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November 01, 2007 (LITTLE ROCK) – The Arkansas State Police Commission today approved the recommendation of Colonel Winford E. Phillips, Director of the Arkansas State Police, to promote Captain Les Braunns, 52, of Springdale to the rank of major. Major Braunns, a 28 year veteran of the department, will assume his new duties assigned as the Director’s Administrative Officer at the department’s Little Rock headquarters facility. Since 2003 Major Braunns has been assigned as commander at Troop L in Springdale. In other business before the commission today the following Departmental Official Commendation were presented to: • Special Agent Stacie D. Rhoads – Criminal Investigation Division, Company E for her demonstrated investigative skills and resourcefulness which resulted in the arrest of a Missouri fugitive and discovery of critical evidence to be used in connection with an associated murder trial. • Special Agent Philip Hydron – Criminal Investigation Division, Company A for his prolonged and brave commitment to an undercover assignment which resulted in the arrest of more than 200 individuals and the closing of a major criminal enterprise. • Special Agent Mark Hollingsworth – Criminal Investigation Division, Company E for his resolute commitment to a six year long murder investigation and his renowned investigative skills which ultimately identified a suspect who was charged and entered a plea of “no contest” to the charge of 1st degree murder. • Special Agent Dennis R. Simons – Criminal Investigation Division, Company E for untiring work devoted to a seven year old cold case murder investigation and his efforts during the course of one year which resulted in the identification of a suspect and eventual arrest. • Trooper Daniel K. Ponder – Highway Patrol, Troop D for his readiness to assist local law enforcement officers in the apprehension of a wanted fugitive. • Trooper Larry T. Emison – Highway Patrol, Troop C for his readiness to respond to a local law enforcement agency’s request for assistance and his compassionate and extended efforts beyond the call of duty in an attempt to save a young child found unconscious in a residential swimming pool.