COLUMBUS – Last week the Columbus Exchange Club recognized Master Sergeant Larry Smith as the Troop G Trooper of the Year.

Smith is a 1885 graduate of Sturgis High School. He has been married to Tina Smith since Dec. 26, 1992; they have two children and six grandchildren. Smith enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1985 and served as an antitank gunner. He left the Marines in 1989 and attended East Mississippi Community College where he earned a technical certificate in emergency maintenance. He worked at Brunswick Marine in West Point until 1994, when he was accepted into the Mississippi Highway Patrol Cadet Class 50. He began his career with MHP in Leake County and moved to Lowndes County in 1996.

In 1999 Smith became an accident reconstructionist for Troop G, and in 2012 he became Central Region Team Leader for the MHP CRASH Team.

The troopers themselves nominate and vote for Trooper of the Year honorees.

“He has been instrumental in training pretty much every law enforcement officer in this state in accident investigation for the past 10 or 12 years,” said Captain Larry Conn. “If you’ve had an accident and you want to make sure you’re clear, he’s the one that you want handling it.”

“This is a great honor for me,” Smith said. “When they told me that I had gotten this, I thought about the story of the tortoise and the hare. I guess sometimes slow and steady really does win the raise. It surprised me very much that I got this honor.”