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THREE STATE POLICE PROMOTIONS APPROVED BY ASP COMMISSION

October 12, 2017

  The Arkansas State Police Commission today approved three recommendations for promotion presented for consideration by Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Sergeant Michael Moyer, 42, of Faulkner County, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.  He will serve in an assistant command role within the department’s Regulatory and Building Operations Division.

  Lieutenant Moyer is a thirteen year veteran of the department.

  Corporal David Jones, 45, of Independence County, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He will serve as a post supervisor within the department’s Highway Patrol Division, Troop B.

  Sergeant Jones is a seventeen year veteran of the department.

  Corporal Kevin Brown, 38, of Van Buren County, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He will serve as a supervisor within the department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Company D.

  Sergeant Brown is a twelve year veteran of the department.

CONWAY COUNTY DEATH UNDER INVESTIGATION

October 08, 2017

  Officials of the Conway County Sheriff’s Department have asked the Arkansas State Police to conduct an investigation involving an in-custody death that occurred Sunday, October 8, 2017.

  During the 4 AM hour sheriff’s deputies responded to a disturbance call outside a residence at 29 Oliger Drive, near the Springfield community, north of Plumerville.

  As deputies approached the location they encountered Regina Twist, 36 of Hot Springs.  An altercation reportedly began involving Twist and the deputies.  In an attempt to gain control of Twist, deputies used chemical agent and a Taser.

  Twist was subsequently handcuffed and became unresponsive.  Twist was transported to a Morrilton hospital where she later died.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division will collect evidence and statements of witnesses.  The woman’s body is being transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for purposes of an autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death.

  An investigative file will be submitted by the state police to the prosecuting attorney.

  Questions relating to the identities of sheriff’s deputies present at the time of the arrest and their administrative status should be directed to the Conway County Sheriff’s Office.

ARKANSAS PHARMACISTS READY WITH NALOXONE PROTOCOL; STATE TROOPERS EQUIPPED & TRAINED TO ADMINISTER NARCAN

September 11, 2017

  The Arkansas State Police recently distributed to each trooper two doses of Narcan that can be used as any trooper encounters a victim of an opioid overdose.  Now, the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy and the Arkansas Pharmacists Association have developed a Naloxone protocol that can be used much like the protocols for administering immunizations with any prescriptions initialized being in the name of the prescriber on the protocol.

  Whenever an individual presents at the pharmacy and is individually at risk for an opioid related overdose due to current prescription therapy or other drug use, the pharmacist may initiate a prescription for that individual and bill the patient’s insurance if available for the Naloxone being provided. If insurance is not available in this instance then it would be a cash pay (credit) transaction.

  Whenever an individual presents at the pharmacy who is a family member, friend, or other person who is in a position to assist an individual with an increased risk of an opioid overdose (which could include Law Enforcement, First Responders, teachers, school nurses…), the pharmacist may initiate a prescription for that individual to be used for anyone they come in contact with that is experiencing an opioid overdose. This would likely be a cash transaction unless there is other guidance from an insurance provider allowing for billing in this scenario.

  It is important to read not only the clarifying language in the act but also the related statewide Naloxone Protocol and counsel patients on how these products are used. It is also important to note that the Naloxone protocol can serve as a fact sheet to be provided to patients as required in the law and finally, if for an individual person you must ask if they have a primary care physician and notify them of the purchase of Naloxone when using this protocol. If they have a primary care physician and a secondary provider that is writing for opioids it would be useful to notify them as well.

  Finally, we would suggest looking at the Naloxone PowerPoint that the Board of Pharmacy and State Drug Director’s office has been using as an educational tool as well as looking at options for smartphone apps such as OpiRescue and NARCAN Now that can walk patients through the process of using Naloxone for a potential opioid overdose. The most important point you can make to each person counseled on Naloxone use is to emphasize that this is a temporary fix that requires further medical attention due to the fact that Naloxone will wear off before the opioids on board and a patient can go back into overdose as the Naloxone wears off.  Always seek further medical treatment to keep the patient stabilized. Also know that there is an immunity protection for individuals who are both supplying as well as administering Naloxone to a person suspected to be in an opioid overdose situation.

Click here to download a copy of the Naloxone Protocol.

Click here to download a copy of Act 284 authorizing pharmacists to initiate therapy and administer and/or dispense Naloxone.

Click here to download a copy of the Naloxone PowerPoint (10 MB) or here for a pdf version of the presentation.

Click here to see Governor Hutchinson's press conference announcing the Naloxone protocol initiative.

STATE TROOPERS PREPARING FOR CHALLENGE OF WEEKDAY RAZORBACK GAME TRAFFIC

August 29, 2017

Arkansas State Troopers are preparing to meet the traffic challenges of a weekday Razorback football game at War Memorial Stadium located in central Little Rock this week.

  Beginning at 3 PM Thursday (August 31st) troopers will implement game day changes at major intersections in the vicinity of War Memorial Stadium along Interstate 630. 

  • Traffic will be blocked from entering the westbound on-ramp of I-630 at the Pine/Cedar interchange.  Pine and Cedar Streets (north) will be used by drivers exiting I-630 to access stadium or nearby parking.
  • The northern-most lane of I-630 westbound from Pine/Cedar west to Fair Park will be restricted for use by traffic destined for stadium area parking only.
  • The eastbound exit ramp from I-630 onto Fair Park will be closed.

  While no changes in traffic routes are planned for I-30 or I-430, motorists should expect traffic volume to be at, or near capacity. 

  East and westbound traffic along Markham Street between downtown and Rodney Parham Road is expected to be particularly impacted during the rush hour as business and government employees leave work.  Motorists who do not plan to attend the game are encouraged to find alternate routes traveling north or south of their usual routes of travel.

POLICE OFFICER AND BYSTANDER WOUNDED IN OVERNIGHT SHOOTING; SUSPECT DEAD

August 26, 2017

   Michael Malik Kawon Lee, 18, of Little Rock was fatally shot by a Pine Bluff Police Officer earlier today following a disturbance and fight that left one police officer and a bystander wounded by gunfire.

   Pine Bluff Police and Kyle Hunter, 11th Judicial District (west) Prosecuting Attorney, requested the incident to be investigated by special agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.

   Witnesses stated that several individuals had gathered outside the Harbor Oaks Restaurant about 12:30 AM.  The restaurant is located along the northern edge of the city within the Pine Bluff Regional Park.

   Pine Bluff Police Officers intervened as an altercation erupted on the restaurant parking lot.  One police officer attempted to pull Lee from the fight.  Lee then shot the officer, wounding him in the leg.  The wound is not believed to be life threatening.

   Lee then reportedly attempted to flee from the area when a second police officer fired his weapon striking Lee who died at the scene.

   Asia Amos, 19, was also wounded by gunfire during the incident.  Her wound is not believed to be life threatening.  State police special agents will attempt to determine the source of the gunshot that wounded Amos.

   Lee’s body will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for purposes of an autopsy and forensic examination.

   Upon completion of the investigation by state police, the investigative file will be turned-over to Prosecuting Attorney Hunter for review and consideration of whether the shooting by police was consistent with Arkansas laws relating to use of deadly force by a law enforcement officers.

   Public inquiries regarding the identities of the police officers and their administrative status should be directed to the Pine Bluff Police Department.

DREW COUNTY DEPUTY KILLED IN CRASH; ARKANSAS STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING

August 24, 2017

  Drew County Deputy Sheriff Timothy Braden, 29, was killed in the line of duty this morning following a motor vehicle pursuit that ended in a crash just outside Monticello along Barkada Road.

  At approximately 1:35 AM (Thursday, August 24th), Deputy Braden initiated a traffic stop involving a vehicle driven by Samuel Vincent, 24, of Monticello.  Vincent refused to stop and fled.

  Both vehicles were subsequently involved in a crash resulting in the death of Deputy Braden and injuries to Vincent.

  An investigation of the crash and pursuit is underway involving both the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division and Criminal Investigation Division.  The Arkansas State Police investigation is being conducted at the request of authorities within the Drew County Sheriff’s Department.

  Vincent has been taken into custody and is being held at the Ashley County Detention Center on the authority of Thomas Deen, 10th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney. 

STATE POLICE COMMISSION APPROVES PROMOTION FOR CID ASSISTANT COMMANDER

August 16, 2017

  Lieutenant David Lafferty, 57, of Garland County was promoted to the rank of captain today.  The recommendation for promotion was presented to the Arkansas State Police Commission by Colonel Bill Bryant, state police director.

  Captain Lafferty is a twenty-nine year veteran of the department.  He was formerly commander of CID Company C and now assumes duties as Criminal Investigation Division assistant commander.

HOLIDAY DRUNK DRIVING CRACKDOWN READIED BY ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT

August 14, 2017

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

   

    One last blast of summer fun too often turns into death and tragedy caused by drunk drivers traveling across state roads and highways.  The Labor Day holiday period is among the most deadly travel periods on Arkansas highways.

   Beginning August 18th and continuing through September 4th, 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 presence.  The objective is to reduce the number of drunk drivers getting behind the wheel of a vehicle to endanger others and themselves.

    “Zero tolerance for drunk driving is the standing order for our troopers,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “With additional sobriety checkpoints planned across the state and an increased number of troopers and other officers on the roads, we want to ensure safe traveling for Arkansans and out of state visitors.”

    The consequences of drunk driving are severe and life changing.  Drunk or drug impaired 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.

    “Along with a DWI conviction and the financial consequences, violators also endure personal humiliation among friends and family,” Colonel 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.”

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,265 people nationwide were killed in drunk driving crashes during 2015, an increase from the 9,967 individuals killed during 2014.  During the 2015 Labor Day holiday reporting period, there were 460 crash fatalities nationwide.  Forty percent involved drivers who had been drinking and among that group, 33% were drunk (.08+ BAC), and 23% involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the illegal limit (.15+ BAC).

    The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends the following:

  - Always plan ahead whenever you expect to drive and consume alcohol. Designate a sober driver before leaving 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 contact law enforcement to report drunk drivers you see on the roadways.
  - Always wear your seat belt.
  - If you’re on a motorcycle, use protective safety 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.

EARN THE BADGE: ARKANSAS STATE TROOPERS LOOKING FOR RECRUITS TO FILL 2018 ACADEMY CLASS

August 08, 2017

  Arkansas State Police Recruiters are looking for candidates who are interested in enrolling in the 2018 academy class.  Thirty-five recruits will be selected to enter the academy early next year. 

  “If you can meet the minimum qualifications and are ready to excel in earning the badge of an Arkansas State Trooper, we want to meet you,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “If you are selected, you will find yourself on the path of one of the most rewarding careers imaginable.” 

 Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Arkansas State Police web site at www.asp.arkansas.gov and watch the recruiting video that offers a view into the world of a state trooper.  The recruiting page also provides applicants a means to directly contact a recruiter.

 

Minimum qualification to be considered are: 

Must be a United States citizen and at least 21 years of age.
Must possess a medical release to participate in a physical fitness test.
Must possess a current and valid driver license.
Must be a certified high school graduate or possess a GED equivalency.
Must meet visual acuity requirements. (*applicant’s vision must be sufficiently acceptable to ensure the applicant could fulfill the essential job functions of an Arkansas State Trooper.  Applicants must possess binocular vision with normal color vision and depth perception and required peripheral vision of 140 degrees with a minimum visual acuity of 20/100 uncorrected, corrected to 20/20 in each eye.)
Never convicted of a felony criminal charge.
Never convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.
Pass a comprehensive background check.
No tattoos shall be visible on an applicant’s body that could be seen if wearing the uniform of an Arkansas State Trooper. 

 

  Recruits begin earning a salary after being offered a position by the Director of the Arkansas State Police and reporting to the academy.  The entry salary for an Arkansas State Trooper Recruit is $40,340.  Following four and ½ years of service, a trooper becomes eligible for promotion to the rank of Trooper First Class, receiving a salary increase of 10% or an increase to the entry pay level of $45,010, whichever is greater.  Upon seven and ½ years of service a trooper is promoted to the rank of corporal, awarded a 10% raise or an increase to the entry pay level of $50,222, or whichever is greater. 

 

  Benefits include: 

Healthcare insurance is paid by the state for a trooper (recruit) and family
Certificate pay up to $1,200 annually (*state police director discretion)
Retirement contributions are paid by the state.
Uniforms and equipment are furnished.
Eligible for career service pay following ten years of state service.
Opportunities for overtime duty.

 

  Vacancies to be filled are currently in the following counties: 

- Arkansas
- Bradley
- Calhoun
- Carroll
- Crittenden
- Cross
- Dallas
- Desha
- Drew
- Izard
- Jefferson
- Lafayette
- Lee
- Lincoln
- Mississippi
- Nevada
- Pike
- Pulaski
- Scott
- St. Francis

- Woodruff

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING FATAL MARMADUKE SHOOTING

August 04, 2017

   Special Agents with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating a deadly shooting that occurred at approximately 10:00 this morning (Friday, August 4th, 2017) at the Valero gas station located at 11402 US Highway 49 in the city of Marmaduke. 

   Marmaduke Police Officers responded to a disturbance call at the gas station, where two individuals had become involved in a verbal altercation.  During the altercation, one individual fired a weapon multiple times outside store, severely injuring the victim.  The victim was transported to a local hospital and was later pronounced dead.

   One person is in custody in connection with the shooting.  The investigation is continuing.

DEATH SCENE INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY IN LOGAN COUNTY

August 01, 2017

  The decomposed body of a female was discovered earlier today at 703 Delaware Bay Road northwest of Dardanelle near the Yell and Logan County line.

  A request was received this afternoon from authorities within the Logan County Sheriff’s Department requesting assistance of Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.  The state police will now lead the investigation relating to the death.

  The remains of the woman are being transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to confirm identity and determine the manner and cause of death.

TEEN DIES FOLLOWING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING AT MARION

July 26, 2017

A teenager wounded outside an emergency shelter for juveniles yesterday (Tuesday, July 25, 2017) died at a Memphis hospital overnight.

The name of the juvenile will be released later today once the Arkansas State Police can confirm all immediate family members have been notified.  

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division will keep the prosecuting attorney of jurisdiction apprised of their work and will later submit a complete investigative file that will be used by the prosecutor to determine whether use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was justified as prescribed in Arkansas law.

The release of any information that may identify the names of officers involved in the shooting and their administrative status will be left up to authorities within the Marion Police Department.

SHOOTING OUTSIDE EMERGENCY JUVENILE SHELTER IN CRITTENDEN COUNTY UNDER INVESTIGATION

July 25, 2017

  A sixteen year old male was shot and critically wounded earlier tonight outside a Marion (Crittenden County) emergency shelter for juveniles located at 104 Cypress Avenue.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have been requested by Marion Police to investigate the shooting.

  At approximately 7:08 PM, Marion Police Officers responded to the shelter and moments later reported a teenager had been shot and wounded by police.

  No additional information is expected to be released from the investigation tonight.  Additional facts about the case are expected to be provided Wednesday.

CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY ON NEW STATE POLICE WARREN HEADQUARTERS

July 19, 2017 (WARREN) – Governor Asa Hutchinson and commanders of the Arkansas State Police, along with state police commissioners, broke ground today signaling construction to begin on a new $2.8-million dollar troop headquarters. “Seventy-four years ago in Warren, the Arkansas State Police built a headquarters building that we now know as Troop F Headquarters. It was one of the first four built in the state. Now we are breaking ground to build a new facility that will better serve the people of Arkansas. I am honored to participate in this ceremony and to express my appreciation for the hard work of state troopers who put themselves at risk to keep us safe,” said Governor Hutchinson. Troop F Headquarters, originally designated District 4 in 1943, was among the first of four headquarters to be built following the 1935 Arkansas General Assembly session creating the Department of Arkansas State Police. Eighty-two years later there are twelve Arkansas State Police troop headquarters. “This is an exciting time for the Arkansas State Police as we begin an extensive building program this year to replace antiquated headquarters not only here, but in Newport, Forrest City, Harrison and Springdale,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police. “While the Warren headquarters has had several facelifts over the years, it’s time for a modern facility that will serve our troopers and the citizens of south Arkansas for many years to come.” Nine south Arkansas counties (Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Cleveland, Dallas, Drew, Ouachita and Union) are served by Highway Patrol Division, Troop F. Currently there are 26 state troopers patrolling the highways in this area under the command of Captain Charles Hubbard. Troop F also provides integral communication services 24-hours a day for state troopers and other law enforcement services in the immediate area. Six full-time telecommunication personnel are assigned to the troop Last year more than 4,500 driver license tests were administered at the Warren testing station inside Troop F where three examiners are employed. With 11,041 square feet of building space being planned for the new structure, more than twice the size of the existing facility, the headquarters building will also house offices for the special agents of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division and Crimes Against Children Division. Construction of the new building is expected to be completed by mid-year 2018.

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN SIX STATES READY TO CRACKDOWN ON SPEEDING VIOLATORS - ARKANSAS POLICE SAY, Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine

July 17, 2017

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

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Law enforcement authorities in Arkansas and in five other states will concentrate their patrol assignments on speeding violations during the coming weekend (July 21 – July 23, 2017).

   “Obey the sign or pay the fine,” is a multijurisdictional enforcement operation plan designed to crack down on speeding offenses and make highway travel safer across Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

   “Speeding translates into death on our roadways.  It greatly reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object in the roadway, or an unexpected curve,” said Susan DeCourcy, Regional Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Region 7.  “Speeding drivers put themselves, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk. All drivers need to be on alert; the posted speed limit is the law.  When it comes to speeding, there are no excuses, ‘Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.’”

   According to the latest data from NHTSA, speeding was a contributing factor in 27 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. during 2015.  More than 9,500 lives were lost in these speed related crashes.  In Arkansas during the same reporting period, there were 531 total traffic fatalities, of which 90 (17%) were speed related.

   Federal highway safety experts consider a motor vehicle crash to be speed related if the driver is charged with exceeding the posted speed limit or if the driver was driving too fast for conditions at the time.

   The risk of a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality as on a road with a 45 or 50 mph speed limit.  However, the danger of speeding is not limited to highways. Seventeen percent of speed related traffic fatalities during 2015 occurred on local roads where the posted speed limits were 55 miles per hour or less.

   “During the ‘Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine’ operation, state troopers will intensify their speed enforcement patrols,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Arkansas State Police Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “We’ll stop and ticket anyone caught speeding.”

   For more information about “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine,” please visit http://trafficsafetymarketing.gov/.

CID MAJOR AMONG THREE PROMOTIONS APPROVED BY ASPC

July 13, 2017

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Captain Mark Hollingsworth, 56, of North Little Rock was promoted to the rank of major today.  He is a thirty-one year veteran of the Arkansas State Police.

  The nomination for promotion was presented for consideration to the Arkansas State Police Commission today by Colonel Bill Bryant, state police director.  The commission approved the promotion and two others during a regularly scheduled meeting.

  Major Hollingsworth will continue in his role as commander of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division.

  Sergeant Kevin Richmond, 54, of Springdale, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.  Richmond is a twenty-seven year veteran of the department.

  Lieutenant Richmond will assume command of Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division, Company D.

  Corporal Philip Hydron, 45, of Brinkley, was prompted to the rank of sergeant.  Hydron is a thirteen year veteran of the department.

  Sergeant Hydron will assume new duties as a Crittenden County post supervisor assigned to Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop D.

INVESTIGATION OF INTERSTATE 30 SHOOTING INCIDENT CONTINUES

June 28, 2017

  Arkansas State Troopers are continuing their work from overnight (Tuesday, June 27, 2017) in connection with a shooting incident that occurred in the area of Interstate 30 and the I-630 interchange.

  At approximately 7 PM Tiara Mitchell, 27, of Little Rock, was traveling eastbound along I-30 when multiple gunshots were fired into the vehicle she was driving.  Mitchell was wounded but able to get off the highway in North Little Rock where she was contacted by state troopers.

  The gunfire reporteldy came from a passing vehicle believed to be a white Toyota Corolla or Camry.

  Mitchell was transported to an area hospital and underwent surgery overnight.  The injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have worked with Little Rock Police Officers overnight in an attempt to identify and locate possible suspects tied to the shooting.

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS UNIFIED MESSAGE FOR JULY 4th DRIVERS:  DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER

June 27, 2017

Additional Information Contact:

ASP Highway Safety Office – Ann Whitehead

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

 

   (LITTLE ROCK) – The celebration of our nation’s birthday during the coming week will lead thousands of families onto the state highways and local streets.  Their travels will take them to cookouts, family reunions, picnics and other summer festivities.

   Inevitably some won’t return home.  The bad choices that lead to drinking and driving will end with injury, death and lasting consequences inflicted on many innocent families.

   During the Fourth of July holiday period, beginning Friday, June 30 and continuing through Tuesday, July 4, Arkansas law enforcement officers will participate in the statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over operation.

   Stepped-up patrols among state, county and city law enforcement agencies will have officers on the lookout for drunk drivers.  Motorists should expect to see more sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols involving a unified police force working to keep the highways and streets safe.

   “If you choose to drink and drive the chances are greater that you will be caught during the upcoming holiday,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Making the choice to drink and drive can be deadly.  It’s irresponsible behavior, and we will be out in full force to put a stop to it.”

   Statistics show that drunk driving is a deadly epidemic in our nation.  During 2015 there were more than 10,250 people killed in alcohol related crashes.  These deaths accounted for almost a third of nationwide traffic fatalities nationwide.

   It is illegal in every state 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 consequences of a DWI arrest are staggering.  On average the cumulative costs can range upwards of $10,000 or more.  Drunk drivers who are arrested face jail time, vehicle towing and impoundment fees, attorney fees, court costs and fines, and lost wages from employment.  A conviction routinely leads to the loss of a driver license and higher vehicle insurance costs once driving privileges are restored.

  The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving.  There are plenty of safe ways for you to get to your destination if you plan on drinking alcohol.  The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recommends these alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • It’s never okay to drink and drive.  Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get to your destination safely. Plan a safe way home before you leave.
     
  • If you’ve have been drinking, call a taxi or someone who is sober to get you home.
     
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
     
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.
     
  • Buckle up, always.  Your seat belt is your best defense against the drunk driver.

   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.  Information about Arkansas' ongoing "Toward Zero Deaths" campaign to eliminate preventable traffic deaths can be found at www.TZDarkansas.org

SUSPECT BEING HELD IN CONNECTION WITH NEWPORT POLICE OFFICER MURDER

June 13, 2017

  An eighteen year old suspect is being held in connection with the murder of Newport Police Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford.

  At approximately 6 PM yesterday (Monday, June 12, 2017) Newport Police received information reporting a vehicle break-in near the area of Bowen Street and Newport Avenue.

  Lieutenant Weatherford responded to the call and spotted an individual who fled the area.

  A foot pursuit by Lieutenant Weatherford and other Newport officers entered a nearby residential area where the suspect allegedly turned and fired a gun at police.  Lieutenant Weatherford was wounded by the gunfire and transported to a local hospital where he later died.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are working closely with Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce of the Third Judicial District.  In the coming days special agents will present an investigative file to Prosecuting Attorney Boyce to use in making a determination of applicable charges in connection with the homicide.

NEWPORT POLICE OFFICER KILLED;  ASP INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY

June 12, 2017

  A Newport Police Officer was shot near Remmel Park late today (Monday, June 12, 2017).

  Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford, 41, of Newport died a short time later at a Newport hospital.  Weatherford was a fifteen year department veteran.

  The search for a suspect is underway and the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division is leading the investigation.

     (Note: No further news release is expected until Tuesday)

STATE POLICE HONORS CORPORAL ROY MOOMEY AS TROOPER OF THE YEAR; OTHER DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL RECOGNIZED AT AWARDS PROGRAM

June 08, 2017

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Corporal Roy Moomey, a seven year veteran of the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, assigned to Troop H, has been awarded the department’s highest honor, Trooper of the Year (2016).

  The award was presented today during the annual Arkansas State Police Honors and Award Luncheon Ceremony.

  Corporal Moomey was also presented the department’s Lifesaving Award and Gold Shield.  The Gold Shield Award is presented to troopers or civilian staff, who, under honorable conditions, suffers permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment of health, or extremely serious physical injury in the line of duty.

  All of the awards presented to Corporal Moomey’s were based on his actions during the early morning hours of August 8, 2016 in Crawford County when he responded to a call reporting a westbound vehicle on Interstate 40 traveling at a high rate of speed in the eastbound traffic lanes.

  Corporal Moomey maneuvered his patrol car into the lane of the on-coming vehicle and in the final seconds before impact successfully prevented two vehicles and their occupants from being struck by the wrong-way driver.

  The impact with the on-coming vehicle left Corporal Moomey critically injured with life threatening injuries.  He was hospitalized for weeks while undergoing multiple surgical procedures.  The 42 year-old trooper continues to undergo rehabilitation and every day says he wants to return to his job as a Highway Patrol Trooper on the highways of western Arkansas.

  The department’s highest award for a civilian employee was presented to John Scarlett, a ten year veteran staff employee, assigned to the Arkansas State Police Used Motor Vehicle Dealers Licensing Section.

  Scarlett was recognized for his investigative work assisting Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.

  Ben Alstadt, a thirteen year veteran employee, assigned to the Arkansas State Police Information Technology Section, was a nominee for civilian of the year and presented a plaque in recognition for his work in the installation and upgrade of the department’s telecommunications landline system.  His duties include operations within the Arkansas State Police data network systems and cyber security.

  Three Arkansas State Troopers were presented lifesaving awards:

  Trooper Kyle Bost, assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, was recognized for his July 13, 2016 lifesaving measures given to a shooting victim outside a Little Rock drive-in restaurant. (See additional details of the incident relating to Distinguished Service Awards)

  Trooper Ben Ibarra, assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, was recognized for his March 9, 2016 lifesaving measures given to a woman who had begun to choke on food inside an Ozark restaurant.

  Trooper Paul Robson, assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, was recognized for his July 31, 2016 lifesaving measures when a Searcy County man was wounded by fragments of a gun that had exploded.

  Six Distinguished Service Awards were presented to citizens at-large and law enforcement officers employed by another agency who may have assisted the Arkansas State Police in the apprehension of a criminal or clearly and directly placed themselves in jeopardy of physical harm or death.

  Angela Mull received the Distinguished Service Award for her role on July 13, 2016 in aiding a wounded employee outside a west Little Rock restaurant.

  Mull, a registered nurse, had joined her husband, Sergeant Elvis Mull and Trooper Kyle Boast for an evening meal when witnesses to a shooting incident rushed into the restaurant where they were dining asking for help.

  Angela Mull immediately ran to the location where the victim had fallen after being shot.  Mull and Trooper Bost began searching for the entry wounds and controlling the loss of blood.

  Trooper Bost used the victim’s apron to make a tourniquet and received direction from Mull relating to where and how to apply pressure to other wounds.

  Leon Harris and Kenneth Jones each received the Distinguished Service Award for their roles on April 8, 2016 rendering assistance to Trooper Travis Eddleman during a traffic stop near a convenience store in Searcy along State Highway 367.

  Trooper Eddleman determined a wanted fugitive was in the vehicle and moved to arrest the suspect who immediately began to resist being taken into custody.

  As a struggle continued, Trooper Eddleman and the suspect fell to the ground with the suspect attempting to get to the trooper’s gun when Jones and Harris both rushed to the side of the trooper offering help.

  Jones and Harris joined in the attempts to overpower the suspect and were able to stop any further threat to Trooper Eddleman.

  Kevin Gray, Ronnie Lummus and Jonesboro Police Officer Anthony Zaffarano each received the Distinguished Service Award for the roles on August 2, 2016 in saving life of a man trapped inside a burning truck.

  The victim’s truck had sustained a rear-end collision from a commercial carrier truck and careened off Interstate 30 at the 72 mile marker eventually impacting a tree and bursting into flames.

  Gray, Lummus and Officer Zaffarano stopped to render aid as the flames spread toward the truck cabin.  Unable to stop the flames with fire extinguishers, the men used a chain attached to another vehicle to open the driver’s door and save the driver’s life with only seconds to spare before the flames engulfed the truck.

  Twenty-one Arkansas State Troopers were recognized for Official Commendations already before the Arkansas State Police Commission during the course of 2016 and 2017.  An Arkansas State Police Office Commendation is awarded to troopers and civilian staff for exemplary service through diligence and perseverance and performs duties above and beyond the standard under unusual circumstances and conditions.  The recipients were:

  Corporal Kevin Growns, Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, for stopping a Perry County juvenile from committing suicide.

  Troopers Kyle Sheldon, Terry Sawyer, Tim Callison, Brandon Cook, David Forthman, and Sergeant Shannon Shepherd, Highway Patrol Division, Troop K for organizing and attending a birthday party for ten year-old Hot Spring County boy.

  Trooper Caleb Pevehouse, Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, for rescuing two individuals from a submerged vehicle in a flooded area of Drew County, off State Highway 35.

  Trooper Herbert Bates, Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, who on two different occasions during 2016 rescued teenagers who had fallen into rugged terrain around Petit Jean Mountain.

  Trooper Travis Eddleman, Highway Patrol Division, Troop B, for rescuing two individuals from a submerged vehicle in a flood area of White County near Judsonia.

  Corporal Brenda Stephenson, Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, for her role in organizing and leading the creation of the Annual River Valley Superhero 5K Race that raises thousands of dollars for parents who cannot afford medical treatments, travel expenses or specialty medical equipment needed for their children stricken with serious or deadly illnesses.

  Sergeant Elvis Mull, Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, for his role in the immediate aftermath of a shooting incident outside a west Little Rock restaurant that left one employee critically wounded.  Sergeant Mull strategically preserved the crime scene and directed law enforcement resources and medical personnel before releasing the scene to Little Rock Police Officers.

  Trooper First Class Derek Nietert, Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, for his cumulative arrests involving drug trafficking and seizing 481 pounds of marijuana, 31 pounds of cocaine and more than $297-thousand dollars in assets to drug sales.

  Corporal Michael Bowman, Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, for his cumulative arrests involving drug trafficking and seizing more than 830 pounds of marijuana, more than 51 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 7 pounds of cocaine, nine pounds of heroin, and more than $300,000 in assets connected to drug traffickers.

  Trooper Josh Elmore, Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, for 22 drug trafficking arrests that lead to the seizure of 735 pounds of marijuana, and 2.5 pounds of methamphetamine.

  Special Agents Sergeant Richard Gentry, Corporal John Rhone, and Corporal Corwin Battle, Criminal Investigation Division, Company C for their investigative work in July 2016 that lead to the arrest of as many as four individuals suspected in bank robberies in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

  Trooper Levi Fleming, Highway Patrol Division, Troop D for his leading his post in criminal arrests and DWI arrests.  Trooper Fleming has also been recognized for his outstanding devotion to additional assignments including the Arkansas State Police Emergency Response Team as well as his devotion to supporting local community activities.

  Sergeant Chad Hipps, Highway Patrol Division, Troop L for stopping a Carroll County juvenile from committing suicide.

  Corporal Alan Johnson, Highway Patrol Division, Troop A for accepting additional assigned duties within the department’s Emergency Response Team and leading a team assignment providing safety assessments to other government agency office personnel.

HAULING UNSECURED LOADS POSE DANGEROUS THREAT ON STATE HIGHWAYS

June 06, 2017

   Arkansas State Police and other law enforcement agencies are looking to stop drivers who are hauling unsecured loads.  Forty-two states have agreed to help educate the public on the importance of properly securing a load when traveling across a highway or local street.

   A twenty pound object that falls from a vehicle hitting another at 55 miles per hours creates a force of 1,000 pounds at impact.  According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Safety, more than 200,000 crashes in the past four years have been attributed to road debris. These incidents resulted in approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths between 2011 and 2014.

   Unsecured loads create another problem.  From the debris comes a trail of litter along the nation’s roadways from individuals and companies hauling trash and materials from homes, construction sites and other locations.  The cost to taxpayers nationwide totals $11.5 billion dollars spent each year for litter removal and clean-up.

   “The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office supports the secure your load message and agreed to participate in the educational campaign early on”, said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governors Highway Safety Representative. “Although this is primarily an educational campaign, our Highway Patrol Division will place special emphasis on unsecured load violations during the campaign,” said Bryant.

   The Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division issued over 700 citations and warnings for spilling loads on the highway since 2013. “This is an important safety issue and we will certainly play our part in getting the message out to the public,” said Colonel Bryant.

   Robin Abel of Seattle, Washington launched the “Secure Your Load” initiative in 2004 after her daughter was injured and left blind when a piece of furniture fell from a trailer and crashed into her vehicle along Interstate 405.  Following the lead of Abel, Congress adopted load securing measures in a 2015 Department of Transportation recommendation designed to require proper procedures in securing loads before moving onto a street or highway.

    Arkansas State Troopers suggest that before hauling any load such as debris, supplies or equipment you secure the load by using these five easy steps:

1.     Tie down load with rope, netting or straps

2.     Tie large objects directly to the vehicle or trailer

3.     Cover the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting

4.     Don’t overload the vehicle

5.     Always double check load to make sure a load is secure

  For more information, check out the Secure Your Load public service announcement at www.TZDArkansas.org.

GUM SPRINGS ROAD HOMICIDE VICTIMS IDENTIFIED: YELL COUNTY INVESTIGATION CONTINUES

May 12, 2017

  Arkansas State Crime Laboratory authorities and Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have identified two gunshot victims discovered yesterday (Thursday, May 11, 2017) outside 12084 Gum Springs Road west of Dardanelle.

  Rita Miller, 61, and Ciera Miller, 17, were allegedly shot by James Arthur Bowden, 42, of Dardanelle.  Both women were Yell County residents.  Their deaths followed a law enforcement traffic stop along State Highway 27 where Bowden allegedly killed Yell County Sheriff’s Deputy, Lieutenant Kevin C. Mainhart.

  During a five-hour stand-off with state troopers and local law enforcement officers along Gum Springs Road, Bowden had been holding one hostage who has been identified as Haley McHam, 31, of Yell County.

  At this juncture the Arkansas State Police does not anticipate any further news release during the course of the investigation. 

UPDATE: SUSPECT IN CUSTODY IN YELL COUNTY HOMICIDES

May 11, 2017

   James Arthur Bowden, 42, of Dardanelle was arrested this afternoon, May 11th at 2:40pm, after a five hours standoff with the Arkansas State police and local law enforcement agencies. He was taken into custody at a residence, 10024 Gum Springs Road in Yell County, west of Dardanelle.

   Bowden is being held in connection with three homicides that occurred this morning, including the death of Yell County Sheriff’s Deputy Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart.

ORIGINAL RELEASE : YELL COUNTY DEPUTY KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY: TWO OTHERS DEAD

   Lieutenant Kevin C. Mainhart, 46, of the Yell County Sheriff’s Department was killed in the line of duty today during a traffic stop west of Dardanelle, Arkansas along State Highway 27 near the junction of Slo-Fork Road.

   Lieutenant Mainhart had served the citizens of Yell County as a law enforcement officer for five years and previously retired from the West Memphis Police Department following a career of more than twenty years.

   At approximately 7:18 AM today (Thursday, May 11, 2017), Lieutenant Mainhart initiated a traffic stop after identifying a vehicle believed to be associated with a disturbance call at 10024 Gum Springs Road.

   During the course of the traffic stop the deputy was fatally wounded.  A short-time later a motorist passing the site notified local law enforcement Lieutenant Mainhart had been shot.

    As other local officers arrived at the Gum Springs address, the deceased bodies of two other individuals were found outside the residence.  The identity of the victims is not known at this hour.

   Shortly before 10 AM today Yell County Deputies and Arkansas State Police identified a location where a suspect is believed to be located.  State Police negotiators are attempting to make contact with the individual.

YELL COUNTY DEPUTY KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY: TWO OTHERS DEAD

May 11, 2017

   Lieutenant Kevin C. Mainhart, 46, of the Yell County Sheriff’s Department was killed in the line of duty today during a traffic stop west of Dardanelle, Arkansas along State Highway 27 near the junction of Slo-Fork Road.

   Lieutenant Mainhart had served the citizens of Yell County as a law enforcement officer for five years and previously retired from the West Memphis Police Department following a career of more than twenty years.

   At approximately 7:18 AM today (Thursday, May 11, 2017), Lieutenant Mainhart initiated a traffic stop after identifying a vehicle believed to be associated with a disturbance call at 10024 Gum Springs Road.

   During the course of the traffic stop the deputy was fatally wounded.  A short-time later a motorist passing the site notified local law enforcement Lieutenant Mainhart had been shot.

    As other local officers arrived at the Gum Springs address, the deceased bodies of two other individuals were found outside the residence.  The identity of the victims is not known at this hour.

   Shortly before 10 AM today Yell County Deputies and Arkansas State Police identified a location where a suspect is believed to be located.  State Police negotiators are attempting to make contact with the individual.

UPDATE: ASP REQUESTED IN INVESTIGATION OF OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

April 17, 2017

  The individual who reportedly brandished a gun at police and subsequently shot has been identified as Olugbalah Ridley, 33, of Indianapolis, Indiana.

  An investigation of the use of deadly force by police is continuing.

 

  APRIL 15, 2017

  Authorities in the West Memphis Police Department have asked for the assistance of the Arkansas State Police in the investigation of an officer involved shooting that occurred earlier today.

  Shortly after 7 AM police were alerted to an armed robbery at a West Memphis motel when they encountered an individual matching the description of the robbery suspect.

  According to initial statements given to state police special agents, when local police approached the suspect at 2408 Talonwood the individual brandished a gun, leading police to fire on the suspect.  The individual was pronounced dead at the scene.  No police officers were wounded.

  The body of the suspect will be turned-over to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for examination.

  The name of the deceased has not at this time been confirmed.

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

  Upon completion of the investigation, Arkansas State Police Special Agents assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, will present an investigative file to the prosecuting attorney for determination of whether use of deadly force was consistent with Arkansas laws.

TROOP A COMMANDER NAMED; CID PERSONNEL PROMOTED

April 13, 2017

  (LITTLE ROCK) - Captain Mike Hagar, 44, of Faulkner County, commander of the Arkansas State Police Executive Protection Section, has accepted a lateral transfer approved by Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, headquartered at Little Rock.

  Captain Hagar will assume duties as commander of Troop A upon the retirement of Captain Alex Finger.  Captain Hagar is a twenty-one year veteran of the department.

  During a meeting of the Arkansas State Police Commission today, commissioners approved the following recommendations for promotion presented for consideration by Colonel Bryant:

  Special Agent (Corporal) John Blackmon, 38, of Pulaski County, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Blackmon, an eleven year veteran of the department, will assume new duties as a supervisor within the Criminal Investigation Division, Company C, headquartered at Hope.

  Special Agent (Corporal) Ted Jones, 52, of Van Buren County, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Jones, a nine year veteran of the department, will assume new duties as a supervisor within the Criminal Investigation Division, Company E, headquartered at Harrison.

APRIL IS DISTRACTED DRIVING PREVENTION MONTH
 - Drivers urged to focus on the road, not phones

April 03, 2017

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

(LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas law enforcement agencies have joined the national “U Drive U Text U Pay” campaign to stop distracted driving.  Agencies have pledged their support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone on the road.

  During 2014 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.

  “Everyone should know that using cell phones while driving is considered distracted driving,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “In addition to enforcing the state’s distracted driving law, we also want to educate drivers about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while operating a motor vehicle.”

  During the coming days and weeks, Arkansans will be exposed to television, radio, and social media messages that have been created to remind drivers of the dangers associated with distracted driving.

  “We hope that everyone will get the message and understand the risk of injuries and death caused by distracted driving, then change their driving habits,” Colonel Bryant said.

  Anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard.  Texting while driving only increases the risks because the process combines all three types of distractions – visual, manual and cognitive.

  Regardless of the driver’s age, Arkansas law prohibits the use of a hand-held mobile device for texting, emailing or accessing the internet while driving. It is also a “primary offense” law, which means a law enforcement officer 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 zones. 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 increase 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

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING WARD HOMICIDE

March 24, 2017

The Ward Police Department received a call yesterday afternoon (Thursday, March 23rd) reporting a homicide at 121 Pinter Lane.

Local police officers arrived to the residence to find Lori Hannah, 36, of Ward, dead inside the home. The body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to confirm a manner and cause of death.

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

The Arkansas State Police is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Brian Keith Freeman, 41, in connection with the homicide. Arrest warrants have been issued, charging Freeman with Capitol Murder. Freeman is described as 5 feet, 5 inch tall weighing approximately 165 pounds. Freeman is known to have ties in Texas and Oklahoma. He has brown eyes and brown hair, and should be considered armed and dangerous. Please do not approach him.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Arkansas State Police at 501-618-8100.


UPDATE: STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING BODY FOUND IN PRAIRIE COUNTY

March 09, 2017

  At approximately 6:00pm yesterday (Wednesday, March 8th) Special Agents assigned to the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division arrested Virginia Colvin, 56, of Johnstown, New York, who had been the subject of a search in connection with the discovery of human remains in rural Prairie County earlier this week. 

  Colvin was located at a Perry County residence and transported to the Prairie County Jail where she is being held in connection with the abuse of a corpse.  Michael Strivers, who is being held at the Lonoke County Jail on charges unrelated to the discovery of the body, is being questioned by State Police Special Agents.

  No other suspects are being sought in Arkansas in connection with the case. The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division is working closely with the Johnstown Police Department in New York to confirm the identity of the body.

 

March 8, 2017

   Arkansas State Police Special Agents assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division are working closely with New York State law enforcement authorities in an attempt to identify the remains of a body discovered earlier this week at a Prairie County Farm.

  Special Agents believe the death may have occurred in New York State. The remains were subsequently transported to Arkansas inside a suitcase.

  The Arkansas State Police is asking for the public’s assistance in locating an individual believed to be identified as Virginia “Ginger” Lee Colvin, age 56.  Colvin is described as 5 feet, 1 inch tall weighing approximately 110 pounds. Colvin has blue eyes and brown hair.   Colvin is wanted for questioning in connection with the case. She may be in the vicinity of Perry, White, or Pulaski County, Arkansas.  

  If you have any information about this case, please contact the Arkansas State Police at 501-618-8100 or the Prairie County Sheriff’s office at 870-256-4137. 

 

 

March 6, 2017

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division, along with Prairie County Sherriff’s Deputies, are investigating the discovery of a body found at a Prairie County farm yesterday (Sunday, March 5, 2017).  The report was received by CID special agents shortly after 4 PM, Sunday.  Agents have worked overnight following leads that are being checked this morning.

  At least two individuals have been questioned about the death.  

  The body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for purposes of identification in addition to a manner and cause of death. 

  As of this hour, the Arkansas State Police Public Affairs Office does not anticipate any further release of information until identification is confirmed at the crime lab or an arrest is made in connection with the case.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING BODY FOUND IN PRAIRIE COUNTY

March 06, 2017

  Arkansas State Police Special Agents assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division are working closely with New York State law enforcement authorities in an attempt to identify the remains of a body discovered earlier this week at a Prairie County Farm.

  Special Agents believe the death may have occurred in New York State. The remains were subsequently transported to Arkansas inside a suitcase.

  The Arkansas State Police is asking for the public’s assistance in locating an individual believed to be identified as Virginia “Ginger” Lee Colvin, age 56.  Colvin is described as 5 feet, 1 inch tall weighing approximately 110 pounds. Colvin has blue eyes and brown hair.   Colvin is wanted for questioning in connection with the case. She may be in the vicinity of Perry, White, or Pulaski County, Arkansas.  

  If you have any information about this case, please contact the Arkansas State Police at 501-618-8100 or the Prairie County Sheriff’s office at 870-256-4137.

MARCH 6, 2017

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division, along with Prairie County Sherriff’s Deputies, are investigating the discovery of a body found at a Prairie County farm yesterday (Sunday, March 5, 2017).  The report was received by CID special agents shortly after 4 PM, Sunday.  Agents have worked overnight following leads that are being checked this morning.

  At least two individuals have been questioned about the death.  

  The body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for purposes of identification in addition to a manner and cause of death. 

  As of this hour, the Arkansas State Police Public Affairs Office does not anticipate any further release of information until identification is confirmed at the crime lab or an arrest is made in connection with the case.

STATE POLICE COMMISSIONERS APPROVE HIGHWAY PATROL SERGEANT PROMOTION

March 02, 2017

Arkansas State Police Corporal Kevin Steed, 39, of Garland County, has been promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume post supervisor duties within Highway Patrol Division, Troop K.

The recommendation for promotion was presented to the Arkansas State Police Commission by Colonel Bill Bryant, director of the state police, during a regular monthly meeting with commissioners today.

Sergeant Steed is a sixteen year veteran of the department. 

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING AT OSCEOLA CONVENIENCE STORE

February 24, 2017

    The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division is investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred this morning (February 24th) in Osceola, AR involving three juvenile subjects. 

     At approximately 1:40 am, the Osceola Police Department responded to a call of a robbery at the Shell gas station (4610 West Keiser St) located along I-55 in Osceola. Multiple OPD officers arrived and took one subject into custody, as another subject attempted to enter a vehicle in the parking lot that did not belong to him. One of the officers attempted to remove the juvenile from the vehicle and discharged their weapon, striking the subject. The subject was transported to a hospital in Memphis. 

    A third juvenile ran from the scene.

    No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident. Questions relating to the identity of law enforcement personnel or their administrative status should be directed to the local agencies where the officers are employed.

    Upon completion of the investigation, state police special agents will submit an investigative file to the Mississippi County prosecuting attorney for consideration to determine whether the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was justified as defined by state laws.

STATE POLICE REQUESTED TO INVESTIGATE MARION COUNTY OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

February 19, 2017

   Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred at approximately 5:36 this morning, (Sunday, February 19th, 2017) at a residence in the Bull Shoals community of Marion County.

   Kyle Riggs, 33, has been identified as the individual who died after he reportedly fired a weapon at local law enforcement officers.

   A Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy, along with a Bull Shoals Police Officer, responded to a call of breaking and entering and an assault at a residence. Upon their arrival, the officers were immediately fired upon by the suspect. Both officers returned fire striking Riggs, who was transported to a local hospital where he died. The body will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for examination.

   No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident. Questions relating to the identity of law enforcement personnel or their administrative status should be directed to the local agencies where the officers are employed.

   Upon completion of the investigation, state police special agents will submit an investigative file to the Marion County prosecuting attorney for consideration to determine whether use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was justified as defined by state laws.

STATE POLICE COMMISSION APPROVES DIRECTOR’S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROMOTIONS

February 08, 2017

  Lieutenant Paulette Ward, 46, of Little Rock, commander of the Arkansas State Police Office of Professional Standards was promoted to the rank of captain today during a meeting of the Arkansas State Police Commission.

  Five recommendations for promotions were presented to the commission for consideration by Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Captain Ward is a nineteen year veteran and will continue in her role as OPS commander.

  Sergeant Kim Warren, 54, of Russellville has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

  Lieutenant Warren is a twenty-three year veteran of the department and has most recently served as a field supervisor assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division.  Lieutenant Warren will assume duties as commander of the Arkansas State Police, Criminal Investigation Division, Company E.

  Sergeant Dennis Morris, 59, of Arkadelphia has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

  Lieutenant Morris, is a twenty-two year veteran of the department, and has most recently served as a field supervisor within the Criminal Investigation Division.  Lieutenant Morris will assume duties as commander of the Arkansas State Police, Criminal Investigation Division, Company C.

  Corporal Mike Gunnett, 50, of Vilonia has been promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Gunnett is a nineteen year veteran of the department and is currently assigned to the Arkansas State Police Training Section.  He will remain there as a section supervisor.

  Corporal Matt Williams, 45, of Perryville, has been promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Williams is an eighteen year veteran of the department and is currently assigned to the Arkansas State Police Training Section. He will now assume post supervisor duties within Highway Patrol Division, Troop J.

STATE POLICE COMMISSIONERS APPROVE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES DIVISION PROMOTION

January 12, 2017

  Arkansas State Police Sergeant Roby Rhoads has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will assume duties as assistant commander of the department’s Administrative Services Division, headquartered at Little Rock.

  The recommendation for promotion was presented to the Arkansas State Police Commission by Colonel Bill Bryant, director of the state police, during a regular monthly meeting with commissioners today.

  Lieutenant Rhoads, 47, of Perry County, is an eighteen year veteran of the department.  His most recent assignment has been serving as the state police training coordinator.

SIX MONTH INVESTIGATION LEADS TO ARREST IN JOHNSON COUNTY MURDER

January 06, 2017

  Christopher Weston, 37, was taken into custody by Arkansas State Police Special Agents and Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputies last night in connection with a June 2016 homicide.  He is charged with murder (1st degree).

  Weston’s arrest follows a six-month long investigation into the death of Ricky Partin whose body was discovered in a wooded area along Johnson County Road 1723 near the Johnson and Perry County line.

  Weston had been in custody on unrelated charges at the Calico Rock Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction when state police and sheriff’s deputies made him aware of the murder charge and returned him last night (January 5th) to the Johnson County Detention Center.

  The investigation relating to the murder of Partin in continuing.

STATE POLICE TO BEGIN INTERNAL REVIEW OF GARLAND COUNTY CRASH

December 27, 2016

An independent law enforcement investigation of an October 10, 2016 motor vehicle crash that left two people dead and an Arkansas State Trooper seriously injured has been completed.  Terri Harris, 18th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, who reviewed the investigation, advised state police commanders today that no criminal charges will be filed in connection with the crash.

The state police patrol car driven by Trooper Brian Burke collided with another vehicle occupied by Cassandra Marie Braun, 26, and Tavon Desean Jenkins, 24.  Both died at the crash scene.  Trooper Burke, a five year veteran of the state police, remains on medical leave as a result of the injuries he sustained.

The crash occurred along the western edge of the Hot Springs city limits at the intersection of U.S. Highway 70 and Kleinshore Road.

The Hot Springs Police Department supervised the investigation with assistance from the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory and Little Rock Police Department.

The conclusion of the criminal investigation clears the way for the Arkansas State Police to start an internal review of the crash as required by department policy.  Any state police vehicle involved in a crash automatically triggers a review process that is designed to determine whether the vehicle was being operated consistent with state police policies and procedures.

As with any administrative investigation, violations of policy and procedures documented in the review could result in disciplinary job action up to and including, suspension or termination.

“The loss of life in any traffic crash is tragic and I want to extend my condolences to the Braun and Jenkins families,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

INVESTIGATION CONTINUES FOLLOWING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

December 26, 2016

UPDATE: Joseph Garcia, 33, of Collinsville, Mississippi has been identified as the individual who died in an officer involved shooting yesterday (Sunday, December 25, 2016) south of Batesville.
  __________________________________________


ORIGINAL NEWS RELEASE:
December 25th, 2016


  The Arkansas State Police is investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred today (Sunday, December 25, 2016) in Independence County near the Desha community south of Batesville.


  At approximately 7:25 AM an Independence County Sheriff’s Deputy came into contact with an individual along Jamestown Road.  The 33 year-old man told the deputy he was armed and refused to comply with orders directed to him by the deputy.


  Local and state law enforcement officers joined the deputy at the scene and at approximately 11 AM, the man fired a gun at officers who returned fire.  No law enforcement officers were injured.


  The man was pronounced dead at the scene.  His body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for examination for manner and cause of death.
  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are leading the investigation into the stand-off and shooting.  An investigative case file will be prepared by the agents and submitted to the Independence County Prosecuting Attorney.

 

   For additional infomation, contact on-call Arkansas 

State Police PIO Trooper Liz Chapman - (501) 515-3716

or email elizabeth.chapman@asp.arkansas.gov
 

“DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER” INITIATIVE READY FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

December 12, 2016

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

(LITTLE ROCK) – State and local law enforcement officers are increasing their patrol activity aimed at impaired drivers.  Beginning Friday (December 16th) Arkansas State Troopers, along with city and county agencies, will join in the national “Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over” enforcement mobilization.  The special enforcement operation will continue through Sunday, January 1, 2017.  

As the holiday celebrations begin, far too many individuals will be tempted to drive a vehicle after consuming alcohol.  The results typically end in tragedy, if not deadly, consequences.  

Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) during calendar year 2015 indicate that across the U.S. there were 35,092 people killed in motor vehicle crashes.  More than 10,000 of those people, 29%, lost their lives in the crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .08% or greater.  In Arkansas, during the same reporting period, there were 531 roadway fatalities and 148 (28%) of the deaths were alcohol related.  

NHTSA also reports that from 2011 to 2015, 14,034 people lost their lives in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the month of December, and 28 percent of those died in a crash that involved a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher.  

“This is a wonderful time of the year and we intend to do whatever we can to keep the highways and roads safe,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “If you choose to drive drunk, not only will you risk your own safety and the safety of others, but you risk long lasting legal consequences.”  

Drunk driving offenders often serve jail time, lose their driver’s license, receive notices of higher auto insurance rates and pay dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, vehicle towing and repairs, not to mention being away from their jobs and lost wages.  But the ultimate cost of drunk driving is causing a traffic crash that injures or kills.  

Follow these tips to stay safe on the road this holiday season:  

•        If you plan to drink alcohol, don’t plan to drive.  Instead, plan for a safe ride home.  Designate a sober driver ahead of time.  

•        If you become intoxicated, do not drive for any reason.  Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member or use public transportation.  

•        If someone you know has been drinking, don’t let them drive.  Take their keys, take them home, or help them arrange a safe trip home.  

•        If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life.  

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.    

INVESTIGATION CONTINUES IN POPE COUNTY OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

December 02, 2016

     Quinton Phillips, 83, of Dover has been identified as the individual who died last night after he reportedly fired a rifle at local law enforcement officers.

   At approximately 3:10 PM yesterday (Thursday, December 2nd) Pope County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a call of an armed disturbance located in the Dover community.

  On their arrival at 2213 Morgan Road, county and local law enforcement officers were confronted by Phillips who was holding a rifle.  Phillips was given orders by the sheriff’s deputies to drop the gun.  Instead, he reportedly took cover behind a truck and fired the gun at deputies.

  No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are leading the investigation at the request of the Pope County Sheriff’s Department.

  Questions relating to the identity of law enforcement personnel, who first encountered Phillips, or their administrative status, should be directed to the local agencies where the officers are employed.

   Upon completion of the investigation, state police special agents will submit an investigative file to the prosecuting attorney for consideration to determine whether use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was justified as defined by state laws.

 


STATE POLICE REQUESTED TO INVESTIGATE POPE COUNTY OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

December 01, 2016

  The Pope County Sheriff’s Department has requested the Arkansas State Police to investigate a shooting incident involving deputies and a local resident.

  At approximately 3:10 PM sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of an armed disturbance in the Dover community located at 2213 Morgan Road.

  On their arrival the deputies were confronted by an armed man.  The deputies say they made verbal commands for the individual to drop the gun, but he moved to cover and opened fire directed toward the deputies.

  At least one deputy returned fire and struck the man who was then transported to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Russellville where he later died.

  No sheriff’s deputies were injured.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are leading the investigation at the request of the sheriff’s department.

  At this time (Thursday evening, December 1, 2016) no further release of information is planned by the Arkansas State Police.

  An updated news release will be distributed Friday, December 2nd.

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT:  “GET THERE SAFELY – WEAR A SEAT BELT”  - STATE TROOPERS WILL STEP-UP PRESENCE ALONG I-40

November 18, 2016

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

    (LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansans are expected to get an early start on their Thanksgiving holiday travel plans.  Beginning Monday (November 21st), Arkansas State Troopers will team-up with law enforcement officers from local and state agencies to make sure drivers are obeying the rules of the road, but with an emphasis aimed at violators ignoring the Arkansas primary seat belt law.

   Arkansas troopers will also join their fellow troopers from California to North Carolina along Interstate 40 creating a chain of law enforcement presence every twenty miles across the heavily traveled interstate corridor.  The intensified patrols along I-40 will begin Wednesday (November 23rd, between 11 AM and 11 PM) and again on Sunday (November 27th, between 9 AM and 9 PM).

   “The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest times for travel across the nation,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Our troopers along with other law enforcement officers will be working overtime to ensure the highways and streets are safe by strictly enforcing traffic laws, in particular the seat belt and child passenger safety laws.”

   Thanksgiving holiday travel on the nation’s roads and highways is typically one of the most dangerous and deadliest.  During the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26, to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, December 1), there were 341 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide, and fifty percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

   “The numbers tell the story.  Buckling up saves lives,” Colonel Bryant stated.  “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.”

   NHTSA also reports that regular safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.  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.

   Arkansas state law requires all front seat passengers, not just drivers, to 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.

   The Arkansas State Police encourage motorists to practice safe driving habits every day, not just during the holidays.  It begins with buckling-up before leaving the driveway.

   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 INVESTIGATING NEVADA COUNTY HIT AND RUN FATALITY

November 02, 2016

Crystal Davis, 42, of Rosston (Nevada County) died last night after she was apparently struck and killed by a vehicle that fled the crash scene.  Arkansas State Troopers responded to a location along Arkansas Highway 200, two miles east of Rosston, about 10:45 Tuesday night to begin their investigation.

  Special Agents of the state police Criminal Investigation Division and troopers assigned to the Highway Patrol Division are working together to investigate the crash and identify a possible suspect vehicle and driver.

  Davis’ body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for determination of a precise manner and cause of death as well as to remove any forensic evidence that can be found on the body.

  Anyone with information pertaining to the crash, particularly if someone knows of a vehicle in the area that may have fresh damage today is asked to contact the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop G by calling (870) 777-4641. 

TROOP COMMANDER PROMOTIONS IN FORT SMITH AND HOPE APPROVED; COMMISSION OK’S LIEUTENANT & SERGEANT PROMOTIONS

October 13, 2016

  Lieutenants Brady Gore and Jason Aaron were promoted to the rank of captain today during a meeting of the Arkansas State Police Commission.  Gore will assume command authority over Highway Patrol Division Troop G, headquartered at Hope and Aaron will command Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, headquartered at Fort Smith.

  The promotions were recommended to the commissioners for consideration by Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

   Captain Gore, 43, of Stamps is a twenty year veteran of the department. His most recent assignment has been serving as assistant commander of Troop G.

  Captain Aaron, 41, of Van Buren, is an eighteen year veteran of the department.  His most recent assignment was commanding Criminal Investigation Division, Company D, headquartered at Fort Smith.

  Sergeant Michael Exum, 40, of Paragould was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will assume new duties as assistant commander of Highway Patrol Division, Troop C.  Exum is a sixteen year veteran of the department.

  Corporal Seth Pinner, 31, of Magnolia, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume post supervisor duties within Highway Patrol Division, Troop G.  Pinner is an eight year veteran of the department.

STATE TROOPERS AMONG THOSE HONORED AT AG LAW ENFORCEMENT SUMMIT

October 05, 2016

  Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge honored more than seventy law enforcement officers today for their service within the past.  The awards were presented at the 14th Annual Law Enforcement Summit at Camp Robinson where approximately 600 law enforcement officers from across Arkansas were in attendance.Arkansas State Trooper Dallas Taylor and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

  Among those receiving special recognition was Arkansas State Trooper Dallas Taylor who was awarded top southeast region officer of the year.  Trooper Taylor is assigned to Prairie County.

  Other Arkansas State Troopers recognized by Attorney General Rutledge as county award winners were Corporal Jeff Plouch (Saline County), Corporal David Small (Baxter County), Special Agent Wendall Jines (Sharp County), Corporal Dennis Simons (Stone County), Corporal Tony Bowman (White County), Trooper Caleb Pevehouse (Drew County), and Trooper Rodney Davenport (Monroe County).

  Rutledge concluded the summit by moderating a law enforcement leadership panel. Panelists included Matthew Barden, Drug Enforcement Administration assistant special agent in charge, Little Rock District Office; Col. Bill Bryant, Arkansas State Police director; Jeff Crow, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission director; Scott Montgomery, Perry County sheriff; Diane Upchurch, FBI special agent in charge, Little Rock Division; and Chief J.R. Wilson, Hope Police Department.

STATE POLICE RECRUITS RECEIVE TROOPER COMMISSIONS IN GRADUATION CEREMONY

September 29, 2016

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

  The class members initially reported for training on May 8, 2016 and accumulated more than one-thousand hours of classroom and practical training over the past twenty-one 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 Chief Judge Robert J. Gladwin of the Arkansas Court of Appeals administered the Oath of State Trooper Commission.

  Other dignitaries present for the ceremony included representatives of the Arkansas State Police Commission, State Police Deputy Directors, division, troop and company commanders and Major General Mark Berry, commander of the Arkansas National Guard.

  Graduates of the Arkansas State Police 2016 Troop School are:

 

  • Tommy L. Fitzgerald, 34, of Bay, served as 2016 Recruit Class Leader and will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.

 

  • Dustin Arnold, 28, of Hot Springs, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.  Arnold is a graduate of Champion Christian College at Hot Springs.

 

  • Johnathan Bass, 25, of Greenwood, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Scott County.  Bass is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

 

  • Alex Bray, 24, of Ward, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop B, White County.

 

  • Joshua Broughton, 30, of Mesquite, Texas, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Little River County.

 

  •  Kenya Campbell, 22, of Conway, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.

 

  • Nathan D. Clayton, 25, of Camden, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Union County.  Clayton is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University (Tech).

 

  • Michael S. Ellis, 28, of Fort Smith, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Johnson County.  Ellis is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

 

  • Sara J. Felty, 29, of Malvern, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, Carroll County.

 

  • Ryan Gault, 22, of Danville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Yell County.

 

  • Darryle K. Hinton, Jr., 25, of Little Rock, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County.

 

  • Christiana Johnson, 25, of Conway, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Drew County.

 

  • Christopher B. Johnson, 30, of Mt. Pleasant (Izard County) will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Stone County.  Johnson is a graduate of the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.

 

  • Caleb Landreth, 40, of Jonesboro, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.  Landreth is a graduate of Black River Technical College.

 

  • Andrew A. Lay, 27, of Searcy, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop B, White County.  Lay is a graduate of Arkansas State University.

 

  • Jason Wayne Long, 23, of Jonesboro, will be assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.

 

  • Jarrod Lyerly, 32, of Paragould, will be assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Clay County.  Lyerly is a graduate of Arkansas State University.

 

  • James Mathis, 25, of Burleson, Texas, will be assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Nevada County.

 

  • Jason Myers, 34, of Jonesboro, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.

 

  • Joshua M. Nance, 31, of Scott, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Lincoln County.  Nance is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University.

 

  • Steven Payton, 31, of Russellville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.

 

  •  Matthew Price, 32, of Rudy (Crawford County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Crawford County.

 

  • Dwight Roam, 26, of Fort Smith, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Arkansas County.  Roam is a graduate of Carl Albert State College (Poteau, Oklahoma).

 

  • Dylan Robbins, 23, of Mount Ida, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Arkansas County.

 

  • Marcus T. Simpson, 25, of Newport, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Woodruff County.  Simpson is a graduate of Arkansas State University (Newport).

 

  • Michael Summitt, 34, of Hot Springs, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Dallas County.  Summitt is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University.

 

  • Lukas Tankersley, 22, of Fort Smith, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Chicot County.

 

  • Ryan Watson, 27, of Conway, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  Watson is a graduate of Arkansas State University.

 

  • Justin Williams, 22, of Brinkley, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County.  Williams is a graduate of Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas.

 

  • Nathan Williams, 29, of Hot Springs, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Dallas County.  Williams is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University (Tech).

 

  • Taylor Wayne Woods, 23, of Evening Shade, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Desha County.  Woods is a graduate of the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville and Arkansas State University.

 

  • Kevin T. Yates, 37, of Mulberry, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Crawford 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. Andrew Lay
  2. Nathan Williams
  3. Caleb Landreth

 

  • Physical Fitness

 

  1. Nathan Williams
  2. Marcus Simpson
  3. Darryle Hinton

 

  • Firearms

 

  1. Nathan Williams
  2. Michael Summitt
  3. Tommy Fitzgerald

 

  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.

LAW ENFORCEMENT TURNING TO VICTIM’S FRIENDS AND WITNESSES IN YEAR LONG MURDER INVESTIGATION

September 21, 2016

It’s been one year since Keith Wilbert Jr. was murdered in the home where he and four roommates lived together in southwest Pine Bluff.

Wilbert, 21, was shot when as many as three individuals entered the home at 43Keith Wilbert, Jr.02 Boone Street about 2:30 AM, Wednesday, September 23rd 2015.  The murder scene was only a short distance northeast of U.S. Highway 79 (business route) and the Interstate 530 interchange.  Wilbert’s roommates were present when the shooting occurred.  All were students at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Kyle Hunter, Eleventh (West) Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, recently requested special agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division to review the Pine Bluff Police Department investigative file related to Wilbert’s murder and assist the local department in the continuing investigation.

"I believe someone knows more about what happened that night,” said Prosecuting Attorney Hunter.

“Regardless of how insignificant the information might seem, we want to hear from anyone who has information about what may have occurred inside the house in the hours leading up to the murder, or information about anything out of the ordinary someone saw outside the house, and we want to hear from anyone with knowledge about who would want to kill Wilbert,” Hunter said.

Individuals with information about the murder or knowledge about individuals who may have been in the home are asked to contact the Arkansas State Police by calling (501) 618-8100.

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.