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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Area officers among those honored at annual luncheon for Officer of the Year award ceremony




Law enforcement officers from across Arkansas were honored Tuesday at the 2023 Officer of the Year Awards luncheon in Benton.


“The Officer of the Year Awards honor the bravery, service and unwavering commitment to others that law enforcement officers provide Arkansans every day through their noble and often thankless work,” said Attorney General Tim Griffin.


“This year’s state Officers of the Year are Special Agent Matt Foster and Senior Corporal David Smothers of the Arkansas State Police. These two officers were responsible this year for saving a victim of human trafficking and bringing her trafficker to justice. Their courage, discernment and compassion led to a life being saved from a horrible circumstance.”


“Each of our state, regional and county honorees display the very best of law enforcement. All Arkansans are indebted to our police for their steadfast commitment to keeping our communities safe—especially those we honor today who paid the ultimate price this year,” Griffin said.


Honorees are officers from each of the state’s 75 counties, five regional winners, one recipient of the Dwayne Yarbrough Distinguished Service Award, four valor tributes (officers who died in the line of duty) and a pair of co-statewide Officers of the Year. This year’s honorees were:


Statewide Officers of the Year: Special Agent Matt Foster and Senior Corporal David Smothers, Arkansas State Police

Northeast Region: Lieutenant Rodney Myers, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Southeast Region: Senior Special Agent Aundrae Mack, Arkansas State Police

Southwest Region: Seargent Dusty Townsend, Hope Police Department

Central Region: Seargent Corey Wilfong, Pine Bluff Police Department

Northwest Region: Special Agent Matt Foster & Senior Corporal David Smothers, Arkansas


State Police

Valor Tributes: Officer Kaylen Jacobs, Earle Police Department

Detective James “Mike” Lett, Benton Police Department

Detective Paul Daniel Newell, Benton County Sheriff’s Office

Seargent Donald Scoby, Stuttgart Police Department

Dwayne Yarbrough Distinguished Service Award: Officer Robyn Shoptaw, Fort Smith Police Department

Arkansas County: Captain Jeremiah Richard, Arkansas County Sheriff’s Office

Ashley County: Sergeant, School Resource Officer Catherine Carter, Hamburg Police Department

Baxter County: Corporal Lyndle Crownover, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Benton County: Trooper Zenda Staab, Arkansas State Police

Boone County: Chief Chris Graddy, Harrison Police Department

Bradley County: SRO Deputy Jason Wallace, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office

Calhoun County: Trooper First Class Justin Starnes, Arkansas State Police

Carroll County: Sergeant Cody Boren, Berryville Police Department

Chicot County: Trooper Christian Morphis, Arkansas State Police

Clark County: Deputy George Hawthorn, Clark County Sheriff’s Office

Clay County: Trooper Richard Drum, Arkansas State Police

Cleburne County: Game Warden Briston Gould, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Cleveland County: Trooper First Class TreVaughn Moore, Arkansas State Police

Columbia County: Corporal Adam Pinner, Arkansas State Police

Conway County: Agent Christopher Studdard, Arkansas Department of Community Corrections

Craighead County: Trooper First Class Tanner Middlecoff, Arkansas State Police

Crawford County: Corporal Chris Short, Arkansas State Police

Crittenden County: Trooper Garrett Byrd, Arkansas State Police

Cross County: Officer Brittney Eskridge, Wynne Police Department

Dallas County: Trooper First Class Jimmy Plyler Jr., Arkansas State Police

Desha County: Deputy Wayna Green, Desha County Sheriff’s Office

Drew County: Trooper Tyler Grant, Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol

Faulkner County: Trooper Tyler Langley, Arkansas State Police

Franklin County: Trooper First Class Mason Redding, Arkansas State Police

Fulton County: Sergeant Justin Nowlin, Arkansas State Police

Garland County: Community Supervision Officer Edward Elliott, Arkansas Department of Corrections

Grant County: Agent Kerri McBroome & Agent Randy Zimmerman, Arkansas Department of Corrections

Greene County: Special Agent Anthony Hill, Arkansas State Police

Hempstead County: Sergeant Dusty Townsend, Hope Police Department

Hot Spring County: Lieutenant Justin Buttrum and Corporal Barry Efird, Arkansas Department of Corrections

Howard County: Chief Deputy Joey Davis, Howard County Sheriff’s Office

Independence County: Special Agent Sean Riegle, Arkansas State Police

Izard County: Lieutenant Matthew Adams, Arkansas Division of Correction

Jackson County: Corporal Dustin Smith, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Jefferson County: Sergeant Corey Wilfong, Pine Bluff Police Department

Johnson County: Senior Corporal David Smothers, Arkansas State Police

Lafayette County: Deputy Cameron Sundberg, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office

Lawrence County: Trooper Isaac Lawson, Arkansas State Police

Lee County: Senior Special Agent Aundrae Mack, Arkansas State Police

Lincoln County: Sergeant John Fallis, Star City Police Department

Little River County: Captain Zane Butler, Ashdown Police Department

Logan County: Lieutenant Mark Walker, Logan County Sheriff’s Office

Lonoke County: Trooper Cody Martin, Arkansas State Police

Madison County: Sergeant Stephen Brown, Madison County Sheriff’s Office

Marion County: Patrol Corporal Justin Martin, Flippin Police Department

Miller County: Trooper Solomon Phifer, Arkansas State Police

Mississippi County: Chief Glen Austin, Keiser Police Department

Monroe County: Special Agent Rodney Davenport, Arkansas State Police

Montgomery County: Chief Deputy Mike May, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

Nevada County: Chief Ann Jordan, Prescott Police Department

Newton County: Patrolman Shaun Wiseman, Jasper Police Department

Ouachita County: Assistant Chief Cortney Parker, Camden Police Department

Perry County: Chief Deputy Edwin Johnson, Perry County Sheriff’s Office

Phillips County: Special Agent Scott Troy, Arkansas State Police

Pike County: Lieutenant Jason McDonald, Pike County Sheriff’s Office

Poinsett County: Trooper First Class Tommy Fitzgerald, Arkansas State Police

Polk County: Game Warden Chris Crawford, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Pope County: Special Agent Matt Foster, Arkansas State Police

Prairie County: Chief Bradley Taylor, Hazen Police Department

Pulaski County: Detective Rick Kiser, Little Rock Police Department

Randolph County: Corporal Nicholas Poulsen, Arkansas State Police

St. Francis County: Lieutenant Rodney Myers, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Saline County: Officer Tre’ Davis, Bryant Police Department

Scott County: Corporal Mike Lance, Arkansas State Police

Searcy County: Patrol Deputy Caleb Horn, Searcy County Sheriff’s Office

Sebastian County: Corporal Josh Porter, Arkansas State Police

Sevier County: Lieutenant Chad Bradshaw & Deputy Chris Turner, De Queen Police Department

Sharp County: Corporal Moye E. Hawkins, Arkansas State Police

Stone County: Lieutenant Jenifer Osborn, Stone County Sheriff’s Office

Union County: Trooper Justin Harper, Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol

Van Buren County: Lieutenant Chasta Harrison, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office

Washington County: Corporal Phillip Lee, Fayetteville Police Department

White County: Sergeant Brandon Brown, Bald Knob Police Department

Woodruff County: Corporal Kurt Ziegenhorn, Arkansas State Police

Y



ell County: Sergeant Steven Ramirez, Danville Police Department


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