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Fallen Officer Drew Barr was the “public servant that everybody would dream of being,” former colleague says

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Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 8:52 PM EDT
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CAYCE, S.C. (WIS) - Cayce Police Officer Drew Barr, whose watch ended Sunday when he was shot and killed in the line of duty, had spent time as a firefighter, EMT and police officer.

Andrew Anderson, who worked with Barr during his time with Lexington County EMS, said he was more than a friend and former colleague; he was a mentor.

He said even though Barr was 20 years his junior, he taught him a great deal. Anderson said he wouldn’t be the EMT that he is today without Barr’s advice and support.

“Drew Barr was the public servant that everybody would dream of being,” he said.

Anderson said Barr ate, slept and breathed public safety.

“That was him, it just ran through his blood,” he said. “It ran through him. And the world now will unfortunately, and our community here, will never see that again. It may live on through Molly, but unfortunately we’ve lost a light I think in public safety when it comes to that.”

He said Barr stepped in to help him learn the ropes when he was starting out as an EMT. He remembers the conversations they’d have at one of his favorite breakfast spots, Just Us Cafe on Knox Abbott Drive in Cayce.

A sign outside the restaurant now reads, “RIP Officer Barr, God Bless.”

Barr was the type of friend you could turn to in times of need, according to Anderson. He said the strength from Barr’s smile was the thing he looked forward to every time he would see him.

“You’ll always remember his smile,” Anderson said. “You’ll always remember the way he greets you, because we always greeted each other with a big slap on the back and, you know, now you look up for that because he’s not here so –”

Anderson said any loss in the public safety community hurts since he it’s all one family, brothers and sisters who serve as EMTs, firefighters and police officers.

The news of Barr’s passing hit Anderson like “a ton of bricks.”

“When these things hit it’s like who do you rely on?” he said. “You don’t want to ever be perceived as weak. But when you reach out to someone that’s a fellow brother EMT, paramedic, police officer or firefighter, when you reach out to them it’s truly the best thing in the world to be able to reach out. And unfortunately this time I couldn’t reach out to a real close friend, Drew. You know, I really couldn’t reach out to him because he wasn’t there. I didn’t see him at Just Us Cafe having breakfast. Now I see that he’s gone.”

Anderson said he and some other colleagues from Prisma Health will be bringing an ambulance to Barr’s funeral on Thursday as a show of support.

If you’re looking for ways to donate to Barr’s family, there’s one approved GoFundMe, operated by Jason Flynt.

The family also asks that you make a donation to the Steel Paws Event, which benefits K9 programs in the region. That event is at Steel Hands on Foreman Street in Cayce on Saturday from 1 to 6 P.M.

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