Locals recognized at annual Arkansas State Police awards ceremony on Wednesday
Trooper Levi Fleming, 26, of Brinkley, was presented the prestigious Arkansas State Trooper of the Year Award today during the annual state police awards ceremony.
Trooper Fleming was among a group of more than 30 Arkansas State Police personnel recognized today for cumulative work or assignments involving particular incidents during the 2017 calendar year.
The recipient of the Trooper of the Year Award personifies the highest standards of public service and has demonstrates a record of esteemed law enforcement action.
Trooper Fleming, a four-year veteran of the department, was specifically recognized for his January 21, 2017 action in response to a disturbance call at a DeValls Bluff residence.
An intoxicated individual had forced his way into the residence, armed himself with a shotgun, and doused a portion of the garage and himself with gasoline. While Trooper Fleming was present, the individual then ignited a fire which consumed the individual and a portion of the garage.
Trooper Fleming armed himself with a fire extinguisher, activated the device and entered the garage, successfully extricating the victim who had sustained serious burns across more than forty percent of his body.
Trooper Fleming was also among eight state troopers today to receive the department’s life saving award.
Kim McJunkins, 55, of Hempstead County, was presented the Arkansas State Police Civilian Employee of the Year Award. McJunkins joined the department twenty-eight years ago and serves today as an administrative specialist for the Criminal Investigation Division, Company C, headquartered at Hope.
McJunkins was recognized for her cumulative record of service, in particular for her work in case research, management of the administrative duties within Company C, and her most recent training assignments related to the implementation of the division’s new records/case management system.
Other award recipients recognized today are:
Distinguished Meritorious Service – (The highest award presented by the department for meritorious service or clearly outstanding achievement.)
Special Agent (Sergeant) Larry J. Carter, 44, of Atkins, was presented the Distinguished Meritorious Service Award for his efforts on May 11, 2017 in Yell County when he negotiated with a man suspected of killing three individuals, including a sheriff’s deputy. S/A Carter was able to arrange the release of a hostage during the encounter and the eventual surrender of the suspect to state troopers and local authorities.
Special Agent (Corporal) Becky Vacco, 43, of Flippin, was presented the Distinguished Meritorious Service Award for her cumulative work across three north Arkansas counties between September 21, 2017 – February 1, 2018 involving the murder of a 23-month old child and the battery of two other infant children. S/A Vacco successfully closed the cases with the conviction of the individuals responsible for the crimes.
Trooper’s Cross – (*Presented to a trooper or civilian employee who demonstrates extraordinary courage.)
Trooper Justin Williams, 37, of Pine Bluff, was presented the Trooper’s Cross for his valiant effort to save a woman whose vehicle had been engulfed by fire following a collision. Without regard for his own life as flames ignited part of his uniform, Trooper Williams persisted in finding a means to eventually pull the woman from the burning car.
Lifesaving – (*Presented to a trooper or civilian employee who through direct personal intervention, sustains another person’s life.)
Sergeant David Williams, 44, of DeValls Bluff, received a lifesaving award for his aid to a fellow trooper who had entered a burning garage to save an armed intruder.
Sergeant Jeff Plouch, 37, of Benton, received a lifesaving award for his rapid response after noticing the passenger in a vehicle he had stopped was unresponsive and appeared to be in cardiac arrest, possibly from a heroin overdose. Sergeant Plouch administered a lifesaving drug (Naloxone) and began chest compressions to assist the victim until emergency personnel arrived.
Corporal Benjamin Harrison, 51, of Pencil Bluff, received a lifesaving award for his response to assist another law enforcement agency and their officers who had encountered an individual who appeared to be unconscious from a drug overdose. Trooper Harrison administered Naloxone to the individual and was able to revive the victim while awaiting the arrival of emergency medical personnel.
Corporal Brandon Cook, 53, of Malvern, received a lifesaving award for his response to an attempted suicide in Garland County. Upon his arrival he entered a lake, swimming nearly sixty yard to rescue the woman who had jumped into the lake.
Corporal David Outlaw, 41, of Monticello and Trooper Lukas Tankersley, 24, of Lake Village both received life saving awards for saving the life of a Monticello gunshot victim. Both troopers used their training to stop the loss of blood from the victim and provide medical care until the arrival of emergency medical personnel.
Trooper First Class Chris Aaron, 35, of Almyra, received a lifesaving award for his assessment of an Arkansas county man who had sustained an accidental gunshot. Realizing that waiting for emergency medical assistance may further endanger the life of the victim, Trooper Aaron exercised his training to control the loss of blood and stabilize the victim, then transported to individual to a local hospital.
Official Commendations (*Presented for acts of exemplary service and awarded before the Arkansas State Police Commission during the course of 2017 prior to the today’s ceremony.
Major Forrest Marks Highway Patrol Division, Western Region Commander Special Agent (Corporal) Mark BriceCriminal Investigation Division, Company E Corporal Todd HarrisHighway Patrol Division, Troop C (Greene County) Special Agent (Corporal) Jackie StinnettCriminal Investigation Division, Company E Special Agent (Corporal) David SmallCriminal Investigation Division, Company E Special Agent (Corporal) Tony HaleyCriminal Investigation Division, Company E Corporal Michael BowmanHighway Patrol Division, Troop H (Crawford County) Trooper First Class Kurt ZiegenhornHighway Patrol Division, Troop D (Woodruff County) Trooper First Class Corey SkardaHighway Patrol Division, Troop D (Prairie County) Trooper First Class Andy MetcalfHighway Patrol Division, Troop C (Greene County) Trooper First Class Derek NietertHighway Patrol Division, Troop H (Franklin County) Trooper First Class Matt PriceHighway Patrol Division, Troop H (Crawford County) Special Agent (TFC) Buster RinksCriminal Investigation Division, Company E Trooper First Class Mark BlackerbyHighway Patrol Division, Troop A (Lonoke County) Trooper Ben IbarraHighway Patrol Division, Troop H (Franklin County) Trooper James TaylorHighway Patrol Division, Troop D (Prairie County) Trooper Gabe MonroeHighway Patrol Division, Troop A (Pulaski County) Trooper Jason FaganHighway Patrol Division, Troop C (Poinsett County) Trooper Matthew SchanzlinHighway Patrol Division, Troop F (Ouachita County) Trooper Steven PaytonHighway Patrol Division, Troop D (Crittenden County) Trooper Matthew WestHighway Patrol Division, Troop D (Saint Francis County) Trooper Josh ElmoreHighway Patrol Division, Troop H (Crawford County) Trooper Andrew PannellHighway Patrol Division, Troop B (White County) Daniel Baker(administrative headquarters, auto shop mechanic)
Distinguished Service Award – (*Presented to local citizens at large or law enforcement officers of another agency who have rendered aid to Arkansas State Troopers during the course of their duties.)
Clifton Cabaness, Sr. and Clifton Cabaness Jr., both of Fort Smith received Distinguished Service Awards for stopping to assist an Arkansas State Trooper and their effort to seize one suspect and render aid to the trooper who had been met with resistance by a second suspect.
Joe Johnson, of Lonsdale, received the Distinguished Service Award for his roadside stop and assistance to a state trooper being met with resistance by a suspect being taken into custody.
Terry Davis, of Pine Bluff, received the Distinguished Service Award for coming to the aid of an Arkansas State Trooper who battled fire that had engulfed a damaged car and its driver trapped inside the vehicle.
Ranotta Moser, of Batesville, received the Distinguished Service Award for her heroic life saving measures following a shooting incident that left a Batesville police officer critically wounded.