At its monthly breakfast meeting on June 28, the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce announced and awarded the first Setting the Barr award, sponsored by Dominion Energy. It will offer quarterly recognition of outstanding service from local first responders in all disciplines. This is a commemoration of the life and service of Drew Bar, the Cayce Police K-9 Officer who was gunned down in the line of duty in April.

Tim James, Chamber president/CEO and a Cayce City Council Member, explained that the cross-disciplinary nature of the award was certainly a testament to Barr, who was certified and served as an EMT, a fireman and a police officer.

“A true-hearted man of faith, kind, adaptable, steadfast and all that he did,” James said. “And yes, even a badass what he needed to be because he’s law enforcement.”

West Columbia Police Officer Chuck Sharpe became the first recipient of the award. Sharpe, has also served in those three disciplines, and his action at the moment that earned him the award was largely due to his training.

During an off-duty gathering at the city’s Savage Craft Ale Works with his coworkers, a young child of one of his fellow officers fell ill, eventually losing consciousness. Sharpe jumped into action and revived him with CPR, saving his life.

Through a video message, the child and his parents thanked Sharpe, and Drew Barr’s parents presented Sharpe with the inaugural award.

West Columbia Police Chief thanked the chamber for launching Setting the Barr.

“When we ask, ‘Why do you want to do this job?’ I never hear, ‘It’s because of the money.’ he said. “It’s not because ‘I want to get paid a lot.’ It’s not because ‘I want personal recognition.’ I never hear those answers. What I do here is because ‘I want to make a difference.’ What I do here is, ‘I want to be a part of this community and serve.’”

Other commemorations of Barr’s life continue. Last week, the City of Cayce held a celebration for his birthday, and the Cayce Police Department is selling commemorative shirts to fund support efforts for officers who may experience a medical event or their families.

Photo by Jonathon Tobes