News Releases

    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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