered near Madisonville. He joined state police in January of 1999 after serving for six months as Crittenden County’s sheriff. Holliman got his start in law enforcement as a deputy under the late Floyd Andrews, who was then sheriff. When Andrews left that post, Holliman was promoted to the county’s top law enforcement position.
Holliman said he recognized the importance of training as soon as he became involved the profession. State police, he said, offers a broad and detailed training regimen that makes his job come more naturally.
“Training is the key to reacting properly in stressful situations,” he said.
Although this recent accolade is primarily for dealing with individuals who are in crisis due to mental illness, Holliman says that almost everyone he deals with on a daily basis are in some type of crisis.
“Even if it’s just a speeding ticket, they are not happy,” he says with a half-hearted smile.
Holliman has devoted a great deal of his life to community service, whether in or out of uniform. After being part of the heralded 1985 Crittenden County High School football state championship team, Holliman played a little college ball at before joining the U.S. Navy and rising to the rank of petty officer first class. After a nine-year stint in the military, he returned home to serve in law enforcement. He has also coached youth softball, basketball and football and served as youth minister at his church.
“I was blessed to have great parents and to live in a great community,” he said. “When I was growing up, the whole community was like family to me. Everyone held us to a higher standard.”
He continues to strive for that higher standard.