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PIKE COUNTY MAN IDENTIFIED AS DRIVER IN BUS STOP HIGHWAY DEATH

October 29, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEARCH FOR PAROLE ABSCONDER ENDS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

October 25, 2014

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  No State Troopers or ADC personnel were injured.

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

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

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

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

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

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES IN SEARCY COUNTY SHOOTING INCIDENT

October 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

  The State Trooper was not injured.

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

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

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

__________________________

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

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

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

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

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

COMMANDER OF STATE POLICE EXECUTIVE PROTECTION SECTION PROMOTED

October 09, 2014

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

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

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

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

September 24, 2014

UPDATED NEWS RELEASE AS OF SEPTEMBER 27, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

ASP COLONEL WITT ANSWERS THE ALS “ICE BUCKET” CHALLENGE

August 25, 2014

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

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

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

TWO DEAD IN SHOOTING AT ALEXANDER

August 23, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BURROW: BRINKLEY MURDER SUSPECT IN CUSTODY

August 23, 2014

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

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

SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR MURDER SUSPECT IN MONROE COUNTY DEATH

August 22, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 17, 2014

As of 12:30 PM – Sunday, August 17th

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

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

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

_________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

PROMOTION APPROVED TO FILL TROOP G COMMANDER SLOT

August 14, 2014

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

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

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

LAW ENFORCEMENT CRACKDOWN ON DRUNK DRIVING SET FOR LABOR DAY HOLIDAY

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOONE COUNTY MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED IN TRAFFIC STOP, INVESTIGATION CONTINUES

July 04, 2014

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

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

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

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

Earlier news release

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

(Click on image for larger size)
 

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

June 23, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 20, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

June 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 12, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

  Graduates of the 2014 class are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

•  Academics

  1. Recruit Travis Eddleman
  2. Recruit Matthew Ritchie
  3. Recruit Jacob Boswell

•  Physical Fitness

  1. Recruit Timothy Starson
  2. Recruit Stephen Lee
  3. Recruit Jacob Boswell

•  Firearms

  1. Recruit Kyle Bost
  2. Recruit Logan Hall
  3. Recruit Randall Schwab

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

STATE POLICE CID INVESTIGATING WOODRUFF COUNTY DOUBLE HOMICIDE

June 07, 2014

  The Arkansas State Police continue to work with local authorities in the investigation of a double homicide reported to Cotton Plant (Woodruff County) Police this morning about 6:30 AM.

  Cotton Plant Police reported that one victim was found inside the home at 321 Ash Street, the other was outside the residence.

  Special Agents of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division have been at the crime scene in Cotton Plant much of the day.

  Meanwhile identification has been completed confirming the names of the two victims as Audrey Vaughan, 19 and Howard Chapel (age unknown), both residents of the Ash Street residence.

STATE POLICE ARREST SUSPECT IN NORTH LITTLE ROCK HIT & RUN CASE

June 07, 2014

  (LITTLE ROCK) - Arkansas State Police arrested a North Little Rock man last night in connection with a hit and run crash which occurred earlier this week and left a local man who had been riding a bicycle seriously injured.

  State Troopers received a tip from a citizen late Friday (June 6th) giving them the location of the vehicle that was believed to have struck the bicyclist along MacArthur Drive Wednesday evening (see State Police news release at http://asp.arkansas.gov/news-releases/detail/state-police-searching-for-vehicle-involved-in-hit-run-case).

  Clyde Cook, III, 35, of 7371 River Point Drive, North Little Rock was taken into custody and charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident, battery in the 1st degree and driving on a suspended license.   He was incarcerated at the Pulaski County Jail.

STATE POLICE SEARCHING FOR VEHICLE INVOLVED IN HIT & RUN CASE

June 06, 2014

  Arkansas State Troopers are searching for a Ford Edge or Lincoln MKX that may have been driven from the scene of a hit and run highway crash along Highway 365 in northern Pulaski County earlier this week.

  Jimmy Bowman, 47, of North Little Rock sustained serious injuries as the result of being struck by a hit and run driver shortly 9:45 PM Wednesday evening (June 4th).

  Bowman was riding a bicycle along State Highway 365, also known as MacArthur Drive, near the intersection with Mundo Road when he was struck.

  The Ford Edge or Lincoln MKX is believed to be a 2102 or 2013 model year vehicle and its color may be metallic red.

  The vehicle was last seen leaving the area of the crash scene along MacArthur Drive traveling south toward North Little Rock.  Troopers and Special Agents of the Criminal Investigation Division suspect the vehicle may have damage to the right-front fender and possibly the right passenger door.  The vehicle will also be missing the right passenger door mirror housing.

  Anyone with information pertaining to the crash or the whereabouts of the vehicle is asked to contact the Arkansas State Police by calling (501) 618-8100.

COMMISSIONERS APPROVE DIRECTOR’S RECOMMENDATION FOR CID SERGEANT

June 05, 2014

  (LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendation for promotion of Corporal Kevin Richmond to the rank of sergeant.  The promotion was recommended by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police during a meeting of the commission earlier today.        

  Sergeant Richmond, 51, of Fayetteville, is a twenty-four year veteran of the department.  Sergeant Richmond will remain in his present assignment with the department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Company D headquartered at Fort Smith; however he’ll assume supervisory duties within the company. 

TROOPERS HONORED FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE: TROOPERS OF THE YEARS & OTHERS RECOGNIZED IN CEREMONY

May 20, 2014

  Corporal Alvernon Rogers and Special Agent Matt Roberson were presented awards today recognizing them as Arkansas State Troopers of the Year.  The pair was among a group of nine State Troopers receiving the most esteemed honors bestowed annually by the Arkansas State Police during the department’s annual awards ceremony.

 

  Corporal Rogers of Bryant is a twenty-five year veteran of the department and is currently assigned to the State Police Administrative Services Division, Recruiting Section.

  Corporal Rogers is credited with establishing a network of recruit liaisons at state universities, colleges, military installations, and among local community leaders.  The award also recognizes Corporal Rogers for his impeccable work while representing the department at statewide events and for his voluntary role as an instructor at the Louis Bryant Troopers Coalition Boys Summer Camp and his tireless efforts supporting the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Christmas program.

  Corporal Rogers was also presented the department’s Distinguished Meritorious Service Award for his voluntary work devoted to humanitarian causes, in particular those involving children and his career-long devotion to distinguished representation of the Arkansas State Police.

  S/A (Corporal) Roberson of Warren is a nine year veteran of the department and is currently assigned to the State Police Criminal Investigation Division, Company B.

  S/A Roberson is a veteran of the Iraq War and is an active supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project, helping raise awareness and enlist public support across Arkansas helping injured military servicemen return to active and productive civilian life. 

  Over the past four years S/A Roberson has devoted innumerable hours of his own time arranging for wounded warriors to join him on all expense paid duck hunting trips.  He is also active in his local community as a youth baseball coach and accompanies local youths on church mission trips.  Through the course of his career S/A Roberson has proven to be an invaluable credit to the department and has repeatedly demonstrated his readiness to assist local law enforcement agencies in his assigned Troops and Company.

  S/A Roberson was also awarded the State Police Medal of Valor for his role in a 2013 White County SWAT operation involving a barricaded suspect who used gunfire in an attack on state and local officers.

  Captain (retired) Steve Coleman of Greenwood was awarded the department’s Distinguished Meritorious Service Award.

  As a former commander of Troop H (Fort Smith), Coleman was recognized for his cumulative thirty-three years of service as an Arkansas State Trooper.  In particular Coleman was recognized for his work coordinating law enforcement and public safety operations outside the grounds of a week-long music festival held annually which attracts more than 20,000 people worldwide into Franklin County.

  Coleman was also recognized for assisting the Scott County Sheriff’s Department last year following the drowning death of Sheriff Cody Carpenter and his continuing support to county officials in the aftermath of the deadly flood.

  Coleman is also credited with outstanding service during the 2005 airlift operations that brought more than 10,000 Hurricane Katrina refugees into Arkansas and his work in dispersing the refugees to relief camps established across Arkansas.

  Special Agent (Corporal) Mark Brice of Conway County, a fourteen year veteran of the department assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company E, was presented the State Police Meritorious Service Award for his persistence in what began as a missing person case reported by the Perry County Sherriff’s Department.  Following an extended investigation S/A Brice began to suspect the victim may have been murdered and eventually developed information that directed him to three suspects and a site where the body of the missing woman had been dumped.

  More than a year after opening the case, the cumulative testimony and investigative file developed by S/A Brice were credited with leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.

  Troopers (First Class) James Avant and Brandon Cook were presented the Arkansas State Police Trooper’s Cross for their demonstration of courage during an armed confrontation and shooting incident at a Garland County residence.

  TFC Cook and Avant are seven and six year department veterans respectively and were assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop K (Hot Springs) when they answered the call to assist local authorities.  While approaching the front door of the residence the two troopers and a sheriff’s deputy were confronted by an individual who leveled a gun at the troopers and refused to follow their orders to drop the gun.  Necessary force was used by the troopers so they could make their way inside the home to rescue a woman being held by the gunman.

  Three Arkansas State Troopers were recognized for their human compassion and awarded the departmental Lifesaving Award.

  Trooper Benjamin Hoyt, a four year department veteran from Vilonia, was recognized for his selfless act of courage attempting to rescue an individual threatening to commit suicide by jumping from a river bridge.  During the rescue attempt, the individual was precariously close to the edge of the bridge leaving Trooper Hoyt to place his own life in peril as he quickly pulled the person from imminent danger.

  Sergeant Darren Neal, an eighteen year department veteran from Prescott, is credited with saving the life of a woman at a rural Nevada County restaurant who had choked while eating.  Sergeant Neal recognized the woman was not breathing and implemented the Heimlich maneuver which cleared the victim’s airway.

  Sergeant Eric Agee, a sixteen year department veteran from Conway, saved the life of woman he found sitting on the guard rail of a river bridge.  As Sergeant Agee moved closer to the woman and began talking to her, it became apparent the woman was edging her way off the rail and contemplating suicide.  In a final desperate attempt to save the woman, Sergeant Agee lunged for the woman, risking his own life, pulling her to safety.

  Wesley Jackson, of Wynne, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for contacting an Arkansas State Trooper in the immediate aftermath of a local bank robbery.

  The Distinguished Service Award is presented to citizens or law enforcement officers of another department who may assist the Arkansas State Police in the apprehension of a criminal or who lend assistance in such a way that it may place the individual in imminent danger.

  Jackson had noticed an individual walking away from the bank and was able to provide a detailed description of a man he believed might be the suspected bank robber.  Jackson was also able to provide an accurate description of the truck he saw the suspect drive away and the direction of the suspect’s travel out of town.

  The information provided by Jackson guided State Troopers directly to the suspect’s get-away route and in a matter of only minutes resulted in the arrest of the robbery suspect.

LIFE-SAVING “CLICK IT OR TICKET” MOBILIZATION SET FOR MAY 19 – JUNE 1

May 14, 2014

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

  As the summer travel season begins, so does a two-week long enforcement effort by Arkansas State Police and other law enforcement officers who will be on the lookout for violators of the Arkansas primary seat belt and child passenger safety laws.

  Beginning May 19th and continuing through June 1st state and local law enforcement agencies in Arkansas will participate in a nationwide Click It or Ticket mobilization. 

  As people take to the roads to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend, law enforcement officials across the nation will be working to ensure that everyone buckles up.

  “Memorial Day weekend is the traditional kick-off of summer vacation season,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “While patrolling the highways enforcing state traffic laws, State Troopers will be watching carefully for anyone violating safety belt laws.”

  According to new data released from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities were up nationwide in 2012 for the first time in five years with more than 10,000 people killed not wearing their seat belts.  The same data also indicates that more than sixty percent of the passenger vehicle occupants died in crashes occurring at night between the hours of 6 PM – 5:59 AM and the victims were not wearing seat belts.

  In Arkansas, 226 unbelted vehicle occupants died in 2012.  Many of those deaths could have been prevented if occupant restraints had been used.

  “There are too many people dying on our roadways, and many of those deaths could have been prevented if people had taken the simple step of wearing their seat belts,” said Colonel Witt.”  “We are determined to help bring these numbers down and that’s why we will be handing out tickets, not only during these mobilizations, but anytime a violation is seen, year round.”

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

DIRECTOR’S PROMOTION FILLS HIGHWAY PATROL TROOP H COMMANDER POSITION; COMMISSION APPROVES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THREE SERGEANTS

May 08, 2014

  Lieutenant Bryan Davis, 47, of Alma has been promoted to the rank of captain and will assume duties as commander of Arkansas State Police, Highway Patrol Division, Troop H (Fort Smith).

  Captain Davis is a twenty-four year veteran of the department and most recently has served as assistant Troop H commander.

  The commander’s promotion and three others were approved today by the Arkansas State Police Commission based on recommendations presented by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Trooper First Class Todd Quick, 45, of Little Rock, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Quick is a seven year veteran of the department and most recently has served in patrol assignments within Highway Patrol Division, Troop A.  Sergeant Quick will assume duties as a Troop A post supervisor.

  Corporal Lorie Ring, 46, of Sheridan, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Ring is a fifteen year veteran of the department and most recently has served in patrol assignments within Highway Patrol Division, Troop K.  Sergeant Ring will assume post supervisor duties within Highway Patrol Division, Troop B.

  Corporal Bobby Brown, 44, of Russellville, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Brown is an eighteen year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned to the department’s Executive Protection Section.  Sergeant Brown will assume post supervisor duties within the Highway Patrol Division, Troop H.

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES JOIN PUSH TO IDENTIFY AND ARREST CHILD PREDATORS - MONTH LONG COORDINATED SWEEP ANNOUNCED

May 01, 2014

  The Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has joined a national initiative today casting an electronic dragnet aimed at online child predators.

  “Operation Broken Heart” is a coordinated strike force of specially trained police officers from 3,000 law enforcement agencies working nationwide over the next thirty days to arrest as many child predators as possible.

  “Every department or agency represented on the Arkansas task force has already demonstrated a remarkable record dedicated to guarding Arkansas children,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “I’m hopeful that by joining forces with law enforcement agencies nationwide over the next thirty days some of the most dangerous predators will be apprehended.”   

  Law enforcement officers across Arkansas representing thirty-five state, county and city agencies and departments, along with eight federal partner agencies, comprise the Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  

  The operation will concentrate on offenders who (1) possess, manufacture, and distribute child pornography; (2) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) engage in the commercial sexual exploitation of children (child prostitution), and (4) engage in child sex tourism (traveling abroad for the purpose of sexually abusing foreign children).

  State – County and Local Agency/Department Task Force Members:

  • Arkansas State Crime Laboratory
  • Arkansas Attorney General’s Office
  • Arkansas State Police
  • Bella Vista Police Department
  • Benton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bentonville Police Department
  • Cabot Police Department
  • Carroll County Sheriff’s Office
  • Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office
  • Fayetteville Police Department
  • Fort Smith Police Department
  • Garland County Sheriff’s Office
  • Grant County Sheriff’s Office
  • Greenwood Police Department
  • Hot Springs Police Department
  • Jonesboro Police Department
  • Little Rock Police Department
  • Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office
  • Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Miller County Sheriff’s Office
  • Mountain Home Police Department
  • Mountain View Police Department
  • Perry County Sheriff’s Office
  • Pine Bluff Police Department
  • Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office
  • Rogers Police Department
  • Russellville Police Department
  • Sherwood Police Department
  • Springdale Police Department
  • Van Buren Police Department
  • Washington County Sheriff’s Office
  • 2nd Judicial District Prosecutor’s Office
  • 5th Judicial District Prosecutor’s Office
  • 12th Judicial District Prosecutor’s Office
  • 15th Judicial District Prosecutor’s Office

Federal Partners:

  • United States Air Force (OSI-LRAFB)
  • United States Attorney’s Office (East & West)
  • United States Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • United States Marshals Service
  • United States Navy (NCIS)
  • United States Postal Inspection Service
  • United States Probation Office (East)

SERGEANT PROMOTION APPROVED BY COMMISSIONERS FOR TROOP I

April 17, 2014

(LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendation for promotion of Corporal Ronnie Stewart to the rank of sergeant.  The promotion was recommended by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police during a meeting of the commission earlier today.        

Sergeant Stewart, 47, of Mammoth Springs, is an 18 year veteran of the department.  Sergeant Stewart, assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, will assume new duties as a post supervisor within Troop I.

STATE POLICE OPENING APPLICATION PROCESS FOR CERTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS: INCENTIVES BEING OFFERED TO IMMEDIATELY FILL CRITICAL VACANCIES

April 17, 2014

 

(LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police is currently accepting applications from certified law enforcement officers who want to become an Arkansas State Trooper.

  In an effort to fill critical vacancies in eighteen Arkansas counties and fast track a class of approximately twenty-eight recruits toward a November 20th graduation, the recruit candidates will be offered an incentive by receiving their county assignments prior to troop school opening on August 31st.  Applications for the certified officer recruit school must be submitted by May 30th. 

  The counties with critical vacancies are: 

  • Chitot
  • Craighead
  • Crawford
  • Crittenden
  • Drew
  • Fulton
  • Greene
  • Izard
  • Jefferson
  • Johnson
  • Lafayette
  • Lee
  • Madison
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • Ouachita
  • Sebastian
  • Yell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  “By hiring certified law enforcement officers and being able to offer the possibility of returning a recruit graduate to their home county or their choice of a critical county vacancy; I believe we will be able to quickly fill the vacancies,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Minimum qualifications for the applicants require candidates to have graduated from a certified training academy no less than eighteen months prior to their application with State Police, successfully completed the state’s minimum certifications authorizing them as a law enforcement officer and have at least two years of officer work experience.

  “I want to reassure the public we are not compromising our standards by filling the vacancies on a fast track school,” said Colonel Witt.  “By recruiting law enforcement personnel who already possess minimum state requirements, we will be able to focus this class on Arkansas State Police policy, procedures and standards, along with advanced training and put new troopers on the highway who meet all the qualifications of this department.”

  Recruits who are hired will be paid a salary based on an annual rate of $34,500, raised to $36,000 upon graduation.  Family health insurance and retirement benefits are covered by the department.  Troopers are afforded overtime opportunities as well as certificate pay of up to $1,200 annually along with career service pay after ten years of service.

  Applicants for the certified law enforcement class will have to meet the same medical clearance, physical assessment and comprehensive background investigation which are identical prerequisites for all State Trooper candidates.

  Anyone who meets the minimum criteria for the special class of certified law enforcement officers and is interested in becoming an Arkansas State Trooper should contact the State Police Recruiting Office by calling (800) 340-4255 or click on the following web to complete the State Police Initial Contact Form and Medical Release Package found at the State Police Recruiting web site

  In order for an applicant's initial contact form to be considered, all supporting paperwork must be submitted to the Arkansas State Police Recruiting Office no later than May 30th.

STATE POLICE REQUEST PUBLIC ASSISTANCE IN DISAPPEARANCE OF MISSISSIPPI MAN

April 10, 2014

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are requesting the assistance of anyone who may have information relating to the disappearance of a Mississippi man last month.

  Robert Ross, 29, of Jackson, Mississippi was last seen on Friday March 28th when he picked-up a payroll check at a Jackson business and set-out for Arkansas, reportedly with intentions to visit a friend.

  On Tuesday, April 1st local law enforcement authorities found Ross’s 2005 Buick LaCrosse abandoned alongside State Highway 160, ten miles east of Portland, Arkansas near the Ashley–Chicot County line.

  Evidence inside the vehicle has caused sheriff’s deputies and State Police to have some suspicion of foul play associated with Ross’s disappearance.

  Anyone who may have seen Ross in Arkansas before the car was found or who may have information about his disappearance should contact the Special Agent Rick McKelvey at (870) 850-8630.

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO JOIN NATIONAL CRACKDOWN AGAINST TEXTING & DRIVING

April 07, 2014

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas law enforcement officers will join in a collective effort this month to crack down on violators who text while driving.

  The statewide effort to curb texting while driving violations is part of a six day national initiative that begins April 10th.

  The U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign is a twofold initiative that combines additional law enforcement patrols devoted to watching for drivers who are texting along with a national advertising and media outreach plan designed to inform the public about the stepped-up patrols and the driver’s responsibility to obey the law.

  “Arkansas motorists need to know that we are serious about stopping the deadly behavior of texting while driving,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “The practice has become far too common and strict enforcement of texting laws is one way to break what has turned into a bad habit.” 

  Arkansas law prohibits texting while driving, regardless of the driver’s age.  It is also a “primary offense law” which means a police officer or sheriff’s deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation.  Fines can range as high as $100.

  It is also illegal for drivers to use hand-held cell phones while traveling through school or highway work zones and it’s a violation for any driver under the age of 18 to use a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.  Drivers 18 to 20 years using a cell phone are required to use a hands-free device.  A violator fine can be $50 or doubled if the violation occurs in a highway work zone when workers are present.

  According to statistics based on motor vehicle crashes that occurred during 2012, there were 3,328 people killed and 421,000 injured nationwide as the result of distracted driving.  The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute reports that 25 percent of teenage drivers respond to a text message once or more every time they drive, and 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have been part of extended multi-message text conversations while driving.

  “When you text while driving you take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off your primary task which is driving safely,” Colonel Witt said.  “You put everyone’s life around you on the highway in danger, and no one has the right to do that.”

  Arkansas law enforcement agencies are committed to the national initiative of “Toward Zero Deaths”.  The participation by the Arkansas State Police and other Arkansas law enforcement agencies in U Drive. U Text. U Pay as well as Click It or Ticket and Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over represents a collective effort to significantly reduce the number of deaths each year on state highways, local roads and streets.

  The U Drive.U Text. U Pay. campaign is a national initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation to address incidents of distracted driving.

  For more information, visit www.distraction.gov or www.TZDarkansas.org or contact the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

STATE POLICE CID INVESTIGATING STABBING INCIDENT AND OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

March 24, 2014

  A stabbing incident inside a White County convenience store ended with a local police officer shooting the suspect.  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have been requested by local authorities to investigate both incidents.
 
  At approximately 10 AM a man and woman believed to be traveling together entered the business located at 119 U.S. Highway 167 in Bald Knob.  While inside the store the woman allegedly stabbed the man who then made his way to the front of the store seeking assistance.
 
  A local police officer arriving on the scene confronted the suspect who was still armed and ordered her to drop the weapon.  The woman allegedly advanced toward the officer who shot then shot the suspect.
 
  Both victims were transported to area hospitals for treatment of their respective wounds.
 
  The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division will prepare an investigative file to be presented to the White County Prosecuting Attorney to determine whether the local officer used deadly force consistent with Arkansas law.
 
  Identification processing of the two wounded individuals is still underway.
 
  Questions relating to the identity of the police officer and current administrative status of the officer should be directed to the local police department.

EAST LITTLE ROCK COLLISION CLAIMS ONE LIFE IN BURNING WRECKAGE

March 19, 2014

  Arkansas State Troopers are still on the scene of a fiery collision in east Little Rock that has claimed the life of at least one person.

  At approximately 1:55 PM today (Wednesday, March 19th) State Troopers were dispatched to a collision in the eastbound lanes of I-440 near Fouche Dam Pike.

  Based on initial information gathered by State Troopers investigating the crash scene, the driver of a car had attempted to back the vehicle in a westerly direction along the eastbound lane of I-440 when it was struck from the rear by a commercial carrier truck which jackknifed on impact.  The first large truck was then struck by a second commercial carrier truck.  The wreckage was engulfed in flames as Troopers arrived.

  One fatality has been confirmed and two individuals have been transported from the scene.  The condition of the injured is unknown.

  Eastbound traffic on I-440 from I-30 and I-530 is being diverted through downtown Little Rock along I-30.

  Westbound traffic along I-440 is moving slowly through the area and at one westbound lane is closed for use by emergency vehicles.

  It is unknown when traffic will be allowed to re-enter the eastbound lanes of I-440 near Fouche Dam Pike.

“CLICK IT OR TICKET” FOCUS ON THOSE LEAST LIKELY TO BUCKLE UP

March 10, 2014

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ann Whitehead - State Police Highway Safety Office
(501) 618-8133    ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov
 

(LITTLE ROCK) – State, county and city law enforcement agencies kick off a two-week campaign today warning young people that they risk getting a ticket if they don’t fasten their safety belts.

Law enforcement officers across the state will be stepping up their enforcement of safety belt laws as part of the Click It or Ticket campaign.  The goal is not to write tickets, but to get everyone buckled up, especially teen drivers and their passengers.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.  During the calendar year 2012 records indicate that 73 percent of young people ages 16-20 who died in traffic crashes in Arkansas were not buckled-up.   

“Teens and young adults are killed at far higher rates than older adults in crashes because they are caught in a lethal combination of inexperience, risk taking and low safety belt use,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.

Research shows that teens are not as concerned about injury or death as much as they fear getting a ticket.  “We want to reach those least likely to wear seat belts and most at risk to die in traffic crashes with this message:  If you don’t buckle up to save your life, then buckle up to save yourself a ticket,” said Colonel Witt.

While national seat belt use stands at 84 percent, Arkansas’ seat belt use rate is only 77 percent.  Further statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that safety belt use for teens and young adults continues to lag behind the rest of the population.

Arkansas law requires:

* Seat belt use for drivers and front seat passengers.
* Everyone to be buckled up if a driver has a learners or intermediate license.
* All children under fifteen years of age to be properly restrained.
* Children younger than six years of age and weighing less than sixty pounds to be properly restrained in approved child safety seats.

For more information on teen driving safety visit SaferTeenDrivingAR.org or for Click It or Ticket, contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

CID COMPANY COMMANDER AND HIGHWAY PATROL POST SUPERVISOR PROMOTIONS APPROVED BY COMMISSION

February 28, 2014

  Two Arkansas State Troopers were recommended for consideration of promotion today by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  The recommendations were submitted and approved during a regular monthly meeting of the State Police Commission.

  Sergeant Mark Hollingsworth, 53, of Mountain Home, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will assume command duties of Company E within the department’s Criminal Investigation Division.

  Lieutenant Hollingsworth is a twenty-eight year veteran of the department and most recently has served as a Special Agent supervisor within Company E.

  Corporal Don Johnson, 46, of Lewisville, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume post supervisor duties in Troop D of the department’s Highway Patrol Division headquartered at Forrest City.

  Sergeant Johnson is an eighteen year veteran of the department and most recently was assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, where he patrolled the Lafayette County area of southwest Arkansas.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATION CONTINUING IN OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING INCIDENT

February 14, 2014

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division worked through Thursday night and this morning gathering statements and evidence connected with a shooting incident that erupted as Helena – West Helena Police Officers attempted to execute a residential search warrant.

  At approximately 5:18 PM on Thursday (February 13th) officers arrived at 612 and 614 West Cleburne Street in Helena where they were met with gunfire.

  During the exchange of gunfire, Matthew Jarrett, a Helena officer was wounded and transported to a Memphis hospital where he has been reported to be in stable condition.

  David and Charlie Randle, two men at the location where the search warrant was being executed, were wounded during the shooting.

  David Randle was treated and released, while Charlie Randle remains hospitalized at Memphis in critical condition.

  Upon completion of the investigation by State Police Special Agents, the investigative file will be submitted to the Phillips County Prosecuting Attorney to determine whether use of deadly force by the Helena Police Officers was consistent with Arkansas laws and whether criminal charges should be filed against the individuals who fired on police.

  Questions relating to the administrative statutes of any officers involved in the shooting should be directed to the Helena Police Department.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING AT HELENA

February 13, 2014

  The Arkansas State Police is conducting an investigation in the aftermath of a shooting incident that occurred as local law enforcement officers in Helena were executing a residential search warrant late today.

  Initial reports to State Police Criminal Investigation Division Special Agents on the scene indicate at least one local officer was wounded by the gunfire and has been hospitalized.

  The Arkansas State Police does not anticipate any further statements tonight as the investigation is underway.

  Questions relating to the administrative status of any police officers assigned to the search warrant operation should be directed to the local department.

SNOWFALL AND COLD TEMPERATURES BLAMED FOR SNARLED TRAFFIC AND INJURIES ALONG STRETCHES OF ARKANSAS HIGHWAYS

February 08, 2014

  Arkansas State Troopers and emergency services crews are at the Red River Bridge along I-30 west of Hope this morning searching for one of two individuals who jumped from the bridge earlier today.

  At approximately 2 AM today State Troopers were dispatched to a multi-vehicle crash located on the bridge in the eastbound lane at the 18 mile marker.

  At least three people were out of their vehicles when a commercial cargo truck began to slide and jack-knife toward the first crash scene.

  Two of the individuals jumped from the bridge to avoid being hit by the truck.  One person was rescued from the water and the search for the other has continued through the night and into this morning.

  Arkansas Game and Fish Commission personnel, along with water rescue units from Miller and Hempstead County are coordinating the search.

  Traffic along the bridge has been re-opened.

  Elsewhere overnight as heavy snowfall began to accumulate, traffic came to a standstill along several stretches of I-30, I-40 and I-430 in Pulaski, Saline, Faulkner, Lonoke and Clark Counties.  State Troopers are reporting many drivers abandoned their cars.  At one point along I-430 southbound and I-40 west traffic was backed-up and stalled for more than ten miles.

  This morning from Johnson County east along I-40 into Lonoke County east of Little Rock, State Troopers continue to be called to vehicles that have slid off the highway.  Slick and hazardous conditions continue to be reported west of Little Rock along Interstate 30.

  Troopers are warning residents that unless it is an emergency, travel should be postponed until the accumulated snow and ice along roadways begins to thaw.

STATE TROOPERS ANSWERING CALLS FOR ASSISTANCE ALONG STATE HIGHWAYS COVERED WITH SNOW

February 07, 2014

  Arkansas State Troopers in the metropolitan Little Rock and Hot Springs areas are answering calls for assistance coming from many dozens of motorists who are stranded or who have run-off the highways as a result of snowfall that has blanketed much of central Arkansas tonight.

  There are a few reports from some of the crash scenes that involve injured motorists who have been transported to area hospitals.  Most of the crashes do not involve injuries and are not blocking traffic.

  State Troopers are asking area residents to stay off the roadways tonight in an effort to reduce the volume of traffic which will allow emergency vehicles to more easily to the crash scenes.

  At this time the State Police does not have an accurate estimate of the number of crashes or calls for assistance.  Operators at State Police Communication Centers in Little Rock and Hot Springs are asking for patience of those motorists calling-in to request assistance.

  If possible, motorists involved in a crash or those unable to negotiate through the snow are asked to move their vehicles to the shoulders of the highways and out of the way of moving traffic.

COMMISSIONERS APPROVE PROMOTIONS PRESENTED BY STATE POLICE DIRECTOR

January 30, 2014

The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendations for promotion of three State Troopers to the ranks of lieutenant and sergeant.  The promotions were presented for consideration to the commissioners by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

Sergeant Ron Casey, 47, of Sheridan, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will assume new duties in Little Rock within the administrative offices of the State Police Highway Patrol Division.  Lieutenant Casey is a twenty-two year veteran of the department and most recently was assigned as post supervisor to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop K.

Sergeant Charles Hubbard, 40, of Gassville, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will be assigned to State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, as assistant Troop Commander.  Troop I is headquartered at Harrison.  Lieutenant Hubbard, an eighteen year veteran of the department, most recently has been assigned in Baxter County as a patrol post supervisor.

Corporal Clayton Richardson, 51, of Camden was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume new duties as a post supervisor in Highway Patrol Division, Troop F headquartered at Warren.  Sergeant Richardson, an eighteen year veteran of the department most recently has been assigned to patrol duties in Ouachita County.

STATE BICYCLE SAFETY GUIDE PUBLISHED

January 21, 2014

Bicycle Safety in Arkansas is a publication prepared by the Arkansas State Parks in conjunction with the Arkansas State Police and Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

(Click here to download a copy of the bicycle safety publication)

The nine page publication is crafted to help adult bicyclists and parents of younger bicyclists understand how to ride safely and legally on the streets, roads and highway of Arkansas.

Cyclists can use any public road, street or highway in Arkansas, with the exception of the Interstate and other controlled access highways.

The guide was also published to also help the drivers of motorized vehicles to better understand the rights and privileges of bicyclists traveling Arkansas.

MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED BY STATE TROOPERS

December 30, 2013

Trevein Reed, 21, a suspect in a Dyersburg, Tennessee murder was arrested earlier today (December 30th) by Arkansas State Troopers along with officers of the Texarkana Police Department and deputies of the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Department.

Based on an investigation by the U.S. Marshal’s Office in Jackson, Tennessee, information was provided to State Troopers in Arkansas that Reed was suspected of being on a commercial bus passing through southwest Arkansas.

State Troopers initiated a traffic stop about 3:15 this morning along I-30 near the five mile marker.  The traffic stop involved a bus identified by U.S. Marshals.

Onboard the bus Troopers found Reed who was taken into custody without incident.  He is being held for Tennessee authorities.

MISSISSIPPI FUGITIVES CAPTURED BY ARKANSAS TROOPERS AND U.S. MARSHAL

December 28, 2013

Two Mississippi fugitives were taken into custody this afternoon (December 28th) by Arkansas State Troopers and a U.S. Marshal.

Cody A. Eggemeyer, 26, and Michael D. Manis, 33, were arrested without incident about 3:15 PM outside the Crown Inn at 306 North Main Street, Brinkley.

Both men are wanted in connection with a crime spree that began Christmas Day and continued into the next day involving crimes of kidnapping, home invasion, robbery and gunfire directed at police officers in Sardis and Batesville, Mississippi.  The two are also suspected of an armed robbery in West Helena, Arkansas on December 26th.

The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division is continuing to work with Mississippi and federal authorities in an investigation involving both Eggemeyer and Manis.
 

STATE POLICE CID ARREST MILLER COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR

December 27, 2013

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have arrested Melissa Barnes, 45, of Texarkana.  The arrest occurred on Thursday, December 26th) following an initial investigation that arose from a request submitted by Carlton Jones of the Miller County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Barnes is charged with Theft of Property (Class D Felony).  She was transported to the Miller County Detention Center and bond was set at $ 10,000.

It is alleged Barnes stole cash proceeds from the Miller County Tax Collector’s Office.

The State Police investigation is continuing as well as an audit conducted by the Arkansas General Assembly Division of Legislative Auditing.

LONOKE COUNTY ARMED DOMESTIC DISTURBANCES LEAVES ONE DEAD

December 19, 2013

  Special Agents assigned to the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating a domestic disturbance which occurred in Lonoke County today that left one person dead and another wounded.  The State Police investigation is underway at the request of the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department.

  At approximately 8:30 AM local authorities were called to 31 Watercrest North in Austin.  Outside the home, sheriff’s deputies found Charlie Bryant who had sustained a single gunshot wound.

  Near a vehicle parked at the home, deputies found the body of Bryant’s wife, Sharae who had also sustained a gunshot wound.

  Charlie Bryant was transported to a local hospital for treatment and later released.

  The body of Sharae Bryant along with evidence recovered at the shooting scene has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.

  An investigation by State Police is continuing.

STATE & REGIONAL HIGHWAY SAFETY OFFICIALS LAUNCH HOLIDAY LAW ENFORCEMENT CAMPAIGN

December 17, 2013

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Officials of the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced today the launch of a statewide public safety campaign intended to make Arkansas highways and roads safer during the holiday season.

  “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a nationwide initiative involving state, county and city law enforcement officers.  It will be implemented during a three week period leading up to the New Year holiday.

  Among those attending a news conference today at State Police Headquarters were Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative along with Christopher J. Murphy, Regional Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Region 7.

  “Arkansas motorists can expect an increase in saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, anytime, anywhere,” said Colonel Witt.  “Drunk driving is a crime that will not be tolerated.  State Troopers and other law enforcement officers will not be looking for excuses.  If you’re caught driving impaired by alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested and taken to jail.”

  A comparison of national crash data limited to the month of December in
2007 – 2011 indicates 4,169 people were killed in crashes that involved  a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

  “Impaired drivers make December one of the deadliest months to be on the road,” said Christopher Murphy, Regional Administrator NHTSA Region 7.  “Each December hundreds of people die on the nation’s roadways because of impaired drivers – senseless deaths that could be avoided by one simple action – by not being under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs.  This December, don’t deprive someone of their chance to be home for the holidays next year.  Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, it’s not worth the risk.”

  Arkansas has seen a 20 percent reduction in drunk driving deaths since 2010.  Colonel Witt attributed the decline to aggressive law enforcement activities along with safer vehicles and the actions of organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  Arkansas recorded 143 alcohol-related fatalities in 2012, down from 178 in 2010.

  Arkansas is also below the national average in alcohol related fatalities.  The national average is 31 percent of all highway deaths. Arkansas ranks at 26 percent.

  “Although we have seen reductions in incidents of drunk driving, one death is too many.  Countless numbers of people continue to suffer due to serious injuries or the emotional trauma associated with losing a friend or family member as a result of this serious crime,” Colonel Witt said.

  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends:

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

  These items are your best defense against an impaired driver.

  For more information on the 2013 holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

ALABAMA FUGITIVE IDENTIFIED: DEATH INVESTIGATION CONTINUES

December 09, 2013


Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are continuing their investigation today in the death of Lindsey Scott Carter, 44, of Paint Rock, Alabama.

  Based on preliminary witness statements, it’s believe Carter sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound after his car was stopped by State Troopers. (see news release of Sunday, December 8th below)

  Carter had been identified by Alabama authorities as a fugitive wanted in connection with a homicide.

  Misty Burgess, 36, of Ava, Alabama, who fled on foot in Franklin County has been released.  No charges are pending against Ms. Burgess.



STATE POLICE INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY FOLLOWING
PURSUIT OF SUSPECTED ALABAMA FUGITIVE

December 8, 2013

  An individual believed to be wanted in connection with an Alabama homicide investigation died this afternoon (Sunday, December 8, 2013) of what is preliminarily believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  The shooting incident came at the end of a pursuit that covered parts of two counties along Interstate 40 in west Arkansas.

  About 12:50 PM, a State Trooper near Clarksville spotted a vehicle which matched the description believed to be occupied by the Alabama fugitive.

  As the vehicle approached Ozark in Franklin County, the Trooper initiated a traffic stop.  As the vehicle began to pull off the highway and stop, a female driver fled from the car on foot.  As the Trooper began to run toward the driver, the male fugitive who had been hiding in the car took control of the vehicle and fled the scene back onto I-40 westbound.

  Shortly after 1 PM State Troopers from Troop H out of Fort Smith who had begun to search for the suspect vehicle along I-40 came into contact with the car.  A short pursuit was initiated before the suspect was stopped.
  Troopers who approached the car found the driver dead.

  The incident is under internal review and the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division will conduct an investigation that will be turned-over to local prosecuting attorneys.

  The names of the dead fugitive and female accomplice who was taken into custody in Franklin County are being withheld at this time.  Additional information will be released as the investigation progresses and next of kin are notified.
 

 

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY FOLLOWING PURSUIT OF SUSPECTED ALABAMA FUGITIVE

December 08, 2013

  An individual believed to be wanted in connection with an Alabama homicide investigation died this afternoon (Sunday, December 8, 2013) of what is preliminarily believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  The shooting incident came at the end of a pursuit that covered parts of two counties along Interstate 40 in west Arkansas.

  About 12:50 PM, a State Trooper near Clarksville spotted a vehicle which matched the description believed to be occupied by the Alabama fugitive.

  As the vehicle approached Ozark in Franklin County, the Trooper initiated a traffic stop.  As the vehicle began to pull off the highway and stop, a female driver fled from the car on foot.  As the Trooper began to run toward the driver, the male fugitive who had been hiding in the car took control of the vehicle and fled the scene back onto I-40 westbound.

  Shortly after 1 PM State Troopers from Troop H out of Fort Smith who had begun to search for the suspect vehicle along I-40 came into contact with the car.  A short pursuit was initiated before the suspect was stopped.

  Troopers who approached the car found the driver dead.

  The incident is under internal review and the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division will conduct an investigation that will be turned-over to local prosecuting attorneys.

  The names of the dead fugitive and female accomplice who was taken into custody in Franklin County are being withheld at this time.  Additional information will be released as the investigation progresses and next of kin are notified.

STATE TROOPERS STAY BUSY ASSISTING MOTORISTS DURING INCLEMENT SNOW & ICE CONDITIONS

December 06, 2013

  (LITTLE ROCK) - State Troopers across Arkansas have spent most of last night and today assisting motorists who have been victims of snow or ice covered highways.

  Most of the motor vehicle crashes involved simple single-vehicle “slide-offs” as drivers lost control and slid into highway ditches or medians.

  One Arkansas State Trooper was injured about 9 AM today when his patrol car was struck from the rear along the eastbound lanes of I-40 near the White River.

  Corporal Damon Dobson, 37, of Monroe County, was transported to a Stuttgart hospital for examination.  Corporal Dobson’s injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

  Corporal Dobson had been investigating a motor vehicle crash and was inside his patrol car when a pick-up truck struck the State Police patrol car.

  Several stretches of Arkansas Interstates 40 and 55 were frequent scenes of jack-knifed 18-wheelers which involved State Troopers temporarily blocking portions of the highway while recovery crews worked to clear the highways.  Large commercial carrier trucks were also stalled along U.S. 65 in Searcy County and Highway 7 in Newton County.

  Troopers have also been assisting local police and sheriff’s departments, particularly in areas impacted by electric power outages.

  Some of the busiest State Police Troops involved personnel assigned to Troop K, headquartered at Hot Springs, Troop H, headquartered at Fort Smith, Troop L, headquartered at Springdale and Troop I, headquartered at Harrison.

  Highway conditions across Arkansas are expected to worsen overnight as the result of colder weather expected to sweep across the state.  Unless it is absolutely necessary or an emergency, highway travel across much of the state is not recommended.

  State Police Troop radio and telephone dispatchers request citizens limit their calls to emergency calls only.  Statewide information with the latest highway and road conditions can be obtained by calling (800) 245-1672 or viewing the State Highway & Transportation Department map website at IDriveArkansas.com

CLICK IT OR TICKET THIS THANKSGIVING: Motorists will be grateful if they buckle up this holiday season

November 15, 2013

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

 

(LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas State Troopers are joining forces with other state and local law enforcement officers during the Thanksgiving holiday season in a crack-down on seat belt law violations.

The Thanksgiving holiday is typically one of the busiest travel periods, both in Arkansas and across the nation.

Traffic crash statistics from 2011, which represent the latest data set currently available, indicate there were 249 passenger vehicle occupant deaths nationally during the Thanksgiving reporting period.  Fifty percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts.  In Arkansas, during the holiday reporting period, three people lost their lives and 241 people were seriously injured.
  
“You will see our State Troopers out in force beginning November 25, and we’ll be showing zero tolerance for anyone who is not wearing a seat belt,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Our goal is simple.  We’ll strictly enforce the law in order to save more lives.  If you are caught not wearing your seat belt, you can expect to be ticketed.”
An intensified enforcement emphasis will be noticed along Interstate 40 during the most heavily traveled hours of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“The Arkansas State Police will partner with several other states including Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas in an additional enforcement effort designed to protect motorists along the I-40 corridor,” Colonel Witt remarked.  Each state plans to assign a trooper to every 20 mile segment of Interstate 40 during peak traffic hours.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts saved almost 12,000 lives nationwide in 2011. 

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

Despite the law that requires the use of seat belts and the proven safety benefits, too many people are failing to get the message.  In 2011, 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes did not wear seat belts at the time of the crash.

“Buckling up is a proven life saver, but it’s often forgotten during rush of holiday travel,” said Colonel Witt. “Whether you’re driving across the country or just across town, buckling up is one of the best ways to ensure that you arrive safely at your destination. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a traffic ticket to get people to pay attention to this very simple message.”

The Arkansas State Police encourage motorists to practice safe driving habits year round beginning with buckling up before leaving the driveway. 

For more information about the Thanksgiving “Click It or Ticket” campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.
 

STATE POLICE TROOP I COMMANDER NAMED; COMMISSION APPROVES SIX PROMOTIONS

November 14, 2013

(LITTLE ROCK) – State Police Lieutenant Wesley Smithee, 42 of Harrison, has been promoted to the rank of captain and will assume new duties as commander of State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop I headquartered at Harrison.

Captain Smithee, an eighteen year veteran of the department, has served most recently as assistant commander of Troop I.

Captain Smithee was among six Arkansas State Troopers recommended for promotions today during a regular monthly meeting of the State Police Commission.  The recommendations were presented to commissioners by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

Sergeant David Moore, 49, of Marion, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will assume new duties as assistant troop commander of Highway Patrol Division, Troop D headquartered at Forrest City.

Lieutenant Moore is an eighteen year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned as a Troop D post supervisor.

Sergeant Charles Watson, 51, of Monticello, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will assume new duties as assistant troop commander of Highway Patrol Division, Troop F headquartered at Warren.

Lieutenant Watson is a twenty-five year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned as a Troop F post supervisor.

Corporal Brad Spurlin, 37, of White Hall, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume new duties as a Highway Patrol post supervisor assigned to Troop E headquartered at Pine Bluff.

Sergeant Spurlin is a thirteen year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned to patrol duties in Troop E.

Corporal Roby Rhoads, 44, of Atkins, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume new duties within the training section of the State Police Administrative Services Division.

Sergeant Rhoads is a fifteen year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned to the department’s Highway Patrol Division as K9 coordinator.

Corporal Ramey Lovan, 37, of Paragould, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume new duties as a Criminal Investigation Division, supervisor assigned to Company F headquartered at Jonesboro.

Sergeant Lovan is a fifteen year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned as a CID Special Agent in Greene County.

TRUMANN POLICE REQUEST INVESTIGATION OF OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

October 23, 2013

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have been requested by Trumann Police to conduct an investigation of an officer involved shooting incident that occurred yesterday (October 22, 2013).

Local police had attempted to arrest Jacob Ashton Brown, 21, based on a felony warrant and a parole violation warrant.

Brown reportedly fled from local officers and subsequently during the search pointed a gun in the direction of an officer who fired his service weapon and wounded Brown.

Inquiries relating to the identity and administrative status of the local police officer may be directed to the Trumann Police Department.

Upon completion of the investigation, State Police Special Agents will present the case file to the prosecuting attorney who will determine whether the use of deadly force was consistent with Arkansas statutes.

TROOP COMMANDER ASSIGNMENTS APPROVED; STATE POLICE COMMISSION APPROVES PROMOTIONS

October 10, 2013

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Two veteran Arkansas State Troopers have been given assignments to assume new duties as Highway Patrol Troop Commanders.  The assignments were made by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and recommendations for promotions by Colonel Witt were approved today by the Arkansas State Police Commission.

  Captain Mark Allen, 56, of Little Rock, was approved for a lateral transfer to assume command of Highway Patrol Troop K at Hot Springs.  Captain Allen is a thirty-two year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned to the Highway Patrol administrative headquarters office.

  Lieutenant Alex Finger, 54, of Little Rock, was promoted to the rank of captain and accepted the command of Highway Patrol Troop A.

  Captain Finger is a twenty-nine year veteran of the State Police and most recently was assigned as Troop A assistant commander.

  Sergeant Scott Woodward, 52, of Monticello was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will serve as commander of the State Police Criminal Investigation Division, Company B headquartered at Pine Bluff.

  Lieutenant Woodward is an eighteen year veteran of the department and most recently was assigned as a CID special agent supervisor in Drew County.

  Sergeant Kimberly Fontaine, 48, of Star City, has accepted a reassignment within Highway Patrol Troop E to post supervisor duties in Jefferson County.

  Sergeant Fontaine is a twenty-two year veteran of the department.

  Special Agent (corporal) Noah Shaw, 42, of Melbourne, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume new duties as special agent supervisor in the  Criminal Investigation Division, Company E headquartered at Harrison.

  Special Agent (sergeant) Shaw most recently has worked as a special agent in Izard County and surrounding areas.

  Corporal Gregory Smith, 42, of Little Rock, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will be assigned to Highway Patrol, Troop J post supervisor duties.

  Sergeant Smith is an eleven year veteran of the Arkansas State Police.
 

WHITE COUNTY STAND-OFF ENDS IN EXCHANGE OF GUNFIRE BETWEEN SUSPECT & STATE POLICE SWAT

September 17, 2013

At approximately 8 PM Monday (September 16th), local law enforcement personnel responded to a call for help from residents in a sub-division off State Highway 367 north of Judsonia (White County).  The initial call reported a man who lived in the area making threats to neighbors.

  Upon arrival in the neighborhood, a Judsonia Police Officer attempted to make contact with Charles Adrien Martin, 40, of 117 Meadowview Circle who had been the subject of the complaint.

  Unable to make contact with Martin, the local officer drove to a nearby house along the same street.  While talking to the resident, Martin exited his home and fired a gun at the police officer.

  As additional law enforcement officers arrived on the scene, Martin refused to come outside his house and meet with police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

  Local authorities contacted the Arkansas State Police for assistance and shortly after 10 PM the department’s SWAT team was outside Martin’s home.

  Late into the evening more attempts to establish communication with Martin went unanswered.

  At approximately 1 AM today (September 17th) a State Police robot was able to approach Martin’s residence and gain entry at the front door.

  Minutes later Martin opened fire on the robot, disabling the device, then directed gunfire toward the State Police SWAT team that had taken cover behind a State Police armored truck situated at the front of Martin’s home.

  State Troopers assigned to the SWAT team returned fire, wounding Martin who was later pronounced dead at a White County hospital.

  The incident is under review by the State Police Office of Professional Standards.

  Special Agents of the State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the shooting and will submit an investigative file to the White County Prosecuting Attorney for purposes of determining if the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers in this incident was consistent with applicable state law.

HIGHWAY PATROL DIVISION COMMANDER IS NAMED - FIVE OTHER PROMOTIONS OK’D BY STATE POLICE COMMISSION

September 12, 2013

(LITTLE ROCK) - Veteran State Police Highway Patrol Captain Mike Foster, 53, of Harrison has been promoted to the rank of major and will assume new duties as a Highway Patrol Division commander.

  The promotion was one of six recommended by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  The promotions were approved by the Arkansas State Police Commission during a meeting today.

  Major Foster has served as an Arkansas State Trooper for twenty-three years and most recently has been assigned as Troop Commander at State Police Highway Patrol, Troop I with headquarters at Harrison.

  A listing of other promotions approved by the commission includes:

  Sergeant Darran Austin, 36, of Dardanelle, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

  Lieutenant Austin is a nine year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned as a post supervisor in Highway Patrol Division, Troop J (Clarksville).  Austin will assume new duties as assistant commander of Highway Patrol, Troop A (Little Rock).

  Sergeant John Carter, 50, of Brookland (Craighead County), was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

  Lieutenant Carter is a twenty-three year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned to the department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Company F (Jonesboro).  Carter will assume new duties as Highway Patrol Division, Troop B (Newport) assistant commander.

  Sergeant David Sims, 53, of Pine Bluff, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

  Lieutenant Sims is a twenty-three year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned as a post supervisor to the department’s Highway Patrol Division, Troop E (Pine Bluff).  Sims will remain assigned to Troop E, however his new duties will be as assistant troop commander.

  Sergeant Stacie Rhoads, 44, of Atkins, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

  Lieutenant Rhoads is a fifteen year veteran of the department most recently assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company E (Harrison).  Rhoads will assume new duties a commander of CID, Company A (Little Rock).

  Corporal Michael Exum, 37, of Paragould, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

  Sergeant Exum is a thirteen year veteran of the department and has most recently been assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop C (Jonesboro).  Exum will assume new duties as a post supervisor in Troop B (Newport).

UNIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT SEARCH LEADS TO ARREST OF TONY PERRY

August 16, 2013

  Tony Perry, an Arkansas parolee and fugitive wanted by law enforcement was taken into custody last night (Thursday, August 15th) by Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division and U.S. Marshals.

  State Police Special Agents have been working closely with federal authorities as well as Little Rock and North Little Rock Police this week in a unified search for Perry.

  Agents arrested Perry Thursday night at approximately 8:15 PM.  The arrest occurred at 1216 Franks Street in North Little Rock.

  No one living at the North Little Rock address where Perry was arrested is suspected of aiding Perry evade arrest.

  Throughout the week State Police have arrested five individuals suspected of aiding Perry with information or transportation while he was hiding from law enforcement officers.

  Those arrested were, Argie Jackson, 47, charged with hindering apprehension, Wendell Meeks, 46, hindering apprehension, Keith Thomas, 30, parole violation, Jonathan Smith, 28, outstanding warrant for hot checks and Jamikka Perry, 30, also wanted on hot check warrants.

LOW PROFILE STATE POLICE PATROL CARS DEPLOYED ACROSS ARKANSAS

August 14, 2013

  (LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police has deployed new enforcement tools designed to help State Troopers succeed in their mission to make Arkansas highways safer.

  Twenty-four low profile patrol cars were assigned today to the State Police Highway Patrol Division.  Each of the twelve State Police Troops received two of the unconventional patrol cars to be used along with the conventional patrol units already assigned to the State Police fleet.

  The new cars are of different colors, equipped the same as a conventional patrol car, but absent of a roof-mounted bar light and marked only on the passenger’s side with the familiar State Police star and blue stripe.

  “Low profile patrol cars are not what a driver might normally recognize as a State Police vehicle,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “Rather than the standard white car body with a blue emergency light on the roof, motorists may notice different colored cars with emergency lighting fitted under the brim of the front windshield.”

  The intention in the choice of color, removing the exterior emergency lighting and markings on one side make the cars better suited for blending into traffic, allowing State Troopers a better opportunity to witness more violations.

  “Experience has demonstrated that flagrant violators typically are scanning traffic looking for the common markings of an Arkansas State Police patrol car,” said Major J.R. Hankins, commander of the Highway Patrol Division (western region).  “Simply stated, we’re trying to change what a violator might be looking for and be in a better position to document the violation before initiating the traffic stop.”

  Using low profile patrol cars is nothing new for the State Police.  During 1999 and 2000 the department purchased Chevrolet Camaros and Impalas in a small scale deployment of low profile patrol cars.

  The latest vehicles to be deployed represent the largest fleet of low profile patrol cars the Arkansas State Police has ever had in use at any single time.

  A Highway Safety grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was used to purchase the newest cars along with the speed detection radars, emergency lighting and law enforcement communications equipment installed inside the vehicles.

  “The public expects a lot from our Troopers who are suppose to stop violators who endanger themselves and others traveling along the state highways,” said Major Shawn Garner, commander of the Highway Patrol Division (eastern region).  “It only makes sense that we give them the right tools to do the job.”

  Particular caution will be used by Troopers using the low profile patrol vehicles on divided highways.

  Whenever safely possible while traveling along a divided highway, a Trooper will move into a position allowing the violator to get a better view of the Trooper and see the right-side markings of the patrol car.  The Trooper will then fall back behind the violator to initiate the traffic stop with a blue emergency light across the top interior of the front windshield.

  Reasonable consideration will be given to drivers who may be uncertain whether the traffic stop is being executed by a legitimate law enforcement vehicle.  These drivers may proceed at a posted speed to the nearest safe location before stopping.

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT READY FOR DWI & SEAT BELT VIOLATION CRACKDOWN

August 12, 2013

  (LITTLE ROCK) – As motorists take to the roads this Labor Day holiday, the Arkansas Highway Safety Office urges everyone to buckle up and drive sober. 

  The Arkansas State Police, other state, city and county law enforcement agencies will increase DWI and seat belt patrols beginning Friday, August 16th.  The additional patrols will continue through Labor Day, Monday September 2nd.

  The statewide crackdown effort against impaired drivers and seat belt law violators underscores the disproportionate number of traffic deaths involving alcohol and unbelted motorists.

  “We want everyone to have a safe holiday, but it requires important steps on the part of motorists – clicking that seat belt and driving sober,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Arkansas State Police Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Safety is a primary concern, not just for drivers, but also passengers and others on the road.”

  Law enforcement officers across Arkansas recommend that anyone who plans to consume alcohol make alternative transportation plans, such as designating a sober driver or calling a friend.

  Colonel Witt also stressed the importance of wearing a seat belt as your best defense against a drunk driver.  “Our Troopers are prepared to arrest drunk drivers and ticket those not wearing a seat belt.”

  There were 549 traffic fatalities on Arkansas roadways during 2011.  Twenty-eight percent (or 156) of those fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

  An additional area of concern is motor vehicle occupant protection.  During 2011 there were 220 unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities.   

  “Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists still are not buckling up,” Colonel Witt said.  “With a seat belt use rate of almost 72 percent, Arkansas lags far behind the national average of 86 percent.”

  Law enforcement officers will be working overtime during the holiday period which typically experiences an increase in motor vehicle traffic.  It will be the goal of the officers to save lives by exercising strict enforcement of the Arkansas seat belt and impaired driving laws.

  The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office and it runs concurrently with a media campaign that will remind motorists, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket.”
 
  For more information, log onto TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

EXECUTIVE PROTECTION UNIT PROMOTION APPROVED IN STATE POLICE COMMISSION MEETING

August 08, 2013

  Arkansas State Police Sergeant Mike Hagar, 40, of Conway, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant today.  The recommendation for promotion was presented to the State Police Commission by Colonel Stan Witt, State Police Director.

  Lieutenant Hagar is a seventeen year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned to the State Police Training Section.

  Lieutenant Hagar will be assigned to the State Police Executive Protection Unit.

LITTLE ROCK MAN CHARGED IN NEW YEAR’S DAY DEATHS ON I-30

July 24, 2013

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division arrested Kareame Cotton, Sr., 37, of Little Rock this afternoon in connection with the deaths of two individuals killed in a New Year’s Day motor vehicle crash along Interstate 30 near Scott Hamilton Road.

  Arrests warrants for Cotton were obtained by State Police charging Cotton with two counts of negligent homicide and third degree escape.

  Killed in the crash were David Harris, 64, and Maci Harris, 10, both of Little Rock.

  The escape charge stems from Cotton’s attempt to flee the motor vehicle crash scene after he was handcuffed by Highway Patrol State Troopers investigating the crash.

STATE POLICE AND PIKE COUNTY DEPUTIES INVESTIGATING MURDERS OF TWO WOMEN AND CHILD NEAR DELIGHT

July 14, 2013

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division and deputies of the Pike County Sheriff’s Department are continuing their investigation today into the murders of two women and a child.

  At 7:05 PM Saturday evening (July 13th), authorities received a 9-1-1 telephone call reporting a shooting incident at 3489 Highway 301, southwest of Delight (Pike County).

  Found dead at the scene were Dana Hill, 33, of 3489 Highway 301, Delight and Julie Hartsfield, 54, of 905 Walnut Street, Waldo (Columbia County).

  Autumn Hartsfield, 9, was wounded during the shooting incident and was transported from the scene to a Hot Springs hospital where she later died.

  Timothy Allen Hill, 43, also of 3489 Highway 301, Delight was taken into custody at the scene and is being held today in connection with the murders as the investigation continues.

  Initial findings during the investigation have caused agents and deputies to believe the shooting arose out of a domestic disturbance which may have preceded the gunfire.

STATE POLICE COMMISSION APPROVES PROMOTIONS OF SIX VETERAN TROOPERS

July 11, 2013

  The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendations for promotions of six State Police Troopers to the rank of major, captain and sergeant.  The recommendations were presented by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police, and considered in a meeting of the commissioners today in Little Rock at State Police Administrative Headquarters.

  Captain Shawn Garner, 49, of Hot Springs, was promoted to the rank of major and will assume new duties in Little Rock within the administrative headquarters Highway Patrol Division.

  Major Garner is a twenty-three year veteran of the department.  His most recent assignment has been in Hot Springs as Highway Patrol Division, Troop K commander.

  Lieutenant Joel Mullins, 58, of North Little Rock, was promoted to the rank of captain and will continue in his assignment as commander of the State Police Executive Protection Section.

  Captain Mullins is a thirty-three year veteran of the State Police with almost half his career assigned to the executive protection detail.

  Corporal Michael Moyer, 38, of Springdale, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume new duties in Little Rock within the administrative headquarters Regulatory and Building Operations Division.

  Sergeant Moyer is a ten year veteran of the department with his most recent assignment as a Special Agent within the State Police Criminal Investigation Division, Company D.

  Special Agent (Cpl.) Scott Pillow, 48, of Paragould, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will continue in his assignment with the department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Company F.

  Agent Pillow (Sgt.) is an eighteen year veteran of the department.

  Special Agent (Cpl.) Dennis Morris, 54, of Arkadelphia, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will continue in his assignment with the department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Company C.

  Agent Morris (Sgt.) is a twenty-four year veteran of the department.

  Special Agent (Cpl.) Shannon Shepherd, 47, of Sheridan, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume new duties within the State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop K as a post supervisor.

  Sergeant Shepherd is a twenty-three year veteran of the department with his most recent assignment as a Special Agent within the State Police Criminal Investigation Division, Company C.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATION OF BICYCLE CRASH TO BE SUBMITTED TO PROSECUTING ATTORNEY

July 03, 2013

State Troopers assigned to Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop D are continuing to investigate a highway crash involving a motor vehicle which struck a group of thirteen bicyclists.

The collision occurred yesterday (Tuesday, July 2nd) about 4:35 PM, two miles north of McCroy (Woodruff County), along State Highway 17.

Seven of the cyclists were injured as the group traveled northbound and were struck from the rear by a car driven by Teagan Ross Martin, 21, of Newport.

Martin has been questioned by State Troopers who are continuing their investigation.  The investigation will continue into next week and will subsequently be submitted to the Woodruff County Prosecuting Attorney for consideration of any charges against Martin.

The cyclists, most of them teenagers, all from out-of-state, were traveling cross-country under the supervision of Summer Camps of Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The tour had begun in Charleston, South Carolina and was destined for Santa Monica, California.

The Arkansas State Police does not anticipate any further release of information until the investigation has been completed.
 

OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING BEING INVESTIGATED BY STATE POLICE CID

July 03, 2013

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating a shooting incident which occurred this morning in Rockport (Hot Spring County) involving a local police officer and a wanted fugitive.

  About 7:30 AM (Wednesday, July 3rd) Hot Spring County authorities responded a robbery call from the Wishbone Store along Highway 84 near Bismarck.

  A short time later, a Rockport police officer spotted a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle believed to have been driven by the robbery suspect.

  The pick-up truck was stopped by police on a Wal-Mart parking lot between Malvern and Rockport.  The driver was ordered to exit the vehicle.  The officer reported hearing a gun shot from inside the truck and returned gunfire toward the driver.

  Brandon Rennie Turner, 34, of Donaldson was pronounced dead at the scene.

  Turner was also wanted by Hot Springs Police in connection with an attempted capital murder and aggravated robbery.

  Turner’s body has been transported to the State Crime Laboratory for a determination and cause of death.

  An investigative file will be submitted to the prosecuting attorney for review.

  Any requests for information relating to the administrative status of the local law enforcement officer should be directed to the Rockport Police Department.

STATE TROOPERS INVESTIGATING BICYCLE CRASH - SEVEN INJURED IN WOODRUFF COUNTY

July 02, 2013


  At approximately 4:35 PM this afternoon (Tuesday, July 2nd) Arkansas State Troopers were dispatched to what was reported as a highway crash scene involving multiple bicyclists along State Highway 17 two miles north of McCroy (Woodruff County).

  A group of thirteen cyclists had been traveling northbound when a car, also traveling northbound, struck seven cyclists at the rear of the bicycle group.

  Three cyclists were airlifted from the scene, transporting patients to Memphis and Little Rock.  Four other cyclists were transported to an area hospital by ground ambulance.  The driver of the car was not injured.

  The cyclists were on a cross country trip that had originated in Charleston, South Carolina.  The group’s destination was Santa Monica, California.

  The cross-country trip was organized by Overland Summer Camps of Williamstown, Massachusetts.

  State Troopers are continuing to investigate the crash tonight.  Additional information is expected to be available Wednesday morning. 
 

STRICT ENFORCEMENT OF DWI & SPEED LAWS PLANNED BY STATE AND LOCAL OFFICERS OVER JULY 4th HOLIDAY TRAVEL PERIOD

July 01, 2013

STRICT ENFORCEMENT OF DWI & SPEED LAWS PLANNED BY STATE AND LOCAL OFFICERS
OVER JULY 4th HOLIDAY TRAVEL PERIOD


  State, city and county law enforcement officers are reminding motorists to take the necessary safety precautions for the upcoming holiday travel period.

  The Fourth of July holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods for motorists as thousands of drivers head out on the roadways and interstate highways.

  Beginning June 28th and continuing through the following two weeks, officers will work to minimize the risk of fatalities by the strict enforcement of two of the most common traffic violations associated with fatal traffic crashes, driving while impaired and speeding.

  Sobriety checkpoints and speed patrols will be a top priority for law enforcement statewide.

  “Troopers will be aggressively enforcing the targeted laws during the upcoming holiday period,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Please drive safely, follow the speed limit and don’t drink and drive.”

  Drinking and driving is a deadly combination and law enforcement officials are stressing the importance of designating a sober driver and refusing to ride with anyone who has been drinking. 

  “Speeding greatly reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object or an unexpected curve.  Speeding and impaired drivers put themselves, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk,” says Colonel Witt.

  While death and injury are of course the most serious of possible consequences of drunk driving, there are other negative considerations that can affect lives for many years, including loss of a drivers license, vehicle impoundment, jail time, lawyer fees, court costs and insurance hikes, just to name a few.

  “All drivers should be on notice that a violation of these laws can be life changing.” said Colonel Witt.  “Remember, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ and ‘Obey the Sign, or Pay the Fine’.”

  For more information, log onto www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8133.

STATE TROOPER APPLICANTS BEING RECRUITED FOR NEXT TROOP SCHOOL

June 28, 2013

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

  Applicant testing to identify a pool of applicants for the recruit positions will begin in September and letters of conditional employment will be extended to qualified candidates later this year.  Recruiters are encouraging applicants to submit their medical assessment wavier and initial contact form now, but no later than August 31st.

  The department’s training staff is preparing its schedule and curriculum for a recruit class set to begin in January 2014.  An on-going budget analysis will ultimately dictate how many recruits will be hired.

  “Anyone who meets the minimum qualifications and desires a professional career with the Arkansas State Police is encouraged to apply,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Minimum qualifications are:

• Minimum age of 21
• U.S. citizenship
• Valid drivers license
• High School graduate or equivalent
• Absent of felony convictions
• No misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence
• Meet or exceed visual acuity standard
• No visible tattoos (wearing an ASP uniform)
• Passing grade on initial screening exam
• Pass physical, psychological and polygraph examinations
• Registered with Selective Service or exempt

  Starting salary for State Police Recruits is $34,500 and raised to $36,000 upon graduation.  New Troopers receive two regularly scheduled raises of ten percent each during the first seven and a half years of service which increases the annual salary to $43,560.

  The recruiting process typically requires a pool of more than a thousand applicants to report for the initial physical assessment test and knowledge based test.

  Each applicant who passes the initial testing phase will then be required to submit to a thorough background investigation, polygraph examination and oral interviews.  

  “Not everyone will make it through the application process, said Colonel Witt.  “Our standards are high, the job is demanding, but the career rewards are worthwhile to a young trooper willing to devote twenty years to the department.”

  The State Police provides health care insurance for every State Trooper, their spouse and children as well as lifetime retirement benefits.

  Applicants can download the medical assessment waivers and initial contact forms at the Arkansas State Police web site http://www.asp.arkansas.gov

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

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

State Troopers Commissioned In Graduation Ceremony

June 07, 2013

STATE POLICE RECRUITS SWORN-IN
AT CAPITOL GRADUATION CEREMONY

NEW TROOPERS ASSIGNED TO HIGHWAY PATROL DUTIES


June 6, 2013

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

  The recruits received the Oath of State Trooper Commission from the Honorable Mark A. Pate, White County District Judge, Searcy Division.

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

  Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, was the keynote speaker addressing the graduates and Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police, presented the new troopers their commissions.

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

  Graduates of the 2013 class are:

•     Richard Thomas Pickers, 37, of Horn Lake, Mississippi, who served as 2013 Recruit School Class Leader, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Baxter County.  Recruit Pickers is a graduate of Horn Lake High School (DeSoto County), Mississippi and is a United States Navy veteran.

•     Herbert Glen Bates, Jr., 33, of El Dorado, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Conway County.  Recruit Bates is a graduate of El Dorado High School and is an Arkansas Air National Guard veteran.

•     Mark Austin Blackerby, 27, of Malvern, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County.  Recruit Blackerby is a graduate of Malvern High School and is a United States Army Reserve veteran.

•     Stephen Derrick Briggs, 29, of Little Rock, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.  Recruit Briggs is a graduate of J.A. Fair High School and is an Arkansas Army National Guard veteran.

•     Timothy Scott Callison, 25, of Malvern, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Sebastian County.  Recruit Callison is a graduate of Malvern High School and is an Arkansas Army National Guard veteran.

•     Dustin Hurley Carpenter, 25, of Batesville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Desha County.  Recruit Carpenter is a graduate of Batesville High School and Arkansas Tech University.

•     Drake Benjamin Champagne, 23, of Arkadelphia, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Miller County.  Recruit Champagne is a graduate of Arkadelphia High School and Henderson State University.

•     Lagarian Rodriguez Cross, 28, of Fordyce, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Drew County.  Recruit Cross is a graduate of Fordyce High School.

•     Christopher Shaun Davenport, 35, of Rector, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Poinsett County. Recruit Davenport is a graduate of Rector High School and Arkansas State University.  He an Arkansas Army National Guard veteran.

•     Taylor Scott Elkins, 24, of Omaha (Boone County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Van Buren County.  Recruit Elkins is a graduate of Omaha High School and is a U.S. Navy veteran.

•     Matthew Kyle Foster, 23, of Alma will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, St. Francis County.  Recruit Foster is a graduate of Alma High School and Arkansas State University.

•     Bo Reubin Hayes, 33, of Cove (Polk County) will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Franklin County.  Recruit Hayes is a graduate of Van-Cove High School.

•     Isaac Benjamin Holley, 27, of Southaven, Mississippi will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County.  Recruit Holley is a graduate of Southaven High School, Delta State University, Cleveland, Mississippi and is an Arkansas Army National Guard veteran.

•     Nicholas Ryan Holley, 26, of Jonesboro, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.  Recruit Holley is a graduate of Nettleton High School and a U.S. Army Reserve veteran.

•     Charles Pierce LaCaze, 41, of Winnfield, Louisiana, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Ashley County.  Recruit LaCaze is a graduate of Winnfield High School.

•     Kristopher Michael McCrea, 28, of Clarendon, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Monroe County.  Recruit McCrea is a graduate of Clarendon High School.

•     Andrew Travis May, 27, of Conroe, Texas, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, Conway County.  Recruit May is a graduate of Conroe (TX) High School, University of Arkansas – Little Rock and a U.S. Marine veteran.

•     Aaron Paul Middleton, 24, of Jasper (Newton County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, Madison County.  Recruit Middleton is a graduate of Jasper High School, John Brown University and an Arkansas Army National Guard veteran.

•     Gabriel Jonathan Monroe, 23, of North Little Rock will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.  Recruit Monroe is a home schooled graduate and a U.S. Army Reserve veteran.

•     Dennis Jason Murphy, 37, of Cherry Valley (Cross County) will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, St. Francis County.  Recruit Murphy is a graduate of Cross County High School.

•     Gordon Joseph Seawood, 23, of Pine Bluff, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Lincoln County.  Recruit Seawood is a graduate of Pine Bluff High School and a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve veteran.

•     Dustin Thomas Smith, 25, of Cave City (Sharp County) will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Fulton County.  Recruit Smith is a graduate of Cave City High School and is an Arkansas Army National Guard veteran.

•     James Dallas Taylor, 31, of Hazen, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County.  Recruit Taylor is a graduate of Hazen High School.

•     Joshua Dean Whitney, 24, of Pearcy (Garland County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol, Troop H, Sebastian County.  Recruit Whitney is a graduate of Lake Hamilton High School.

•     Drew Hansen Widner, 22, of Hartville, Missouri, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, Madison County.  Recruit Widner is a graduate of Hartville (Missouri) High School and a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve veteran.

Special recognition and awards in the categories of academics, physical fitness and firearms were presented to the following class members:

•     Academics –
1st place Recruit Nick Holley 2nd place Recruit Timothy Callison 3rd place Recruit Isaac Holley.

•     Physical Fitness –
1st place Recruit Joshua Whitney 2nd place Recruit Drew Widner 3rd place Recruit Draca Champagne.

•     Firearms –
1st place Recruit Bo Hayes 2nd place Recruit Richard Pickers 3rd place Recruit Kristopher McCrea.

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

Pete Penney Awarded State Trooper of the Year

May 21, 2013

STATE TROOPERS HONORED AT DEPARTMENT AWARDS CEREMONY
TROOPER OF THE YEAR AND CIVILIAN OF THE YEAR RECOGNIZED

 

Arkansas State Trooper of the Year Pete Penney
with Colonel Stan Witt (left) and Governor Mike Beebe
(Click on image for high resolution file)



May 21, 2013

  (LITTLE ROCK) –
Arkansas State Trooper (Corporal) Pete Penney, 38, of Nashville was presented with the Arkansas State Police Trooper of the Year Award today during the department’s annual awards ceremony.  Corporal Penney was also presented the department’s Medal of Valor.

  The recognition of Corporal Penney stems from a March 23, 2012 traffic stop involving a suspected drunk driver along U.S. Highway 278, north of Ozan (Hempstead County).


  Following a field sobriety test, Corporal Penney attempted to arrest the suspect who resisted and began to fight.  After several minutes of attempting to gain control of the suspect Corporal Penney radioed for assistance at which time the suspect returned to his car.  As Corporal Penney approached the car, the suspect reached out holding a white plastic bag which contained a revolver and fired into the trooper’s abdomen.

  Corporal Penney was able to return fire from his service weapon, wounding the suspect.

  Corporal Penney is a nine-year veteran of the department and continues to serve the department assigned to the Highway Patrol Division.

  Among the other awards presented today were:

•    Medal of Valor
     Sergeant Darran Austin, 36 of Dardanelle
     Highway Patrol Division, Troop J
     Special Agent Todd Shaw, 41, of Melbourne
     Criminal Investigation Division, Company E

  In the aftermath of an April 13, 2012 bank robbery in Paragould, a suspect fled from law enforcement officers and managed to enter a residence where he barricaded himself along with a female acquaintance.

  The Arkansas State Police SWAT responded to the stand-off situation which continued into the evening and early morning hours of the next day.

  At approximately 1:30 AM (April 14th) the suspect escaped from the residence through a hole he cut through the floor.  The suspect managed to move into a nearby wooded area where he was tracked by a law enforcement K-9 dog.

  Simultaneously a spotter inside the State Police helicopter hovering above the area spotted a heat signature on a forward-looking infrared camera.

  Shortly before 4 AM the aircraft spotter alerted Sergeant Austin and S/A Shaw who were moving through the thick woods where the suspect was believed to be hiding.

  As the troopers moved closer to the suspect he fired on Sergeant Austin causing both troopers to return fire killing the suspect.

•    Medal of Valor
     Sergeant Mark Johnson, 49, North Little Rock
     Highway Patrol Division, Troop A

  On October 18, 2012, Sergeant Mark Johnson became involved in a pursuit of a suspect wanted in connection with an attempted murder, kidnapping and auto theft.

  As the pursuit continued across Interstate 40 and onto a two-lane highway, Sergeant Johnson made the decision to execute a Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT) in an effort to stop the increasing threat the fugitive was causing as the fled from law enforcement officers.

  Moving into position with the right front of his patrol car to push the left rear bumper of the suspect vehicle, the suspect fired a shotgun blast at Sergeant Johnson who continued with the PIT maneuver forcing the suspect off the highway into an open field where the suspect surrendered.

•    Trooper’s Cross
     Corporal Michael Bowman, 42 of Van Buren
     Highway Patrol Division – Troop H

  On the evening of January 31, 2012, a murder was reported in Franklin County and law enforcement officers began to converge on Highway 219 north of Ozark.

  Corporal Michael Bowman was off-duty at Troop H headquarters in Fort Smith when he heard the radio call reporting a suspect had been identified and information was leading officers to begin searching in the Van Buren area.

  Being familiar with the local area, Corporal Bowman left headquarters and began to patrol one of the neighborhoods where the suspect was possibly headed in an attempt to hide from police.

  Corporal Bowman quickly encountered a vehicle pulling away from a residence in a reckless manner.  As Corporal Bowman activated his blue lights, the vehicle began to race toward the patrol car, causing a collision of both vehicles and two individuals from the suspect vehicle immediately fleeing the crash scene on foot.

  Corporal Bowman exited the patrol car and pursued the suspects taking both into custody.   The two individuals were later identified as the suspects in the earlier reported murder.

•    Distinguished Meritorious Service
     Corporal Christopher Goodman, 37, of Russellville
     Highway Patrol Division, Troop J

  Corporal Goodman was recognized for his drug interdiction patrol efforts which during the course of July – September 2012 seized 154 pounds of cocaine, 5.5 pounds of heroin and 176 pounds of marijuana.

  Total street value of the drugs was in excess of $6.75 million dollars.

•    Lifesaving Award
     Trooper First Class Terry Burdin, 36, of Rector
     Highway Patrol Division – Troop C

  On April 26, 2012 Trooper First Class Terry Burdin responded to a radio call from another trooper near Paragould.  A burglary suspect had fled from the trooper and was armed with a shotgun, threatening to commit suicide.

  As TFC Burdin approached the location the suspect shot himself, nearly severing an arm.

  TFC Burdin assessed the injuries and began to establish an oral airway as the suspect became unresponsive.  Bleeding was controlled using supplies from TFC Burdin’s medical bag.

  The suspect was flown to a Memphis Hospital where doctors later stated had it not been for the quick medical attention offered by TFC Burdin, the suspect would have died.

•    Lifesaving Award
     Corporal Wilson Short, 35, of Dardanelle
     Highway Patrol Division – Troop J

  On April 15, 2012, Corporal Wilson Short was dispatched to the Arkansas River Bridge near Dardanelle where an individual was reported to be threatening to take his life.

  Corporal Short had encountered the individual on previous occasions and was able to build a rapport by talking to the man and convincing him to move away from the bridge railing.

  Later, Corporal Short took the man to a nearby restaurant where the two ate a meal together, then transported him to a local social service to receive overnight accommodations.

•    Lifesaving Award
     Corporal Dustin Rogers, 43, of Evening Shade
     Highway Patrol Division – Troop B

  On April 12, 2012,at approximately 11:49 AM Corporal Dustin Rogers was advised by Sharp County authorities of a medical emergency in Evening Shade.

  An 80-year-old man had sustained a heart attack at his residence.  Corporal Rogers responded to the area and found several people standing over a man outside his home.

  After checking the victim for vital indicators and finding none, Corporal Rogers began CPR and continued until the ambulance arrived almost eight minutes later.

•    Lifesaving Award
     Corporal Robert Alcon, 55, of Vilonia
     Highway Patrol Division – Troop K

  On June 27, 2012 Corporal Robert Alcon witnessed a motor vehicle crash while on patrol in Grant County along U.S. Highway 167 about 5 miles north of Sheridan.

  The single vehicle crash left a woman trapped underneath an overturned sport utility vehicle.

  It was Corporal Alcon who mustered a group of other drivers who had stopped following the crash to move toward the wreckage and begin to lift the vehicle allowing the victim to be removed.

  The victim sustained life threatening injuries from the crash and was transported to a Little Rock hospital where she survived.  Doctors who treated the victim say had it not been for the effort of Corporal Alcon the victim would have died.

•    Arkansas State Police Civilian of the Year (2012)
     Kerry Tabor, 49, of Beebe, Director’s Office
     Information Technology Section

  Kerry Tabor is a thirteen-year veteran of the department, assigned to the Information Technology Section.

  During the preceding year Tabor has directed the development and implementation of the State Police disaster recovery plan.

  Tabor has been instrumental in the deployment of a new patrol car camera system and system configuration of the developing eCite and eCrash reporting systems.

  The technological knowledge exhibited by Tabor has provided a solid footing for the Arkansas State Police to move forward with new computer based services which were only a dream of law enforcement twenty years ago.

  Tabor’s pride in the Arkansas State Police is persistently found in his work product which is designed to always improve functionality of patrol car electronic and computer systems, but more importantly, increase the safety level for the Arkansas State Troopers using the equipment. 

•    Distinguished Service Award
     Deputy Travis Turner – Howard County Sheriff’s Department
     Patrolman Justin Thornton – Nashville Police Department

  On March 23, 2012 Deputy Turner and Patrolman Thornton were the first law enforcement officer to arrive along a stretch of U.S. Highway 278, north of Ozan (Hempstead County) to render aid to Arkansas State Trooper Pete Penney who had been shot and wounded by a suspect he was attempting to arrest.

  The two officers left their respective patrol assignments to respond to Trooper Penney’s radio call for help.

  Both officers exhibited bravery and a readiness to render aid to Trooper Penney who had taken cover after exchanging gunfire with the suspect.

  Neither officer was aware of the location of the armed suspect and disregarded their own safety to take control of the scene, begin applying first aid to Trooper Penney and taking the suspect into custody.

•    Distinguished Service Award
     Paul Hunt – Nebraska City, Nebraska
     Charles Sachs – Plattsmouth, Nebraska

  On March 4, 2012, Paul Hunt and Charles Sachs were traveling along U.S. Highway 270 in Montgomery County, when they came upon a motor vehicle crash.

  Both men left their vehicles and began to approach a burning car where the voice of a woman could be heard screaming, “Please don’t let me burn.”

  Hunt and Sachs were able to extricate the woman from the wreckage only seconds before the gas tank exploded, engulfing the wreckage in a fireball.

•    Distinguished Service Award
     Michael Nash – Traskwood, Arkansas

  On September 11, 2012, at approximately 7:00 AM a vehicle traveling west on Interstate 630 lost a wheel from the left front, which struck the concrete dividing wall, bounced, and crashed through the windshield of an eastbound vehicle, instantly killing the driver.

  The eastbound vehicle continued moving at an increasing speed, crisscrossing lanes of rush hour traffic.

  Michael Nash who was witnessing the event unfold, maneuvered his vehicle into position to allow the runway car to crash into his and guided his vehicle and the other to a stop along a retaining wall.

  By risking his own life and with disregard for his own property, Nash is credited with saving an untold number of lives traveling along the Interstate highway.

  During today’s awards ceremony the recipients of State Police Departmental Commendations were recognized.  During the previous year the following State Police personnel were awarded official commendations and recognized by the Arkansas State Police Commission.

•   Sergeant Jim Moore – Highway Patrol Division, Aircraft Section

•   Corporal Eric Henson – Highway Patrol Division, Troop K

•   Trooper Thomas Hubbard – Highway Patrol Division, Troop D

•   Telecom Operator Chanda Martin – Highway Patrol Division, Troop G

•   Special Agent Mitch Carolan – Criminal Investigation Division, Company D

•   Corporal Vic Coleman – Highway Patrol Division – Drug Interdiction Unit

•   Trooper First Class Marcus Daniels – Highway Patrol Division, Troop A

•   Trooper First Class Antoine Williams – Highway Patrol Division, Troop A

•   Trooper First Class Heath Nelson – Highway Patrol Division, Troop A

•   Trooper First Class Alan Johnson – Highway Patrol Division, Troop A

•   Special Agent Scott Clark – Criminal Investigation Division, Company C

•   Special Agent Dennis Morris – Criminal Investigation Division, Company C

•   Special Agent Hays McWhirter – Criminal Investigation Division, Company C

•   Special Agent Scotty Dodd – Criminal Investigation Division, Company C

•   Special Agent David Rider – Criminal Investigation Division, Company C

•   S/A Shannon Shepherd – Criminal Investigation Division, Company C

•   Special Agent Corwin Battle – Criminal Investigation Division, Company C

•   Special Agent Louis Imler – Criminal Investigation Division, Company C

•   Special Agent Larry Carter – Criminal Investigation Division, Company E

•   Special Agent Bryan McAllister – Criminal Investigation Division, Company D

•   Special Agent Dwane Luter – Criminal Investigation Division, Company E
 


----------------------------------

Kidnapped Child Secured by State Troopers

May 17, 2013

STATE TROOPERS SECURE KIDNAPPED CHILD
DURING WEST MEMPHIS TRAFFIC STOP

Arkansas State Troopers have secured a two-year girl believed to have been kidnapped earlier today from Sandy Springs, Georgia.

A 30 year old suspect in the kidnapping was also taken into custody during a traffic stop along an Interstate 40 service road in West Memphis.

Arkansas State Troopers received a law enforcement bulletin earlier in the afternoon from Georgia authorities who believed the suspect may be traveling through Arkansas with the child inside a 2006 Range Rover.

State Police Sergeant David Moore and Corporal Lowry Astin moved highway patrol troopers into the West Memphis area to be on the lookout for the suspect vehicle.

At approximately 3:25 PM Corporal Flarcell Tate spotted the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop in the vicinity of the West Memphis dog racing track.  The child was turned-over by State Police to the Arkansas Department of Human Services and Georgia law enforcement authorities were notified of the suspect being held by State Troopers.

Further information with regard to any criminal charges that may be pending against the suspect and information about the kidnapped child should be directed to the Sandy Springs (Georgia) Police Department at (770) 551-6900.

Memorial Day Holiday Period Enforcement Campaign

May 14, 2013

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

 


BUCKLE UP, EVERY TRIP, EVERY TIME

Arkansas motorists reminded to “click it” during holiday travel
 

  (LITTLE ROCK) – When motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day holiday period, the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office urges everyone to buckle up.

  State, county and city law enforcement officers will begin devoting additional patrols on May 20th to the national “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign which is commissioned to crack down on motorists who are not using seat belts.

  “As we kick-off the busy summer driving season, it’s important that everyone buckle up on every trip, every time, both day and night – no excuses,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Our troopers are committed to this lifesaving initiative and prepared to ticket anyone not wearing their seat belt."

  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52 percent of 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

  Deaths involving individuals not wearing seat belts are more prevalent at night than during daylight hours.  During the 2011 reporting period, 62 percent of the 10,135 passenger vehicle occupants killed during the overnight hours (6 PM to 5:59 AM) were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the motor vehicle crashes.

  Crash investigation reports from 2011 document the same trend in Arkansas, indicating a 64 percent increase in nighttime fatalities among those not wearing seat belts compared to 48 percent during daylight hours.

  “Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists are still not buckling up, especially at night when the risk of a crash is even greater,” said Colonel Witt. “We want everyone to have a safe summer, but it requires an important step on the part of motorists, clicking the seat belt.”

  In 2011, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives nationwide, according to NHTSA.  While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 20 through June 2nd, officers are enforcing seat belt laws year round.

  For more on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, visit www.nhtsa.gov or contact the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

BODY OF MISSING WARREN WOMAN FOUND

April 14, 2013

  The body of a Warren woman who disappeared nine days ago was found today (Sunday, April 14th) in a grave near the home of a Monticello man known to be an acquaintance of the missing woman.

  Tangela Walton, 36, was reported missing by her family on April 5th after failing to return home.

  Warren Police subsequently asked Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division to assist in investigating the disappearance.

  Earlier today a suspect in the death of Walton directed authorities to the grave where her body was uncovered and later transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.  The lab will conduct an autopsy of the body to determine manner and cause of the death.

  The suspect is being held tonight in a local jail pending a first appearance hearing and the filing of formal charges later tomorrow.

STATE POLICE CID INVESTIGATING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

April 03, 2013

  The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division has been requested to investigate a shooting incident overnight which left one man dead and a Bryant Police Officer wounded.

  Bryant Police responded to a burglar alarm at the Fred’s Store at 3395 State Highway 5 about 11 PM (Tuesday, April 2nd).  The first officer arriving at the store encountered an individual inside a fenced area along the west side of the building.

  As a second officer approached the store, an exchange of gunfire occurred between a suspect inside the fence and the fist officer.

  The first officer was wounded during the gunfire and transported to a Little Rock hospital where the officer was treated and released.  The suspect was fatally wounded and pronounced dead at an area hospital.

  The suspect has been identified as Thomas R. O'Dell, 41, of Trilla, Illinois and is believed to a murder fugitive wanted by Illinois authorities.

  An investigation of the officer involved shooting is underway and a case file is being prepared for consideration by the Saline County Prosecuting Attorney to determine if deadly force was used consistent with Arkansas law.

  Questions with regard to the wounded officer’s identity and administrative status should be directed to the Bryant Police Department.

STATE POLICE COMMISSION SETS APRIL MEETING

April 02, 2013

STATE POLICE COMMISSION SETS APRIL MEETING

  The Arkansas State Police Commission will convene in session, Thursday, April 11th, 10 AM, at State Police Administrative Headquarters in Little Rock.
 

I-40 MULTI-VEHICLE CRASH - ONE FATALITY CONFIRMED - MULTIPLE INJURIES

March 21, 2013


MULTI-VEHICLE FATALITY CRASH ALONG I-40 AT THE WHITE RIVER BRIDGE UNDER INVESTIGATION

  Arkansas State Troopers were dispatched at 7:50 AM today (Thursday, March 21st) to a report of a motor vehicle crash located in the eastbound lane of Interstate 40 in the vicinity of the White River Bridge (200 mile marker).

  One person died in the crash and at least a dozen other individuals were injured in what is described as a multi-vehicle crash.  Air and ground ambulances transported the injured to Stuttgart and Little Rock hospitals.

  Based on initial witness statements, State Troopers preliminarily suspect metal debris from the roadway had become airborne and impacted a vehicle which then stopped in the single lane of eastbound traffic, causing traffic from the rear of the first vehicle to slow and stop.  Seconds later a commercial carrier truck traveling behind the stopped vehicles impacted the blocked roadway causing a chain reaction crash.

  Both east and westbound traffic along I-40 through the area has been diverted to nearby state and U.S. highways to allow for the crash scene to be cleared and the investigation to continue.

  As of 3:30 PM, Troopers still at the crash scene were not anticipating the highway to re-open to traffic until 4:30 this afternoon.

CRACKDOWN ON DRUNK DRIVING - UNDERAGE DRINKING

March 07, 2013

ARKANSAS SETS ZERO TOLERANCE FOR TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS

LITTLE ROCK – The weekend of March 8th marks the beginning of two law enforcement operations that will occur over the next six weeks dedicated to identifying and arresting young drivers who may be drunk or impaired. The operations are being coordinated by the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office working with state, county and city law enforcement officers in a statewide effort to crackdown on drunk driving.

During the assignments scheduled for March 8th - 17th and April 12th - 21st, stepped-up patrols and an increased use of sobriety checkpoints will occur across Arkansas as part of a unified law enforcement plan to identify and arrest drunk drivers of all ages, but with a heightened alert on teenagers and college age individuals.

Arkansas’s Underage Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Law, makes it illegal for anyone under age twenty-one to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.02 and 0.07.

“For a young driver, this means one drink is all it takes to be impaired,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governors Highway Safety Representative.

If an underage driver is apprehended with a BAC of .08 or greater, law enforcement officers are required to arrest the person under the Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Law.

A DUI conviction can result in the loss of driving privileges, fines of up to $2,000, along with required community service. A teenager convicted of DWI faces the same criminal penalties as an adult, which includes jail sentencing, fines, court costs, license suspension, community service and other possible punishments. Insurance premiums for anyone convicted of DUI or DWI typically increases significantly.

“Impaired driving is not just another traffic offense, it’s a serious crime that often causes needless deaths and injuries,” Colonel Witt stated. “The message is simple to understand, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

The initiative purposely coincides with the spring season when many young people are on school breaks, celebrating proms and attending graduation parties.

Alcohol related fatalities involving individuals under the age of twenty-one increase during this particular time of year, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. Nationwide, motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death among teenagers.

During 2011 there were 100 drivers under the age of 21 with positive blood-alcohol concentrations involved in motor vehicle crashes.

This year’s campaign seeks to raise awareness of the serious and deadly consequences of impaired driving for teens through heightened law enforcement activities and paid media. The overall message is one of deterrence, designed to make teens think twice about drinking and driving and risking their lives and those of their fellow motorists.

For more information on underage drinking prevention, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For parents and caregivers who want to know more about keeping their teen driver safe, visit www.SaferTeenDrivingAr.org.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Ann Whitehead (501) 618-8133
ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

STATE POLICE COMMISSION APPROVES TWO PROMOTIONS

February 14, 2013

The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendations for promotions of two veteran Arkansas State Troopers. The recommendations were presented today by Colonel State Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police, during a regular monthly commission meeting.

Sergeant Forrest Marks, 42, of Hot Springs, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and assumes duties as assistant commander of Arkansas State Police, Highway Patrol Division, Troop K.

Lieutenant Marks is an 18 year veteran of the State Police and most recently was assigned to Highway Patrol, Troop K, Garland County as a post supervisor.

Corporal Christopher Waters, 44, of Alma, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and assumes duties as post supervisor in Crawford County, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop H.

Sergeant Waters is a 12 year veteran of the State Police and most recently was assigned to patrol duties in Troop H.

STATE POLICE COMMISSION TO MEET IN CALLED SESSION

January 30, 2013

(LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police Commission will meet convene in a called session today (January 30, 2013) at 10:30 AM.  The meeting will be conducted by a telephone conference call.

The purpose of the meeting is to consider a disciplinary matter involved a State Police employee.

The open session portion of the conference call can be monitored from the Director's Office Conference Room at State Police Headquarters.

______________________

STATE POLICE COMMISSION APPROVES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROMOTIONS

December 13, 2012

(LITTLE ROCK) – The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendations of Colonel Stan Witt, State Police Director, to promote nine State Troopers to fill supervisory positions within three of the department’s four divisions. Lieutenant Steve Coppinger, 50, of Fayetteville, was promoted to the rank of captain.

Captain Coppinger will be assigned as assistant division commander of the State Police Criminal Investigation Division. He is a 16 year veteran of the department and most recently has worked as commander of CID, Company D, headquartered at Fort Smith. Sergeant Jason Aaron, 37, of Van Buren, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Lieutenant Aaron will be assigned as commander of CID, Company E, headquartered at Harrison. He is a 14 year veteran of the department and most recently has worked as a post supervisor assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H. Special Agent (Corporal) Ken Whillock, 45, of Gentry, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Whillock will be assigned to a supervisory position in CID, Company D, headquartered at Fort Smith. He is a 17 year veteran of the department and most recently has worked as a field agent assigned to CID, Company D. Corporal Elvis Mull, 44, of Little Rock, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Mull will be assigned to a post supervisor position in Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, headquartered at Little Rock. He is a 14 year veteran of the department most recently assigned to patrol duties in Troop A. Corporal John “Scott” Joe, 42, of Royal, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Joe will be assigned to post supervisor duties in Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, headquartered at Fort Smith. He is a 14 year veteran of the department most recently assigned to patrol duties in Troop K, headquartered in Hot Springs. Corporal Ben Cross, 43, of Dover, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Cross will be assigned to post supervisor duties in Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, headquartered at Clarksville. He is a 17 year veteran of the department most recently assigned to patrol duties in Troop J. Corporal Chad Hipps, 41, of Berryville, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Hipps will be assigned to post supervisor duties in Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, headquartered at Springdale. He is a 14 year veteran of the department most recently assigned to patrol duties in Troop L. Corporal Daniel Nichols, 42, of Clarksville, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Nichols will be assigned to post supervisor duties in Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, headquartered at Springdale. He is a 15 year veteran of the department most recently assigned to patrol duties in Troop J. Corporal Michael Wallace 39, of Benton, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Wallace will be assigned to the department’s Regulatory and Building Operations Division, Maintenance and Inmate Services Section in Little Rock. He is a 13 year veteran of the department most recently assigned to the Administrative Services Division, Training Section.

HOLIDAY ENFORCEMENT CAMPAIGN TO IDENTIFY AND ARREST DRUNK DRIVERS

December 10, 2012

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Ann Whitehead - (501) 618-8133 ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov Law enforcement agencies across the state are preparing to provide additional protection for travelers along Arkansas roadways this holiday season. The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office has joined with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in announcing Arkansas’s participation in the national law enforcement and public media campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” “Focusing on the Christmas and New Year holidays, December 14 – January 1, Arkansas law enforcement agencies will conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints to identify and arrest impaired drivers,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Arkansas State Police Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “If your celebration includes drinking alcohol, please celebrate responsibly, don’t take a chance, because chances are you’ll be caught,” Colonel Witt stated. “The choice is yours. Designate a driver or one will be appointed for you, straight to jail.” Last year 34 percent of all the traffic fatalities in Arkansas were alcohol related. This translates into 190 lives lost on Arkansas roadways in one year due to alcohol related motor vehicle crashes. Colonel Witt said State Troopers will join other state and local law enforcement officers across Arkansas in making sure Arkansas roadways stay safe. “The Arkansas State Police works every day to reduce the number of injuries and deaths associated with traffic crashes.” Colonel Witt said. “Drunk driving is a crime and will not be tolerated.” “Drunk driving crashes are not accidents,” said Arkansas Program Manager of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Pam Sell, “These crashes are entirely preventable if motorists would forego a holiday activity that can often lead to tragedy - getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after drinking or using other drugs.” MADD suggests that party hosts include alcohol-free beverages and protein-rich foods, along with reminding guests to plan ahead and remember the following advice: • If you plan to drive, don’t drink. • If you drink, choose a sober designated driver. • Take a taxicab or ask someone to get you to your designation, if you have been drinking. • Report impaired drivers to law enforcement • Always wear your safety belt, your best defense against an impaired driver. For more information about the campaign, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov, call the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136 or contact MADD at (501) 246-8810.

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION GETS NEW COMMANDER - COMMISSION APPROVES PROMOTIONS

November 16, 2012

(LITTLE ROCK) – The Arkansas State Police Commission approved a recommendation received today from Colonel Stan Witt, State Police Director, to promote Captain Henry La Mar to the rank of major and serve as commander of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division. Major La Mar, 58, of Little Rock, is a thirty-three year veteran of the department and has most recently been assigned as CID assistant division commander and acting commander. During today’s commission meeting six other promotions were approved. Sergeant Kyle Drown, 39, of Russellville, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Lieutenant Drown is a sixteen year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop J, as a post sergeant. Lieutenant Drown will be assigned to Troop J headquarters at Clarksville as assistant troop commander. Sergeant John Overman, 51, of Huntsville, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Lieutenant Overman is a fourteen year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, as a post sergeant. Lieutenant Overman will be assigned to Troop L headquarters at Springdale as assistant troop commander. Sergeant David Lafferty, 52, of Hot Springs, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Lieutenant Lafferty is a twenty-four year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company C, as a special agent supervisor and acting company commander. Lieutenant Lafferty will assume command duties of CID, Company C. Corporal Jamie Gravier, 36, of Texarkana, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Gravier is a fourteen year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned as a patrol trooper in the Highway Patrol Division, Troop G. Sergeant Gravier will now assume duties as a post supervisor. Corporal Marty Pollock, 49, of Bentonville, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Pollock is a twenty-two year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned as a patrol trooper in the Highway Patrol Division, Troop L. Sergeant Pollock will now assume duties as a post supervisor. Corporal Paulette Ward, 42, of Little Rock, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Ward is a fourteen year veteran of the department and most recently has been assigned as a special agent within the Director’s Office, Office of Professional Standards. Sergeant Ward will now assume duties as a case agent supervisor.

BUCKLE UP FOR THANKSGIVING TRAVEL:  Law enforcement urges Arkansas motorists to “click it, day and n

November 15, 2012

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: Ann Whitehead - Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office Phone: (501) 618-8133 email: ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov (LITTLE ROCK) - The Thanksgiving holiday period is one of the busiest for Arkansas motorists and out of state travelers. During the upcoming week-long holiday travel period Arkansas State Troopers will join with other state and local law enforcement officers nationwide to ensure drivers obey the rules of the road and motorists are buckled-up in their seat belts. Motor vehicle crashes nationwide during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday reporting period (Wednesday, November 24th – Monday, November 29th) resulted in 337 passenger vehicle occupants being killed. A staggering 55 percent of the fatality victims were not wearing seat belts. In Arkansas, during the same Thanksgiving travel period, 7 people lost their lives and 57 percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts. “Seat belts save lives and that’s why State Troopers and local law enforcement officers across Arkansas will participate in the national Click It or Ticket, Day and Night mobilization,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. The Arkansas State Police will place additional State Troopers on the highway during the Thanksgiving holiday period. The national mobilization effort directed at seat belt violators begins November 19th and will continue through November 25th. According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during 2010, seat belts saved more than 12,500 lives. Research indicates the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent when seat belts are worn correctly. “Buckling up is simple and it’s a proven life saver, but it’s often forgotten during the hustle and bustle of holiday travel, particularly at nighttime,” said Colonel Witt. Nationally, during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 64 percent of nighttime fatalities involved unbelted passengers compared to only 41 percent unbuckled passengers in daytime fatalities. “It’s unfortunate too many people need a tough reminder in the form of a traffic ticket,” Colonel Witt said, “but taking just a few seconds for everyone in a vehicle to fasten their seat belt can make a life or death difference.” The Arkansas State Police encourages motorists year round to practice safe driving habits which begin with buckling-up before leaving the driveway. For more information about the Click It or Ticket, Day and Night campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

COMMANDERS PROMOTED IN THREE STATE POLICE TROOPS

October 11, 2012 (LITTLE ROCK) – The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendations of Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the State Police, to promote three Highway Patrol Division lieutenants to the rank of captain. The new captains were promoted to fill vacant troop commander positions in Pine Bluff, Jonesboro and Newport. The promotions were considered by the commissioners today during a regularly scheduled meeting at the department’s Little Rock administrative headquarters. Captain Leonard Hogg, 57, of Star City, a 33 year veteran of the department, who most recently was assigned as assistant Troop E commander will assume new duties in Pine Bluff as Troop E commander. Captain Jim Howington, 57, of Bryant, a 26 year veteran of the department, who most recently was assigned as assistant Troop B commander in Newport, will assume new duties in Jonesboro as Troop C commander. Captain Jeffrey Drew, 42, of Bentonville, a 16 year veteran of the department, who most recently was assigned as assistant Troop L commander in Springdale, will assume new duties in Newport as Troop B commander.

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ON ALERT DURING LABOR DAY TRAVEL PERIOD PRIORITIES DIRECTED TO DWI

August 16, 2012 For more information contact: Ann Whitehead 501-618-8133 ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov (LITTLE ROCK) – Law enforcement officers are urging Arkansas travelers to exercise safety on the state’s highways, city streets and county roads during the final summer holiday. Police agencies plan to conduct additional statewide saturation patrols and checkpoints to identify and arrest drunk drivers and issue violator citations to those who ignore the Arkansas seat belt and child safety seat laws. The initiative will begin August 17th and continue through the September 3rd, Labor Day holiday. Impaired driving and failure to comply with safety belt laws are two of the more common contributing factors to injuries and fatalities from motor vehicle crashes on Arkansas roadways. “Our primary goal during the enforcement period is to prevent injuries and save lives,” said Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “While we enforce the laws year round, our heightened presence around peak travel times becomes critically important as that’s when the risk of injury or fatality is the highest and the need to buckle up is the greatest.” During 2010 almost 31 percent of fatalities in motor vehicle crashes in Arkansas involved alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle traffic crashes involving impaired drivers or motorcycle riders resulted in 147 deaths across the country during the 2010 Labor Day weekend. Overall across the United States, an alcohol impaired driving-related fatality occurs every 51 minutes. Seat belt use saves thousands of lives across the U.S. every year. Traffic safety statistics show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide. Yet, too many motorists still fail to buckle up. During the calendar year 2010 there were 22,187 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes and 51 percent of them were not wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes. In Arkansas 241 of the 407 motor vehicle occupants killed (59 percent) in crashes during 2010 were not properly restrained. “For many Arkansans this is a time of relaxation, family gatherings, traveling to events or perhaps an end of season vacation.” Colonel Howard said. “Please do not let it become a time of a tragedy. Make safety a priority this Labor Day Holiday. Everyone can help by obeying the laws: buckle up and drive sober.” The Labor Day Holiday law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office and runs concurrently with a media campaign to remind motorists, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket.” For more information, log onto TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

DIVISION COMMANDERS AND POST SUPERVISOR PROMOTIONS APPROVED

August 08, 2012 (LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police Commission approved the recommendations of Colonel JR Howard, Director of the State Police, to promote three State Troopers today. The promotions were considered by the commission during a regularly scheduled meeting at the department’s Little Rock headquarters. Captain Stan Witt, 55, of Austin (Lonoke County), was promoted to the rank of major and will be assigned as commander of the department’s Administrative Services Division. Major Witt, a twenty-six year department veteran, has most recently served in an acting division commander capacity within Administrative Services, which comprises the department’s recruiting and training sections, human resources operations and other personnel support type services for the 928 State Police employees. Lieutenant Lindsey Williams, 54, of Searcy, was promoted to the rank of captain and will be assigned as commander of the department’s Regulatory & Building Services Division. Captain Williams, a twenty-seven year State Police veteran, currently serves as the State Fire Marshall. In addition, he has also served in an acting division commander capacity supervising the department’s regulatory and licensing services as well as headquarters building operations. Corporal Doug Thomas, 49, of Jonesboro, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will be assigned Highway Patrol post supervisor duties in Troop C headquartered at Jonesboro. Sergeant Thomas is a twenty-three year veteran of the department.

THREE STATE POLICE PROMOTIONS APPROVED BY COMMISSION

July 27, 2012 (LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendations of Colonel JR Howard, Director of the State Police, to promote two commanders to the rank of captain and promote a Trooper First Class to the rank of sergeant. The promotions were considered today by the commissioners during a regularly scheduled meeting earlier at the department’s Little Rock headquarters. Lieutenant Ron Stayton, 56, of Pine Bluff was promoted to the rank of captain and will be assigned to command duties to lead the department’s Crimes Against Children Division. Captain Stayton has most recently served as commander of State Police Criminal Investigation Division, Company B headquartered at Pine Bluff. Captain Stayton is a twenty-seven year veteran of the department. Lieutenant Jackie Clark, 51, of Wynne, was promoted to the rank of captain and will be assigned as commander of Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol, Troop D headquartered at Forrest City. Captain Clark is a twenty-four year veteran of the department and most recently has held the position as Troop D, acting commander. Trooper First Class Alex Krneta, 27, of Crossett, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will be assigned to a post supervisory position in Highway Patrol, Troop F, headquartered at Warren. Sergeant Krenta, is a six year veteran of the department.

STATE POLICE ASSIGN 29 NEW TROOPERS TO HIGHWAY PATROL DUTIES ACROSS ARKANSAS

June 28, 2012 (LITTLE ROCK) – Twenty-nine Arkansas State Police Trooper Recruits graduated tonight during ceremonies at the Arkansas State Capitol. The recruits received the Oath of State Trooper Commission from the Honorable Harold Erwin, of Newport, Third Judicial District Circuit Court, Division One. The recruit class initially reported for duty on February 26th and each class member has accumulated 996 hours of classroom studies and practical training. The recruits are eligible for 41 college credit hours toward a Criminal Justice degree from Black River Technical College at Pocahontas. Morril Harriman, Chief of Staff for Governor Mike Beebe, was the keynote speaker addressing the graduates and Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police, presented the new troopers their commissions. Other dignitaries present included representatives of the Arkansas State Police Commission. Graduates of the 2012 class are: • Jason C. Baethke, 27, of Manchester, Missouri, who served as Class Leader, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Baxter County. Recruit Baethke is a graduate of Parkway South High School in Manchester. • Christopher L. Aaron, 29, of Hazen, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, St. Francis County. Recruit Aaron is a graduate of Hazen High School. • Dakotah R. Bailey, 24, of Crossett, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Columbia County. Recruit Bailey is a graduate of Crossett High School. • Jed L. Bolyard, 25, of Booneville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Sebastian County, Recruit Bolyard is a graduate of Booneville High School. • Gabriel Charles Chambers, 21, of Kansas City, Missouri, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County. Recruit Chambers is a graduate of Kolbe Academy, Kansas City, Missouri and Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas. • Bryan John Christenson, 26, of Aledo, Texas, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Nevada County. Recruit Christenson is a graduate of Aledo High School and is the recipient of both bachelors and masters degrees from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia. • Christopher L. Crim, 29, of Sherwood, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Lincoln County. Recruit Crim is a graduate of Sylvan Hills High School. • Callie M. Dacus, 23, of Mountain Home, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Sebastian County. Recruit Dacus is a graduate of Mountain Home High School and Arkansas State University, Mountain Home. • Ernesto Echevarria, 28, of DeQueen, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Sevier County. Recruit Echevarria is a graduate of DeQueen High School and Cossatot Community College, DeQueen. • Philip Ryan Felton, 31, of Bryant, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County. Recruit Felton is a graduate of Bryant High School. • Darren P. Henley, 27, of Hope, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Hempstead County. Recruit Henley is a graduate of Hope High School and Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia. • Jason W. Hooks, 26, of Paragould, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Izard County. Recruit Hooks is a graduate of Paragould High School. • Ryan J. Leuer, 27, of DeWitt, Iowa, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County. Recruit Leuer is a graduate of DeWitt (Iowa) Central High School and the recipient of bachelors degrees in Criminology and Sociology from Arkansas State University, Jonesboro. • Cleyton M. McDonald, 26, of Jacksonville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County. Recruit McDonald is a graduate of Jacksonville High School and is the recipient of bachelor and masters degrees in criminal justice and psychology from Mississippi Valley State University. • Jason A. McGlawn, 34, of Arnold, Missouri, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Columbia County. Recruit McGlawn is a graduate of Fox High School (Arnold, Missouri) and Harding Univeristy. • Andrew Tyler Metcalf, 24, of Brookland (Craighead County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County. Recruit Metcalf is a graduate of Brookland High School. • Eric C. Miller, 28, of Neosho, Missouri, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Crawford County. Recruit Miller is a graduate of Neosho High School. • Christina E. Morris, 23, of Nashville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Hempstead County. Recruit Morris is a graduate of Cossatot Community College, Nashville. • Derek Nietert, 25, of Charleston, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Sebastian County. Recruit Nietert is a graduate of Charleston High School. • Jerry Lee Oglesby, 30, of Pine Bluff, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County. Recruit Oglesby is a graduate of Pine Bluff High School and Southern Arkansas University Technical College, Camden. • Samuel C. Rice, 23, of Hamburg, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Chicot County. Recruit Rice is a graduate of Hamburg High School. • Jerome Sanders, Jr., 27, of Pine Bluff, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County. Recruit Sanders is a graduate of Watson Chapel High School and is a recipient of a bachelor degree in criminal justice form American Intercontinental University, Hoffman, Illinois. • Terry L. Sawyer, 37, of Jessieville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County. Recruit Sawyer is a graduate of Jessieville High School. • Zachary B. Saxon, 29, of Dover, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Sebastian County. Recruit Saxon is a graduate of Dover High School. • Corey J. Skarda, 27, of Des Arc, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Lee County. Recruit Skarka is a graduate of Des Arc High School. • Zachary L. Treadway, 22, of Dardanelle, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County. Recruit Treadway is a graduate of Dardanelle High School. • Zachary J. Varnell, 26, of Pine Bluff, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County. Recruit Varnell is a graduate of Watson Chapel High School. • Clint Daniel Vaughn, 27, of Quitman, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Stone County. Recruit Vaughn is a graduate of Quitman High School. • Marshall T. Williams, 36, of Doniphan, Missouri, will be assigned be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County. Recruit Williams is a graduate of Doniphan High School and Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Special recognition and awards in the categories of academics, firearms, physical fitness and EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Course) were presented to the following class members: • Academics 1st place – Recruit Jason Baethke 2nd place – Recruit Derek Nietert 3rd place – Recruit Jerome Sanders • Physical Fitness 1st place – Recruit Ryan Leuer 2nd place – Recruit Jason Baethke 3rd place – Recruit Bryan Christenson • EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Course) 1st place – Recruit Cleyton McDonald 2nd place – Recruit Corey Skarda 3rd place – Recruit Jerome Sanders • Firearms 1st place – Recruit Derek Nietert 2nd place – Recruit Andrew Metcalf 3rd place – Recruit Zachary Saxon Upon reporting for duty at their respective troop headquarters, the new troopers will be placed with a certified departmental Field Training Officer (FTO). Each graduate will work in tandem with their respective FTO for a twelve-week transitional period prior to being released to their assignment.

TRAFFIC SAFETY CAMPAIGNS AIMED AT IMPAIRED DRIVING & SPEEDING

June 26, 2012 STATEWIDE LAW ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVES SET FOR 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY TRAVEL PERIOD FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: Ann Whitehead (501) 618-8133 ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov June 26, 2012 (LITTLE ROCK) - Arkansas law enforcement officers will increase sobriety checkpoints and step up patrols to combat both impaired driving and speeding during the next two weeks. “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is an nine-day enforcement mobilization beginning June 29th and continuing through July 7th, immediately followed by a seven-day speeding initiative, “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine,” July 8th – 14th. During these periods, officers will intensify efforts to arrest drunk drivers and cite drivers who exceed posted speed limits. “Traffic safety enforcement initiatives such as these are particularly important during high volume traffic periods when more motorists are on the roads for long weekends or extended vacations,” said Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s highway safety representative. Speeding and impaired driving are two of the leading contributing factors in motor vehicle crash fatalities on America’s highways. During 2010 there were 32,885 motor vehicle crash deaths recorded nationally. Impaired driving crashes accounted for 31% or 10,228 of the deaths while excessive speed contributed to 32% or 10,395 of the total lives lost. In Arkansas during the same reporting period, thirty-one percent of fatalities in motor vehicle crashes involved alcohol, while nineteen percent of motor vehicle crash fatalities in the state were speed related. “Speeding translates to death on our roadways. It greatly reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object, or an unexpected curve. Speeding and impaired drivers put themselves, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk,” said Colonel Howard. During the enforcement effort state, city and county officers around Arkansas will be out in force looking for those who choose to disobey these laws. The goal of the safety campaigns is to save lives. “All drivers should be on notice, no more warnings and no more excuses,” said Colonel Howard. “Remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Obey the Sign, or Pay the Fine.” For more information, log onto www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

TWO STATE POLICE PROMOTIONS OK’D BY COMMISSION

June 14, 2012 (LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendations of Colonel JR Howard, Director of the State Police, to promote two State Troopers to fill assistant command positions. The recommendations were considered by the commissioners during a regularly scheduled meeting earlier today. Sergeant Alex Finger, 53, of Little Rock, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will be assigned assistant commander duties at Highway Patrol Division, Troop A. Lieutenant Finger has most recently been assigned to the department’s Recruiting Section and is a twenty-eight year veteran of the department. Sergeant Mike Kennedy, 38, of Benton, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will assume assistant command duties within Administrative Services Division. Lieutenant Kennedy is a fifteen year veteran of the department.

STATE POLICE TROOPERS AND CIVILIAN RECEIVE TOP HONORS IN ANNUAL CEREMONY

May 22, 2012 (LITTLE ROCK) – Two Arkansas State Troopers and a civilian staff member were recognized today with awards presented during the annual Arkansas State Police Awards Ceremony. State Troopers Chris Goodman and Philip Hydron were awarded dual recognition as Trooper of the Year (2011) and Joann Staples was presented the department’s Civilian of the Year award. The presentations were made by Governor Mike Beebe and Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police. Corporal Goodman, 36, of Russellville and Special Agent (Corporal) Hydron, 40, of Brinkley are both graduates of the State Police Academy 2004 Class. Goodman is assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop J headquartered at Clarksville and Hydron is assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company A headquartered at Little Rock. During the final nine months of 2011 Corporal Goodman logged 151 felony arrests, 154 misdemeanor arrests and is credited with 38 drug and property seizures associated with suspected drug trafficking. The seizures occurred during the course of traffic stops and included 4,302 pounds of marijuana, 64 pounds of cocaine, 27 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 500 oxycodone tablets and cash totaling $2,859,394. Corporal Goodman’s criminal arrests and drug seizures during 2011 set new records for State Police by a single state trooper. Special Agent Hydron was selected as Trooper of the Year for his work in two major east Arkansas federal investigations resulting in arrests associated with drug and firearms trafficking. United States Attorney Chris Thyer credits S/A Hydron with providing “invaluable” investigative assistance in Operations “Evil Eye” and “Delta Blues” that collectively netted more than 100 arrests. During his supporting role with federal authorities during 2011, S/A Hydron maintained his state cases involving a murder investigation which he closed by arrest as well as cases involving home invasion and first degree battery. S/A Hydron logged 43 criminal cases during the year, made 96 arrests and seized more than 16 pounds of marijuana and 49 pounds of cocaine with a combined street value of $1.23 million dollars. Throughout the year S/A Hydron devoted personal time to assist as a physical fitness leader for 75 women from a local church and area communities. Joann Staples, a 29 year veteran of the Arkansas State Police civilian support staff, was awarded the department’s Civilian of the Year Award (2011). Staples, 52, of Cabot, is assigned to the department’s Administrative Services Division, Recruiting Section. Staples is credited with successfully compiling a database of 448 applicants and initiating a recruit testing schedule in record time to accommodate plans to fill a February 2012 Troop School class. The initial database was developed from 3,483 letters Staples directed to applicants across the state who requested to be considered for employment as State Troopers. Staples coordinated a schedule that included physical assessment testing, knowledge testing, background checks and polygraph examinations that ultimately assembled a group of 161 applicants qualified for oral interviews. With less than three months to complete her work, Staples beat the deadline clearing the administrative process to allow the current recruit class to begin on schedule and graduate later next month. The Arkansas State Police is comprised of 538 commissioned State Troopers and 407 non-commissioned staff members.

ENFORCEMENT IS KEY TO CHANGE MOTORIST HABITS - CLICK IT OR TICKET, DAY AND NIGHT AIMED AT SEAT BELT

May 17, 2012 (LITTLE ROCK) – Motorists who choose not to use seat belts may want to take notice. The seat belt enforcement mobilization effort known as Click It or Ticket begins next Monday (May 21st) and will involve law enforcement officers across the country cracking down on motorists who don’t buckle up. The Arkansas State Police will join other state and local law enforcement agencies by more closely watching for seat belt violations, day and night. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants killed during 2010 in overnight (6PM – 5:59 AM) motor vehicle traffic crashes were not wearing seat belts, compared to 42 percent during daylight hours. Compared to Arkansas statistics during the same reporting period and hours, there’s a marked increase in the non-compliance of seat belt laws. The overnight fatality crashes during 2010 jumps to 67 percent who were not wearing seat belts compared to 53 percent during the daylight hours. “Too many motorists on the road at night are not wearing their seat belts, and all too often it ends in tragedy,” said Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Our goal is to save more lives by reminding motorists to buckle up no matter what time of day or night.” While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 21st through June 3rd, motorists should never forget law enforcement officers are enforcing seat belt laws year round. Seat belt use saves thousands of lives across America each year. NHTSA statistics show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide. Yet, too many motorists still fail to buckle up. During the calendar year 2010 there were 22,187 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes and 51 percent of them were not wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes. In Arkansas 241 of the 407 motor vehicle occupants killed (59 percent) in crashes during 2010 were not properly restrained. As part of a larger effort to remind motorists to buckle up both day and night, the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office will partner with fast-food restaurants across the state to spread the Click It or Ticket message. Window signage and stickers on drive-thru customers’ orders will remind motorists to obey the law and buckle up. Statewide advertising will also publicize “Click It or Ticket” and relay its life-saving message. “Those who don’t wear seat belts are not only risking their lives, they are disobeying the law,” said Colonel Howard. “Arkansas law enforcement will be out around the clock looking for those who choose to ignore our warnings. We hope all our motorists will have a safe holiday and buckle up to avoid being stopped and ticketed.” For more information, log onto TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136

STATE POLICE COMMISSION APPROVES DIRECTOR’S RECOMMENDATION FOR TWO PROMOTIONS

May 10, 2012 Two veteran Arkansas State Troopers were promoted today during a meeting of the Arkansas State Police Commission. Both promotional candidates were recommended for promotion to the commission by Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police. Lieutenant Shawn Garner, 48, of Hot Springs was promoted to the rank of captain and will assume command duties of Highway Patrol, Troop K, headquartered at Hot Springs. Troop K comprises Clark, Garland, Grant, Hot Spring, Montgomery, Pike and Polk Counties. Captain Garner is a 21 year veteran of the department and has most recently served as Troop K assistant commander. Trooper First Class Brad Lann, 28, of Greenbriar was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume post supervisor duties within Highway Patrol, Troop A. Sergeant Lann is a six year veteran of the department and most recently served in a Troop A patrol assignment.

Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking and Driving: IMPAIRED DRIVING CAMPAIGN AIMED TOWARD ARKANSAS TE

March 04, 2012 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ann Whitehead – (501) 618-8133 ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov LITTLE ROCK – Beginning this week the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office will join state, county and city law enforcement agencies to increase the number of sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols on state highways and local streets and roads. State Troopers, sheriff’s deputies and police officers across the state will ramp-up their efforts to identify and arrest drunk drivers of all ages, but with a special emphasis directed toward impaired teenage drivers. The 20-day special enforcement operation will begin March 9th, and continue through March 18th, then again on April 13th – 22nd. The campaign purposely coincides with the spring season when many teenagers are on school breaks, celebrating proms and attending graduation parties. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol related fatalities involving individuals under the age of twenty-one increases during this time of the year. Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death among U.S. teens overall. During 2010 there were 47 drivers and passengers in Arkansas under the age of twenty-one involved in alcohol-related fatal crashes. “Each year during end-of-school celebrations there are young people under the age of 21 who consume alcohol at proms and parties and are subsequently injured or killed in highway crashes,” said Colonel JR Howard, Director of the State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “We want to do whatever we can to prevent families from having to endure that kind of tragedy,” Colonel Howard stated. Drivers under 21 in Arkansas can be arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between .02 and .07. If an underage driver is apprehended with a BAC of .08 or greater, law enforcement officers are required to arrest the person for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). A DUI conviction for an individual under the age of 21 can result in the loss of driving privileges, fines of up to $2,000, along with required community service. A teenage convicted of DWI faces the same criminal penalties as an adult which includes jail sentencing, fines and court costs, license suspension, community service and possibly other punishments. Insurance premiums for anyone convicted DUI or DWI typically increases significantly. The objective in the coming weeks is to raise awareness of the serious and deadly consequences of impaired driving for teenagers through heightened law enforcement programs and paid media campaigns. The overall message is one of deterrence, designed to make teens think twice about drinking and driving, risking their lives as well as those of other motorists. “The bottom line is that underage drinking is illegal,” said Colonel Howard, “and if teens drive impaired, we will find them and arrest them. Where public safety is concerned, there is no room for exceptions to the law.” For more information on underage drinking prevention, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER: HOLIDAY CRACKDOWN ON DRUNK DRIVERS

December 12, 2011 For more information: Ann Whitehead 501-618-8133 ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Highway Safety Office announced today that state and local law enforcement agencies will participate in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” mobilization effort sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The annual enforcement campaign designed to reduce the incidents of drunk driving on city streets, county roads and state highways will begin December 16th and continue through January 2nd. During the seventeen day operation Arkansas law enforcement officers will conduct supplemental sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols to identify and arrest intoxicated drivers. “Law enforcement will be working overtime during the holidays to keep Arkansas roadways safe,” said Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Our heightened presence should remind all motorists to drive sober and not endanger themselves, their families or other motorists.” It is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher. During calendar year 2009 nearly 11,000 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving drivers or motorcycle riders with illegal BACs, according to the latest NHTSA statistics. In Arkansas, of the 585 people killed during 2009, 168 people (29%) were killed in crashes involving drunk drivers. “That’s why law enforcement in Arkansas is dedicated to getting drunk drivers off the road,” said Colonel Howard. The national campaign is designed to send a clear message - Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Impaired driving is clearly a crime, not an accident and law enforcement officers caution those individuals who plan to consume alcohol to also plan not to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. “If you choose to drink and drive, you not only endanger your life and the lives of others, but you can jeopardize your future. You can lose your driver’s license, your job, and money in fines, court costs and higher insurance rates as well as face possible imprisonment. Even refusing a BAC test will cause you to lose your license on the spot and have your car impounded,” Colonel Howard said. The Arkansas Highway Safety Office offers these simple tips for a safe holiday season: • If you are planning to drink alcohol with friends, designate a sober driver before going out. • If you’re impaired, do not drive. Call a taxi or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely. • Promptly report impaired drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement. • Wear your seat belt because it is your best defense against impaired drivers. • And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive impaired, take the keys and help them safely get to their destination. 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.

LAW ENFORCEMENT URGE MOTORISTS:  BUCKLE-UP, DAY AND NIGHT FOR THANKSGIVING TRAVEL

November 15, 2011 LITTLE ROCK) – The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office is reminding Thanksgiving travelers to remember the rules of the road during the upcoming holiday. A “Click It or Ticket” campaign across Arkansas is part of a national effort to prevent tragedies and save lives on the highways November 21 – 27. State and local law enforcement agencies will be working together and extending their patrol hours to remind motorists to buckle-up, especially during this holiday traffic period. During last year’s Thanksgiving travel period in Arkansas, seven people lost their lives and 254 were injured as the result of traffic crashes. “As our roadways become more congested over the Thanksgiving holiday, buckling-up, both day and night, becomes even more important and may mean the difference between a tragedy and a happy holiday,” said Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 23,000 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2009 across the nation, and almost half weren’t wearing seat belts. Nationally, during the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2009, the latest data set available, (which ran from 6 p.m., Wednesday, November 25, to 5:59 a.m., Monday, November 30), 303 passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes. Nighttime is the worst for seat belt use according to national statistics collected by NHTSA. More than half of the 187 passenger vehicle occupant fatalities occurring at night during the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday reporting period involved individuals who were not fastened in their seat belts, based on investigation of safety restraint use. Comparatively 49 percent of the fatalities during daylight hours were not wearing seat belts. “Motorist safety and protection is always a top priority,” said Colonel Howard. “That’s why this Thanksgiving there will be police officers around the state working overtime, day and night, to ensure that motorists abide by the law to buckle-up.” Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA. Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent. For more information about the Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign, please visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

STATEWIDE LAW ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVE READY TO TARGET IMPAIRED DRIVERS AND SEAT BELT VIOLATIONS

August 16, 2011 (LITTLE ROCK) –Law enforcement agencies across Arkansas will extend patrol hours and set-up added sobriety checkpoints beginning August 19th in a unified effort to reduce traffic crashes on local streets and state highways through the Labor Day holiday period (September 5th). The mission of the special enforcement plan is to detect and arrest intoxicated drivers and cite violators of the state’s seat belt and child safety seat laws. Impaired driving and failure to comply with Arkansas safety belt laws are two of the more common contributing factors to injuries and fatalities from motor vehicle crashes on Arkansas roadways. “Our goal is to save lives and prevent injuries,” said Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Although traffic safety laws are enforced year round, special high visibility enforcement operations are used when traffic volume typically rises such as in the weeks leading up to and through a holiday period.” Authorities believe that placing dual emphases on a special enforcement campaign aimed at drunk driving and seat belt violations will save lives during the final weeks of the summer driving period. “Motorists should be reminded to obey traffic laws or face the consequences of being stopped and ticketed if they aren’t wearing a seat belt and children in the vehicle aren’t secured in a safety seat or arrested if they’re driving impaired from drugs or alcohol,” said Colonel Howard. The statewide initiative is part of an annual national crackdown on drunk driving, sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The campaign puts motorists on notice that if they are caught driving while impaired, they will be arrested. Supported by $14 million dollars in federal funds, the advertising and education campaign will introduce a new tagline titled “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” “Our message is very simple, drive sober and wear your seat belt,” said Romell Cooks, Regional Administrator, NHTSA Region 7. “If you choose not to heed this simple message, you face some very severe consequences.” Violators run the risk of expensive fines, increased insurance premiums, and the loss of their driver license. “In addition to the financial impact to you and your family there’s also the possibility a violation may be a contributing factor in a motor vehicle crash which causes death or injury,” Cooks said. Data from NHTSA shows the number of alcohol related motor vehicle fatalities across the U.S. declined in 2009 from the previous year. However in 2009 there were 10,839 deaths in traffic crashes where a driver or motorcycle operator was at or above the legal limit (.08 g/dL or higher). In Arkansas during the same reporting period one-out-of-three traffic fatalities (168 of a total of 585) were alcohol-related. The state’s Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile will also be used to assist law enforcement officers during the enforcement campaign. Developed with funding from NHTSA, the BAT Mobile is a 42-foot vehicle equipped with modern devices that aid officers in processing suspected drunk drivers on the spot. In addition, the BAT Mobile serves as an education tool and is made available to various law enforcement agencies at events throughout the state. Arkansas also continues to lag behind the national average in the use of seat belts. Seat belt use in the state has increased from 70.4 percent before the primary seat belt law became effective in 2009 to 78.3 percent during 2010. Nationally the average jumps to 85 percent among motorists using seat belts. Despite demonstrations and research that prove the use of seat belts save lives, one out of five Arkansas motorists fail to buckle-up. Police officers in Arkansas may stop a vehicle and ticket the driver or passenger if either is not buckled-up. No other traffic violation has to be observed by the officer in order to initiate the traffic stop. “As the last summer holiday arrives, we encourage all drivers to drive responsibly and sober and insist that everyone in the vehicle is properly buckled-up. Safety belts are your best protection against the drunk driver. So remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket,” said Colonel Howard. For more information on “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” go to www.stopimpaireddriving.org. Information about the “Click It or Ticket” initiative can be found at www.trafficsafetymarketing.org or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

CORPORAL RONNIE STEWART NAMED 2010 TROOPER OF THE YEAR

July 12, 2011 (LITTLE ROCK) - Arkansas State Police Corporal Ronnie Stewart has been awarded the department’s Trooper of the Year Award for 2010. Corporal Stewart was among 29 State Police personnel and individuals outside the department recognized today at the annual Arkansas State Police Awards Ceremony and Luncheon. Corporal Stewart, 44, of Mammoth Springs, is a 15-year veteran of the department and is assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, headquartered at Harrison. The Trooper of the Year Award and the department’s Medal of Valor award were presented to Corporal Stewart for his selfless act of bravery in saving the lives of two men who had become trapped inside a burning residence north of Salem (Fulton County). According to the nominating narrative, Corporal Stewart on July 7, 2010 while on patrol duties responded to a local fire call with intentions of controlling traffic in and around the area. Corporal Stewart was among the first emergency responders on the scene. It was apparent to Corporal Stewart the house was quickly becoming engulfed by the flames that had begun to break through the roof. Inside the burning structure he heard the voice of a man and went to the front door of the home where he began to crawl into the burning structure where he saw the silhouette of the home owner attempting to drag his son from the flames. Corporal Stewart grabbed for the belt around the man’s waist and pulled both to safety then administered first aid, restoring the breathing of one victim, until medical assistance arrived. Other State Troopers nominated for the Trooper of the Year were: • Sergeant Benny Cox, 62, of Little Rock, post supervisor assigned to Highway Patrol, Troop A. Sergeant Cox was nominated for his longevity of service amounting to more than 30 years and the leadership among his post during 2010 which produced 188 DWI arrests and more than 750 criminal arrests. • Trooper First Class, Chris Goodman, 36, of Russellville, assigned to Highway Patrol, Troop J. TFC Goodman was nominated for his continued interdiction patrol success amounting to seizures of 4,078 pounds of marijuana and 208 pounds of cocaine during 2010 along with suspected drug proceeds amounting to more than $800-thousand dollars. • Trooper First Class, Flarcell Tate, 46, of Marion, assigned to Highway Patrol, Troop D. TFC Tate was nominated for his patrol enforcement work, netting 102 DWI arrests during 2010. Arkansas State Police administrative assistant Sheila Standley, 55, of Jacksonville, was awarded the department’s Civilian Employee of the Year for 2010. Standley is a 37-year veteran of the department assigned to the Executive Protection Section and was recognized particularly for role in organizing the “ASP Angels” who have supported the Susan G. Komen, Race for the Cure. Other nominees for Civilian of the Year were: • Diane Carder, 53, of Poyen, former Criminal Investigation Division Analyst. Carder was nominated for her longevity of service to the department amounting to 35 years and her cumulative exemplary work product as an investigative analyst. • Gary Glisson, 60, of Cabot, administrator of the State Police, Crimes Against Children Division, Hotline Section administrator. Glisson was nominated by his employees and supervisor for his devoted efforts to educate and work directly with the frontline operators charged with the responsibility of answering and logging details of more than 50-thousand calls each year related to child abuse and maltreatment. • Rhonda Massey, 49, of Little Rock, assigned to the department’s Fiscal Section. Massey was nominated for her 31 years of service devoted to the department’s Fiscal Section and her demonstrated skills as a supervisor of accounts payable. • Jimmy Plataka, 55, of Little Rock, assigned to the department’s Aircraft Section. Plataka was nominated for his work as an aircraft operations mechanic and his demonstrated skills and devotion to maintaining the airworthiness of the State Police aircraft and through his efforts ensuring the safety of State Police personnel onboard the flights. Four non-Arkansas State Police personnel were awarded the department’s Distinguished Service Award. • FBI Special Agents Ward Seale and Mike Lowe The two agents were recognized for their devoted tenacity and investigative skills given in assistance to Arkansas State Police Special Agents over the span of 11 years in connection with the disappearance and murder of a teenage girl. Early in 2010 the investigation culminated with federal indictments and state charges against individuals identified by the investigators during the course of their work with the State Police. • Arkansas Game & Fish Officer Michael K. Neal Officer Neal was recognized for his bravery exhibited on May 20, 2010 at West Memphis during the course of a gun battle with two men who had killed two local police officers. It was Officer Neal, using his vehicle to ram the suspect’s vehicle, and provide fire from his weapon to distract the suspects who had wounded two other local officers during the gun fight. • Kent B. Kucera, II Kucera was recognized for his unselfish act of bravery and human compassion demonstrated on October 10, 2010 following the crash of a vehicle along State Highway 59 south of Siloam Springs. Kucera, who was a passenger inside a vehicle passing the crash scene, ordered the driver to stop as he rushed to the burning wreckage. As flames began to engulf the cab of the wrecked truck, Kucera found a woman still inside unable to free herself from the wreckage. Kucera was able to cut the restraints binding the victim and pull her from the truck without further harm. Also recognized at the awards ceremony today were the 16 recipients of Official Commendations presented over the course of the past year. The commendations were presented for acts of service above and beyond the call of duty during the 2010 calendar year and were awarded by the Director of the Arkansas State Police during regular meetings of the Arkansas State Police Commission. Those receiving department Official Commendations were: • Sergeant David Sims, 50, of Pine Bluff, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, was recognized for his efforts to resuscitate an unresponsive child found inside a vehicle. • Special Agent Shannon Shepherd, 45, of Sheridan, assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company C, was recognized for his investigative work leading two local law enforcement agencies to finding a common suspect in separate shooting incidents. • Corporal Davis Moss, 34, of Jacksonville, assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company A, was recognized for his year-long devotion to a case which led to the arrest of multiple individuals connected with three Pulaski County murders. • Special Agent Kevin Brown, 32, of Clinton, assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company E, was recognized for his work in a multi-state undercover investigation involving the distribution of methamphetamine. The investigation initiated by S/A Brown led to numerous arrests across Arkansas and other parts of the country. • Special Agent Charles Bailey, 33 of Washington County, assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company E, was recognized for his work in a multi-state undercover investigation involving the distribution of methamphetamine. The investigation initiated by S/A Bailey has led to numerous arrests across Arkansas and other parts of the country. • Sergeant Brady Gore, 38, of Stamps, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, was recognized for his lifesaving measures that occurred at Camp Albert Pike during the pre-dawn hours of June 11, 2010. Sergeant Gore, with his family, was among those who were able to safely retreat from the rapidly rising Little Missouri River which rushed through local campsites and eventually claimed the lives of 20 individuals. • Special Agent Phillip Hydron, 39, of Brinkley, assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company A, was recognized for his investigative skills and quick assessment of evidence leading to the arrest of a suspect involved in the murder of a Cross County woman inside a local church. • Corporal Shelby Clark, 53, of Wynne, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, was recognized for his assistance in aiding S/A Phillip Hydron in the identification of evidence associated with the murder of a Cross County woman inside a local church. • Trooper Gary Ladner, 33, of Marion, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, was recognized for his calm resolve in negotiating with an individual threatening to commit suicide by jumping from the I-40 Mississippi River Bridge at West Memphis. • Corporal Frank McMillion, 40, of Forrest City, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, was recognized for his readiness to render aid to a driver trapped onboard a wrecked vehicle submerged in flooded ditch. • Trooper Alan Johnson, 31, of Alexander, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, was recognized for his diligent enforcement patrol work during 2010 which netted 109 DWI/DUI arrests and the recovering of 31 stolen vehicles. • Special Agent Jerl Hefner, 47, of Yellville, assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company E, was recognized for his initiative to pursue an investigation in conjunction with the Newton County Sheriff’s Department which ultimately resulted in the arrests of multiple individuals and the recovery of stolen property valued in excess of $200-thousand dollars. • Trooper Josh Heckel, 30, of Hot Springs, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop K, was recognized for his enforcement patrol work during 2010 which netted 181 DWI/DUI arrests. • Trooper Brandon Bennett, 27, of Blytheville, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, was recognized for his effort to render aid to local law enforcement officers in Mississippi County investigating numerous and repeated incidents of home burglaries and home invasions. It was the work of Trooper Bennett who eventually encountered one of the suspects making an arrest that closed the case. • Special Agent Stacie Rhoads, 41, of Atkins, assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company E, was recognized for her role in a multi-state investigation stemming from the murder of a Van Buren County woman and S/A Rhoads efforts that ultimately led to the arrest of a Colorado man. • Special Agent Joe Carter, 37, of Atkins, assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Company E, was recognized for his role in a multi-state investigation stemming from the murder of a Van Buren County woman and his efforts that ultimately led to the arrest of a Colorado man.

OBEY THE SIGN OR PAY THE FINE - SPEED ENFORCEMENT CAMPAIGN KICKS-OFF

July 05, 2011 For more information: Ann Whitehead 501-618-8133 ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov (LITTLE ROCK) – The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office has launched a new speed enforcement advertising campaign, “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.” The statewide law enforcement initiative under the new banner begins July 10th and continues through July 16th. The intensified enforcement effort against speeding drivers, sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA, underscores the severity of the problem both locally and across the nation. “Speeding translates to fatalities on Arkansas roadways,” said Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “It also greatly reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object in the street or highway, or safely negotiate an unexpected curve. Speeding drivers put themselves, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk.” According to the United States Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), speeding was a factor in 31 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths in 2009 and since 2000 has been a factor in about one-third of crash deaths. In Arkansas during 2009 the report indicates there were 105 speeding-related fatalities out of a total of 585 traffic fatalities. “During this enforcement campaign, officers from state, county and city law enforcement agencies will devote additional effort and time to ticketing speeding drivers,” said Colonel Howard. “Our goal is to save lives and we’re putting all drivers on alert – the posted speed limit is the law. When it comes to speeding: Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.” NHTSA considers a 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. For more information, please visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

DRUNK DRIVERS WILL BE TARGETS OF HOLIDAY ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVE

June 28, 2011 (LITTLE ROCK) – The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office announced today a summer holiday enforcement initiative to combat impaired driving beginning with the July 4th holiday period. “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest” is a nine day long statewide enforcement campaign set to begin July 1st. The Arkansas mobilization effort includes city, county and state law enforcement agencies working together and devoting overtime patrols to combat drunk driving. A 25 year comparison of NHTSA statistical data indicates, on average, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes during each July 4th holiday period have involved alcohol as a contributing factor. “The Fourth of July should be a time for celebration, but for too many Arkansans, it has ended in tragedy,” said Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “We want Arkansans to enjoy this important American holiday, but to do so in a responsible and safe manner for the sake of their families and others on the state and local roadways.” All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico enforce laws making it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Violators can be sentenced to jail time, have their driver license revoked, charged higher insurance rates and incur dozens of other unanticipated expenses. Despite the rigid penalties, impaired driving continues to be one of the nation’s most dangerous problems. During 2009 the number of fatalities from alcohol related motor vehicle crashes totaled 10,839, nearly 32 percent of all U.S. traffic related fatalities. On average during the year, one person was killed every 48 minutes as the result of a traffic crash in which alcohol was a contributing factor. Arkansas motorists were not immune to the deadly 2009 trend. Comparatively the 585 traffic fatalities during 2009 included 168 deaths (29 percent of the total) that were alcohol related. “Alcohol impairs many of the skills that safe driving requires. This leaves us, as law enforcement officers, with little choice, but to demonstrate a position of zero tolerance and anyone caught driving with a BAC of .08 or higher will be arrested,” said Colonel Howard. “It’s simply not worth the risk. So, if you are caught over the limit, you will be arrested,” For more information, log onto the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website for “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” at www.StopImpairedDriving.org or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

COMMISSION APPROVES PROMOTIONS FOR HIGHWAY PATROL POST SUPERVISORS

June 17, 2011 The Arkansas State Police Commission approved the recommendations today of Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police, to promote three State Police corporals to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Ronnie Qualls, 41, of Batesville, a 13 year veteran of the department, will be assigned to Troop B as a Highway Patrol post supervisor. Sergeant Scott McLaughlin, 41, of Trumann, a 13 year veteran of the department, will be assigned to Troop C as a Highway Patrol post supervisor. Sergeant Ron Casey, 45, of Sheridan, an 18 year veteran of the department, will be assigned to Troop K as a Highway Patrol supervisor.

STATE POLICE ASSIGN 23 NEW TROOPERS TO HIGHWAY PATROL DUTIES ACROSS ARKANSAS

May 26, 2011 (LITTLE ROCK) – Twenty-three Arkansas State Police Trooper Recruits graduated tonight during ceremonies at the Arkansas State Capitol. The recruits received the Oath of Commission from the Honorable Robert Edwards, Circuit Judge, 17th Judicial District. The recruit class initially reported for duty on January 9th and each class member has accumulated 1,047 hours of classroom studies and practical training. The recruits are eligible for 41 college credit hours toward a Criminal Justice degree from Black River Technical College at Pocahontas. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe was the keynote speaker addressing the graduates and Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police, presented the new troopers their commissions. Other dignitaries present included representatives of the Arkansas State Police Commission. Graduates of the 2011 class are: • Steven R. Roberts, 40, of Forrest City, who served as Class Leader, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County. Recruit Roberts is a graduate of Forrest City High School. • Brian R. Burke, 30, of Haskell (Saline County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Scott County. Recruit Burke is a graduate of Fordyce High School. • Byron L. Calhoun, 30, of North Little Rock, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Lincoln County. Recruit Calhoun is a graduate of North Pulaski High School. • Jacob Y. Farnam, 23, of Perryville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Lonoke County. Recruit Farnam is a graduate of Perryville High School, and the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. • Kerry Gandy, 27, of Conway, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County. Recruit Gandy is a graduate of Oak Grove High School (Pulaski County). • Christopher L. Garner, 38, of Hot Springs, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop K, Montgomery County. Recruit Garner is a graduate of Bismark High School and Park University, Parkville, Missouri. • Travis C. Hale, 22, of Mineral Springs (Howard County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Hempstead County. Recruit Hale is a graduate of Mineral Springs High School. • Liz S. Hoffman, 26, of Little Rock, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Drew County. Recruit Hoffman is a graduate of Little Rock Central High School and Drury University, Springfield, Missouri. • Kyle Jones, 26, of Nashville (Howard County, Arkansas), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop K, Pike County. Recruit Jones is a graduate of Dierks High School. • Brandon Love, 27, of Joiner (Mississippi County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County. Recruit Love is a graduate of Rivercrest (Mississippi County) High School. • Brandon M. Margis, 25, of El Dorado, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Sebastian County. Recruit Margis is a graduate of El Dorado High School and the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. • Jay B. McAllister, 24, of Van Buren, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Lonoke County. Recruit McAllister is a graduate of Van Buren High School. • Jaran McCormick, 22, of Siloam Springs, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Franklin County. Recruit McCormick is a graduate of Siloam Springs High School. • Tom McLean, 35, of Lincoln (Washington County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, Madison County. Recruit McLean is a graduate of Templeton High School, Templeton, California. • Clayton McWilliams, 24, of Waldo (Columbia County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Desha County. Recruit McWilliams is a graduate of Magnolia High School and Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia. • Dustin Morgan, 35, of Paragould, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Craighead County. Recruit Morgan is a graduate of Reed Point High School, Reed Point, Montana. • Nick S. Poulsen, 23, of Highland (Sharp County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County. Recruit Poulsen is a graduate of Highland High School. • Buster Rinks, 26, of Omaha (Boone County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Searcy County. Recruit Rinks is a graduate of Hollister (Missouri) High School and the College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri. • Harlee Keith Robinson, 33, of Pine Bluff, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County. Recruit Robinson is a graduate of Watson Chapel (Pine Bluff) High School. • Greg Rowland, 44, of Chesapeake, Virginia, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Cleveland County. Recruit Rowland is a graduate of Sheridan High School. • Brandon L. Trewyn, 24, of Batesville, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County. Recruit Trewyn is a graduate of Southside (Batesville) High School and the University of Arkansas Community College (Batesville). • Scott Troy, 39, of DeValls Bluff, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Prairie County. Recruit Troy is a graduate of Clarendon High School. • Keenan K. Wallace, 27, of Twin Groves (Faulkner County), will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Sebastian County. Recruit Wallace is a graduate of Guy-Perkins (Faulkner County) High School. Special recognition and awards in the categories of academics, firearms, physical fitness and EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Course) were presented to the following class members: • Academics 1st place – Recruit Dustin Morgan 2nd place – Recruit Brian Burke 3rd place – Recruit Keenan Wallace • Physical Fitness 1st place – Recruit Keenan Wallace 2nd place – Recruit Brandon Love 3rd place – Recruit Kerry Gandy • EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Course) 1st place – Recruit Steven Roberts 2nd place – Recruit Nick Poulsen 3rd place – Recruit Brandon Margis • Firearms 1st place – Recruit Scott Troy 2nd place – Recruit Buster Rinks 3rd place – Recruit Nick Poulsen Upon reporting for duty at their respective troop headquarters, the new troopers will be placed with a certified departmental Field Training Officer (FTO). Each graduate will work in tandem with their respective FTO for a twelve week transitional period prior to being released to their assignment.

CLICK IT OR TICKET CAMPAIGN RETURNS. LAW ENFORCEMENT INCREASES PRESENCE TO PROTECT ARKANSAS MOTORIST

May 17, 2011 (LITTLE ROCK) – Today, the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office announced the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, May 23 – June 5. Coordinated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the campaign is a national effort to encourage motorists to obey the law and buckle up, both day and night. Arkansas’s mobilization efforts encompass state, county and city law enforcement all working overtime to emphasize the importance of consistent seat belt use. This is the tenth consecutive year that Arkansas has stepped-up enforcement efforts during this popular summer travel time. With the passage of a primary-offense seat belt safety law in 2009, law enforcement officers across the state are now authorized to initiate traffic stops if a driver or a passenger is not properly restrained. “Safety is always our number one priority,” said Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Our increased presence around the Memorial Day holiday serves as a reminder of that commitment and that seat belts save lives.” Nationally, in 2009, 53 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash, according to NHTSA. In Arkansas 63 percent of those killed were not buckled up. Statistics also reveal that drivers on the road between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. are the least likely to buckle up, making nighttime enforcement a focus of this year’s mobilization effort. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of those who died on the road during nighttime hours were not properly restrained. “A crash can happen anywhere without warning, and Arkansas’s motorists should protect themselves by buckling up each and every time they get in their vehicles, regardless of what time it is on the clock,” said Colonel Howard. “And if they don’t, they should expect a ticket.” To alert the public of the increased enforcement efforts, the Arkansas Highway Safety Office has partnered with fast-food restaurants across the state to deliver safety messages to drive-through customers. Statewide advertising will also publicize “Click It or Ticket” and relay its life-saving message. When worn correctly, evidence demonstrates that seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat car occupants by 45 percent and by as much as 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans. “Arkansas should be proud of its continued participation in this life-saving campaign,” said Chief Greg Donaldson, President of the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police. “And until all motorists make a point to buckle up, law enforcement won’t back-down and won’t hesitate to remind them of its importance.” The “Click It or Ticket” campaign has helped boost the national seat belt use rate to its all-time high of 85 percent in 2010, up from just 58 percent in 1994. In 2009 alone, seat belts saved 12,713 lives nationwide. Since its inception nationwide in 2003, tens of millions of motorists have been exposed to “Click It or Ticket,” changing public perceptions about the safety restraints. According to NHTSA, the annual mobilizations have raised usage rates more substantially and more quickly than any other program. Arkansas’s first participation in the Click It or Ticket campaign in 2002 resulted in a 10-percentage point increase in seat belt use, from 54 to 64 percent. The seat belt use rate continued to progress upward until 2009, when a primary seat belt law went into effect, which further increased the rate from 70.4 percent before the law to the current rate of 78.3 percent. However, the state is still below the national average of 85 percent. NHTSA estimates that just a 5 percentage point increase in the use of seat belts by Arkansas motorists would prevent 20 fatalities and 210 serious injuries, as well as save the state $45 million in economic costs annually. “Getting Arkansans to use their seat belts is an easy and proven way to save lives,” said Chuck Lange, Executive Director of the Arkansas Sheriffs Association. “A ticket is a small price to pay if it encourages buckling up and prevents future fatalities.” For more information, log onto the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.