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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.