Skip to content

New state trooper familiar face to many

By Eddie West

Staff Writer

For many, career choices are quite often made based on childhood interests.

Others may turn to their parents or a school guidance counselor for suggestions. 

But on a roadside in the Stonewall community while in distress and in the company of a complete stranger is a highly unusual place to make a career decision. 

“I had a motorcycle accident on Stonewall Highway. It was my first encounter with a state trooper. The trooper came up to me and said, ‘Can I pray for you?’ And he did. It was how professional he acted. That has always stuck with me. Ever since then I have had a passion to work for the highway patrol,” explains Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Ridge Long, who was recently assigned to Smith County.

To this day the Smith County native doesn’t know the identity of the state trooper who shaped his future with only a few words during a single encounter. 

The son of a law enforcement officer, the newly commissioned state trooper grew up in the Elmwood community watching his father, dressed in a law police uniform, leave for work each morning. Trooper Long is the son of veteran law enforcement officer and current South Carthage Police Chief David Long.

“He didn’t encourage me nor did he discourage me from becoming a law enforcement officer,” the state trooper recalls.

Having grown up in the Elmwood community, attending local schools and formerly employed with the Smith County Sheriffs Department as a K-9 officer, Trooper Long is a familiar face to many.


Leave a Comment