Famous in a Small Town: Arthur Barad the Dancing Deputy

Moore County Sheriff’s Deputy Arthur Barad waves at morning commuters in the MCHS school zone on Friday. It’s a routine that’s earned him the nickname of the Dancing Deputy by local students. (A Lynchburg Times Photo)

It’s Friday at 7:30 a.m. and Moore County Sheriff Department Deputy Arthur Barad sits on the side of the road in front of the Moore County High School doing his thing. Rock music blares from his deputy cruiser and there’s a big, infectious smile on his face. Some cars get a huge wave, others a salute, but all get the welcome back energy he’s clearly projecting.

Deputy Barad says his Dancing Deputy thing — as he’s been lovingly nicknamed by local students — started as an attempt to get some attention and slow drivers down.

“The first couple of times I worked the school zone, I noticed vehicles were still driving fast. The old school zone lights are hard to see,” he explains. “I figured if they see me out … if I’m looking you in the eyes, you’ll slow down.”

It worked … mostly. Not only did traffic slow down in front of the high school but Deputy Barad’s profile in the community amped up.

“I get recognized a lot by students when I’m out in the community,” he says. “Most parents like to see their child have a positive interaction with a deputy.

Not just the Dancing Deputy

Despite his high energy and approachable nature, Deputy Barad’s face changes when he talks about his other, more serious duties like working a horrible car accident or rushing to a domestic call.

In fact, News Channel 5’s Nick Beres shared a post Deputy Barad wrote about the other side of being a small town deputy in June. In it, Deputy Barad listed the many different types of serious calls — like rushing someone to LifeFlight or notifying the next of kin — that he and others at the Moore County Sheriff’s Department answer in a single month.

“The things you don’t normally see us doing or experiencing during the month … it’s a long list,” he wrote.

An off handed remark by a local calling Deputy Barad’s job “the easiest job in the county” inspired the post. Deputy Barad says he often likes to take his lunch break parked beside the Lynchburg Masonic Lodge people watching.

“If it’s my lunch break, I’ll just be sitting there chilling,” he said. “He spotted me and his statement just hit me the wrong way. We work 12 hour shifts sometimes as many as five days a week. During those hours, sure I smile and wave at locals and tourists, but I also see the worst things that happen in this county so you don’t have to.”

Moore County feels like home

Arthur Barad and his family moved to the Turkey Creek area of Moore County in 2019 from Virginia. He’s a native of the Philippines and an Air Force veteran with five total deployments under his belt.

Before he arrived in Middle Tennessee, Barad worked as a private air fugitive extradition agent. His job entailed escorting bad guys via commercial air flight from where they were apprehended to where they committed their crimes to face charges.

“We’d board the flight before the other passengers,” he said. “The fugitive would be cuffed but those cuffs were hidden by an oversized sweatshirt. It was very incognito.”

Anyone who follows Deputy Barad on social media knows he’s a devoted dad with six children: JJ (18) PJ (17), RJ (15), AJ (14), KJ (6), and LJ (4). JJ and PJ recently moved to Lynchburg to live with their dad from Virginia and PJ will play on the MCHS Raider football team this fall. Deputy Barad also plans to bring his mother to Moore County next year.

“It’s a tradition in our culture that a son takes care of the mom in her old age. That’s our culture. That’s our way,” Deputy Barad says.

When he’s not dancing in the MCHS school zone or handing out toys to kids on the Lynchburg Square, Deputy Barad says his other favorite interactions with the community involves making the rounds at the Moore County Courthouse on court dates.

“I go into the different offices to get a hug and steal candy. It’s like a sitcom,” he says. “This is the best, most fun part of my job.”

Despite the fact that he’s only lived here since 2019, Deputy Barad says he doesn’t feel like an outsider.

“I think because I was an Army brat, moved around a lot, and changed schools all the time, I know what it’s like to be an outsider. It’s not new. I know what to expect when I come into a new community,” Deputy Barad says.

“I’ve been all around the world and lived in a lot of places and I feel more at home in Moore County that I’ve ever felt anywhere.” •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}