Jeffrey W. Huff, a corporal in Missouri Highway Patrol Troop A at Lee's Summit, was selected as the State Employee of the Month in March for the care and compassion he demonstrated with a suicidal teenager. The boy's mother credited Huff with saving her son's life.
Huff previously was named the Department of Public Safety Sworn Employee of the Month in February for his actions during the summer of last year.
On a Sunday night in August, Huff stopped a vehicle traveling 113 miles per hour on Interstate 70 east of Kansas City. When he learned the driver was 16 years old, he had the boy call his parents. During that call, the trooper learned the teen was experiencing depression and contemplating suicide.
Huff decided to share his own personal experience of loss; his brother had died by suicide. He explained to the boy how the loss of his brother had affected his entire family. He talked about the benefits of talking with others and working with medical professionals.
The teen's parent came to the traffic stop scene, talked with Huff, and then informed him they would take their son directly to a hospital for treatment.
Later, Huff was contacted by the teen's mother. She told him she could never thank him for what he had done for her son. She explained as they had driven away from the traffic stop scene, her son explained his plan to take his own life. He had told his parents, "That trooper saved my life tonight."
"I agree with (the boy's) family; Corporal Huff's actions saved a life that day. For that, he is to be commended," patrol Capt. Scott Shipers said on Huff's nomination form.
Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten added: "Corporal Huff's concern went beyond dangerous driving; he made a conscious decision to share his own personal experience to help the teen get through a difficult time and seek assistance. This is an excellent example of the difference law enforcement officers can make in a person's life."