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CRACKDOWN CAMPAIGN AIMED AT DRUNK DRIVING SET TO BEGIN BEFORE LABOR DAY

August 15, 2016

  (LITTLE ROCK) – During the final days of summer leading up to the Labor Day weekend, Arkansas families and friends will come together for seasonal celebrations.  It’s a dangerous time during this season as drunk drivers inevitably take their chances by getting into the driver seat of their vehicle and head toward the next party or try to make it home.

  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to stop drunk drivers and help save lives.  

  The high visibility national enforcement campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” begins August 19th and continues through September 5th.  “Zero Tolerance” for drunk driving is the standing order for local and state law enforcement officers.  In addition to sobriety checkpoints and an increased number of officers on the roads, there will be localized and national media messaging about the dangers of driving drunk.

  According to NHTSA, on average, over 10,000 people died each year (2010 to 2014) in drunk driving crashes.  During the 2014 Labor Day holiday weekend, 40 percent of crash fatalities involved motor vehicle drivers or motorcycle operators who were legally impaired with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .08 or higher, resulting in 162 deaths.

  “This is a serious and important message,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Don’t trust yourself to drive when you drink alcohol.  You may think you aren’t drunk, but even a small amount of alcohol can impair your judgment and ability to drive safely. Driving impaired is a crime that risks your life and the lives of loved ones.  The consequences are severe and life changing.”

  In addition to injuries or fatalities from a crash, drunk drivers run the risk of jail time, loss of driver license, installation of ignition interlocks on their vehicles and court ordered community service. The financial impact is also considerable, including higher vehicle insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects.

  “Drunk driving is totally inexcusable, and it’s preventable,” said Colonel Bryant.  “We’re hoping that Arkansas drivers get the message and clearly understand, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends:

  • Always plan ahead whenever you expect to drive and consume alcohol.
  • Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
  • If you have been drinking, call a taxi, take the bus or call a sober friend or family member to get you to your destination safely.
  • Promptly report to law enforcement drunk drivers you see on the roadways.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • If you’re on a motorcycle, use protective equipment.

  For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on the ongoing “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.

ARKANSAS POLICE OFFICERS AND DEPUTIES ON THE WATCH DURING JULY 4TH HOLIDAY; DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER

June 24, 2016

Additional Information Contact:
Ann Whitehead - Highway Safety Office
(501) 618-8133 – ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Every year Americans hit the road headed for destinations to celebrate the Fourth of July at picnics, parties, parades and many other events.  Unfortunately the celebrating includes drinking alcohol followed by drunk driving on streets and highways during this most heavily traveled holiday period.

  Nationwide there were 397 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2014 over the Fourth of July holiday period that covered five days.  Among those deaths, 164 people (41 percent) died from crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

  Arkansas law enforcement officers will be out in full force this July 4th holiday cracking down on drunk drivers by aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger.

  “Don’t even think about drinking and driving this Fourth of July, or you risk being arrested,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Arkansas State Police Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving – no excuses.”

  The crackdown on drunk driving during the coming holiday period will involve state, city and county law enforcement officers devoting additional patrol hours beginning today and continuing through July 4th.  The objective is to minimize the risk of fatalities.

  If you’re caught driving drunk, you will be arrested and the consequences of drunk driving are serious.  Not only do you put your life and the lives of others at risk, but a DWI arrest could result in a court sentence diminishing driving freedom, attorney fees, court fines and a spike in driver insurance rates.

  In every state it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher, yet people continue to break the law and drive drunk.

  The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recommends these simple tips to prevent drunk driving:

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
     
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
     
  • If you have been drinking, call a taxi or someone who is sober to get you home.
     
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
     
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

  For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on the ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.

CID COMMANDER PROMOTION APPROVED BY ASPC

May 12, 2016

  Lieutenant Mark Hollingsworth, 55, of Mountain Home, has been promoted to the rank of captain.  Hollingsworth will assume the statewide administrative duties as commander of Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Company Field Operations.

  The recommendation for promotion was presented to the Arkansas State Police Commission by Colonel Bill Bryant, director of the state police.

  Captain Hollingsworth is a thirty year veteran of the department and his most recent assignment has been commander of CID, Company E.

TFC. BRANDON BENNETT NAMED TROOPER OF THE YEAR: CEREMONY HONORS OUTSTANDING SERVICE OF TROOPERS AND CIVILIAN STAFF

May 12, 2016

   (LITTLE ROCK) – Trooper First Class Brandon Bennett, a seven year veteran Arkansas State Trooper, assigned to Highway Patrol Division Troop C (Mississippi County), has been awarded the department’s Trooper of the Year (2015).

     The award was presented today by Governor Asa Hutchinson and Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, during the Annual Arkansas State Police Awards Luncheon.

     TFC. Bennett was also awarded the Arkansas State Police Medal of Valor.  The honors were awarded for Bennett’s role in the July 1, 2015 apprehension of two Missouri fugitives who had shot a store clerk during a robbery.

     The arrests followed a pursuit that began near the Missouri – Arkansas border.  The gunmen had already shot at a Mississippi County deputy and TFC. Bennett before the driver of the robbery getaway car lost control and crashed in a Blytheville neighborhood.  Both fugitives fled the area on foot.  TFC. Bennett left his patrol car to assist in the search and encountered one suspect hiding in thick brush.  TFC. Bennett was met with resistance from the suspect who struggled to break-away from the trooper.  The suspect was handcuffed by TFC. Bennett and turned-over to local authorities.

     Governor Hutchinson and Colonel Bryant also presented James Kingsbury with the Arkansas State Police Civilian Employee of the Year (2015).

     Kingsbury, a ten year veteran of the state police, is assigned to the department’s Information Technology Section and is credited with the successful leadership in deployment and management of the state’s new eCitation software being used by law enforcement agencies across the state.

     Special Agent Hays McWhirter (retired), of Ashdown, was the recipient of the Arkansas State Police Distinguished Meritorious Service Award.

     S/A McWhirter (ret.) was recognized for his cumulative career spanning more than four decades with the Arkansas State Police.

     McWhirter was assigned to CID, Company C in 1985 where he opened 1,569 criminal cases during the course of his career in southwest Arkansas.  At the time of his retirement earlier this year, McWhirter was the senior agent assigned to the state police CID.

   Corporal Freddy Ware, of the department’s Highway Patrol Division, Troop C (Mississippi County), was also awarded the Distinguished Meritorious Service Award.

   Corporal Ware was recognized for his long-standing work devoted to mentoring children in the Mississippi County area and his work on the Rivercrest School Board.

  Over the past eleven years Corporal Ware has been the coordinator of a local fishing rodeo for kids and served in various assignments through a local recreation center where he helped children in after-school assignments and sports activities.

  Six state troopers were awarded life saving awards during the awards ceremony:

    • Corporal Patrick Schmidt, Highway Patrol Division, Troop H (Crawford County), for his January 3, 2015 role in saving the life of a woman traveling along I-40 who had been stricken with symptoms of a stroke and had stopped breathing.

    • Trooper First Class Roy Moomey, Highway Patrol Division, Troop H (Crawford County), for his January 22, 2015 role in saving the life of a man who was trapped inside the wreckage of a vehicle that had begun to burn.

    • Trooper Christopher Barnett, Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, (Jefferson County) for his February 10, 2015 role in saving the life of an unconscious man trapped inside a wrecked vehicle that had begun to burn.

    • Trooper Andrew May, Highway Patrol Division, Troop A (Lonoke County), for his February 13, 2015 role in saving a jail inmate who had attempted suicide.

    • Corporal Adrian Ray, Highway Patrol Division, Troop A (Pulaski County), for his February 20, 2015 role in saving a heart attack victim along U.S. Highway 67 near Jacksonville.

    • Special Agent Jake Bartlett, Criminal Investigation Division, Company E, for his July 20, 2015 role in saving the life of a two-year old boy who had fallen from a pier into the Gulf of Mexico.  S/A Bartlett was on vacation with his family at the time of the incident.

   Fifteen Arkansas State Troopers and civilian personnel were also recognized during the ceremony today.  The following individuals were awarded Official Commendations and received their certificates during meetings of the State Police Commission over the past year.

    • Corporal Chase Melder, Highway Patrol Division, Troop J

    • Corporal John Talley, Highway Patrol Division, Troop G

    • TFC. Chris Harper, Highway Patrol Division, Troop K

    • Mary Beth King, Highway Patrol Division, Troop K Telecom

    • Tammy Dulaney, Crimes Against Children Division, Investigator

    • Special Agent Philip Hydron, Criminal Investigation Division, Company A

    • Special Agent Kevin Webb, Criminal Investigation Division, Company A

    • Lieutenant Dennis Overton, Highway Patrol Division

    • Special Agent John Rhone, Criminal Investigation Division, Company C

    • Special Agent Jason Martin, Criminal Investigation Division, Company A

    • TFC. Brandon Trewyn, Highway Patrol Division, Troop B

    • TFC. Joseph Harris, Highway Patrol Division, Troop C

    • Trooper Sor Lee, Highway Patrol Division, Troop L

    • Trooper Ronnie Boyd, Highway Patrol Division, Troop L

    • Corporal Rustin Hitchcock, Highway Patrol Division, Troop A

“CLICK IT OR TICKET” CAMPAIGN SCHEDUED: ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT SETS TARGET AT ZERO TOLERANCE

May 12, 2016

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Law enforcement agencies across Arkansas are once again preparing to step-up enforcement of the primary seat belt law.  The “Click It or Ticket” enforcement operating plan covers a three week period beginning May 16th and continues through one of the most active travel periods for Arkansas motorists.

  “Too often drivers and passengers who do not buckle-up lose their lives,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “As we approach the Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season, we want to make sure people are doing the one simple thing that can save them in a crash - buckle up.”     

  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of the 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2014 were not using a seat belt.  The facts related to the deaths are the stimulus for increased enforcement and awareness of proper seat belt use.

  Time and again, law enforcement officers hear from the families of crash victims.  The recurring message is, “I wish they had buckled up.”

  “The message is simple,” says Colonel Bryant.  “Seat belts save lives and if these enforcement crackdowns get the attention of people, causing them to buckle up, then we’ve done our job.  After all, it is the law”

  Arkansas state law requires all front seat passengers, not just drivers, to be properly buckled up.  It requires all children less than fifteen years of age to be properly secured in the vehicle.  A child less than six years of age and weighing less than sixty pounds should be restrained in a child passenger safety seat.  If the driver has a restricted license, all passengers in the vehicle must be properly buckled up.

  It’s not just important to wear your seat belt, but to also wear it properly.  A shoulder harness is worn across the shoulder and chest with minimal, if any slack.  The shoulder harness should not be worn under the arm or behind the back.  Wearing the harness the wrong way could cause serious internal injuries in a crash.

  More information about "Click it or Ticket" and how seat belts save lives can be found at www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov/ciot or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  Information about Arkansas' ongoing project "Toward Zero" campaign, can be found at www.TZDarkansas.org

COMMANDER SELECTED FOR TROOP K DUTIES, STATE POLICE COMMISSIONERS APPROVE TWO OTHER PROMOTIONS

April 15, 2016

Lieutenant Ron Casey has been promoted to the rank of captain and will assume duties as commander of the department’s Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop K, headquartered at Hot Springs.

  The recommendation for promotion was among three submitted to the state police commission today for consideration by Colonel Bill Bryant, state police director.

  Captain Casey, 49, of Sheridan is a twenty-three year veteran of the department.  His most recent assignment has been serving as an administrative assistant to the highway patrol division commanders.

  Corporal Chris Goodman, 40, of Russellville, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Goodman is a twelve year veteran of the department and most recently has served in a patrol assignment within Highway Patrol, Troop J.  He will now assume duties as a Troop J post supervisor.

  Corporal Larry Carter, 42, of Atkins, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Carter is a sixteen year veteran of the department and most recently has served in an assignment as special agent in the Criminal Investigation Division, Company E.  He will now assume duties as a Company E field supervisor.

APRIL IS DISTRACTED DRIVING PREVENTION MONTH

March 28, 2016

Additional Information Contact:
ASP Highway Safety Office – Ann Whitehead
(501) 618-8133  –  ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

 

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas is putting a renewed emphasis on education and enforcement of the state’s distracted driving laws.  Highway Safety authorities are joining national operations intended to stop distracted driving.

  Law enforcement agencies across the state have joined the national “U Drive U Text U Pay” campaign to stop distracted driving.  A statewide awareness campaign will utilize paid advertising with television, radio, online ads and social media to reach out to the motoring public.

  “We all know that using our cell phones while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop most people from continuing to do it,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “We want to educate Arkansas drivers about the dangers of texting and cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle.”

  Colonel Bryant continued, “We hope that once people see and hear the messages, they will be more aware and change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families and others on the road.”

  Arkansas law prohibits the use of a hand held cell phone for texting, typing, email or accessing the internet while driving, regardless of the driver’s age.  It is also a “primary offense” law, which means a state trooper, police officer or sheriff’s deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation.

  Drivers should be aware of all state laws related to distracted driving, particularly related to the prohibition of using a hand-held cell phone while traveling through school or highway work zone.   All drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.  Drivers 18 to 20 years using a cell phone are required to use a hands-free device.

  The national distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education which are the same tools that have been used to curb drunk driving and increased seat belt use.

  For more information on distracted driving issues, visit www.Distraction.gov, www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

WESTERN REGION HIGHWAY PATROL COMMANDER SELECTED FOR PROMOTION; ASPC APPROVES PROMOTIONS OF FOUR OTHER TROOPERS

February 23, 2016

  Captain Forrest Marks, 45, of Hot Springs has been promoted to the rank of major.  Marks will assume the administrative duties of Highway Patrol Division Commander for the Arkansas Western Region.  The recommendation for promotion was presented to the State Police Commission today by Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Over the past three years Major Marks has served as Highway Patrol Troop G interim commander headquartered at Hope and most recently as commander of Troop K, headquartered at Hot Springs.

  Major Marks, a twenty-one year veteran of the department, will direct the operations within six of the twelve highway patrol troops aligned across western Arkansas.

  The State Police Commission also approved the recommendations for promotion of four other State Troopers.

  Lieutenant Mike Kennedy was promoted to the rank of captain.  Kennedy, 42, of Benton, is a twenty-two year veteran of the department.

  Captain Kennedy has devoted the past nine years of his career assigned to the department’s training section and as assistant commander of the Arkansas State Police Administrative Services Division where he will continue in that role.

Sergeant Todd Shaw was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.  Shaw, 44, of Melbourne, is a nineteen year veteran of the department.

  Lieutenant Shaw will assume new duties as assistant commander of Highway Patrol, Troop B, headquartered at Newport.

  Sergeant Ben Cross was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.  Cross, 46, of Dover, is a twenty year veteran of the department.

  Lieutenant Cross will assume new duties as assistant commander of Highway Patrol, Troop H, headquartered at Fort Smith.

  Corporal Matthew Sheley was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  Sheley, 39, of Flipping, is a sixteen year veteran of the department.

  Sergeant Sheley will assume new duties as a post supervisor in Jackson and Independence counties assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop B.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING OUTSIDE MENA CONVENIENCE STORE

February 16, 2016

  The Arkansas State Police is investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred in Mena today.  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division were requested by local law enforcement authorities to investigate the use of deadly force by a Mena Police Officer.

  At approximately 12:00 (noon) a Mena Police officer approached an individual identified as Shawn Henry Allen Dickens, 30, outside a local convenience store located at 1513 Reeves Avenue.

  During the encounter a physical altercation between the officer and Dickens evolved, leading to Dickens fleeing on-foot and dropping a handgun.

  Initial statements from police indicate Dickens turned to pick-up the gun and simultaneously commands were reportedly given by police for Dickens to stop and move away from the gun.

  The commands were reportedly ignored leading to the police officer to fire his gun.

  Dickens was transported to a local hospital where he died.  The body will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for examination to determine the manner and cause of death.

  Questions relating to the identity of the local police at the shooting scene, the status of the officer, or information relating to the initial call that brought police to the store should be directed to the Mena Police Department.

  The Arkansas State Police will prepare an investigative file relating to the officer involved shooting.  The case file will be submitted to the prosecuting attorney to determine if the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was consistent with Arkansas laws.

STATE POLICE SEEKING PUBLIC ASSISTANCE IN NEVADA COUNTY HIT AND RUN FATALITY

February 01, 2016

  Arkansas State Troopers are asking for the assistance of anyone who may have information relating to a Nevada County pedestrian hit and run that left a Nevada County man dead.

  The body of James Matthew Langston, 23, of Rosston was discovered Sunday morning (January 31, 2016) about 4:30 AM.  An ongoing investigation leads State Troopers to believe a vehicle traveling eastbound along State Highway 32, three miles west of Bodcaw, about 500 feet west of the Little Bodcaw Creek Bridge, struck Langston and fled the scene.

  Langston’s body is being examined at the Arkansas Crime Laboratory to collect evidence that may assist Highway Patrol State Troopers and Special Agents of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division identify a suspect vehicle.

  Anyone who may have been traveling State Highway 32 between 4 AM and 4:30 AM Saturday night (pre-dawn Sunday) and witnessed anything unusual or persons who may know anything about a suspect vehicle with fresh damage seen on Sunday is asked to contact Arkansas State Police, Highway Patrol Troop G, by calling (870) 777- 4641.

STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES MAKE MONROE COUNTY ARRESTS

January 29, 2016

  An eighteen month undercover operation resulted in the arrest of fifteen felony suspects residing in Monroe County today.  All of the charges stem from law enforcement undercover purchases of illegal narcotics.

  The arrests were made by Arkansas State Troopers, Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies, Brinkley Police Officers, Clarendon Police Officers, 1st Judicial District Drug Task Force Officers and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Officers.

  The following individuals were arrested today without incident and incarcerated at the Monroe County Jail.

  • Morley Pearson, 38, of Brinkley
  • Harley Baker, 27, of Brinkley
  • Timothy Miller, 42, of Brinkley
  • Kendal Sawnigan, 27, of Brinkley
  • Cameron Tucker, 38, of Brinkley
  • Diana Reaves, 48, of Brinkley
  • Kenneth Jackson, 37, of Brinkley
  • Robert Sullins, 31, of Blackton
  • Johnnie Mounce, 43, of Clarendon
  • Lucas Hargrove, 34, of Clarendon
  • Rebecca Norwood, 34, of Brinkley
  • Anthony Glass, 35, of Clarendon
  • Chere Peacock, 38, of Clarendon
  • Jeremy Hartzog, 19, of Clarendon
  • Adam Davis, 31, of Brinkley 

  Drugs and suspected stolen property, specifically firearms and an all terrain vehicle, were recovered during the course of the arrests today.  The investigation into the stolen items in relation to the drug crimes is continuing.

DRUG TAKE-BACK BOX ADDED TO ATTORNEY GENERAL MOBILE OFFICE

January 27, 2016

  Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today said that she is expanding the services offered at Attorney General Mobile Offices to include Prescription Drug Take Back boxes.  Rutledge made the announcement at the Central Arkansas Development Council Senior Wellness and Activity Center in Benton and was joined by Arkansas State Police Director Colonel Bill Bryant, Benton Police Chief Kirk Lane and State Drug Director Denny Altes.

  The mobile office is part of what the office is calling Rutledge Resources Days, which are days when staff visit a county to provide services and education to local residents.  Rutledge is partnering with local law enforcement agencies across the state to provide the Prescription Drug Take Back boxes.

  Rutledge noted at the announcement that without any promotion of the service during the month of January, the office has already collected more than 70 pounds at seven mobile offices.

  “The Drug Take Back program has proven to be an effective way of getting expired and unused prescriptions, which pose a serious danger, out of our medicine cabinets,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “By providing Drug Take Back boxes at mobile offices, Arkansans will be provided with another collection site to properly dispose of these medications and protect their loved ones. This does not seek in any way to replace the boxes already available at local sheriffs’ offices, police stations or on Drug Take Back Days. Instead, this expands on my partnership with local law enforcement to get these drugs out of our homes and destroyed in a safe manner.”

  “No community, big or small, is spared from the threat of prescription drug abuse,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, director of the Arkansas State Police and former assistant special agent in charge of the Little Rock District Office for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “These expired or unused prescription drugs sitting in our homes and offices need to be properly disposed. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies working as a team, in combiColonel Bill Bryant and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge at Drug Take Back News Conferencenation with civic organizations and businesses, are providing a secure method of destroying these unused prescription drugs in an environmentally safe manner. This also prevents these prescription drugs from being diverted to the streets for illegal sale and distribution.”

  “The Arkansas Drug Take Back Program is an educational program to encourage all citizens to keep their households safe by practicing Secure, Monitor, and Dispose of their outdated, unused prescription medication,” said Kirk Lane, chief of the Benton Police Department. “The Arkansas Attorney General’s continued involvement with this program as a partner has been a key to its success. The General’s new collection opportunity will enhance efforts throughout the State and make accessibility to collection sites more available to every person."

  “Many teens report that they obtain prescription drugs from home medicine cabinets,” said Denny Altes, Arkansas State Drug Director. “This effort by the Attorney General is a great way to change that, and we encourage everyone to be proactive and take their unneeded medication to the Attorney General's or other take back events, and protect the people closest to them.”

  For information on mobile offices, the Drug Take Back program, parent/teacher child safety booths, Digital You or to find out the Rutledge Resource Day county schedule, please visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007.

STATE TROOPER CHARGED IN ASSAULT CASE INVOLVING WEST MEMPHIS JUVENILE

January 21, 2016

  Arkansas State Trooper Sammy D. Koons, 47, of West Memphis, reported to State Police Troop D Headquarters at Forrest City today where special agents of the Criminal Investigation Division issued him a misdemeanor citation for assault in the third degree.  Koons is a twenty-one year veteran of the department and holds the rank of corporal.  He is assigned to highway patrol duties in Troop D.

  Koons is alleged to have struck a juvenile during an off-duty incident.

  On September 19, 2015 witnesses allege Koons stepped outside his home where several juveniles were gathered and a disturbance ensued.  Koons allegedly confronted one juvenile and reportedly struck the juvenile on or near the face.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division were assigned on September 21, 2015 to begin an investigation of the allegations.  The investigative file was subsequently submitted to Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington to consider whether Koons should be criminally charged.

  A conviction of Assault (3rd degree) could result in a defendant facing a fine of no more than $500 and/or up to 30 days in jail

  A January 29, 2016 court date in West Memphis District Court has been set in the case against Koons.

  Koons has been on paid administrative leave since shortly after the incident and will remain in that status while the case is before the court.

  A formal internal complaint is also pending against Koons and will be investigated by the State Police Office of Professional Standards.

FOUR STATE TROOPERS RECOMMENDED FOR PROMOTION TO RANK OF SERGEANT

January 14, 2016

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Four Arkansas State Troopers were recommended for promotion today during a regular monthly meeting of the Arkansas State Police Commission.  The recommendations were presented by Colonel William J. Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and unanimously approved by the State Police Commission.

  Corporal Brian Williams, 30, of North Little Rock, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  In his new position Sergeant Williams will serve as a post supervisor assigned to the department’s Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, headquartered at Little Rock.  Sergeant Williams is an eight year veteran of the department.

  Corporal Darrell Astin, 54, of Forrest City, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  In his new position Sergeant Astin will serve as a post supervisor assigned to the department’s Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, headquartered at Forrest City.  Sergeant Astin is a twenty-eight year veteran of the department.

  Corporal Robert Wilson, 46, of Ashdown, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  In his new position Sergeant Wilson will serve as a post supervisor assigned to the department’s Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, headquartered at Hope.  Sergeant Wilson is a twelve year veteran of the department.

  Corporal Matthew Toon, 30, of Greenbrier, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  In his new position Sergeant Toon will serve as a post supervisor assigned to the department’s Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, headquartered at Fort Smith.  Sergeant Toon is a six year veteran of the department.

ARKANSAS STATE TROOPERS ARE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR RECRUITS: TROOP SCHOOL CLASS SET FOR MAY 2016

January 12, 2016

  Arkansas State Police Recruiters have begun a search for qualified applicants who want to become Arkansas State Troopers.

  The recruiters are encouraging applicants to submit their medical assessment waiver and initial contact form as soon as possible prior to February 19th.

  Recruit applicants should download and complete the medical assessment waiver along with the initial contact form found on the Arkansas State Police web site
http://www.asp.arkansas.gov/recruiting/trooper-recruiting

  No initial contact form will be considered without a medical assessment waiver from the applicant’s personal physician stating the applicant is sufficiently healthy to pass the physical assessment test.

  For additional information applicants may also contact their nearest State Police Troop Headquarters or telephone the recruiting office at (501) 618-8615.

  Applicant testing to identify a pool of applicants for recruit positions is already underway.  Recruits who are hired will be part of a Troop School expected to begin May 8th with graduation set for September 2016.

  Applicants must meet the following minimum qualification in order to be considered by recruiters:

       · Minimum age of 21

       · U.S. citizenship

       · Valid driver license

       · High School graduate or equivalent

       · Absent of felony convictions

       · No conviction of domestic violence

       · Meet or exceed visual acuity standard

       · No visible tattoos (wearing an ASP uniform)

       · Passing grade on initial screening exam

       · Pass physical, psychological and polygraph examinations

      · Registered with Selective Service or exempt

  Throughout January each Highway Patrol troop headquarters across the state will host a recruiting session.  Area residents who meet the minimum requirements and are interested in possibly becoming a state trooper are encouraged to come and visit local troopers and see some of the equipment Arkansas State Troopers use every day.  The schedule of troop recruit sessions is:

  • Troop B – Newport, 3200 Highway 67, January 12th 4 – 6 PM
  • Troop E – Pine Bluff, 6816 Princeton Pike, January 12th 3 – 6 PM
  • Troop C – Jonesboro, 2216 Access Road, January 14th 5 – 7 PM
  • Troop I – Harrison (Mountain Home Driver License
    Testing Center, 1318 Bradley Drive, Suite 18) January 15th 2 PM – 6 PM
  • Troop G – Hope, 2501 North Hazel, January 16th 11 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Troop L – Springdale, 900 South 48th St., January 16th 4 PM – 6 PM
  • Troop F – Warren, 1237 North Myrtle St., January 19th  5 PM – 7 PM
  • Troop H – Forth Smith, 5728 Kelly Highway, January 20th 4 PM – 6 PM
  • Troop J – Clarksville, 2700 West Main St., January 21st 4 PM – 6PM
  • Troop K – Hot Springs, 200 Karen St., January 23rd 11 AM – 1 PM
  • Troop A – Little Rock, 1 State Police Plaza Dr., January 23rd 3 PM – 5 PM
  • Troop D – Forrest City, 3205 North Washington St., January 26th  6 PM – 8 PM 

  The starting salary for State Police Recruits is $34,500 and raised to $36,000 upon graduation.  New troopers receive two regularly scheduled raises of ten percent each during the first seven and a half years of service which increases the annual salary to $43,560.  The State Police provides health care insurance for every trooper, their spouse and children as well as lifetime retirement benefits.

  Each applicant successfully completing the initial testing phase will be required to submit to a thorough background investigation, polygraph examination and oral interview.

  “The standards for being an Arkansas State Trooper are among the highest in law enforcement,” said Colonel William J. Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, “The review process for a recruit applicant is a challenge, much like the actual job of a state trooper.  But the long-term rewards are invaluable to anyone who is serious about a law enforcement career.”

TWO KILLED AND ONE WOUNDED AT MONTICELLO - STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES

January 10, 2016

  Monticello Police received a telephone call this morning (Sunday, January 10th) reporting a homicide at 120 South Chester Street.

  Local police officers were dispatched about 6:20 AM where they found Jeremiah Jones, 37, dead inside a car not far from the Chester Street address and inside the house, Shalonda Binns, 37, was found dead.

  Both bodies appeared to have sustained gunshot wounds.  The bodies have been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to confirm a manner and cause of death.

  Police also located Lavar Thompson of Dermott at the Chester Street address.  He had sustained a gunshot wound and was transported to a Little Rock hospital.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division were contacted to assist Monticello Police as the case continues to be investigated today.

GOVERNOR DECLARES JANUARY 9TH AS LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION DAY

January 07, 2016

  Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has proclaimed January 9, 2016 as Arkansas Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

  The proclamation (click here for copy of the proclamation) states, “It should be recognized that these brave men and women face the threat of danger every day on our behalf, and for that alone they deserve our thanks,” wrote Governor Hutchinson.

  Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, joined Governor Hutchinson in encouraging citizens to honor Arkansas law enforcement officers for their heroic actions and selfless sacrifice.

  “Every day Arkansas State Troopers serve the citizens of this state, whether it’s assisting stranded motorists along the state highways, ensuring their safe travel across the state or making arrests of criminals who commit crimes of violence, distribute illegal narcotics or steal property from rightful owners.”

  “Many Arkansans may not be aware of the unique spirit of cooperation among local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Arkansas,” said Colonel Bryant.  “We, as citizens of this great state, should come together as the officers do, to say thank-you and extend a friendly message of appreciation for their service.”

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY IN ASHLEY COUNTY OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

January 01, 2016

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are preparing a use of deadly force investigative report for the Ashely County Prosecuting Attorney.

  The investigation arises out of a Thursday morning (December 31, 2015) officer involved shooting incident that occurred in the vicinity of 870 West 10th Street in Crossett.

  As law enforcement officers approached David Massey, Jr. to serve an arrest warrant, Massey fled in a vehicle across the yard of the 10th Street residence.

  The vehicle driven by Massey accelerated toward a local sheriff’s deputy outside the residence.  The deputy fired his pistol at the vehicle before being struck by the car.  The deputy was treated for minor cuts and abrasions then released from a local hospital.

  At least one other law enforcement officer fired at the vehicle which sped away, then struck a parked pick-up truck.  Massey traveled a short distance further, then surrendered to police.

  Massey was transported to a Little Rock hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening wound.  Upon being discharged from the hospital, he will be transported to the Ashley County Jail.

  Information relating to the identity of the officers involved in the shooting or their administrative status should be directed to the local law enforcement agencies as well as any request for information relating to the particulars of the warrant officers were attempting to serve.

UPDATED: FATALITIES REPORTED IN CRASH SCENE ALONG I-49 NEAR TEXARKANA

December 22, 2015

UPDATED 1:20 PM

One lane of northbound I-49 south of Texarkana in the area of last night's crash is open.  Clean-up crews continue to work in the area.  Motorists should reduce speed in the area and use caution.

UPDATED 10:45 AM

Southbound traffic lanes along I-49 south of Texarkana are open to traffic.  Northbound lanes through crash scene remain blocked.

UPDATED 7:00 AM:

 

UPDATED: FATALITIES REPORTED IN CRASH
SCENE ALONG I-49 NEAR TEXARKANA

  Three people died last night in what State Troopers initially believe were two chain-reaction collision scenes along the north and southbound lanes of I-49 nine miles south of Texarkana.  At least seven people were injured and transported from the scenes by ambulance to Christus Saint Michael Health Care and Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana.  An unknown number individuals reported minor injuries and initially declined hospital care.

  The chain reaction collisions began to occur about 11:45 PM (Monday night, December 21st) and State Troopers say dense fog was present in the area at the time which may prove to be a contributing factor in the collisions.

  The first collision happened when a southbound commercial carrier truck slowed and was struck from behind by vehicle traffic.  A total of ten vehicles were involved in the chain-reaction collisions along the southbound lanes.

  About the same time as the first southbound collision, three commercial carrier trucks collided in the northbound traffic lanes directly across the highway median from the southbound crash scene. One of the trucks was transporting a large amount of glue that spilled from the containers onto the highway.

  Detours off both sides of I-49 have been established and traffic is traveling a short distance along U.S. Highway 71 as the investigation continues and clean-up operations are underway.

 

___________________________________

FATALITIES REPORTED IN CRASH SCENE ALONG I-49 NEAR TEXARKANA

December 22, 2015

(2:30 AM)

   Arkansas State Troopers have blocked the north and southbound lanes along a portion of I-49 in Miller County while they investigate a crash scene involving multiple vehicles.  Initial reports indicate there is an unconfirmed number of fatalities and personal injuries involving individuals found at the crash scene.

   The crash occurred shortly after midnight and is located approximately nine miles south of Texarkana. Traffic is being re-routed near Fouke along U.S. Highway 71.  The detour around the crash scene is expected to be active for several hours.

   Updates to this news release will be disseminated as confirmed information from State Troopers becomes available.

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT HOLIDAY INITIATIVE AIMED AT DRUNK DRIVERS “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign to Save Lives

December 16, 2015

Additional Information Contact:
ASP Highway Safety Office – Ann Whitehead
(501) 618-8133 – ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

  Little Rock – State and local law enforcement agencies will work overtime during this holiday season to identify and arrest drunk drivers on Arkansas streets and highways.  The heightened enforcement campaign spans seventeen days, beginning December 18th through January 3rd.

  Increased saturation patrols will be part of the initiative designed to keep Arkansas roadways safe during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

  The intensified enforcement effort directed toward drunk drivers underscores the severity of the problem, both locally and across the nation.  During the calendar year 2014 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 9,967 deaths in motor vehicle crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.  Arkansas recorded 135 deaths as a result of alcohol-related crashes during the same reporting period.

  “Drunk driving is a choice some people make that inevitably gets people hurt or killed,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “That’s why we’re joining in the nationwide campaign to share the message:  Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

  In addition to reminding all drivers to remain sober, Colonel Bryant is calling on everyone to be alert.  “If you see a drunk driver on the road, pull over and call 911 right away and if someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely.”

  Arkansas law enforcement agencies are teamed-up with police officers nationally to establish zero tolerance for drunk drivers and encourage all drivers to be safe and sober.

  “It’s heartbreaking to see the tragic loss of life play-out again and again just because someone made the bad choice to drive while they were impaired,” added Colonel Bryant.

  The Arkansas Highway Safety Office offers the following tips for a safe holiday season:

  •  If you plan on drinking, do not drive.  Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before you get in the vehicle.  Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for drunk driving, or worse, risk injury or death to someone in a crash.
  •  If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation to get to your destination safely.
  •  Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement.
  •  Always wear your seat belt or use protective equipment while on a motorcycle.  These items are your best defense against an impaired driver.

  For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For information on Arkansas’ “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org

STATE POLICE HIGHWAY PATROL TROOP C GETS NEW COMMANDER: COMMISSION APPROVES DIRECTOR’S PROMOTION

December 10, 2015

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas State Police Commissioners today approved the promotion recommended by Colonel Bill Bryant advancing Lieutenant John Carter to the rank of captain.

  Carter will assume command of State Police Highway Patrol, Troop C headquartered at Jonesboro.

  Captain Carter, 52, is a Craighead County native and a twenty five year veteran of the Arkansas State Police.  His most recent assignment has been in the position as assistant troop commander at Highway Patrol Troop B, headquartered at Newport.

  Captain Carter’s new duties at Troop C will be effective immediately.

Arkansas Law Enforcement: “Motorists, Buckle-Up For Thanksgiving Travel”

November 20, 2015

Additional Information Contact:
Highway Safety Office – Ann Whitehead
(501) 618-8133 – ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

  (LITTLE ROCK) – The Arkansas State Police is joining state and local law enforcement agencies this Thanksgiving holiday period (November 23 - 29) to encourage all holiday travelers to buckle up – every trip, every time.

  In addition, State Troopers along Interstate 40 from Barstow, California to Wilmington, North Carolina have committed to create a chain of law enforcement presence at least every twenty miles.  Arkansas State Troopers have joined in the I-40 Challenge with the goal of keeping I-40 travel a safe experience.  The I-40 Challenge will be active on Wednesday, November 26th between 11 AM and 11 PM and again on Sunday, November 29th between 9 AM and 9 PM.

  The heavily-traveled Thanksgiving weekend is typically one of the most dangerous and deadliest times of the year on America’s roadways.  During the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday reporting period, 301 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor traffic crashes nationwide.

  “Safety belts save lives,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety representative.  “But unfortunately too many people need a tough reminder.  That’s why city, county and state law enforcement officers will be working overtime this Thanksgiving with a strong Click It or Ticket mobilization effort to help save more lives on our roadways.”

  “To lose a loved one is a terrible thing to experience, especially during America’s family holiday.  However, it is truly senseless to lose one’s life when it might have been saved by taking two seconds to buckle a safety belt,” Bryant said.

  Regular safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration.  Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.

  “Whether you’re driving to the grocery store, a friend’s house a mile away, or your grandparents’ house across the county, if you fail to buckle-up during this holiday period, you run the risk of getting a ticket, or worse, getting killed or injured,” Bryant warned.

  For more information about highway safety during Thanksgiving, please visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDArkansas.org.

STATE POLICE COMMISSION APPROVES PROMOTIONS: GARNER NAMED DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FIELD OPERATIONS; PROMOTED TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL

November 18, 2015

  Shawn Garner, a twenty-five year veteran of the Arkansas State Police, has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.  Garner will assume the duties of deputy director for field operations.

  The recommendation for promotion was presented for consideration today to the Arkansas State Police Commission.  In making the recommendation before the commission, Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police stated, “The day to day operations of the State Police are overwhelming by any standard and we face more challenges than ever before. The promotion of Shawn Garner will reinforce our command and control, ensuring we are providing the services the people of Arkansas want and need as well as setting our sights toward future goals.”

  Lieutenant Colonel Garner, 51, of Hot Springs will be one of two deputy directors working directly under the command of Colonel Bryant.  His duties will be the senior commander of the department’s Highway Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division and Crimes Against Children Division.

  Garner was commissioned as an Arkansas State Trooper assigned to Poinsett County in 1990 and remained in the Highway Patrol Division until 1995, when he transferred to the Criminal Investigation Division.  In 1999 he was promoted to the rank of sergeant assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop A headquartered at Little Rock, later transferring to Troop K headquartered at Hot Springs.

  Garner was promoted to lieutenant in 2007, and five years later promoted to captain at Troop K.

  In 2103, Garner was promoted to the rank of major, assuming duties as a regional commander within the Highway Patrol Division.

  Lieutenant Colonel Tim K’nuckles, a thirty year veteran of the department and promoted to his current rank as deputy director in 2007, will continue to serve under the direct command of the State Police Director and will be the senior commander of the department’s Administrative Services Division, Regulatory & Building Operations Division as well as the State Police Fiscal Operations, Office of Professional Standards, Information Technology, Grants, Fleet and Highway Safety Sections.

  Four other promotions were also approved today by the State Police Commission:

  Sergeant Randall Dias, 49, of Ozark, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

  Dias, a twenty-one year veteran of the State Police, most recently has served as a post supervisor assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, headquartered at Fort Smith.  He will assume new duties as assistant troop commander of Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, headquartered at Pine Bluff.

  Sergeant Ronnie Qualls, 45, of Batesville, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

  Qualls, a seventeen year veteran of the State Police, most recently has served as a post supervisor assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop B headquartered at Newport.  He will assume new duties as assistant troop commander of Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, headquartered at Harrison.

  Corporal Lori Whillock, 52, of Gentry, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Whillock, a seventeen year veteran of the State Police, most recently has served in the Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, headquartered at Springdale.  She will assume new duties as a Special Agent supervisor assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company B, headquartered at Pine Bluff.

  Corporal Jack Young, 37, of Fordyce, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Young, a ten year veteran of the State Police, most recently has served in the Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, headquartered at Warren.  He will assume post supervisor duties assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, headquartered at Pine Bluff.

FORTY-SEVEN DEFENDANTS FACING DRUG, GUN, AND FRAUD CHARGES IN HELENA-WEST HELENA PROBE

November 10, 2015

  HELENA-WEST HELENA — Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, David T. Resch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Dax Roberson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General Southwest Region of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Colonel William J. Bryant, of the Arkansas State Police, announced today the simultaneous unsealing of eleven federal indictments charging 39 defendants as part of a continuing investigation into drug, firearm, and fraud offenses in Phillips County. The indictments were returned by the Grand Jury on November 4, 2015, and were unsealed today following a coordinated roundup of the charged defendants, along with eight defendants charged as part of the same investigation with state drug offenses.

  The arrests resulted from two Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigations, Operation Delta Blues and Operation Plastic Castle, which began in 2011 with a goal to target drug trafficking, violent crime, and public corruption in the Arkansas Delta, including Phillips County. Early Tuesday morning, approximately 300 law enforcement officers and support personnel, including approximately 130 tactical officers, executed 17 federal and 8 state arrest warrants in a targeted takedown that resulted in the arrests of 12 federal defendants and five state defendants on drug, firearm, or fraud charges. Eight defendants are now fugitives. Most of the defendants are residents of Helena-West Helena (see attachments for complete list of defendants, charges and penalties).

  “Just over four years ago, during the original Operation Delta Blues, I made a commitment to help clean up the Arkansas Delta,” Thyer said. “It has been evident for some time that violent drug traffickers are overrunning the Arkansas delta, including Phillips County. Today’s operation is a reminder to those criminals that the federal and state law enforcement authorities will pursue you until this community is returned to its law-abiding citizens.  Where drugs, violence, fraud and corruption fester, we will take action.”

  From 2012 through 2015, agents with the FBI, ASP, and 1st Judicial District Drug Task Force coordinated more than 60 controlled purchases of drugs resulting in the acquisition of significant amounts of crack cocaine. Agents also utilized two court-authorized wiretaps in the drug-trafficking and firearms investigation. FBI and USDA agents also engaged in undercover transactions involving the illegal transfer of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

  “Today’s arrests are evidence of our continued resolve to make an impact on crime in the Arkansas delta,” Resch said. “We appreciate the unfaltering efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office, Arkansas State Police, and the 1st Judicial District Drug Task Force.”

  “The Arkansas State Police is a committed partner in a team of law enforcement officers with a common objective to restore hope, law, and order in communities overwhelmed by drug dealers and violent offenders who have no regard for the community or the people they prey upon,” Bryant said.

  In addition to the arrest warrants served today, twenty-four defendants who were charged in a single indictment with defrauding the USDA by selling their SNAP benefits at the Stop and Shop in Helena-West Helena for cash will receive summonses over the course of the next several days. SNAP benefits provide economic assistance for low-income individuals to purchase food.

  The indictment alleges that Khalid Alkarsh, who owns Stop and Shop, and Bakil Mohamed Alqirsh, who is a cashier and manager at the convenience store, allowed SNAP recipients to trade their SNAP benefits for ineligible items such as beer and cigarettes, and for cash. When a SNAP recipient redeemed their benefits for cash, Alkarsh and Alquirsh paid the recipient approximately 60% of the transaction amount, and the Stop and Shop kept 40%. The loss amount for the alleged fraud is in excess of $250,000.

  The counts in today’s unsealed indictments include conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine, distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime, conspiracy to unlawfully redeem SNAP benefits, and unlawful transfer of SNAP benefits.

MULTIPLE FATALITIES REPORTED FROM I-40 CHARTER BUS COLLISION (UPDATES AVAILABLE)

November 06, 2015

UPDATE AS OF 5:01 PM NOVEMBER 6, 2015

 

IDENTIFICATION MADE OF SURVIVORS
ONBOARD CHARTER BUS CRASH

 

November 6, 2015

  Arkansas State Troopers are continuing their investigation of a pre-dawn crash involving a charter bus traveling westbound along Interstate 40 through North Little Rock.  The crash claimed the lives of six individuals.  (Previous news releases with background information are copied below).

  Six other individuals sustained minor injuries.  They were transported to Little Rock hospitals and subsequently released.

  The names of those who were killed are being withheld until all families have been notified of the deaths.

  The names of the survivors onboard the bus are listed below:

  •   Roberto Vasquez, 28, of Arcadia Florida (Driver)
  •   Mercio Reyes, 20 of Texcapa, Hidalgo, Mexico
  •   Eleazar Cruz, 23, of Texcapa, Hidalgo, Mexico
  •   Santos Reyes, 35, of Texcapa, Hidalgo, Mexico
  •   Norberto Alvarez, 29, of Texcapa, Hidalgo, Mexico
  •   Israel Galindo, 32, of Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico
  •   Samuel Cabriales, 43, of Galeana, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
  •   Cristina Arzola, 23, of Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca, Mexico
  •   Rodolfo Meza Sr., 43, of Lake Placid, Florida
  •   Rodolfo Meza Jr., 20, of Lake Placid, Florida
  •   Francisco Ponciano, 23, of Tepehuacán de Guerrero, Hidalgo, Mexico
  •   Miguel Angel Tecuaque, 20, of Tezonapa, Veracruz, Mexico
  •   Margarito Hernandez, 24, of Tezonapa, Veracruz, Mexico
  •   Alejandro Marcos, 19, of Tecapa, Hidalgo, Mexico
  •   Mooises Luis-Velasquez, 21, of Tepehuacán de Guerrero, Hidalgo, Mexico
  •   Julio Cesar (age and city of residence unknown)

UPDATES:

ARKANSAS STATE POLICE AND FEDERAL AUTHORITIES CONTINUING INVESTIGATION OF FATAL BUS CRASH
NOVEMBER 6, 2015

  The Arkansas State Police is continuing its investigation today of an overnight bus crash that claimed the lives of six individuals (see initial news release copied below).

  The bus was traveling from Monroe, Michigan to Laredo, Texas.  The vehicle is owned by Vasquez Citrus and Hauling Company of Lake Placid, Florida.

  The forty-seven passenger bus was carrying twenty-two individuals, among them one driver.

  State Troopers have confirmed that six individuals onboard the bus died in the crash. Six individuals were transported from the scene to local hospitals with minor injuries.  None have been hospitalized.

  The driver of the bus has been identified as Roberto Vasquez, 28, of Monroe, Michigan.  The driver agreed to be tested for intoxicants as prescribed by Arkansas law.

  The Arkansas State Police will be working closely with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Highway Motor Carriers and the Arkansas Highway Transportation Department, Highway Police.

  State Troopers are working with federal authorities and the Mexican Consulate to make notification of the deaths to next of kin who may be out of country.

UPDATES:

PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULED:
CHARTER BUS FATALITY CRASH UPDATE

  Updated information relating to the early morning crash of a charter bus along Interstate 40 in North Little Rock will be provided during a State Police press conference this morning.

  The press conference has been scheduled for 9:30 AM (Friday, November 6th) in the Director’s Executive Conference Room at State Police Headquarters, One State Police Plaza Drive, Little Rock.

______________________________________________________ 

  November 6, 2015 (3 AM)

  Initial reports from Arkansas State Troopers say there are as many as six deaths in an early morning charter bus collision along Interstate 40 in North Little Rock at the North Hills Boulevard overpass.  Multiple individuals who sustained injuries have also been transported from the scene by ambulance.

  The single vehicle crash was reported to state troopers about 1 AM today (Friday, November 6th).  The charter bus was traveling westbound.

  The bus left the roadway west of the I-40 and U.S. Highway 167 interchange and collided with an abutment of the North Hills overpass.

   Westbound I-40 traffic near the crash scene was initially diverted through North Little Rock to the north interchange of Interstates 30 and 40.  By 3 AM, one westbound lane through the crash scene area had been opened to traffic.

STATE POLICE RAISES DONATIONS IN RACE FOR THE CURE

October 16, 2015

The Arkansas State Police Angels raised $5,096 in donations for the Susan G. Koeman Race for the Cure.

Arkansas State Troopers and civilian personnel were among the 30,000 people who gathered in downtown Little Rock on Saturday, October 10th to honor those who are surviving breast cancer survivors.

Highway Patrol Major Mike Foster (from left) along with State Police Director, Colonel Bill Bryant, Deputy Director, Lieutenant Colonel Tim K'Nuckles and Highway Patrol Troop B commander, Captain Jeff Drew were among the State Troopers leading the cheers during the Race for the Cure.

ASP CORPORAL VIC COLEMAN AMONG “OUTSTANDING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS” RECOGNIZED BY ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL

October 07, 2015

  Arkansas State Police Corporal Vic Coleman was among six law enforcement officers recognized today by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge as Outstanding Law Enforcement Officers of the Year.  Five other Arkansas State Troopers were among the nominees also vying for the top award.

  Corporal Coleman, a twenty-nine year veteran State Trooper assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, and was the recipient of the Arkansas State Police 2014 Trooper of the Year Award.

  Corporal Coleman is recognized nationally among highway patrol interdiction officers for his expertise in identifying criminal suspects transporting large quantities of narcotics and other illegal substances across U.S. and state highways.  His criminal patrol interdiction investigations have opened new leads in numerous federal investigations.

  Corporal Coleman is also known for exhibiting exceptional human compassion by using his own financial resources to assist travelers passing through Arkansas who may not have the means to buy food or lodging or paying for a tow truck when their vehicle is disabled along the highway.

  Among the State Troopers also nominated for awards were:

  Trooper Brandon Bennett, assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C.

  Trooper Bennett was nominated for his role in connection with the arrest of three robbery fugitives fleeing from Missouri authorities into Arkansas.

  Special Agent Larry Carter, assigned to Criminal Investigation Division, Company E.

  S/A Carter was nominated his exemplary investigative work during 2014, opening twenty-six cases, closing ten and assisting other agents in seven death investigations.

  Trooper (Corporal) Lindy Cartwright, assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop B.

  Corporal Cartwright was nominated for her Highway Patrol activity, leading her post in crash investigations and her dedication toward supporting the Arkansas Special Olympics.

  Special Agent Jason Martin, assigned to Criminal Investigation Division, Company A.

  S/A Martin was nominated for his investigative work involving thefts from commercial carrier trailers parked in Crittenden and St. Francis Counties and the arrests of suspects associated with the thefts.

  Trooper (Sergeant) Charles Spurlin, assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E.

  Sergeant Spurlin was nominated for his patrol skills demonstrated in the capture of a Virginia murder fugitive.

STATE TROOPER RECRUITS RECEIVE COMMISSIONS AT STATE CAPITOL GRADUATION CEREMONY

October 01, 2015

    (LITTLE ROCK) – Twenty-nine Arkansas State Police Trooper Recruits graduated tonight at the Arkansas State Capitol.

    The class members initially reported for training on May 17, 2015 and accumulated 1,085 classroom and practical training hours over the past twenty weeks.

    Governor Asa Hutchinson was the keynote speaker addressing the graduates and assisted Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, in presenting the new troopers their commissions.

    The Honorable Rhonda Wood, Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice, administered the Oath of Commission.

    Other dignitaries present included representatives of the Arkansas State Police Commission and State Police Division, Troop and Company commanders.

    Graduates of the Arkansas State Police 2015 Troop School are:

       •  Dean M. Pitchford, 36, of Austin (Lonoke County) served as 2015 Recruit Class Leader and will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Clay County.  Recruit Pitchford is a graduate of the University of Phoenix.

       •  Russell A. Aiken, 26, of Mountain View, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, Washington County.

       • Bryant L. Cooper, 31, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Arkansas County.  Recruit Cooper is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University.

       •  Jeffery D. Cross, 31, of Little Rock, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County.

       •  Corey L. Earls, 30, of Atkins, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Conway County.

       •  David G. Evans, 23, of Joplin, Missouri, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Chicot County.  Recruit Evans is a graduate of Missouri State University.

       •  Daniel Farias, 30, of Laredo, Texas, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  Recruit Farias is a graduate of Texas A&M University.

       •  David L. Fielding, 26, of Magnolia, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Lafayette County.  Recruit Fielding is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University.

       •  Benjamin Ibarra, 26, of El Paso, Texas, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Franklin County.

       •  Deston T. Linkous, 23, of Magnolia, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Van Buren County.

       •  Bob Love, 29, of Pine Bluff, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County.

       •  Terry L. May, 22, of Dardanelle, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop K, Polk County.

       •  Larry E. Mitchell, 21, of Gurdon, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Hempstead County.

       •  Andrew L. Pannell, 31, of Dierks, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Lincoln County.

       •  Logan P. Pate, 24, of Dover, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.  Recruit Pate is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University.

       •  Grady A. Pettigrew, 26, of Wynne, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Lee County.  Recruit Pettigrew is a graduate of Crowley’s Ridge College (Paragould).

       •  Caleb A. Pevehouse, 23, of Fort Smith, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Drew County.

       •  Brandon K. Porter, 23, of Pine Bluff, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County.

       •  Joshua G. Porter, 29, of Augusta, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Sebastian County.  Recruit Porter is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University.

       •  Bryson A. Schulz, 22, of Newport, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Chicot County.

       •  Patrick T. Salmon, 23, of Mountain Home, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.

       •  Kyle L. Sheldon, 28, of Malvern, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop K, Hot Spring County.

       •  Aaron O. Thomas, 24, of Jonesboro, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop B, Jackson County.

       •  Joshua A. Valentin, 35, of Harrison, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Boone County.

       •  Michael S. Valentin, 34, of Jasper, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Boone County.

       •  Evan T. Stobaugh, 22, of Hattieville (Conway County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Drew County.  Recruit Stobaugh is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University.

       •  Zechariah D. Whitney, 23, of Pearcy (Garland County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Crawford County.

       •  Limon C. Williams, 25, of Clarendon, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County.

       •  Ryan I. Wingo, 22, of Hot Springs, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Bradley County.

    Special recognition and awards were presented to the recruits who attained the highest scores within the respective training categories listed as follows:

       •  Academic

  1. Recruit Kyle Sheldon
  2. Recruit Benjamin Ibarra
  3. Recruit Patrick Salmon

       •  Physical Fitness

  1. Recruit Lee Cooper
  2. Recruit Logan Pate
  3. Recruit Corey Earls

       •  Firearms

  1. Recruit Ryan Wingo
  2. Recruits (tie) Corey Earls and Caleb Pevehouse
  3. Recruit Deston Linkous

    Upon reporting for duty at their respective troop headquarters, the new troopers will be placed with a certified departmental Field Training Officer (FTO). Each graduate will work in tandem with their respective FTO for a transitional period prior to being released to their assignment.

SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR SUSPECT WANTED IN CONNECTION WITH STOLEN ASP VEHICLES - THREE OF FOUR MISSING VEHICLES NOW RECOVERED

September 21, 2015

UPDATE -

SUSPECT THOMPSON ARRESTED – TROOPERS RECOVER LAST OF FOUR MISSING VEHICLES

  Arkansas State Troopers arrested Traishaad Thompson shortly before noon today in southwest Little Rock.

  Thompson, 20, was taken into custody without incident.  He has been the subject of a statewide search since Friday of last week and wanted in connection with the theft of four decommissioned Arkansas State Police vehicles.

  The last of the four vehicles was also recovered this morning after being spotted by State Police helicopter pilots.  The vehicle was parked in the area of University Avenue and Forbing Road.

  Three of the four vehicles were recovered a short distance from where Thompson was arrested.  The fourth vehicle was recovered in Huttig (Union County) where Thompson has recently resided.

  The vehicles were recently stolen from the department’s administrative headquarters auto storage lot.  The lot is located in a locked fence area of the department’s administrative headquarters property at Interstate 30 and Geyer Springs Road.

  All of the vehicles were awaiting transfer to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Marketing and Redistribution warehouse.  State Police markings and emergency equipment had been removed from the vehicles in advance of the planned transfer to the warehouse.

  Special Agents of the State Police Criminal Investigation Division are heading-up the investigation along with agents of the State Police Office of Professional Standards.

_____________________________________

  Traishaad Thompson is the subject of a statewide search by Arkansas State Police and other law enforcement agencies in connection with the theft of four decommissioned State Police vehicles.

  A warrant of arrest for Thompson, suspected of theft by receiving, has been issued in Union County Circuit Court.  Thompson, 20, has recently resided in the community of Strong, east of El Dorado, but is known to regularly travel to Little Rock.

  Sunday night (September 20th) a third stolen vehicle, a Dodge Charger, was recovered in southwest Little Rock, a short distance from where the first vehicle, a Dodge Durango was recovered last Wednesday afternoon.  Later Wednesday evening, a Dodge Charger was found abandoned near the Huttig community in Union County.                                             

  The vehicles were recently stolen from the department’s administrative headquarters auto storage lot.  The lot is located in a locked fence area of the department’s administrative headquarters property at Interstate 30 and Geyer Springs Road.

  All of the vehicles were awaiting transfer to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Marketing and Redistribution warehouse.  State Police markings and emergency equipment had been removed from the vehicles in advance of the planned transfer to the warehouse.

  A State Police motor vehicle fleet audit last Wednesday identified the specific vehicles that were stolen.

  The remaining vehicle still unaccounted for is a 2006 white Ford Crown Victoria.

  Special Agents of the State Police Criminal Investigation Division are heading-up the investigation along with agents of the State Police Office of Professional Standards.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING SHOOTING INCIDENT INVOLVING HELENA POLICE

September 01, 2015

  Authorities within the Helena, Arkansas Police Department have requested the Arkansas State Police to investigate a shooting incident involving one of their officers today.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division were dispatched to the area of Holly and McDonough Streets shortly after 2 PM.

  Initial reports provided to State Police agents indicate a local police officer was dispatched to a call involving an armed disturbance and reports of an exchange of gunfire between at least two individuals.

  Upon arrival in the area the responding officer became engaged in the gunfire which left one individual wounded and transported to a Memphis hospital.  The officer was not injured.

  The State Police investigative report will be submitted to the Phillips County Prosecuting Attorney for consideration as to whether the use of deadly force by the local officer was consistent with Arkansas laws.

  Questions relating to the identity of the police officer and the administrative status of the officer should be directed to the Helena, Arkansas Police Department.

STATEWIDE INITIATIVE LAUNCHED AGAINST DRUNK DRIVERS DURING UPCOMING HOLIDAY: “Driver Sober of Get Pulled Over”

August 17, 2015

   (LITTLE ROCK) – Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety representative, today announced the Arkansas Highway Safety Office’s coordination of a statewide drunk driving prevention enforcement effort.  The crackdown against drunk driving combines state, city and county law enforcement resources and coincides with the national initiative known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

  Over a seventeen day period beginning August 21st law enforcement officers in Arkansas will reinforce their patrol assignments aimed toward arresting drunk drivers.  Drivers should also expect to see an increase in sobriety checkpoints.  The public will also notice an increase in state and national media messages designed to educate everyone about the dangers of drunk driving.

  Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate more than 10,000 people across the United States died as the result of highway crashes involving motor vehicle drivers or motorcycle operators who were legally impaired with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .08 or higher.  The records include more than 123 people who died in Arkansas crashes.

   "Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state,” Colonel Bryant said.  “Yet we continue to see far too many people suffer debilitating injuries and loss of their loved ones as a result of impaired driving.  Even if no one is killed or injured, drivers should be aware that the consequences of driving while impaired (DWI) can have a huge negative impact on their life.”

   Impaired violators run the risk of jail time, loss of their driver license, ordered to install at their own expense ignition interlocks on their vehicles, as well as perform court ordered community service.  The financial impact is also considerable, including higher auto insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects.

   “Along with a DWI conviction and the financial consequences, violators also endure personal humiliation among friends and family,” Bryant said.  “Driving impaired is simply not worth all the consequences.  So don’t take the chance.  Remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, not only during the holidays but all year long.”

  Using good judgment and following some simple rules will be your best defense against an impaired driver.  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends:

  • If you plan to consume alcohol, designate a sober driver who will remain sober and turn-over your keys to the designated driver.
  • If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi, take the bus or call a sober friend or family member to get you to your destination safely.
  • Promptly contact law enforcement and report drunk drivers you see on the roadways.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • If you’re on a motorcycle wear the appropriate protective equipment.

  “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a law enforcement initiative led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and combines high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.

   For more information on the crackdown, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on the ongoing “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.

STATE POLICE CID ASSISTING HAZEN POLICE IN DRUG STORE ROBBERY

August 14, 2015

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are assisting Hazen Police officers in the investigation of an armed robbery that occurred earlier today at the Prescription Shoppe, located at 202 South Livermore.

  Two men, covering their faces with masks, entered the drug store about 8:40 AM demanding prescription drugs and money.  They made their getaway in a red Dodge Challenger with a black stripe along the side of the vehicle.

  One suspect is believed to be six feet tall and was last seen wearing black pants and a black Chicago Bulls hat.

Click on image for full resolution  The second suspect (physical description unknown) was wearing black pants, a long-sleeve shirt, white tennis shoes and a LA Kings hat with silver bill.  He also carried a black backpack.

  Anyone with information that may help the State Police or local authorities in the investigation or who can identify the suspects is asked to contact the Arkansas State Police at (870) 633-1454 or the Hazen Police Department at (870) 255-4513.

COMMISSION APPROVES DIRECTOR’S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROMOTION

August 13, 2015

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Two veteran Arkansas State Troopers were promoted to the rank of major today during a regular monthly meeting of the Arkansas State Police Commission.

  The division commander promotions and three others were presented to commissioners for consideration by Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Captain Ron Stayton was promoted to the rank of major.  Stayton, 57, of Pine Bluff, is a thirty-year veteran of the department.  Major Stayton is commander of the State Police Crimes Against Children Division.

  Captain Lindsey Williams was promoted to the rank of major.  Williams, 57, of Searcy, is a thirty-year veteran of the department.  Major Williams is commander of the State Police Regulatory Division.

  Lieutenant David Sims, 55, of Pine Bluff, currently assistant commander of Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop E (Pine Bluff), was promoted to the rank of captain.  He is a twenty-five year veteran of the department.  Captain Sims will assume new duties as Troop E commander.

  Sergeant David Cooper, 45, of Benton, currently a post supervisor assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A (Little Rock), was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.  He is a twenty-year veteran of the department.  Lieutenant Cooper will assume new duties as assistant commander, Highway Patrol Division Troop K (Hot Springs).

  Corporal Jeff Whitlock, 40, of Little Rock, currently assigned to the department’s Office of Professional Standards, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He is an eleven year veteran of the department.  Sergeant Whitlock will remain assigned to State Police OPS.

50 ARRESTS IN FIRST DAY OF “BLYND JUSTUS” MISSISSIPPI COUNTY SWEEP - SEVENTY DEFENDANTS FACING MULTIPLE DRUG AND GUN CHARGES

August 11, 2015

  BLYTHEVILLE — More than 150 Arkansas State Troopers were part of a major arrest operation in Mississippi County today joining with approximately 350 federal agents in the culmination of a two-year long investigation involving alleged drug and guns crimes centered in the Blytheville and Osceola areas.

  Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, David T. Resch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Scott Ellington, Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, announced today the simultaneous unsealing of 40 federal indictments charging 70 defendants in a major operation aimed at curbing drug trafficking and gun violence in Blytheville and Mississippi County. The indictments were returned by the Grand Jury on August 5, 2015, and were unsealed today following a coordinated roundup of the charged defendants.

  The Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, named Blynd Justus, began in 2013, with a goal to target steadily increasing drug and gun crime in Mississippi County. Early Tuesday morning 574 law enforcement officers, including more than 300 tactical officers, helped execute the arrest warrants in a targeted takedown that resulted in the arrests of 50 defendants on various federal firearm and drug charges, including eleven defendants who were already in state custody. Twenty defendants are now fugitives. Most of the defendants are residents of Blytheville (see attachment for complete list of defendants and charges).

  “When I was confirmed as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas five years ago I made a commitment to help clean up the Arkansas Delta,” Thyer said. “It has been evident for some time that drugs and guns are overrunning the entire Arkansas Delta in general, and Mississippi County in particular. Today’s operation is a signal to those criminals that the law enforcement community at all levels will find you and stop you. Our collective goal is to return these communities to their law-abiding citizens. And while the 40 indictments announced today are a huge step toward this goal, our commitment to helping our friends in this part of the state will continue long after today.”

  From January 2014 through June 2015, agents with the FBI and Second Judicial District Drug Task Force coordinated more than 160 controlled purchases of drugs and/or firearms, resulting in the acquisition of more than 19 pounds of methamphetamine and 89 illegally possessed firearms, several of which were stolen. Also, more than 10 ounces of crack cocaine was purchased in the investigation. A majority of the 70 defendants are convicted felons.

  “The arrests that were carried out today show our unwavering determination to disrupt violent gang activity and dismantle illegal sales of firearms and drugs in our state,” Resch said. “Today’s operation, which includes 40 indictments and 70 defendants, combined with the 72 arrests during Delta Blues and the 24 arrests during Delta Crossroads represent the significant commitment of the FBI and the USAO to target violent criminals in eastern Arkansas. We appreciate the concentrated efforts made by our partners, USAO, ATF, U.S. Marshals, DEA, IRS, 2nd Judicial DTF, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas National Guard Counter Drug Unit, Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office, the Blytheville and Osceola Police Departments, and the SE Missouri Drug Task Force.”

  “On behalf of our local law enforcement agencies and the cities of Blytheville and Osceola, I want to thank U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer and FBI Special Agent In Charge David Resch for their commitment to help the good people of Mississippi County take back our community from those destroying it with crime and violence,” prosecuting attorney Ellington said. “Lieutenant Bobby Ephlin, Lieutenant Roy Coleman, Deputy Prosecutor Corey Seats and all the officers of the Second Judicial District Drug Task Force worked hard in conjunction with FBI Special Agent Ed Jernigan to make this operation successful. Sheriff Dale Cook, Chief Ross Thompson and Chief David Gladden deserve thanks for their continued support of the Task Force.

  “Our community is worth fighting for, and I believe in Blytheville and Osceola. Cleaning up this community begins with holding people accountable for their actions. Today, with the help of the FBI and the Arkansas State Police, we took a big step toward taking back our community from the thugs and criminals who choose to sell drugs and guns, rather than contribute to it in a positive manner.”

  This is the third major operation centered in Mississippi County that the United States Attorney’s office for the Eastern District has been involved in since 2013, and the largest. In March 2013, the Grand Jury returned seven indictments naming 19 defendants, and in January 2014, the Grand Jury returned an indictment naming 25 defendants. Delta Blues was an operation centered in Helena-West Helena, and Delta Crossroads was centered in West Memphis. All indictments included multiple drug charges.

  “This type of investigation shows the great teamwork and commitment of the federal, state and local agencies, and the Arkansas State Police in combating drug and gun trafficking in the State of Arkansas,” Arkansas State Police Colonel Bill Bryant said. “All of these agencies combined their assets and resources to disrupt and dismantle these drug trafficking organizations.”

  In addition to the arrest warrants served today, the IRS served two search warrants at properties owned by another individual not indicted, and a financial investigation continues.

  “The role of IRS CI (Criminal Investigation) in narcotics investigations is to follow the money so we can financially disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations,” said Christopher A. Henry, IRS Special Agent in Charge. “We are proud to work with our law enforcement partners by providing our financial investigative expertise. Today’s enforcement actions are an example of how the various law enforcement agencies in this district work together to stop the flow of illegal drugs into our communities.”

  The counts in today’s unsealed indictments include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of crack cocaine and cocaine, use of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, felon in possession of a firearm, and use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime. (See attached defendant/indictment list)

  Those arrested today will be arraigned in federal court in Little Rock before United States Magistrate Judge Joe J. Volpe beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 13, 2015. Defendants already in custody will be arraigned on August 27, 2015, at 2 p.m.

  The investigation was conducted by FBI, in partnership with the 2nd Judicial District Drug Task Force, which includes officers from the Blytheville Police Department, the Osceola Police Department and the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office. Agencies assisting in today’s arrest operation include the Arkansas State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Arkansas National Guard Counter Drug Unit, the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force (SEMO DTF), and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations. The 40 indictments are being prosecuted by a team of multiple Assistant United States Attorneys, headed by Chris Givens and Kristin Bryant.

  An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

STATE POLICE & LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES INVESTIGATE SUSPECTED DEATH OF ASHLEY COUNTY MAN

August 07, 2015

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are assisting Ashley and Drew County authorities investigating the apparent death of Sam Arnold Jr., 41, of Hamburg.

  A Monticello woman is being held in the Drew County Jail and is being questioned today in connection with Arnold's disappearance.

  Arnold’s family filed a missing person report with Hamburg Police on July 27th after he was last seen leaving work at Barnes Mill.

  On Thursday (August 6, 2015) law enforcement officers located a site on private property in Drew County where Arnold may have been murdered.

  The search for the remains of a body is underway today in southeast Arkansas and the investigation of circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Arnold is continuing.

STATE POLICE CID INVESTIGATING LONOKE COUNTY SHOOTING INCIDENT

July 31, 2015

  The Arkansas State Police is investigating a shooting incident that occurred in England (Lonoke County) yesterday (July 30th) as federal, state and local law enforcement officers attempted to arrest a wanted fugitive.

  At approximately 5 PM Thursday afternoon a U.S. Marshal’s Service Task Force along with England Police, Little Rock Police and officers of the Arkansas Community Correction located Lamar Moore at 218 North Washington Avenue in England.  Moore, of North Little Rock, was wanted by Little Rock Police in connection with incidents of aggravated robbery and impersonation of a police officer.

  Initial reports to Special Agents of the State Police Criminal Investigation Division indicate Moore approached the task force with a gun to his head, lowered the gun, and then pointed it at a task force officer.  At least one task force member fired at Moore causing Moore to retreat to a room inside the house.

  Officers reported to State Police that following the initial encounter with Moore a shot was heard inside the house.  A preliminary investigation indicates Moore shot himself.

  Moore was transported to a North Little Rock hospital where he remains.

  An investigation of the incident is continuing.

STATE POLICE CID INVESTIGATE OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING IN MISSISSIPPI COUNTY

July 29, 2015

   At the request of Manila Police Department officials Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are continuing to investigate an overnight shooting incident in the Mississippi County community.

   Timothy Johnson, 41, of Manila was fatally wounded shortly after 8 PM (Tuesday, July 28th) by a Manila Police Officer who had been dispatched to a disturbance at 601 Highway 18.  Initial reports indicate Johnson was holding a knife and advanced toward the officer after reportedly being ordered to drop the knife.

   Johnson’s body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for examination and to determine a manner and cause of death.

   The Arkansas State Police will complete its investigation and submit the findings to the prosecuting attorney.

   Questions relating to the identity of the Manila Police Officer and the administrative status of the officer should be directed to the Manila Police Department.

STATE POLICE MAKES DONATION TO ARKANSAS FOOD BANK

July 28, 2015

   Arkansas State Troopers and the department’s civilian employees have received a letter of thanks from the Arkansas Food Bank following the successful donation of 964 pounds of non-perishable food which will be shared with less fortunate Arkansans.

    The food donations amounted to approximately 2,500 assorted items collected over a six-week period beginning in May this year.  On July 10th the donations were loaded onto an Arkansas Food Bank truck for distribution to 290 food pantries set-up in Arkansas to help disadvantaged individuals and families.

   Estimates from the Arkansas Food Bank indicate enough food was collected by Arkansas State Police employees to produce 803 meals.

   The Food Bank staff has extended their appreciation to Lakesha Smith for her tireless effort in coordinating the State Police food drive.

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS STATEWIDE WATCHING FOR HOLIDAY IMPAIRED DRIVERS: FOURTH OF JULY- DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER

June 29, 2015

For additional information contact:
Arkansas State Police-Highway Safety Office

Ann Whitehead (501) 618-8133
ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

 

(LITTLE ROCK) – The Fourth of July is a favorite holiday among Americans.  But with summer fun, parades, parties and fireworks, the holiday typically proves to be deadly on streets and highways across the country.

Nationwide there were 199 people killed in alcohol related crashes during the 2013 July 4th holiday period.

Arkansas State Police Director and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative Colonel Bill Bryant says, “For everyone’s sake, don’t drink and drive.  The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving – no excuses.”

The crackdown on drunk driving during the coming holiday period will involve state, city and county law enforcement officers devoting additional patrol hours beginning today and continuing through July 5th.  Their target will be the drivers who are impaired and endangering the lives of others traveling on Arkansas roadways.

Drivers who have consumed alcohol or drugs should remember they are putting their own life and the lives of others at risk.

Driving impaired can lead to other serious consequences.  Even if no one is killed or hurt, a DWI arrest can lead to jail time, driver license suspension, costly legal expenses, court fines and higher driver insurance rates.

In every state it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher, yet people continue to break the law and drive drunk.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports show that in fatal crashes during the July Fourth period in 2013, more than one-fifth (21%) of involved drivers or motorcycle operators had BAC’s of .15 or higher – almost twice the legal limit.

The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recommends these simple tips to prevent drunk driving:

  •         Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
  •         Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
  •         If you have been drinking, call a taxi or a sober friend or family member to ask for a ride home.
  •         If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
  •         If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on the ongoing “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

June 08, 2015

UPDATED INFORMATION - JUNE 10, 2015 

I-49 SHOOTING INCIDENT REMAINS ACTIVE STATE POLICE INVESTIGATION


  The Arkansas State Police is continuing its investigation of a Monday morning (June 8th) shooting incident along I-49 near Mountainburg.
 
  Arkansas State Trooper Josh Elmore remains on administrative leave with pay while Special Agents of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division and Office of Professional Standards continue their independent investigations.
 
  Trooper Elmore, assigned to the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop H in Crawford County, is 27 years old and has been a State Trooper for approximately one year.  State Police policy requires a State Trooper to be placed on administrative leave with pay in the aftermath of using deadly force that results in the wounding or death of a person.
 
  Agents are continuing to assemble forensic evidence, witness statements and audio/video recordings which will be turned-over to Marc McCune, 21st Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney.  Prosecutor McCune will review the investigative file to determine whether deadly force used by Trooper Elmore was consistent with state laws.
 
  At approximately 6:20 AM Monday, Trooper Elmore, while on patrol along I-49, encountered Gil Antonio Ramirez Lemus walking along the southbound shoulder of the interstate highway.
 
  Trooper Elmore exited his patrol car and approached Lemus on foot.  Lemus refused to comply with orders directed to him by Trooper Elmore.  Lemus became combative as Trooper Elmore moved toward him.
 
  Lemus fled into the traffic lanes of I-49 forcing traffic to stop and continued to ignore Trooper Elmore’s orders.  As Lemus became combative Trooper Elmore deployed a TASER charge on Lemus who pulled the leads of the TASER from his body and moved to a wooded embankment above the roadway.
 
  As Trooper Elmore approached Lemus standing at the top of the embankment, Lemus raised a hand holding a large rock in a threatening manner, leading the trooper to fire his service weapon wounding Lemus.

 

ORIGINAL NEWS RELEASE - JUNE 8, 2015

  The Arkansas State Police is investigating an officer involved shooting incident that occurred in Crawford County along Interstate 49 near the 32 mile marker, north of Mountainburg.

  At approximately 6:20 AM today (Monday, June 8th) an Arkansas State Trooper on patrol along I-49 encountered an individual walking along the southbound shoulder of the interstate highway.

  As the trooper approached the pedestrian, the unidentified man refused to comply with orders from the trooper and became combative with the trooper.

  The pedestrian fled into the traffic lanes and took-up a position on a wooded embankment above the roadway.

  Initial reports indicate that as the state trooper moved into a position to arrest the individual, the pedestrian raised his hand holding a large rock in a threatening manner, leading the trooper to fire his service weapon, wounding the man.

  The pedestrian was transported to a Fort Smith hospital where he is reported in stable condition.

  An investigation of the incident is underway by the department’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Office of Professional Standards.  An investigative file will be submitted to the prosecuting attorney to determine whether deadly force was used consistent with Arkansas laws.

  At this time the identity of the pedestrian is uncertain.

  As prescribed by Arkansas State Police policy, the trooper is on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.

STATE POLICE JOIN COLLEEN NICK IN RENEWED EFFORT TO BRING MORGAN HOME

June 05, 2015

Arkansas State Troopers Kyle Bost (left) and Stephen Lee at news conference today with Colleen Nick, mother of Morgan Nick who disppeared 20 years ago.

 

  The Arkansas State Police joined Governor Asa Hutchinson along with federal and local law enforcement agencies today in a pledge to keep the search active and bring Morgan Nick home.

  Morgan was abducted from a baseball field in Alma, Arkansas on June 9, 1995.

     Colleen Nick, Morgan’s mother, says she has never lost hope and will continue to fight every day to keep the search active and share the story of Morgan’s disappearance wherever she can

     As the 20th anniversary of Morgan’s disappearance nears, a new statewide campaign is being launched in an effort to bring Morgan home.  The elements of the campaign include:

          • New billboards featuring an age progressed photo of Morgan asking the public to call National Center for Missing
            and Exploited Children at (800) THE LOST (800-843-5678) to report any information about the abduction.

         • Secretary of State Mark Martin has agreed to light the top of the Capitol dome in pink, Morgan’s favorite color, during
           the month of June in an effort to remind Arkansans about the 20 year search for Morgan.

 

“CLICK IT OR TICKET” STRICT STATEWIDE ENFORCEMENT OPERATION UNDERWAY - SEAT BELT USE CAN SAVE ARKANSAS LIVES

May 21, 2015

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:
ANN WHITEHEAD
ARKANSAS STATE POLICE HIGHWAY SAFETY OFFICE
(501) 618-8133 - ANN.WHITEHEAD@ASP.ARKANSAS.GOV

  (LITTLE ROCK) – An observational survey conducted across Arkansas during 2014 indicates that one out of every four motorists in Arkansas is not using a seat belt.  The use of seat belts by Arkansas motorists stands at 74% compared to a national average of 87%.

  “A seat belt has proven to be the single most effective piece of safety equipment drivers and passengers can use to avoid death or serious injury in a motor vehicle crash,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Sadly, the numbers indicate that people still aren’t getting the message about seat belt use.”

  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration preliminary statistics for the calendar year 2014 show there were 466 traffic fatalities in Arkansas. Of those traffic fatalities, 333 were motor vehicle occupant fatalities, over half of which were not using seat belts.

  “While the loss of one life is one too many, we are concerned that some lives could have been saved had the drivers or passengers been buckled-up,” Colonel Bryant stated.

  The Arkansas State Police and other state and local law enforcement agencies are committed to strictly enforce the seat belt law, not only during the days leading up to and during the Memorial Day holiday, but throughout the year as a means to reduce the incidents of fatalities on Arkansas roads and highways.

  The annual Click It or Ticket law enforcement mobilization is already underway and will continue through May 31st as law enforcement officers statewide join together to enforce the seat belt law.  Arkansans will also notice an intensified media campaign emphasizing the importance of buckling up when traveling in a motor vehicle.

  “It’s not about issuing tickets, it’s about saving lives,” said Colonel Bryant.  “We keep working toward the day when everyone is buckled up and we can celebrate zero preventable traffic deaths in Arkansas.”

  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office urges everyone to buckle up, every trip, every time, especially during the upcoming holiday when more motorists will be on the road.

  Arkansas state law requires that all front seat passengers, not just drivers, be buckled up. It requires all children under fifteen years of age to be properly secured in the vehicle.  A child who is less than six years of age and who weighs less than sixty pounds should be restrained in a child passenger safety seat. If the driver has a restricted license, all passengers in the vehicle must be properly buckled up.

  For more information on Click It or Ticket, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on the ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.

OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOITNG INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY IN LONOKE COUNTY

May 20, 2015

  The Arkansas State Police is investigating an officer involved shooting which occurred last night (May 19th) in Cabot.  The incident occurred as authorities of the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department and Arkansas Department of Community Correction were searching for an individual.

  While questioning a 35 year old man at 905 East Main Street it was determined the individual was the subject of outstanding warrants.  The man was placed into custody and held in a law enforcement vehicle.

  Initial statements provided to Special Agents of the State Police Criminal Investigation Division indicate the local law enforcement officers and ADCC officers reported gunshots coming from inside the car and returned fire striking the individual who had moments earlier been taken into custody.

  The wounded individual was taken to an area hospital where he was later died.  The identity of the individual is being withheld pending confirmed notification of next of kin.

  No law enforcement or ADCC personnel were injured

  State Police Special Agents along with State Police Highway Patrol Troopers have worked through the evening into the early hours of today gathering evidence and questioning witnesses.

  The investigation is continuing and upon completion will be provided to the Lonoke County Prosecuting Attorney for consideration.

STATE POLICE HONOR TOP TROOPER CORPORAL COLEMAN TROOPER OF THE YEAR - DEPARTMENT HONORS PRESENTED DURING ANNUAL CEREMONY

May 19, 2015

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Corporal Vic Coleman, a twenty-nine year veteran State Trooper assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Interstate Criminal Patrol Team was awarded the department’s Trooper of the Year Award (2014).

  The award was presented by Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, during the Annual Arkansas State Police Awards Luncheon.  Also attending the ceremony were members of the Arkansas State Police Commission.

  Corporal Coleman is recognized nationally among highway patrol interdiction officers for his expertise in identifying criminal suspects transporting large quantities of narcotics and other illegal substances across U.S. and state highways.  His criminal patrol interdiction investigations have opened new leads in numerous federal investigations.

  During 2014 Corporal Coleman seized a total of 833 pounds of marijuana, 22 pounds of cocaine, 4 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 3 pints of codeine and $246,866 in cash connected to illegal narcotics trafficking.

  Corporal Coleman is also known for exhibiting exceptional human compassion by using his own financial resources to assist travelers passing through Arkansas who may not have the means to buy food or lodging or paying for a tow truck when their vehicle is disabled along the highway.

  Also receiving awards today were:

  Medal of Valor Award

  Trooper Buster Rinks - On October 17, 2014 Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Trooper Buster Rinks, along with Searcy County Deputy Lang Holland responded to a call in reference to a man with a gun at Serenity Farms Restaurant in Leslie, Arkansas.

  Trooper Rinks and Deputy Holland were aware the scene was volatile and involved possible hostages; however the two officers entered the business fully aware that this action could place them at peril of death or grave bodily harm.  After entering the building Deputy Holland observed a man with a gun in close proximity to a potential hostage.

  Deputy Holland ordered the man to drop the weapon and at that point the man pointed his weapon at Deputy Holland and fired.  The bullet struck Deputy Holland in the hip, Trooper Ricks quickly responded with return fire at the armed gunman, which provided cover fire for the injured deputy.

  When Deputy Holland perceived the subject was intent on inflicting further harm, he also returned fire.

  Following the gun battle, Trooper Rinks quickly secured the wounded suspect and then administered first aid to Deputy Holland as well as the wounded gunman.  The gallant efforts of Trooper Rinks and Deputy Holland in the Serenity Farms incident safeguarded local citizens and deterred an armed gunman intent on causing harm.

  Sergeant Ben Cross & Corporal Christopher Goodman - On October 24, 2014 at approximately 8:35 p.m. Sergeant Ben Cross was patrolling on State Highway 7 north in Russellville when he observed a vehicle travelling northbound driving erratically.  The vehicle which had been reported stolen fled north into Dover and then traveled approximately 10 miles east on State Highway 27 before turning into a private drive.

  As the driver exited the car and fled on foot a female passenger was taken into custody.

  A perimeter was established and a manhunt ensued.  Sergeant Ben Cross received the assistance of the North Central Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction, which consisted of Lieutenant Steven Lively, Sergeant Kyle Moody and Sergeant Heath Branscum.

  Along with the ADC personnel, Sergeant Cross and State Police Corporal Chris Goodman proceeded on foot to locate the suspect who was found hiding in tall, thick grass and briars more than 1,000 feet from where the search began.

  As the suspect raised one hand he reached for a gun with the other and began to point it in the direction of the search team that had assembled at the site.  Officers fired on the suspect mortally wounding him.

  Distinguished Meritorious Service Awards

  Special Agent Larry J. Carter is assigned to the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division, Company E (Pope County). 

  S/A Carter opened twenty-six criminal cases and closed ten during 2014, including six death investigations that included five different homicides.  He assisted other Company E agents with seven additional death investigations.

  In addition to his duty assignments during 2014, S/A Carter developed new leads and located important evidence involving a four year old homicide case that subsequently resulted in the arrest of a suspect.

  Corporal Dwight Lee is assigned to the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop H headquartered at Fort Smith.  He serves on the department’s Honor Guard detail and is also a certified Field Training Officer who has been assigned to innumerable new State Police Trooper Recruits.

  During his career Corporal Lee has demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to detecting and arresting impaired drivers.  Between 2011 – 2014 Corporal Lee removed from the highway by arrest 558 impaired drivers.

  Corporal Olen Craig is a thirty-three year veteran of the Arkansas State Police assigned to the department’s Highway Patrol Division, Troop H headquartered at Fort Smith.

  Corporal Craig has seized a record amount of illegal narcotics being shipped across Arkansas.  His cumulative record of drug seizures includes more than 5.5 tons of marijuana, thirty-six pounds of methamphetamine, seven pounds of heroin, 342 pounds of cocaine and more than $2-million dollars in cash associated with narcotics shipments.

  Corporal Mike Nelson has been assigned to the Arkansas State Police Administrative Services Division, Training Section since 2008.

  Corporal Nelson currently serves as the Assistant Lead Drill Instructor for troop school and has assisted in training and mentoring over 276 Arkansas State Police recruits and assists with in-service training for all state police commissioned personnel. 

  Corporal Nelson has served on the SWAT team since 2004 and currently serves as the assistant lead explosive breacher.  In October of 2014, Corporal Nelson was one of two Arkansas State Police Troopers who served as keynote speakers at the International Explosives Breacher’s Conference attended by more than 400 individuals world-wide.

  Civilian Employee of the Year

  Janet Chappelle is a thirty-one year veteran of the Arkansas State Police.  She is assigned to the department’s Administrative Services Division.

  Among Chappelle’s primary duties is the responsibility to plan and coordinate the Arkansas State Police Commissioned Officers promotional testing procedures and to assist the division commander and State Police Director during the interview and hiring process of State Police Recruits.

  During the most recent promotional testing cycle, Chappelle devoted more than 130 hours during the final two-week preparatory process.

  Chappelle is recognized among her peers and State Police commanders for her institutional knowledge of the Arkansas State Police, particularly its administrative processes.  She is also instrumental in the administration of the State Police uniformed and retiree insurance services.

  Distinguished Service Award Recipients

  Jason Rozanski & Charlotte Rackley

  On Monday, February 24, 2014 the State Police received a report of a vehicle that had left the highway along Interstate 40 and was quickly being submerged in a nearby creek.

  Jason Rozanski and Charlotte Rackley both witnessed the crash, stopped and jumped into the frigid waters of the creek, pulled the driver from the vehicle, moved to safety and initiated life saving measures.

  Lang Holland III - Searcy County Sheriff’s Deputy

  On October 17, 2014 Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Trooper Buster Rinks, along with Searcy County Deputy Lang Holland responded the report of an armed gunman inside Serenity Farms Restaurant in Leslie, Arkansas.

  Upon arriving outside the restaurant Trooper Rinks and Deputy Holland entered the business fully aware their lives would be in extreme risk.  Deputy Holland was first to encounter the gunman and ordered him to drop the gun.

  The suspect ignored the order and instead fired on Deputy Holland striking him in the hip.

  Trooper Ricks took up a position to offer cover fire for Deputy Holland to secure a safe position.

  As the gun battle ended, Trooper Rinks secured the wounded suspect, then administered emergency first aid to Deputy Rinks and the gunman.  The gallant efforts of Trooper Rinks and Deputy Holland safeguarded local citizens and stopped the gunman’s intent on causing further harm or death.

  Lieutenant Steven Lively, Sergeant Kyle Moody & Sergeant Heath Branscum – Arkansas Department of Correction

  On October 24, 2014 at an Arkansas Department of Correction search team joined Arkansas State Troopers (Sgt.) Ben Cross and Chris Goodman as the two troopers established a perimeter around a stolen car from which a fugitive had escaped into a nearby thicket.

  Moving into an area about 1,000 feet from where the car was abandoned, the Troopers and ADC personnel encountered the suspect who raised a gun leaving the lawmen no recourse but to open fire mortally wounding the suspect.

  Arkansas Department of Correction Lieutenant Steven Lively, Sergeant Kyle Moody and Sergeant Heath Branscum are to be commended for their selfless act of courage to enter the search perimeter and serve alongside the State Troopers to locate the fugitive despite the threat of personal harm.

  Danny Martin - Nevada County Sheriff, Joey Beavers - Prescott Assistant Police Chief & Cody McClure - Prescott Police Patrolman

  On December 29, 2014 Nevada County Sheriff Danny Martin, Prescott Assistant Police Chief Joey Beavers and Prescott Police Patrolman Cody McLure coordinated with Arkansas State Trooper Darren Henley to stop a vehicle and apprehend an individual who was suspected in the abduction of a fourteen month old Houston, Texas child.

  The fugitive was taken into custody without incident and the child was returned to family.

  Official Commendations presented to Arkansas State Police personnel during the course of 2014:

  • Special Doug Estes
  • Sergeant (S/A) Mike Dawson
  • Corporal Arthur Raff
  • Corporal Bobby Clemence
  • Trooper (First Class) Michael Bowman
  • Trooper Darren Henley
  • Crimes Against Children Area Supervisor, Michelle Gatlin
  • CACD Investigator Katherine Finnegan
  • Chief Telecommunications Specialist Mary Jo Saling
  • Corporal Jimmie Thomas
  • Trooper Steven Roberts
  • Special Agent Kevin Brown
  • Special Agent Ted Jones
  • Special Agent Scott Pillow
  • Special Agent Wendall Jines

JOHNSON COUNTY DEPUTY KILLED CONFRONTING BURGLARY SUSPECT

May 15, 2015

  An eleven year veteran of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department was shot and killed early today as he and other sheriff’s deputies were searching for a burglary suspect  fifteen miles east of Clarksville.  At approximately 1AM this morning (Friday, May 15, 2015) the sheriff’s department received a telephone report of a suspected burglar in the area of County Road 1723.  As deputies searched the area at approximately 2:30   AM, Reserve Deputy Sonny Smith 42, of Clarksville confronted an individual identified as Fred Kauffeld who allegedly shot Smith. Deputy Smith returned gunfire and Kauffeld was taken into custody.  Kauffeld sustained minor injuries.Smith was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Kauffeld is being detained at the Pope County Detention Center while an investigation is continuing.  The investigation is being handled by the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation.

GRANT COUNTY STAND-OFF ENDS IN ARREST

May 12, 2015

  Earlier today a request for assistance from the Grant County Sheriff’s Department was received by the Arkansas State Police.

  The initial information from sheriff’s deputies reported Donald C. Thomas Jr., 47, of the Clearwater Lake area east of Sheridan had contacted local authorities stating he intended to set fire to a home at 762 West Clearwater Lake Drive.

  As sheriff’s deputies and local firemen arrived at the home they found the structure burning.  A short time later sheriff’s deputies stated at least one gun shot was fired at them, reportedly by Thomas.

  The Arkansas State Police SWAT and Crisis Response Teams were dispatched to the area.  By mid-afternoon negotiations were established with Thomas inside a nearby out-building on the residential property.  Thomas refused to surrender to state or local authorities.

  At approximately 5 PM today the State Police SWAT team fired tear gas into the out building causing Thomas to exit the building and to be taken into custody.

  An investigation of the incident is continuing tonight and Thomas is currently held at the Grant County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault.  The continuing investigation may result in additional charges. 

STATE TROOPERS RESCUE TEENAGE VICTIM IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING OPERATION

May 04, 2015

  Arkansas State Troopers and civilian investigators of the State Police Crimes Against Children Division are being credited with locating and recovering a fifteen year old girl who had been sexually exploited while being held in a human trafficking operation.

  The arrest of Amber Johnson, 28, of North Little Rock last Wednesday night (April 29th) at a south Little Rock motel has become part of a larger human trafficking investigation.  The investigation has identified a second teenager who was the victim of human trafficking and sexual exploitation at locations in east Arkansas.

  State Troopers and CACD investigators also recovered two children, ages two and three, who had been kept in the Little Rock motel room with the teenage girl.

  “The credit goes to the State Troopers who initially had little to work with; only allegations of a runaway child somewhere in Arkansas being held against her will at an unknown location,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “The troopers reached out to others in this department who possess specialized training and together they devoted themselves to rescue a child lost in the vicious world of human traffickers.”

  “Arkansas should be proud of the outstanding response by the Arkansas State Police on this case,” stated David T. Resch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock FBI Field Office.

  Presently the State Troopers assigned to the State Police Highway Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division and civilian investigators of the Crimes Against Children Division are working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney relating to the Little Rock arrest.

STATE POLICE SPECIAL AGENT PROMOTED TO SERGEANT

April 09, 2015

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas State Police Special Agent Scott Russell has been promoted to the rank of sergeant assigned to the department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Company A.

  Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, presented the recommendation for promotion to the State Police Commission during a regular meeting of the commissioners today.

  Sergeant Russell, 48, of Phillips County, is a ten year veteran of the State Police and most recently has been assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division as an investigator in east Arkansas.

  The promotion and new duty assignment is effective immediately.

STEPPED-UP STATEWIDE ENFORCEMENT PLAN AIMED AT DRIVERS VIOLATING TEXTING LAW

April 09, 2015

Additional Information Contact:
Highway Safety Office – Ann Whitehead
(501) 618-8133 – ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

  (LITTLE ROCK) – State Troopers and local law enforcement officers will be watching more closely in the coming days for drivers who violate the Arkansas texting law.  The statewide crackdown by law enforcement officers is scheduled for April 13th – 19th and is part of a national high visibility campaign known as “U Drive U Text U Pay”.

  The campaign combines intense enforcement of laws that prohibit texting while driving with advertising and media outreach to inform the public about the stepped-up patrols and the driver’s responsibility to obey texting laws.

  “Texting while driving is illegal and irresponsible,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “I believe the strict enforcement of the no texting while driving law is vital if we’re going to keep Arkansas highways and roads safe.”

  Arkansas law prohibits the use of a cell phone for texting, typing, email or accessing the internet while driving, regardless of the driver’s age.  It is also a “primary offense law,” which means a police officer or sheriff’s deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation.  For the first offense, a driver can be issued a warning ticket, but for subsequent violations fines can range as high as $100.

  Drivers should be aware of additional state laws related to distracted driving. It is illegal for all drivers to use hand-held cell phones while traveling through school or highway work zones.   All drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.  And, drivers 18 to 20 years using a cell phone are required to use a hands-free device.

  “Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving,” said Colonel Bryant.  “That’s why State Troopers and other law enforcement officers will be out in force across Arkansas during the crackdown in an effort to reduce the threat of injury or death that may be caused by drivers who violate the texting law.” 

  For more information on distracted driving issues, visit www.Distraction.gov, www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

STATE TROOPERS SEIZE RECORD QUANTITY OF METHAMPHETAMINE

April 02, 2015

  Arkansas State Troopers have seized a record amount of methamphetamine during an arrest along Interstate 40 earlier this week.  Troopers discovered 276 pounds of methamphetamine valued at an estimated $10-million dollars (retail/street value) inside the cargo trailer of a commercial carrier truck stopped along Interstate 40.

  The seizure from the cross-country shipment is believed to be the largest single seizure of methamphetamine in Arkansas law enforcement history.

 State Police on Monday afternoon (March 30th) patrolling Lonoke County in the area of Kerr Road and Interstate 40 (eastbound) noticed a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder of the highway.  A trooper approached the truck to check the driver’s wellbeing.

 During a conversation with the driver the trooper was given permission to inspect the cargo trailer where the methamphetamine was subsequently located.  The methamphetamine was in both liquid and crystal form.

 The truck driver is identified as Javier Leon-Garcia, 53, of Moreno, California.  Garcia is charged with trafficking a controlled substance and is being held in the Lonoke County Jail (no bond).

 “This case is indicative of what continues to be the escalating threat from methamphetamine and its ravages on Arkansas families,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “Our State Troopers will continue to be vigilant in their efforts to seize illegal drugs and arrest those who produce and distribute narcotics.”

 State Troopers have been assisted in the investigation by the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department, Lonoke County Prosecuting Attorney and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

PROMOTION APPROVED BY STATE POLICE COMMISSION TO FILL COMMANDER SLOT AT HIGHWAY PATROL - TROOP F

March 12, 2015

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Lieutenant Charles Hubbard has received the approval of the Arkansas State Police Commission to be promoted to the rank of captain and assume duties as a Highway Patrol, Troop F commander.  The recommendation of promotion was presented to the commissioners by Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police during a regular monthly meeting of the commission today in Little Rock.

  Troop F is headquartered at Warren and serves much of south central and a portion of southeast Arkansas.

  Hubbard, 41, of Baxter County, is a nineteen year veteran of the department and most recently has served as assistant troop commander of Highway Patrol Division, Troop I headquartered at Harrison.

  The promotion and new duty assignment is effective immediately.

ARRESTS MADE IN ATTACK ON CLARK COUNTY JAIL PRISONER

February 13, 2015

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have arrested two Clark County Jail employees who are charged with Battery (2nd degree).

  William D. Sayre, 25, of Nashville and Robert L. Williams, 28, of Arkadelphia were taken into custody today following an investigation that began earlier this week at the request of Blake Batson, Clark County Prosecuting Attorney.

  On or about February 9, 2015 Syre and Williams are accused of the battery of a jail inmate.

  The Arkansas State Police investigation is continuing.  Any questions relating to the administrative status of the two jailers should be directed to the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.

THIRD SUSPECT IN CLARK COUNTY CONVENIENCE STORE ROBBERY – HOMICIDE ARRESTED AT LITTLE ROCK MOTEL

February 01, 2015

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police and U.S. Marshals have arrested the third suspect wanted in connection with the murder of an Arkadelphia convenience store clerk.

  Craig Allen Wade, 24, of Pine Bluff was taken into custody without incident shortly after 2 PM today at a southwest Little Rock motel.  Wade was identified from a photograph circulated through a State Police news release Thursday evening (January 29th) http://asp.arkansas.gov/news-releases/detail/two-suspects-arrested-in-connection-with-clark-county-store-robbery-murder

  Wade is charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery.  James L. Gray, Jr., 36, and Laron Edward Williams, 27, both of Pine Bluff, were arrested by State Police last week.  Both Gray and Williams face similar charges.

  The three are accused in the January 25th robbery of Jordan’s Kwick Stop Shell, located at 180 Valley Street in Arkadelphia (Caddo Valley area) and the murder of Christopher D. Brown, 24, of 290 Frost Road, Arkadelphia.  Brown was the lone clerk inside the store when the three entered about 4:40 AM.

  Wade has been transported to the Clark County Jail in Arkadelphia where Gray and Williams are also being held.

STATE TROOPER RECRUIT APPLICANTS NEEDED: SCREENING PROCESS UNDERWAY FOR MAY 2015 TROOP SCHOOL

January 30, 2015

  State Police Recruiters have begun a search for qualified applicants who want to become Arkansas State Troopers.

  The recruiters are encouraging applicants to submit their medical assessment waiver and initial contact form as soon as possible, but no later than the close of business on February 13th.

  Recruit applicants can download the medical assessment waiver and initial contact form at the Arkansas State Police web site http://www.asp.arkansas.gov/recruiting/trooper-recruiting

  No initial contact form will be considered without a medical assessment waiver from the applicant’s personal physician stating the applicant is sufficiently healthy to pass the physical assessment test.

  Applicants may also contact their nearest State Police Troop Headquarters or telephone the recruiting hotline at (800) 340-4255.

  Applicant testing to identify a pool of applicants for recruit positions is already underway.  Recruits who are hired will be part of a May 2015 Troop School and graduate during September 2015.

  “Anyone who meets the qualifications to become an Arkansas State Trooper is encouraged to apply,” said Colonel William J. Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Minimum qualifications are:

     · Minimum age of 21

     · U.S. citizenship

     · Valid driver license

     · High School graduate or equivalent

     · Absent of felony convictions

     · No conviction of domestic violence

     · Meet or exceed visual acuity standard

     · No visible tattoos (wearing an ASP uniform)

     · Passing grade on initial screening exam

     · Pass physical, psychological and polygraph examinations

    · Registered with Selective Service or exempt

  Starting salary for State Police Recruits is $34,500 and raised to $36,000 upon graduation.  New Troopers receive two regularly scheduled raises of ten percent each during the first seven and a half years of service which increases the annual salary to $43,560.  The State Police provides health care insurance for every State Trooper, their spouse and children as well as lifetime retirement benefits.

  Each applicant successfully completing the initial testing phase will be required to submit to a thorough background investigation, polygraph examination and oral interview. 

  “Our standards are high and not everyone will make it through the application process, said Colonel Bryant.  “The application process, much like the actual job of a trooper, is challenging.  But the long-term rewards are invaluable to anyone who is serious about a law enforcement career.”

TWO SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH CLARK COUNTY STORE ROBBERY – MURDER

January 29, 2015

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division arrested two Pine Bluff men today (Thursday, January 29th) in connection with the robbery and murder inside an Arkadelphia (Caddo Valley area) store early Sunday morning (January 25, 2015).

  Christopher D. Brown, 24, of 290 Frost Road, Arkadelphia was working as a store clerk when he was shot at 4:43 AM inside the Jordan’s Kwick Stop Shell, located at 180 Valley Street in Arkadelphia.

  James L. Gray, Jr., 36, of 5414 Windham Avenue and Laron Edward Williams, 27, of South Bay Street, both addresses in Pine Bluff, were arrested on charges of Capital Felony Murder and Armed Robbery.

  Both Gray and Williams were taken into custody without incident earlier today in Pine Bluff and are incarcerated at the Clark County Jail in Arkadelphia.

  State Police continue to search for a third suspect in connection with the robbery - homicide.

  Anyone who may recognize the man pictured in this news release is asked to contact the Arkansas State Police at (870) 777-4641.

STATE POLICE CID INVESTIGATING PERRY COUNTY HOMICIDE

January 29, 2015

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating a shooting incident that occurred in Perry County last night that claimed the life of William J. Bates, 31, of Perryville.

  The shooting occurred at the home of brothers Dalton & J.D. Goodman located two miles west of Perryville along State Highway 60.

  Perry County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the call received about 6:20 PM reporting a disturbance at the Goodman home.  One person was taken into custody at the scene by local authorities and charges are pending as the investigation progresses today.

CLARK COUNTY STORE ROBBERY LEAVES ONE DEAD: STATE POLICE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES SEEKING PUBLIC ASSISTANCE TO IDENTIFY SUSPECTS

January 25, 2015

  An Arkadelphia man is dead following an early morning robbery at Jordan’s Kwick Stop Shell, located at 180 Valley Street in Arkadelphia (Caddo Valley area).

  Christopher D. Brown, 24, of 290 Frost Road, Arkadelphia was working as a store clerk when two men entered the store at 4:43 AM today (Sunday, January 25, 2015).  Brown was shot by one of the suspects and pronounced dead at the scene.

  Video surveillance at the store captured images of two suspects entering the store while an accomplice waited outside in a late model four-door Ford Taurus (see attached images).  The vehicle may be gray or a green in color.

  Suspect one, the driver who never exited the vehicle, is believed to be a black male, heavy set, wearing a yellow t-shirt.

  Suspect two (see attached images) is a black male, heavy set, wearing a white t-shirt with a black long sleeve t-shirt underneath, a blue U.S. Polo brand jacket tied around his waist and blue jeans.  Suspect two may have been wearing a work-style boot.

  Suspect three is a black male, skinny, short, wearing a gray hooded zip-up jacket and sagging dark jeans. This suspect was armed with a suspected long barrel revolver.

  Anyone with information about the robbery and murder or offering assistance in the identification of the suspects should call the Arkansas State Police at (870) 777-4641.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING AT ENGLAND HOME

January 09, 2015

 Two men are dead following a law enforcement officer involved shooting incident outside an England residence this afternoon (Friday, January 9th).

  At the request of authorities within the England Police Department, Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the shooting.  The investigation will be submitted to a prosecuting attorney for consideration.

  At approximately 2:15 PM England Police responded to the report of a domestic disturbance involving two men at 422 SE Third Street.

  On the arrival of local police an armed man was standing next to another man lying on the ground.  As officers made attempts to defuse the armed confrontation the gunman was shot.

  The bodies of both men will be transported to the State Crime Laboratory for further examination to assist in the investigation.

  Questions relating to the identity or administrative status of any officers involved in the shooting should be directed to the England Police Department.

STATE POLICE COMMISSION APPROVES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROMOTIONS - COLONEL STAN WITT TO ASSUME RANK OF MAJOR

January 07, 2015

  (LITTLE ROCK) – During a meeting of the Arkansas State Police Commission today, the positions of two lieutenants and one sergeant were considered for promotions.  The commission followed the recommendations of Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police, to promote the following Arkansas State Troopers:

  Sergeant Dennis Overton, 46, of Hot Springs was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

  Lieutenant Overton is a seventeen year veteran of the department and is currently assigned to the Highway Patrol Division administrative office.  He will now command the Arkansas State Interdiction and Criminal Patrol Unit.

  Sergeant Paulette Ward, 44, of Little Rock was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

  Lieutenant Ward is a seventeen year veteran of the department currently serving in the Office Professional Standards.  She will remain in the OPS Unit as its commander.

  Corporal Mike Dawson, 47, of Maumelle was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Dawson is an eighteen year veteran of the department currently assigned to the State Fire Marshal Office.  He will remain there as a section supervisor.

  The State Police Commission also approved a recommendation to restore the rank of major to Colonel Stan Witt effective next week following an oath of office ceremony for newly appointed State Police Director Bill Bryant.  In August of 2012 upon his appointment as Director of the Arkansas State Police, Colonel Witt held the rank of major and was commander of the department’s Administrative Services Division.

ROADSIDE SHOOTING INCIDENT CLAIMS THE LIFE OF WANTED FUGITIVE

December 30, 2014

 Tumetheus Lestavian Pack, 44, (last known official address) Portland, Oregon, wanted by Houston Police died today at Wadley Regional Medical Center in Hope of what law enforcement witnesses report was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the incident.

  The incident occurred about 10:20 AM (Tuesday, December 30th) during a traffic stop by Arkansas State Police near the 45 mile marker (eastbound) along Interstate 30.

  A woman and three children in the car at the time of the traffic stop were taken from the scene by State Police and were reported to be uninjured.  The youngest of the children is believed to be the subject of a Texas Amber Alert.

Holiday Highway Safety Campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”

December 11, 2014

Additional Information Contact
ASP Highway Safety Office – Ann Whitehead
(501) 618-8133   ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

 

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Beginning tomorrow the Arkansas State Police will join other state and local law enforcement agencies to make Arkansas highways and roads safer during the holiday season.

  “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a public safety campaign initiative involving state, county and city law enforcement officers across the United States.  It will be implemented during a three-week period encompassing the Christmas and New Year holidays (Friday, December 12th through January 1st.)

  "The holiday season should be a time of joy, not a time of tragedy and loss. That’s why Arkansas motorists can expect to see an increase in saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, anytime, anywhere,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Arkansas State Police Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.

  “We understand that celebrations are a part of the season, but we ask that the public celebrate responsibly,” said Colonel Witt.  “Drunk driving is a crime that will not be tolerated and law enforcement officers will not accept excuses. If you’re caught driving impaired by alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested and taken to jail.”

  More than 10,000 people are killed each year as a result of drunk drivers behind the wheel of vehicles. This time of year is especially dangerous due to frequent holiday festivities.

  According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the month of December 2012 there were 830 people killed in crashes involving at least one drunk driver or motorcycle operator. On average, a third (31 percent) of all crash fatalities in the United States involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol.

  Drivers are considered to be alcohol impaired when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 grams per deciliter or higher.  During 2012 there were 143 (26 percent) traffic related fatalities in Arkansas involving alcohol impaired drivers.  Fifteen of the fatalities occurred during the month of December.

  Using good judgment and following some simple rules will be your best defense against an impaired driver.  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends:

  • Always plan ahead whenever you expect to consume alcohol.
  • Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
  • If you have been drinking, call a taxi, take the bus or call a sober friend or family member to get you to your destination safely.
  • Promptly report to law enforcement drunk drivers you see on the roadways.
  • Always wear your safety belt.
  • And if you’re on a motorcycle use protective equipment.

  For more information on the campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

TROOPER RECRUITS COMPLETE ACCELERATED TRAINING - NEW TROOPERS ASSIGNED TO HIGHWAY PATROL DUTIES

November 21, 2014

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Twenty-four Arkansas State Police Trooper Recruits graduated tonight (Thursday, November 20, 2014) during ceremonies at the Arkansas State Capitol.

  The recruit candidates were assembled from a group of applicants already commissioned as local law enforcement officers employed at police and sheriff’s departments across the state.  Average cumulative service among each of the recruits totaled seven years.

  The class initially reported for duty on September 7th this year and accumulated 786 hours of classroom studies and practical training.  Because of each class member’s previous commission and training, the class syllabus was designed to accommodate an accelerated curriculum with emphasis on State Police policy and procedures.  The recruits are eligible for 25 college credit hours toward a Criminal Justice degree from Black River Technical College at Pocahontas.

  Governor Mike Beebe was the keynote speaker addressing the graduates and Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police, presented the new troopers their commissions.

  Judge Robert W. McCorkindale, II, 14th Judicial District Circuit Judge (retired) (Boone County) administered the Oath of Commission.

  Other dignitaries present included representatives of the Arkansas State Police Commission and State Police Division, Troop and Company commanders.

  Graduates of the Arkansas State Police 2014-B Troop School are:

     •  Josh Elmore, 26, served as 2014-B Recruit Class Leader and will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Crawford County.

     •  Chris Barnett, 28, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County.

     •  Ronnie Boyd, 42, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, Madison County.

     •  Lance W. Coffman, 24, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.

     •  Jason L. Fagan, 35, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Poinsett County.

     •  Deric Franks, 35, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Fulton County.

     •  David M. Harrell, 35, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Lincoln County.

     •  Asa N. Ladd, 24, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Craighead County.

     •  Sor Lee, 30, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, Madison County.

     •  Nathan A. Litty, 26, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Sebastian County.

     •  Lonnie Moore, 36, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Johnson County.

     •  Aaron B. Morphis, 30, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Greene County.

     •  John Parker, 33, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Ouachita County.

     •  John A. Pryor, 43, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Drew County.

     •  Seth C. Race, 28, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Yell County.

     •  Paul G. Robson, 31, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop K, Pike County.

     •  Thomas R. Sweeney, 25, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Crawford County.

     •  Greg Tebbetts, 41, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop B, White County.

     •  Rodney Villiger, 43, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Izard County.

     •  Brent A. Walker, 29, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Lafayette County.

     •  Cort D. Williams, 35, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Crawford County.

     •  Justin R. Williams, 33, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County.

     •  Mark H. Willis, 52, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Ouachita County.

     •  Cullen Dale Young, 28, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.

  Special recognition and awards were presented to the recruits who attained the highest scores within the respective training categories listed as follows:

  •  Academics

  1. Recruit Greg Tebbetts
  2. Recruit Cort Williams
  3. Recruit Ronnie Boyd

  •  Physical Fitness

  1. Recruit Asa Ladd
  2. Recruit Josh Elmore
  3. Recruit Chris Barnett

  •  Firearms

  1. Recruit CullenYoung
  2. Recruit Brent Walker
  3. Recruit Josh Elmore

  Upon reporting for duty at their respective troop headquarters, the new troopers will be placed with a certified departmental Field Training Officer (FTO). Each graduate will work in tandem with their respective FTO for a transitional period prior to being released to their assignment.

CLICK IT OR TICKET THIS THANKSGIVING: Holiday Crackdown Scheduled

November 17, 2014

Additional Information Contact:
Ann Whitehead – Highway Safety Office
(501) 618-8133  ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

 

   (LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas State Troopers are joining forces with other state and local law enforcement officers over the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday.  The unified effort is directed toward seat belt law violators. 

   The “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign during the holiday period begins November 24th and continues through November 30th.

   “The Thanksgiving holiday is among the busiest of travel periods both in Arkansas and across the nation,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “State Troopers and other law enforcement officers will be working overtime to ensure the highways and streets are safe by strictly enforcing the laws, including the Arkansas mandatory seat belt law.”

   There were 301 traffic deaths nationally during the 2012 Thanksgiving reporting period.  Sixty percent of the passenger vehicle occupants who died were not wearing seat belts.  In Arkansas, during the same holiday reporting period, ten people lost their lives and 201 people were injured. 

   According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during calendar year 2012 seat belts saved more than 12,000 lives nationwide.

   Research indicates that with proper seat belt use, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.

   “The numbers tell the story, buckling up saves lives,” said Colonel Witt. “Whether you’re driving across the state or across town, wearing your seat belt is one of the best ways to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.”

   An intensified enforcement emphasis will be noticed along Interstate 40 during the most heavily traveled hours of the Thanksgiving holiday.

   “The Arkansas State Police will partner with several other states including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas and North Carolina during the ‘I-40 Challenge’ which is an additional enforcement effort designed to protect motorists along the I-40 corridor,” Colonel Witt remarked.

   Troopers in the participating states will be assigned to every 20 mile segment of Interstate 40 during peak travel hours.

   For more information on the Click It or Ticket campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

COMMISSION APPROVES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LIEUTENANT PROMOTIONS

November 13, 2014

  (LITTLE ROCK) – During a meeting of the Arkansas State Police Commission today, two lieutenant promotions recommended by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police were approved.

  Sergeant Rick Neill, 46, of Pulaski County was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.  He is an eighteen year veteran of the department.

  Lieutenant Neill will remain in his current assignment inside the department’s Executive Protection Section.

  Sergeant Jeff Sheeler, 47, of Pulaski County, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.  He is a sixteen year veteran of the department.

  Lieutenant Sheeler will remain in his current assignment within the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop A.

INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY OF BODY FOUND NEAR PINNACLE STATE PARK

November 08, 2014

  The body of a man identified as James Thomas Lovelady, 44, of Little Rock was discovered shortly before 7 AM today near Pinnacle Mountain State Park.  Two women walking along an area off Highway 300 discovered the body and contacted authorities.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division spent most of the morning at the scene in western Pulaski County collecting evidence and speaking to a woman at Lovelady’s home who identified herself as his fiance’.

  Lovelady was the subject of a missing person report filed with Little Rock Police yesterday.

  Lovelady’s body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory where an autopsy will be conducted next week to confirm a manner and cause of death.

_____________________

PIKE COUNTY MAN IDENTIFIED AS DRIVER IN BUS STOP HIGHWAY DEATH

October 29, 2014

  Dwight L. Moody, 88, of Delight (Pike County), has been identified as the driver of a vehicle that struck a student who had exited a Kirby School District bus earlier this week in Pike County.

  Jazmin Hernandez, 12, of Glenwood died at a Little Rock hospital after being airlifted from the scene (Monday, October 27th) near Salem along U.S. Highway 70.

  Moody was driving a Ford Explorer westbound when he struck Hernandez.  Dorothy Moody, 84, also of Delight was an occupant in the truck.

  An investigative report prepared by the Arkansas State Police was submitted today to Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir who is reviewing the report for purposes of considering criminal charges that may be filed against Moody.

  A copy of the Arkansas State Police Preliminary Fatal Crash Summary involving the school bus stop death can be found at:

  http://www.asp.state.ar.us/fatal/index.php?do=view_reports&accident_number=349&year_rec=2014

SEARCH FOR PAROLE ABSCONDER ENDS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

October 25, 2014

 

  An Arkansas State Trooper on patrol duties in Pope County last night (Friday, October 24th, 8:35 PM) attempted to stop a passenger vehicle in Russellville along Arkansas Highway 7 (north).

  The driver, later identified as Bobby Shane Patrick, 27, refused to stop the vehicle and fled from the State Trooper traveling about ten miles east along State Highway 27 where he abandoned the car. .Patrick was seen fleeing the area on foot with a handgun.

  Inside the vehicle State Police found a passenger identified as Brooke Haley Beard, 24, of Russellville.  Beard is presently on probation from Yell County for drug possession and hindering apprehension or prosecution.  Beard was taken into custody and turned-over to Pope County authorities.

  The vehicle driven by Patrick had been reported stolen one month ago in Dardanelle.

  During the course of the search for Patrick, State Police learned Patrick was wanted on warrants for parole violation, drug possession and failure to appear. 

  Shortly after 2 AM today State Troopers and officers of the Arkansas Department of Correction (Calico Rock Unit) tracking dog team spotted Patrick in tall grass not far from where he had abandoned the stolen car.

  As the search team confronted Patrick he raised a handgun at officers who then fired their weapons killing him.

  No State Troopers or ADC personnel were injured.

  A State Police investigation of the shooting is underway involving both the department’s Criminal Investigation Division and Office of Professional Standards.

  An investigative file will be presented to the prosecuting attorney to consider if the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers was consistent with Arkansas laws.

  As prescribed by State Police policy, State Troopers involved in the shooting incident have been placed on administrative leave with pay while the review by Special Agents of the Office of Professional Standards is underway.

  The names of the Troopers involved will be released upon completion of the OPS review.

  Any questions relating to the identity or administrative status of ADC personnel should be directed to the Arkansas Department of Correction.

GUNMAN DIES FOLLOWING BAKERY HOSTAGE AND SHOOTING INCIDENT

October 17, 2014

  UPDATE - OCTOBER 31, 2014

  The Arkansas State Police was notified this afternoon (Friday, October 31, 2014) that John T. Kolata, 75, of Searcy County, had died.

  Kolata was the gunman involved in the October 17th hostage and shooting incident inside the Serenity Farm Bakery located in Leslie.

  Kolata had remained hospitalized at a Little Rock hospital since being transported by air ambulance following the shooting.  His body is being transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for examination and autopsy.

  A Searcy County Sheriff’s Deputy was wounded by Kolata in an exchange of gunfire as the deputy and an Arkansas State Trooper entered the bakery.

  The Arkansas State Police investigation of the shooting is continuing and will be submitted to the Searcy County prosecuting attorney to determine if deadly force used by law enforcement officers was consistent with Arkansas laws.

______________________________________

  John T. Kolata, 75, of Searcy County is hospitalized at a Little Rock hospital along with a Searcy County Sheriff’s Deputy.  Both were wounded during an exchange of gunfire inside the Serenity Farm Bread store located in Leslie earlier today (Friday, October 17, 2014).

  The store is located at U.S. Highway 65 approximately one quarter mile south of State Highway 66.

  About 11:15 AM Searcy County sheriff’s department deputies and a State Trooper responded to the store following reports of an armed man holding two hostages inside the store.

  Kolata reportedly began shooting as a deputy entered the store.  The deputy and a State Trooper returned fire striking Kolata.

  The wound to the deputy is not believed to be life threatening.  Kolata was in surgery at UAMS late this afternoon.

  The State Trooper was not injured.

  State Police Special Agents are leading the criminal investigation which will be submitted to the local prosecuting attorney for review.

  Questions relating to the administrative status or identification of the Searcy County Deputy should be directed to the sheriff’s department.

  The Arkansas State Police Office of Professional Standards is reviewing the shooting incident and in accordance with State Police policy the State Trooper is on paid administrative leave.  The name of the State Trooper will be released following an initial assessment of the OPS review.

__________________________

(Initial news release_12:37 PM_Friday, October 17, 2014)

Arkansas State Troopers are on the scene of a shooting incident near Leslie in Searcy County.

 Two people have been wounded; one of them a sheriff’s deputy and both are being airlifted from the scene following what had been initially reported as a hostage situation.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation will conduct an investigation of the incident.

  Later today an updated news release will be made to provide additional information.

COMMANDER OF STATE POLICE EXECUTIVE PROTECTION SECTION PROMOTED

October 09, 2014

  Lieutenant Mike Hagar, 41, of Conway was promoted to the rank of captain today during a meeting of the Arkansas State Police Commission.  The recommendation for promotion was presented to the commission by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Captain Hagar is an eighteen year veteran of the department with more than ten years of service assigned to the department’s Executive Protection Section where he most recently served as acting commander.

  Captain Hagar will continue his duties as commander of the State Troopers assigned to the specialized operation of protecting the governor, his immediate family and dignitaries who may be visiting the office or governor’s mansion.

UPDATE: BODY IDENTIFIED - STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING DEATH OF WOMAN FOUND ALONG I-40

September 24, 2014

UPDATED NEWS RELEASE AS OF SEPTEMBER 27, 2014

  The body of a woman found alongside Interstate 40 near Palestine earlier this week has been identified as Amy Darlene Bandy, age 35.

  A commercial truck driver notified Arkansas State Police shortly after 1 AM Wednesday (September 24th) he had seen the body near the 236 mile marker next to the outside highway traffic lane.

  An examination of the body at the Arkansas State Crime Lab indicates Bandy may have been struck by a vehicle and died.

  Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division Special Agents are working to identify where Bandy had been in the days before her death and develop leads to identify a vehicle that may have struck Bandy.

  Anyone with information about the death of Bandy or who may have known of her whereabouts prior to her death is asked to contact the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop D at Forrest City by calling (870) 633-1454.

_______________________________________________

The Arkansas State Police is investigating the death of a woman whose body was discovered earlier today (Wednesday, September 24, 2014) along I-40 near Palestine east of the rest area at the 236 mile marker.  The body was spotted on the outside lane of the highway by a truck driver who then contacted State Police, Highway Patrol Division, Troop D shortly after 1 AM.

  State Police Criminal Investigation Division Special Agents are working to identify the body described as a white female, 25 – 35 years of age, small in stature, blonde hair and a tattoo on the left arm depicting a rose with the names, Shannon, Samantha and Deanna.

  The woman was wearing blue jean shorts, a lilac colored top.  Justin cowboy boots were found near the body.

  The manner and cause of death will be determined by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.

  Anyone with information about the death of the woman or who may suspect they know the victim, please contact the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop D at Forrest City by calling (870) 633-1454.

ASP COLONEL WITT ANSWERS THE ALS “ICE BUCKET” CHALLENGE

August 25, 2014

  Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police, answered the the ALS “Ice Bucket” Challenge today and raised more than $1,000 in answering the challenge from Colonel Tracy Trott , Director of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

  Tickets were sold for $1 and purchased by Arkansas State Troopers and civilian staff.  The tickets were used in a drawing to select the employee to empty the bucket of ice-water onto Colonel Witt.

  Colonel Witt has forwarded the ALS “Ice Bucket” challenge to Mike Knoedl, Director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Chief Ron Burks of the Arkansas Highway Police, Ken Jones, Director of the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training, Cheryl May, Director of the Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute and Ray Hobbs, Director of the Arkansas Department of Correction.

TWO DEAD IN SHOOTING AT ALEXANDER

August 23, 2014

  A Little Rock man and Alexander woman were fatally wounded last night when two individuals entered an Alexander residence and began shooting.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police were contacted by Alexander police officers who requested the State Police to take charge of the investigation.

  The victims have been identified as Joe Thomas Dickinson, 40, of Little Rock and Patricia Tucker, 54, of Alexander.

  At approximately 11:45 PM local police officers were notified of a shooting inside a residence at Vine Street and Highway 111.

  Witnesses say more than twenty people were inside the home when two men entered and began shooting.

  No other injuries were reported as a result of the shooting.

  State Police Special Agents are working to identify the two suspects.

BURROW: BRINKLEY MURDER SUSPECT IN CUSTODY

August 23, 2014

  Dustin Heath Burrow, 29, of Brinkley, charged with Capital Murder and Aggravated Robbery is in custody.

  Shortly after 4 AM (Central) today, Colorado Highway Patrol Troopers located an abandoned pick-up truck along Interstate 25 near Fort Collins, Colorado.  The truck matched the description of one driven by Burrow following the Thursday (August 21st) murder and robbery.
 
  Three hours later, at approximately 7 AM (Central), Fort Collins Police located Burrow walking in the vicinity of a homeless shelter.  Burrow was taken into custody without incident.
 
  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are en route to Fort Collins and will be present for an extradition hearing as quickly as one can be scheduled.
 
  Burrow is charged in connection with the murder of his father, Carl Lynn Burrow, 62, of Brinkley and the robbery at gunpoint of his grandmother, Vaudean Burrow, 91, also of Brinkley.
 
  Monroe County authorities discovered the body of Carl Burrow Thursday afternoon near a barn on the Burrow property west of Brinkley.

SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR MURDER SUSPECT IN MONROE COUNTY DEATH

August 22, 2014

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the murder of a Monroe County man outside his home yesterday (Thursday, August 21st).

  The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department contacted State Police about 3:45 PM Thursday as they began a search for Dustin Heath Burrow, 29, of Brinkley.

  Burrow has since been charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery in the shooting death of his father, Carl Lynn Burrow, 62, of 772 Burrow Lane west of Brinkley and the robbery at gunpoint of his grandmother, Vaudean Burrow.

  Burrow’s body was discovered in a barn located on the Burrow property.

  Arkansas State Police and other law enforcement agencies are searching for Burrow who may be driving a 2007 year-model Chevrolet SK1 brown pick-up truck, displaying Arkansas license plate, 534 KTB.  Burrow is described as a white male, 5' 7" tall, weighing 160 pounds, with brown hair, and blue eyes.

Anyone who may see Burrow or know his whereabouts should contact the nearest Arkansas State Police office or their local law enforcement agency.

UPDATE: MOST ROADBLOCKS CLEARED - FREIGHT TRAIN COLLISION SHUTS DOWN U.S. 67 HIGHWAY TRAFFIC THROUGH HOXIE

August 17, 2014

As of 12:30 PM – Sunday, August 17th

  All roadblocks in and around Hoxie have been removed with the exception of Highway 67 south of Highway 63 and Highway 67 at the intersection with Highway 230.  Roadblocks at these two locations will remain active for up to three days while railroad crews remove wreckage.

  Highway 91 remains open as an alternate route for motorists traveling to Walnut Ridge and the Hoxie area.

  Most of the evacuees removed from their homes earlier today have been allowed to return.

_________________________

  At approximately 3 AM today (Sunday, August 17th) Arkansas State Troopers were notified of a collision inside the community of Hoxie (Lawrence County) involving two Union Pacific freight trains.

  The collision has claimed the lives of two individuals and left two persons injured.  All are believed to be among the crews onboard the freight trains.

  As a precautionary measure a large number of Hoxie residents have been evacuated.  The evacuees have been directed to the Walnut Ridge Community Center.

  Officials of the Union Pacific Railroad report both trains have toxic chemical cargo.

  A fire involving one of the train engines was reported still burning at daybreak, however it is not believed to be threatening any of the toxic cargo.

  Motorists traveling along U.S. 67 through Lawrence County should anticipate a detour onto Highway 91 east of Hoxie.  All highways leading into Hoxie are now blocked by Arkansas State Police and local law enforcement personnel. 

PROMOTION APPROVED TO FILL TROOP G COMMANDER SLOT

August 14, 2014

  (LITTLE ROCK) – The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendation for promotion of Lieutenant Forrest Marks to the rank of captain effective September 1st.  The recommendation for promotion was presented by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police during a regular monthly meeting of the commission today.

  Lieutenant Marks, 44, of Hot Springs is a nineteen year veteran of the department and was assigned as assistant commander of Highway Patrol Division, Troop K and more recently serving as acting commander of Highway Patrol Division, Troop G.

  Effective with the official promotion date, Lieutenant Marks will assume the rank of captain and duties as Troop G commander. 

LAW ENFORCEMENT CRACKDOWN ON DRUNK DRIVING SET FOR LABOR DAY HOLIDAY

August 08, 2014
Additional Information Contact:
Ann Whitehead – Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office
(501) 618-8133     ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

 

  (LITTLE ROCK) – For many Arkansans the Labor Day holiday is an extended weekend that includes backyard cookouts and celebrations enjoyed with friends and family.  Unfortunately the holiday is often marred with tragedy and death caused by drunk drivers traveling across state roads and highways.

  Starting on August 15th and continuing through September 1st, state and local law enforcement officers will be aggressively targeting their patrols in search of drunk drivers.  The enforcement plan is part of a nationwide effort designed to stop drunk driving and save lives.  The Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will pair increased public awareness with high visibility law enforcement, resulting in fewer drunk drivers getting behind the wheel of a vehicle endangering themselves and others.

  Across the nation during calendar year 2012 there were 10,322 people killed in drunk-driving crashes.  Over the Labor Day weekend that same year, almost 40 percent of all traffic fatalities involved drunk driving.

  “These grim facts should speak for themselves, but the message hasn’t gotten everyone’s attention yet,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Arkansas State Police Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “That’s why the Arkansas State Police and local law enforcement will be joining the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign and will arrest anyone caught driving drunk.  There will be no tolerance, no excuses.”

  During the calendar year 2012 there were 552 traffic fatalities on Arkansas roadways.  Twenty-six percent, or 143 of those fatalities, involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

  “Drunk driving is totally preventable and inexcusable,” said Colonel Witt.  “We’re hopeful that Arkansas drivers will get the message and take some simple steps to prevent this kind of tragedy.”

  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office reminds drivers to plan ahead and designate a sober driver if they plan to consume alcohol.  Calling a friend or using a taxi or some form of public transportation can save lives.

  For more information on the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths, One is Too Many campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

BOONE COUNTY MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED IN TRAFFIC STOP, INVESTIGATION CONTINUES

July 04, 2014

  Donald C. Biles, 60, has been identified as the man believed to be pictured in surveillance photographs taken at Ozark Emporium, north of Harrison yesterday.

  Biles has been identified as a suspect in the murder of Adah Lorraine Carte, 75, who was found dead at her store located in the Bear Creek Springs community.

  Biles was arrested following a traffic stop by Boone County law enforcement authorities near Bergman (Boone County) about 3 PM today.  He is being held without bond in the Boone County Jail.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police are assisting local authorities in the murder investigation.

Earlier news release

  Local law enforcement authorities discovered the body of Adah Lorraine Carte, 75, at 3873 Maple Road, in the community of Bear Creek Springs.  The site is the location of a business operated by Carte.  Sheriff’s deputies went to the address about 7 PM last night (July 3rd) after receiving a telephone call asking deputies to check the welfare of Carte who owned Ozark Emporium located a short-distance north of Harrison.
 
  A security surveillance system inside the store had provided investigators photographic images of a suspect who may have killed Carte and a vehicle driven by the suspect. (images included in news release)
 
  The suspect is described as a white male approximately 5’7” to 5’11”, weighing 200 to 230 pounds and gray hair.  He was last seen wearing glasses, a Hawaiian print shirt, knee length shorts, tennis shoes and ball cap with a “Batman” logo.
 
  The suspect left the scene in a 1994 to 2000 model year Ford conversion van, dark green in color with lighter green accents and stripes.
 
  The suspect was arrested by Boone County deputies shortly after 3 PM today near Bergman, north of Harrison. 

(Click on image for larger size)
 

SPECIAL DWI & SPEEDING ENFORCEMENT CRACKDOWN SET FOR JULY 4th TRAVEL PERIOD

June 23, 2014

  (LITTLE ROCK) – The summer travel season is already underway and many Arkansans are preparing to be on the road during the Fourth of July holiday.  Unfortunately these celebrations can take a tragic turn when a person decides to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or ignore the posted speed limit.

  In order to promote safer travel, the Arkansas State Police and other state and local law enforcement agencies will join forces in a special crackdown targeting drunk driving and speeding violations beginning June 28th and continuing through July 14th.

  “The Fourth of July has proven to be one of the deadliest holidays on Arkansas highways and in many instances, drunk driving has been the cause of these deaths,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Arkansas State Police Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “We want everyone to drive sober and obey the posted speed limit.  That’s why we’re focusing on the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ and ‘Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine’ campaigns during this holiday period.”

  Law enforcement agencies across the state will increase sobriety checkpoints and speeding patrols as part of the two week enforcement operation.  Officers are prepared to arrest drunk drivers and ticket speeders to ensure roadways are safer.

  “Safety is our primary concern, not just for drivers and passengers, but for others on the road such as pedestrians and workers in construction zones,” said Colonel Witt. “We hope all Arkansans have a great summer and holiday, but we are asking everyone to drive responsibly.”

  There were 552 traffic fatalities on Arkansas roadways during 2012.  Twenty-six percent, or 143 of those fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.  Speeding was a contributing factor in 76 of the total fatalities or almost 14 percent.

  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends that everyone buckle up and drivers should always obey the posted speed limit.  Anyone who plans to consume alcohol should designate a sober driver before traveling.   Calling a friend or taxi for transportation after consuming alcohol is another safe way to avoid an arrest or worse, being involved in a deadly crash.

  The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office and runs concurrently with a media campaign that will remind motorists, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.” For more information on the campaigns, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

Additional Information Contact:
ASP Highway Safety Office – Ann Whitehead
(501) 618-8133 – ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

LOGAN COUNTY MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH HIT & RUN DEATH OF BOONEVILLE WOMAN

June 20, 2014

  Jason Rhodes, 37, of Booneville, was arrested by Arkansas State Police today in connection with the hit and run pedestrian fatality of Joy Duvall earlier this week.

  Duvall, 50, was allegedly struck by a vehicle driven by Rhodes Tuesday night (June 17th).  Duvall was walking southbound along the northbound shoulder of State Highway 23 approximately one-half mile south of Highway 10 when she was struck.  Duvall was pronounced dead at the scene.

  Arkansas State Troopers assigned to both the department’s Highway Patrol Division and Criminal Investigation Division began their investigation of the death shortly after it was reported about 9:50 PM Tuesday.  Late Wednesday, State Troopers located a 2009 GMC Acadia which is the vehicle believed to have been driven by Rhodes Tuesday night.

  Rhodes was arrested by Special Agents of the State Police Criminal Investigation Division and taken to the Logan County Jail at Paris.  He is charged with negligent homicide and failure to stop after an accident with injury or death.  The investigation is continuing.

BOONEVILLE WOMAN STRUCK AND KILLED; STATE TROOPERS ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE IN TRACKING DRIVER & VEHICLE

June 18, 2014

  (BOONEVILLE) - Arkansas State Troopers are investigating a hit and run fatality collision that claimed the life of a Booneville woman last night (Tuesday, June 17th).

  Joy Duvall, 50, was struck by a vehicle as she walked southbound along the northbound shoulder of State Highway 23 approximately one-half mile south of Highway 10.  Duvall was pronounced dead at the scene.

  State Troopers assigned to the Highway Patrol Division and Special Agents of the Criminal Investigation Division have questioned residents who live in the area where Duvall was seen walking before she was struck.

  Duvall was wearing a light color tank top, denim shorts and athletic shoes.  She was struck by a vehicle traveling northbound along Highway 23 about 9:50 PM.

  The Arkansas State Police is asking for anyone with information about a vehicle seen leaving the area of the hit and run scene in Booneville to contact State Police, Troop H Headquarters at Fort Smith by calling (479) 783-5195.

STATE POLICE RECRUITS COMMISSIONED DURING GRADUATION CEREMONY: NEW TROOPERS ASSIGNED TO HIGHWAY PATROL DUTIES

June 12, 2014

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Twenty-eight Arkansas State Police Trooper Recruits graduated tonight during ceremonies at the Arkansas State Capitol.

  The recruits received the Oath of State Trooper Commission from the Honorable Clinton K. Jones, Washington County, District Judge.

  The recruit class initially reported for duty on January 20th this year.  Each class member has accumulated 1,044 hours of classroom studies and practical training. The recruits are eligible for 41 college credit hours toward a Criminal Justice degree from Black River Technical College at Pocahontas.

  Governor Mike Beebe was the keynote speaker addressing the graduates and Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police, presented the new troopers their commissions.

  Other dignitaries present included representatives of the Arkansas State Police Commission and State Police Division, Troop and Company commanders.

  Graduates of the 2014 class are:

•  Travis L. Eddleman, 31, of Aubrey (Lee County), who served as 2014-A Recruit Class Leader, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop B, Sharp County.  Recruit Eddleman is a graduate of Arkansas State University and a U.S. Army veteran.

•  Kyle W. Bost, 33, of Little Rock, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  Recruit Bost is a graduate of the University of the Ozarks (Clarksville) and is a U.S. Army veteran.

•  Jacob T. Boswell, 23, of Harrison, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.  Recruit Boswell is a graduate of the University of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Missouri).

•  Patrick A. Claggett, 27, of Lowell, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Logan County.  Recruit Claggett is a U.S. Army veteran.

 •  Rodney E. Davenport, 28, of Brinkley, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Monroe County.

•  Levi A. Fleming, 23, of Mountain Home, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County.  Recruit Fleming is a graduate of Arkansas State University.

•  Joseph F. Gilliland, 31, of Yellville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Marion County.  Recruit Gilliland is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University.

•  Logan G. Hall, 24, of Jonesboro, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.

•  Justin Wayne Harmon, 22, of Searcy, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Union County.

•  Kevin P. Helm, 28, of Melbourne, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County.  Recruit Helm is a graduate of Ozarka College in Melbourne.

•  Nathan L. Holder, 26, of Pindall (Searcy County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.    Recruit Holder is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University.

•  John Brandon Howington, 25, of Bryant, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Arkansas County.  Recruit Howington is a U.S. Navy veteran.

•  Jason Hutcheson, 50, of Lead Hill (Boone County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol, Troop I, Searcy County.

•  Kyle M. Johnson, 24, of Russellville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Van Buren County.

•  Michael A. Lance, 33, of Mena, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Scott County.  Recruit Lance is a graduate of Valor Christian College in Columbus, Ohio.

•  Stephen R. Lee, 30, of Sherwood, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  Recruit Lee is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University (Ruston, Louisiana) and is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

•  Paul A. Meeks Jr., 24, of Atkins, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Van Buren County.  Recruit Meeks is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University.

•  Christopher B. Neathery, 23, of Gurdon, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Nevada County.  Recruit Neathery is a U.S. Army veteran.

•  Jacob D. Pack, 23, of Atkins, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Conway County.  Recruit Pack is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University.

•  Zachary H. Paschal, 27, of Batesville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Poinsett County.

•  Justin A. Pool, 22, of Dardanelle, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Desha County.

•  Matthew G. Ritchie, 30, of the Sardis community (Pulaski County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  Recruit Ritchie is a graduate of Arkansas State University and a U.S. Army veteran.

•  Wade Schanzlin, 36, of Camden, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Ouachita County.  Recruit Schanzlin is a graduate of South Arkansas University Tech.

•  Randall W. Schwab, 24, of Fayetteville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.  Recruit Schwab is a graduate of the University of Arkansas.

 •  Ryne G. Shelton, 23, of Dierks, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Lafayette County.  Recruit Shelton is a graduate of Henderson State University.

•  Christopher M. Short, 34, of Muldrow, Oklahoma, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Howard County.  Recruit Short is a graduate of Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

•  Timothy Starson, 25, of Fort Smith, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.  Recruit Starson is a graduate of Arkansas State University.

 •  Matthew D. West, 23, of Wynne, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, St. Francis County. 

  Special recognition and awards were presented to the recruits who attained the highest scores within the respective training categories listed as follows:

•  Academics

  1. Recruit Travis Eddleman
  2. Recruit Matthew Ritchie
  3. Recruit Jacob Boswell

•  Physical Fitness

  1. Recruit Timothy Starson
  2. Recruit Stephen Lee
  3. Recruit Jacob Boswell

•  Firearms

  1. Recruit Kyle Bost
  2. Recruit Logan Hall
  3. Recruit Randall Schwab

  Upon reporting for duty at their respective troop headquarters, the new troopers will be placed with a certified departmental Field Training Officer (FTO). Each graduate will work in tandem with their respective FTO for a twelve-week transitional period prior to being released to their assignment.

STATE POLICE CID INVESTIGATING WOODRUFF COUNTY DOUBLE HOMICIDE

June 07, 2014

  The Arkansas State Police continue to work with local authorities in the investigation of a double homicide reported to Cotton Plant (Woodruff County) Police this morning about 6:30 AM.

  Cotton Plant Police reported that one victim was found inside the home at 321 Ash Street, the other was outside the residence.

  Special Agents of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division have been at the crime scene in Cotton Plant much of the day.

  Meanwhile identification has been completed confirming the names of the two victims as Audrey Vaughan, 19 and Howard Chapel (age unknown), both residents of the Ash Street residence.

STATE POLICE ARREST SUSPECT IN NORTH LITTLE ROCK HIT & RUN CASE

June 07, 2014

  (LITTLE ROCK) - Arkansas State Police arrested a North Little Rock man last night in connection with a hit and run crash which occurred earlier this week and left a local man who had been riding a bicycle seriously injured.

  State Troopers received a tip from a citizen late Friday (June 6th) giving them the location of the vehicle that was believed to have struck the bicyclist along MacArthur Drive Wednesday evening (see State Police news release at http://asp.arkansas.gov/news-releases/detail/state-police-searching-for-vehicle-involved-in-hit-run-case).

  Clyde Cook, III, 35, of 7371 River Point Drive, North Little Rock was taken into custody and charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident, battery in the 1st degree and driving on a suspended license.   He was incarcerated at the Pulaski County Jail.

STATE POLICE SEARCHING FOR VEHICLE INVOLVED IN HIT & RUN CASE

June 06, 2014

  Arkansas State Troopers are searching for a Ford Edge or Lincoln MKX that may have been driven from the scene of a hit and run highway crash along Highway 365 in northern Pulaski County earlier this week.

  Jimmy Bowman, 47, of North Little Rock sustained serious injuries as the result of being struck by a hit and run driver shortly 9:45 PM Wednesday evening (June 4th).

  Bowman was riding a bicycle along State Highway 365, also known as MacArthur Drive, near the intersection with Mundo Road when he was struck.

  The Ford Edge or Lincoln MKX is believed to be a 2102 or 2013 model year vehicle and its color may be metallic red.

  The vehicle was last seen leaving the area of the crash scene along MacArthur Drive traveling south toward North Little Rock.  Troopers and Special Agents of the Criminal Investigation Division suspect the vehicle may have damage to the right-front fender and possibly the right passenger door.  The vehicle will also be missing the right passenger door mirror housing.

  Anyone with information pertaining to the crash or the whereabouts of the vehicle is asked to contact the Arkansas State Police by calling (501) 618-8100.

COMMISSIONERS APPROVE DIRECTOR’S RECOMMENDATION FOR CID SERGEANT

June 05, 2014

  (LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendation for promotion of Corporal Kevin Richmond to the rank of sergeant.  The promotion was recommended by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police during a meeting of the commission earlier today.        

  Sergeant Richmond, 51, of Fayetteville, is a twenty-four year veteran of the department.  Sergeant Richmond will remain in his present assignment with the department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Company D headquartered at Fort Smith; however he’ll assume supervisory duties within the company. 

TROOPERS HONORED FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE: TROOPERS OF THE YEARS & OTHERS RECOGNIZED IN CEREMONY

May 20, 2014

  Corporal Alvernon Rogers and Special Agent Matt Roberson were presented awards today recognizing them as Arkansas State Troopers of the Year.  The pair was among a group of nine State Troopers receiving the most esteemed honors bestowed annually by the Arkansas State Police during the department’s annual awards ceremony.

 

  Corporal Rogers of Bryant is a twenty-five year veteran of the department and is currently assigned to the State Police Administrative Services Division, Recruiting Section.

  Corporal Rogers is credited with establishing a network of recruit liaisons at state universities, colleges, military installations, and among local community leaders.  The award also recognizes Corporal Rogers for his impeccable work while representing the department at statewide events and for his voluntary role as an instructor at the Louis Bryant Troopers Coalition Boys Summer Camp and his tireless efforts supporting the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Christmas program.

  Corporal Rogers was also presented the department’s Distinguished Meritorious Service Award for his voluntary work devoted to humanitarian causes, in particular those involving children and his career-long devotion to distinguished representation of the Arkansas State Police.

  S/A (Corporal) Roberson of Warren is a nine year veteran of the department and is currently assigned to the State Police Criminal Investigation Division, Company B.

  S/A Roberson is a veteran of the Iraq War and is an active supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project, helping raise awareness and enlist public support across Arkansas helping injured military servicemen return to active and productive civilian life. 

  Over the past four years S/A Roberson has devoted innumerable hours of his own time arranging for wounded warriors to join him on all expense paid duck hunting trips.  He is also active in his local community as a youth baseball coach and accompanies local youths on church mission trips.  Through the course of his career S/A Roberson has proven to be an invaluable credit to the department and has repeatedly demonstrated his readiness to assist local law enforcement agencies in his assigned Troops and Company.

  S/A Roberson was also awarded the State Police Medal of Valor for his role in a 2013 White County SWAT operation involving a barricaded suspect who used gunfire in an attack on state and local officers.

  Captain (retired) Steve Coleman of Greenwood was awarded the department’s Distinguished Meritorious Service Award.

  As a former commander of Troop H (Fort Smith), Coleman was recognized for his cumulative thirty-three years of service as an Arkansas State Trooper.  In particular Coleman was recognized for his work coordinating law enforcement and public safety operations outside the grounds of a week-long music festival held annually which attracts more than 20,000 people worldwide into Franklin County.

  Coleman was also recognized for assisting the Scott County Sheriff’s Department last year following the drowning death of Sheriff Cody Carpenter and his continuing support to county officials in the aftermath of the deadly flood.

  Coleman is also credited with outstanding service during the 2005 airlift operations that brought more than 10,000 Hurricane Katrina refugees into Arkansas and his work in dispersing the refugees to relief camps established across Arkansas.

  Special Agent (Corporal) Mark Brice of Conway County, a fourteen year veteran of the department assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company E, was presented the State Police Meritorious Service Award for his persistence in what began as a missing person case reported by the Perry County Sherriff’s Department.  Following an extended investigation S/A Brice began to suspect the victim may have been murdered and eventually developed information that directed him to three suspects and a site where the body of the missing woman had been dumped.

  More than a year after opening the case, the cumulative testimony and investigative file developed by S/A Brice were credited with leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.

  Troopers (First Class) James Avant and Brandon Cook were presented the Arkansas State Police Trooper’s Cross for their demonstration of courage during an armed confrontation and shooting incident at a Garland County residence.

  TFC Cook and Avant are seven and six year department veterans respectively and were assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop K (Hot Springs) when they answered the call to assist local authorities.  While approaching the front door of the residence the two troopers and a sheriff’s deputy were confronted by an individual who leveled a gun at the troopers and refused to follow their orders to drop the gun.  Necessary force was used by the troopers so they could make their way inside the home to rescue a woman being held by the gunman.

  Three Arkansas State Troopers were recognized for their human compassion and awarded the departmental Lifesaving Award.

  Trooper Benjamin Hoyt, a four year department veteran from Vilonia, was recognized for his selfless act of courage attempting to rescue an individual threatening to commit suicide by jumping from a river bridge.  During the rescue attempt, the individual was precariously close to the edge of the bridge leaving Trooper Hoyt to place his own life in peril as he quickly pulled the person from imminent danger.

  Sergeant Darren Neal, an eighteen year department veteran from Prescott, is credited with saving the life of a woman at a rural Nevada County restaurant who had choked while eating.  Sergeant Neal recognized the woman was not breathing and implemented the Heimlich maneuver which cleared the victim’s airway.

  Sergeant Eric Agee, a sixteen year department veteran from Conway, saved the life of woman he found sitting on the guard rail of a river bridge.  As Sergeant Agee moved closer to the woman and began talking to her, it became apparent the woman was edging her way off the rail and contemplating suicide.  In a final desperate attempt to save the woman, Sergeant Agee lunged for the woman, risking his own life, pulling her to safety.

  Wesley Jackson, of Wynne, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for contacting an Arkansas State Trooper in the immediate aftermath of a local bank robbery.

  The Distinguished Service Award is presented to citizens or law enforcement officers of another department who may assist the Arkansas State Police in the apprehension of a criminal or who lend assistance in such a way that it may place the individual in imminent danger.

  Jackson had noticed an individual walking away from the bank and was able to provide a detailed description of a man he believed might be the suspected bank robber.  Jackson was also able to provide an accurate description of the truck he saw the suspect drive away and the direction of the suspect’s travel out of town.

  The information provided by Jackson guided State Troopers directly to the suspect’s get-away route and in a matter of only minutes resulted in the arrest of the robbery suspect.

LIFE-SAVING “CLICK IT OR TICKET” MOBILIZATION SET FOR MAY 19 – JUNE 1

May 14, 2014

Additional Information Contact:
ASP Highway Safety Office – Ann Whitehead
(501) 618-8133 – ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

  As the summer travel season begins, so does a two-week long enforcement effort by Arkansas State Police and other law enforcement officers who will be on the lookout for violators of the Arkansas primary seat belt and child passenger safety laws.

  Beginning May 19th and continuing through June 1st state and local law enforcement agencies in Arkansas will participate in a nationwide Click It or Ticket mobilization. 

  As people take to the roads to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend, law enforcement officials across the nation will be working to ensure that everyone buckles up.

  “Memorial Day weekend is the traditional kick-off of summer vacation season,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “While patrolling the highways enforcing state traffic laws, State Troopers will be watching carefully for anyone violating safety belt laws.”

  According to new data released from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities were up nationwide in 2012 for the first time in five years with more than 10,000 people killed not wearing their seat belts.  The same data also indicates that more than sixty percent of the passenger vehicle occupants died in crashes occurring at night between the hours of 6 PM – 5:59 AM and the victims were not wearing seat belts.

  In Arkansas, 226 unbelted vehicle occupants died in 2012.  Many of those deaths could have been prevented if occupant restraints had been used.

  “There are too many people dying on our roadways, and many of those deaths could have been prevented if people had taken the simple step of wearing their seat belts,” said Colonel Witt.”  “We are determined to help bring these numbers down and that’s why we will be handing out tickets, not only during these mobilizations, but anytime a violation is seen, year round.”

  For more information on Click It or Ticket, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on the ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign, visit www.TZDarkansas.org

DIRECTOR’S PROMOTION FILLS HIGHWAY PATROL TROOP H COMMANDER POSITION; COMMISSION APPROVES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THREE SERGEANTS

May 08, 2014

  Lieutenant Bryan Davis, 47, of Alma has been promoted to the rank of captain and will assume duties as commander of Arkansas State Police, Highway Patrol Division, Troop H (Fort Smith).

  Captain Davis is a twenty-four year veteran of the department and most recently has served as assistant Troop H commander.

  The commander’s promotion and three others were approved today by the Arkansas State Police Commission based on recommendations presented by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Trooper First Class Todd Quick, 45, of Little Rock, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Quick is a seven year veteran of the department and most recently has served in patrol assignments within Highway Patrol Division, Troop A.  Sergeant Quick will assume duties as a Troop A post supervisor.

  Corporal Lorie Ring, 46, of Sheridan, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Ring is a fifteen year veteran of the department and most recently has served in patrol assignments within Highway Patrol Division, Troop K.  Sergeant Ring will assume post supervisor duties within Highway Patrol Division, Troop B.

  Corporal Bobby Brown, 44, of Russellville, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Brown is an eighteen year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned to the department’s Executive Protection Section.  Sergeant Brown will assume post supervisor duties within the Highway Patrol Division, Troop H.

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES JOIN PUSH TO IDENTIFY AND ARREST CHILD PREDATORS - MONTH LONG COORDINATED SWEEP ANNOUNCED

May 01, 2014

  The Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has joined a national initiative today casting an electronic dragnet aimed at online child predators.

  “Operation Broken Heart” is a coordinated strike force of specially trained police officers from 3,000 law enforcement agencies working nationwide over the next thirty days to arrest as many child predators as possible.

  “Every department or agency represented on the Arkansas task force has already demonstrated a remarkable record dedicated to guarding Arkansas children,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “I’m hopeful that by joining forces with law enforcement agencies nationwide over the next thirty days some of the most dangerous predators will be apprehended.”   

  Law enforcement officers across Arkansas representing thirty-five state, county and city agencies and departments, along with eight federal partner agencies, comprise the Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  

  The operation will concentrate on offenders who (1) possess, manufacture, and distribute child pornography; (2) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) engage in the commercial sexual exploitation of children (child prostitution), and (4) engage in child sex tourism (traveling abroad for the purpose of sexually abusing foreign children).

  State – County and Local Agency/Department Task Force Members:

  • Arkansas State Crime Laboratory
  • Arkansas Attorney General’s Office
  • Arkansas State Police
  • Bella Vista Police Department
  • Benton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bentonville Police Department
  • Cabot Police Department
  • Carroll County Sheriff’s Office
  • Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office
  • Fayetteville Police Department
  • Fort Smith Police Department
  • Garland County Sheriff’s Office
  • Grant County Sheriff’s Office
  • Greenwood Police Department
  • Hot Springs Police Department
  • Jonesboro Police Department
  • Little Rock Police Department
  • Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office
  • Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Miller County Sheriff’s Office
  • Mountain Home Police Department
  • Mountain View Police Department
  • Perry County Sheriff’s Office
  • Pine Bluff Police Department
  • Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office
  • Rogers Police Department
  • Russellville Police Department
  • Sherwood Police Department
  • Springdale Police Department
  • Van Buren Police Department
  • Washington County Sheriff’s Office
  • 2nd Judicial District Prosecutor’s Office
  • 5th Judicial District Prosecutor’s Office
  • 12th Judicial District Prosecutor’s Office
  • 15th Judicial District Prosecutor’s Office

Federal Partners:

  • United States Air Force (OSI-LRAFB)
  • United States Attorney’s Office (East & West)
  • United States Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • United States Marshals Service
  • United States Navy (NCIS)
  • United States Postal Inspection Service
  • United States Probation Office (East)

SERGEANT PROMOTION APPROVED BY COMMISSIONERS FOR TROOP I

April 17, 2014

(LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendation for promotion of Corporal Ronnie Stewart to the rank of sergeant.  The promotion was recommended by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police during a meeting of the commission earlier today.        

Sergeant Stewart, 47, of Mammoth Springs, is an 18 year veteran of the department.  Sergeant Stewart, assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, will assume new duties as a post supervisor within Troop I.

STATE POLICE OPENING APPLICATION PROCESS FOR CERTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS: INCENTIVES BEING OFFERED TO IMMEDIATELY FILL CRITICAL VACANCIES

April 17, 2014

 

(LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police is currently accepting applications from certified law enforcement officers who want to become an Arkansas State Trooper.

  In an effort to fill critical vacancies in eighteen Arkansas counties and fast track a class of approximately twenty-eight recruits toward a November 20th graduation, the recruit candidates will be offered an incentive by receiving their county assignments prior to troop school opening on August 31st.  Applications for the certified officer recruit school must be submitted by May 30th. 

  The counties with critical vacancies are: 

  • Chitot
  • Craighead
  • Crawford
  • Crittenden
  • Drew
  • Fulton
  • Greene
  • Izard
  • Jefferson
  • Johnson
  • Lafayette
  • Lee
  • Madison
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • Ouachita
  • Sebastian
  • Yell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  “By hiring certified law enforcement officers and being able to offer the possibility of returning a recruit graduate to their home county or their choice of a critical county vacancy; I believe we will be able to quickly fill the vacancies,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Minimum qualifications for the applicants require candidates to have graduated from a certified training academy no less than eighteen months prior to their application with State Police, successfully completed the state’s minimum certifications authorizing them as a law enforcement officer and have at least two years of officer work experience.

  “I want to reassure the public we are not compromising our standards by filling the vacancies on a fast track school,” said Colonel Witt.  “By recruiting law enforcement personnel who already possess minimum state requirements, we will be able to focus this class on Arkansas State Police policy, procedures and standards, along with advanced training and put new troopers on the highway who meet all the qualifications of this department.”

  Recruits who are hired will be paid a salary based on an annual rate of $34,500, raised to $36,000 upon graduation.  Family health insurance and retirement benefits are covered by the department.  Troopers are afforded overtime opportunities as well as certificate pay of up to $1,200 annually along with career service pay after ten years of service.

  Applicants for the certified law enforcement class will have to meet the same medical clearance, physical assessment and comprehensive background investigation which are identical prerequisites for all State Trooper candidates.

  Anyone who meets the minimum criteria for the special class of certified law enforcement officers and is interested in becoming an Arkansas State Trooper should contact the State Police Recruiting Office by calling (800) 340-4255 or click on the following web to complete the State Police Initial Contact Form and Medical Release Package found at the State Police Recruiting web site

  In order for an applicant's initial contact form to be considered, all supporting paperwork must be submitted to the Arkansas State Police Recruiting Office no later than May 30th.

STATE POLICE REQUEST PUBLIC ASSISTANCE IN DISAPPEARANCE OF MISSISSIPPI MAN

April 10, 2014

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are requesting the assistance of anyone who may have information relating to the disappearance of a Mississippi man last month.

  Robert Ross, 29, of Jackson, Mississippi was last seen on Friday March 28th when he picked-up a payroll check at a Jackson business and set-out for Arkansas, reportedly with intentions to visit a friend.

  On Tuesday, April 1st local law enforcement authorities found Ross’s 2005 Buick LaCrosse abandoned alongside State Highway 160, ten miles east of Portland, Arkansas near the Ashley–Chicot County line.

  Evidence inside the vehicle has caused sheriff’s deputies and State Police to have some suspicion of foul play associated with Ross’s disappearance.

  Anyone who may have seen Ross in Arkansas before the car was found or who may have information about his disappearance should contact the Special Agent Rick McKelvey at (870) 850-8630.

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO JOIN NATIONAL CRACKDOWN AGAINST TEXTING & DRIVING

April 07, 2014

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas law enforcement officers will join in a collective effort this month to crack down on violators who text while driving.

  The statewide effort to curb texting while driving violations is part of a six day national initiative that begins April 10th.

  The U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign is a twofold initiative that combines additional law enforcement patrols devoted to watching for drivers who are texting along with a national advertising and media outreach plan designed to inform the public about the stepped-up patrols and the driver’s responsibility to obey the law.

  “Arkansas motorists need to know that we are serious about stopping the deadly behavior of texting while driving,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “The practice has become far too common and strict enforcement of texting laws is one way to break what has turned into a bad habit.” 

  Arkansas law prohibits texting while driving, regardless of the driver’s age.  It is also a “primary offense law” which means a police officer or sheriff’s deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation.  Fines can range as high as $100.

  It is also illegal for drivers to use hand-held cell phones while traveling through school or highway work zones and it’s a violation for any driver under the age of 18 to use a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.  Drivers 18 to 20 years using a cell phone are required to use a hands-free device.  A violator fine can be $50 or doubled if the violation occurs in a highway work zone when workers are present.

  According to statistics based on motor vehicle crashes that occurred during 2012, there were 3,328 people killed and 421,000 injured nationwide as the result of distracted driving.  The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute reports that 25 percent of teenage drivers respond to a text message once or more every time they drive, and 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have been part of extended multi-message text conversations while driving.

  “When you text while driving you take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off your primary task which is driving safely,” Colonel Witt said.  “You put everyone’s life around you on the highway in danger, and no one has the right to do that.”

  Arkansas law enforcement agencies are committed to the national initiative of “Toward Zero Deaths”.  The participation by the Arkansas State Police and other Arkansas law enforcement agencies in U Drive. U Text. U Pay as well as Click It or Ticket and Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over represents a collective effort to significantly reduce the number of deaths each year on state highways, local roads and streets.

  The U Drive.U Text. U Pay. campaign is a national initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation to address incidents of distracted driving.

  For more information, visit www.distraction.gov or www.TZDarkansas.org or contact the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

STATE POLICE CID INVESTIGATING STABBING INCIDENT AND OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

March 24, 2014

  A stabbing incident inside a White County convenience store ended with a local police officer shooting the suspect.  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have been requested by local authorities to investigate both incidents.
 
  At approximately 10 AM a man and woman believed to be traveling together entered the business located at 119 U.S. Highway 167 in Bald Knob.  While inside the store the woman allegedly stabbed the man who then made his way to the front of the store seeking assistance.
 
  A local police officer arriving on the scene confronted the suspect who was still armed and ordered her to drop the weapon.  The woman allegedly advanced toward the officer who shot then shot the suspect.
 
  Both victims were transported to area hospitals for treatment of their respective wounds.
 
  The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division will prepare an investigative file to be presented to the White County Prosecuting Attorney to determine whether the local officer used deadly force consistent with Arkansas law.
 
  Identification processing of the two wounded individuals is still underway.
 
  Questions relating to the identity of the police officer and current administrative status of the officer should be directed to the local police department.

EAST LITTLE ROCK COLLISION CLAIMS ONE LIFE IN BURNING WRECKAGE

March 19, 2014

  Arkansas State Troopers are still on the scene of a fiery collision in east Little Rock that has claimed the life of at least one person.

  At approximately 1:55 PM today (Wednesday, March 19th) State Troopers were dispatched to a collision in the eastbound lanes of I-440 near Fouche Dam Pike.

  Based on initial information gathered by State Troopers investigating the crash scene, the driver of a car had attempted to back the vehicle in a westerly direction along the eastbound lane of I-440 when it was struck from the rear by a commercial carrier truck which jackknifed on impact.  The first large truck was then struck by a second commercial carrier truck.  The wreckage was engulfed in flames as Troopers arrived.

  One fatality has been confirmed and two individuals have been transported from the scene.  The condition of the injured is unknown.

  Eastbound traffic on I-440 from I-30 and I-530 is being diverted through downtown Little Rock along I-30.

  Westbound traffic along I-440 is moving slowly through the area and at one westbound lane is closed for use by emergency vehicles.

  It is unknown when traffic will be allowed to re-enter the eastbound lanes of I-440 near Fouche Dam Pike.

“CLICK IT OR TICKET” FOCUS ON THOSE LEAST LIKELY TO BUCKLE UP

March 10, 2014

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ann Whitehead - State Police Highway Safety Office
(501) 618-8133    ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov
 

(LITTLE ROCK) – State, county and city law enforcement agencies kick off a two-week campaign today warning young people that they risk getting a ticket if they don’t fasten their safety belts.

Law enforcement officers across the state will be stepping up their enforcement of safety belt laws as part of the Click It or Ticket campaign.  The goal is not to write tickets, but to get everyone buckled up, especially teen drivers and their passengers.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.  During the calendar year 2012 records indicate that 73 percent of young people ages 16-20 who died in traffic crashes in Arkansas were not buckled-up.   

“Teens and young adults are killed at far higher rates than older adults in crashes because they are caught in a lethal combination of inexperience, risk taking and low safety belt use,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.

Research shows that teens are not as concerned about injury or death as much as they fear getting a ticket.  “We want to reach those least likely to wear seat belts and most at risk to die in traffic crashes with this message:  If you don’t buckle up to save your life, then buckle up to save yourself a ticket,” said Colonel Witt.

While national seat belt use stands at 84 percent, Arkansas’ seat belt use rate is only 77 percent.  Further statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that safety belt use for teens and young adults continues to lag behind the rest of the population.

Arkansas law requires:

* Seat belt use for drivers and front seat passengers.
* Everyone to be buckled up if a driver has a learners or intermediate license.
* All children under fifteen years of age to be properly restrained.
* Children younger than six years of age and weighing less than sixty pounds to be properly restrained in approved child safety seats.

For more information on teen driving safety visit SaferTeenDrivingAR.org or for Click It or Ticket, contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

CID COMPANY COMMANDER AND HIGHWAY PATROL POST SUPERVISOR PROMOTIONS APPROVED BY COMMISSION

February 28, 2014

  Two Arkansas State Troopers were recommended for consideration of promotion today by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  The recommendations were submitted and approved during a regular monthly meeting of the State Police Commission.

  Sergeant Mark Hollingsworth, 53, of Mountain Home, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will assume command duties of Company E within the department’s Criminal Investigation Division.

  Lieutenant Hollingsworth is a twenty-eight year veteran of the department and most recently has served as a Special Agent supervisor within Company E.

  Corporal Don Johnson, 46, of Lewisville, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume post supervisor duties in Troop D of the department’s Highway Patrol Division headquartered at Forrest City.

  Sergeant Johnson is an eighteen year veteran of the department and most recently was assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, where he patrolled the Lafayette County area of southwest Arkansas.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATION CONTINUING IN OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING INCIDENT

February 14, 2014

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division worked through Thursday night and this morning gathering statements and evidence connected with a shooting incident that erupted as Helena – West Helena Police Officers attempted to execute a residential search warrant.

  At approximately 5:18 PM on Thursday (February 13th) officers arrived at 612 and 614 West Cleburne Street in Helena where they were met with gunfire.

  During the exchange of gunfire, Matthew Jarrett, a Helena officer was wounded and transported to a Memphis hospital where he has been reported to be in stable condition.

  David and Charlie Randle, two men at the location where the search warrant was being executed, were wounded during the shooting.

  David Randle was treated and released, while Charlie Randle remains hospitalized at Memphis in critical condition.

  Upon completion of the investigation by State Police Special Agents, the investigative file will be submitted to the Phillips County Prosecuting Attorney to determine whether use of deadly force by the Helena Police Officers was consistent with Arkansas laws and whether criminal charges should be filed against the individuals who fired on police.

  Questions relating to the administrative statutes of any officers involved in the shooting should be directed to the Helena Police Department.