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Rutledge Names Little Rock’s Shawn Bakr Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

October 5, 2016

NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the annual awards and recognition luncheon at the 2016 Law Enforcement Summit at Camp Robinson where she announced Little Rock Police Officer Shawn Bakr is the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Nearly 600 officers from across the State attended the summit, which is in its 14th year.

Bakr was also recognized as the Central Region Outstanding Officer for his response while working off-duty at Red Lobster in January when three individuals, two of them armed, came into the restaurant and threatened employees. Bakr was shot in the shoulder and returned fire before two of the suspects fled. Bakr followed them in pursuit. He then returned to the restaurant to make sure there were no other suspects and to tend to anyone injured.

“Officer Bakr is an outstanding example of the bravery, courage and selflessness that makes the men and women in blue such remarkable public servants,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “His quick action helped resolve a threatening situation and likely saved countless lives. I am honored to recognize Officer Bakr for his heroic actions, as well as all of our regional winners and each outstanding officer in Arkansas’s 75 counties. Their commitment to protect their communities and neighbors should make us all proud and thankful.”

The other Regional Officers of the Year included: Deputy Shawn Stephens, Independence County Sheriff’s Office, and Sgt. Terry Treadway, Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office, Northeast Region; Sebastian County Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck, Northwest Region; Trooper Dallas Taylor, Arkansas State Police, Southeast Region; and Officer Brent Scrimshire, Hot Springs Police Department, Southwest Region.

A list of the outstanding officer winners from each county can be found at the conclusion of this release.

Rutledge also presented VALOR tributes to those in the law enforcement community who tragically lost their lives while in the line of duty this past year. These tributes were presented to the spouses of Officer Robert Aaron Barker, McCrory Police Department, and Cpl. Bill Cooper, Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office.

Rutledge gave special recognition to those in law enforcement leadership who have passed away this year, including Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Ronnie Baldwin, Drew County Chief Deputy Robin Hood, Berryville Police Chief David Muniz and founder of the University of Arkansas Police Department, Larry Slamons.

Before today’s luncheon, the summit’s keynote address was offered by Lt. Brad Toms of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department who has been one of the central decision makers at the center of two major incidents that captured the world’s attention. Toms discussed lessons learned from the 2013 spate of violence against the California law enforcement community perpetrated by disgruntled former Los Angeles Police Officer Christopher Dorner and the subsequent manhunt. He also discussed how those lessons were applied in 2015 when responding to a mass shooting terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernadino.

The two-day summit included breakout sessions on metal theft and cyber crime investigations taught by agents with the Attorney General’s Special Investigations Division and offered sessions on the Arkansas Naloxone Access Act of 2015, investigating domestic violence cases and autism safety and awareness training.

Attendees also learned more about human trafficking investigations from the Maryland State Police and FBI and the challenges the State of Colorado faced with the legalization of recreational cannabis from the Denver Police Department.

Rutledge concluded the summit by moderating a law enforcement leadership panel. Panelists included Matthew Barden, Drug Enforcement Administration assistant special agent in charge, Little Rock District Office; Col. Bill Bryant, Arkansas State Police director; Jeff Crow, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission director; Scott Montgomery, Perry County sheriff; Diane Upchurch, FBI special agent in charge, Little Rock Division; and Chief J.R. Wilson, Hope Police Department.

County Officers of the Year

Central Region

Faulkner County

Officer Johnny Sowell

20th Judicial District Task Force

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Grant County

Deputy Tim Preator

Grant County Sheriff’s Office

Jefferson County

Special Agent Oscar Bullard and Special Agent Huston Talley

Arkansas State Police

Lonoke County

Officer Joshua Chaplin

Austin Police Department

Perry County

Corporal Jeremy Bishop and Corporal Robert Stout

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Pulaski County

Officer Shawn Bakr

Little Rock Police Department

Saline County

Corporal Jeff Plouch

Arkansas State Police

Northeast Region

Baxter County

Corporal David Small

Arkansas State Police

Clay County

Sheriff Terry Miller

Clay County Sheriff’s Office

Cleburne County

Sergeant David Bryant

Greers Ferry Police Department

Craighead County

Special Agent Adam Cornwell

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Crittenden County

Detective Freddy Williams

Marion Police Department

Cross County

Captain Jeffrey Stewart

Wynne Police Department

Fulton County

Chief Shad Overman

Salem Police Department

Greene County

Deputy Ken Womack

Greene County Sheriff’s Office

Independence County

Deputy Shawn Stephens

Independence County Sheriff’s Office

Izard County

Deputy Matt Churchwell

Izard County Sheriff’s Office

Jackson County

Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford

Newport Police Department

Lawrence County

Deputy Justin Dixon

Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office

Mississippi County

Sergeant Terry Treadway

Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office

Poinsett County

Chief Tony Turner

Tyronza Police Department

Randolph County

Sergeant Brian Tilghman

Pocahontas Police Department

Sharp County

Special Agent Wendall Jines

Arkansas State Police

St. Francis County

Detective Preston Gracey

Forrest City Police Department

Stone County

Corporal Dennis Simons

Arkansas State Police

White County

Corporal Tony Bowman

Arkansas State Police

Woodruff County

Patrolman Jared Williamson

McCrory Police Department

Northwest Region

Benton County

Captain Tim Cook

Bella Vista Police Department

Boone County

Chief James “Jim” Thomas

Bergman Police Department

Carroll County

School Resource Officer Craig Hicks

Berryville Police Department

Conway County

School Resource Officer Phil Blaylock

Morrilton Police Department

Crawford County

Chief Russell White

Alma Police Department

Franklin County

School Resource Officer Tim Culver

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office

Johnson County

Corporal Jacob Shook

Johnson County Sheriff’s Office

Logan County

Wildlife Officer Scott Basham

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Madison County

Captain Clay Rowland

Madison County Sheriff’s Office

Marion County

Assistant Chief Dusty Smith

Flippin Police Department

Newton County

Chief James “Buckie” Thomas

Jasper Police Department

Pope County

Detective Quinn Jones

Russellville Police Department

Searcy County

Chief Deputy Eric Owens

Searcy County Sheriff’s Office

Sebastian County

Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck

Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office

Van Buren County

Patrolman Donald Crispell

Fairfield Bay Police Department

Washington County

Sergeant Oscar Henson

Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Yell County

Deputy John Foster

Yell County Sheriff’s Office

Southeast Region

Arkansas County

Chief Ken Dempsey

Gillett Police Department

Ashley County

School Resource Officer Robert Black

Crossett Police Department

Bradley County

Deputy Kevin Black

Bradley County Sheriff’s Office

Calhoun County

School Resource Officer Terry Clark

Hampton Police Department

Chicot County

Corporal Keith Cardin

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Cleveland County

Chief Josh Bolland

Rison Police Department

Desha County

Patrolman Darren McAdoo

McGehee Police Department

Drew County

Trooper Caleb Pevehouse

Arkansas State Police

Lee County

Lieutenant Ocie Banks

Lee County Sheriff’s Office

Lincoln County

Deputy James Virden

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

Monroe County

Trooper Rodney Davenport

Arkansas State Police

Phillips County

Chief Vincent Bell

Marvell Police Department

Prairie County

Trooper Dallas Taylor

Arkansas State Police

Union County

Lieutenant Steven Jerry

Union County Sheriff’s Office

Southwest Region

Clark County

Marshal Don Childres

Gurdon City Marshal’s Office

Columbia County

Deputy Brian Williams

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

Dallas County

Sheriff Stan McGahee

Dallas County Sheriff’s Office

Garland County

Officer Brent Scrimshire

Hot Springs Police Department

Hempstead County

(nominated together)

Deputy Jerry Crider

Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office

Officer Jennifer Ghormley

Hope Police Department

Officer Dennis Hovarter

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Hot Spring County

Corporal Christopher Savage and K9 Luky

Hot Spring County Sheriff’s Office

Howard County

Deputy Todd Tallant

Howard County Sheriff’s Office

Lafayette County

Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office

Little River County

Corporal Blake Broomfield

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Miller County

Corporal Kristi Bennett

Texarkana Police Department

Montgomery County

Investigator Elena Cannon

Office of Prosecuting Attorney, 18th West Judicial District

Nevada County

Sheriff Danny Martin

Nevada County Sheriff’s Office

Ouachita County

Instructor Erin Smelser

Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy

Pike County

Chief Deputy David Shelby

Pike County Sheriff’s Office

Polk County

Officer Will Strain

Arkansas State Parks

Scott County

Wildlife Officer Mac Davis

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Sevier County

Wildlife Officer Bernie Soliz

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

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