News Releases

    Rutledge Names Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Billy Packer Law Enforcement Officer of the Year


    October 3, 2017

    Recognizes regional winners and outstanding officer in each county

    NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the annual awards and recognition luncheon at the 2017 Law Enforcement Summit at Camp Robinson, where she announced Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Billy Packer as the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Over 650 officers from across the State attended the summit, which is in its 15th year.

    On Feb. 19, Deputy Packer was dispatched to a residence regarding an aggravated assault and theft. The suspect, who had recently been released from prison woke the homeowner, poking a knife in his face and demanding his truck keys. Once the suspect obtained the keys, he traveled to a second residence where he stole another vehicle. Upon locating the suspect at a third residence, Packer discovered the homeowner was being held hostage and had been severely assaulted. The suspect opened fire on the responding officers and Packer returned fire, resulting in the suspect’s death.

    Packer was nominated by Sheriff Clinton Evans who said, “Packer not only possibly saved the homeowner’s life but also his fellow officers’ lives and prevented further injuries and crimes.”

    “The courage Deputy Packer showed in the face of great danger to protect other officers and the community is remarkable,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The events in Las Vegas have tragically reminded us that our men and women who wear the badge run toward danger when we are running away from it. Deputy Packer exemplifies that courage as do all of our regional winners and each outstanding officer in all of Arkansas’s 75 counties. It is my honor to recognize many of our brave members of law enforcement today and thank them for their sacrifice.”

    The other Regional Officers of the Year included: Sergeant Ronald Davidson, Benton Police Department, Central Region, for his work to confront a masked gunman at a local bank; Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts, Northeast Region, for his efforts to take down a meth lab; Trooper Christopher Aaron, Arkansas State Police, Southeast Region who helped save the life of an accidental shooting victim in Almyra; and Garland County Undersheriff Jason Lawrence, Southwest Region, who helped save a civilian contractor from exposure to carbon monoxide.

    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 families of Drew County Sheriff’s Deputy Timothy Braden, Yell County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart, Miller County Sheriff’s Detention Deputy Lisa Mauldin and Newport Police Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford.

    Rutledge gave special recognition to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence, who passed away in April.

    Before today’s luncheon, the summit’s attendees heard from Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill about reform efforts to the criminal justice code and why that matters in the ongoing fight against the drug crisis. Hill is a former Indiana prosecutor and is in his first term as attorney general. Boston Transit Police Officer Dic Donohue who was grievously injured in April 2013 during a gun battle with two suspects who were later identified as the Boston Marathon bombers also spoke to attendees.

    The summit will also include presentations this afternoon from the Attorney General’s office Legislative Director Cory Cox on changes to Arkansas law impacting the law enforcement community. AT&T Asset Protection Senior Investigator Peggy Fletcher and Arkansas Recycling Association General Counsel Walter Wright Jr. and Special Agent Stephen Svetz will speak about combating metal theft. The summit will conclude with a presentation from Deputy Attorney General Will Jones and Special Agent Chris Cone who will discuss forensic tools and techniques to combat cyber criminals.

    County Officers of the Year

    Arkansas County

    Trooper Christopher Aaron, Arkansas State Police

    Ashley County (TIE)

    Chief Johnny Oliver, Hamburg Police Department

    Chief Deputy Jim Stephens, Ashley County Sheriff’s Office

    Baxter County

    Corporal Jackie Stinnett, Arkansas State Police

    Benton County

    Corporal Kenneth Trimberger, Bentonville Police Department

    Boone County

    Corporal Jody Pendarvis, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

    Bradley County

    Sheriff Herschel Tillman, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office

    Calhoun County

    Corporal Frank Remick, Arkansas State Police

    Carroll County

    Officer James Ross, Berryville Police Department

    Chicot County

    Sheriff Ronald Nichols, Chicot County Sheriff’s Office

    Clark County

    Corporal Joseph Paull, Arkadelphia Police Department

    Clay County

    Deputy Blaine McClung, Clay County Sheriff’s Office

    Cleburne County

    Wildlife Officer Jonathon Coats, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

    Cleveland County

    Sheriff Jack Rodgers, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office

    Columbia County

    Deputy Glen Proctor, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

    Conway County

    Chief Deputy Alex Campbell, Conway County Sheriff’s Office

    Craighead County

    Deputy Josh Miller, Craighead County Sheriff’s Office

    Crawford County

    Corporal Roy Moomey, Arkansas State Police

    Crittenden County

    Sergeant Brent Bradley, West Memphis Police Department

    Cross County

    Sergeant Jay Thomas, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

    Dallas County

    Corporal Richard Whitley, Arkansas State Police

    Desha County

    Officer Rose Weathers, Dumas Police Department

    Drew County

    School Resource Officer Wayne Wesson, Monticello Police Department

    Faulkner County

    Investigator Chad Meli, Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office

    Franklin County

    Corporal Rickey Denton, Arkansas State Police

    Fulton County

    Officer Barry Abney, Salem Police Department

    Garland County

    Undersheriff Jason Lawrence, Garland County Sheriff’s Office

    Grant County

    Deputy Joseph Scott, Grant County Sheriff’s Office

    Greene County

    Deputy Anthony Ganus and K- 9 “Dex”, Greene County Sheriff’s Office

    Hempstead County

    Chief Deputy T.P. “Mickey” Atkinson Jr., Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office

    Hot Spring County

    Trooper First Class Tim Callison, Arkansas State Police

    Howard County

    Sergeant Ray Gentry, Senior Special Agent John Rhone and Special Agent Corwin Battle

    Arkansas State Police

    Independence County

    Investigator Johnny Byler, Independence County Sheriff’s Office

    Izard County

    Chief Deputy Earnie Blackley, Izard County Sheriff’s Office

    Jackson County

    Sergeant Kyle Whisenhunt, Newport Police Department

    Jefferson County

    Major Lafayette Woods Jr., Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

    Johnson County

    Corporal Kenneth Kennedy, Clarksville Police Department

    Lafayette County

    Chief Jeff Black, Stamps Police Department

    Lawrence County

    Chief Deputy Tony Waldrupe, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office

    Lee County

    Officer James Wright, Marianna Police Department

    Lincoln County

    Officer Jeremy Simmons, Star City Police Department

    Little River County

    Captain Boyd Kennemore, Ashdown Police Department

    Logan County

    Chief Al Brown, Booneville Police Department

    Lonoke County

    Sergeant John Dodd II, Cabot Police Department

    Madison County

    Lieutenant Russell Alberts, Madison County Sheriff’s Office

    Marion County

    Deputy Billy Packer, Marion County Sheriff’s Office

    Miller County

    Corporal Randy McAdams and Officer Michael Bryan, Texarkana Police Department

    Mississippi County

    Assistant Chief Ricky Jefferson, Blytheville Police Department

    Monroe County

    Sergeant Brandy Quinn, Brinkley Police Department

    Montgomery County

    Sheriff David White, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

    Nevada County

    Wildlife Officer Spencer Miller, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

    Newton County

    Patrolman David Faught, Jasper Police Department

    Ouachita County

    Trooper Matthew Schanzlin, Arkansas State Police

    Perry County

    Lieutenant Bill Finley, Perry County Sheriff’s Office

    Phillips County

    Sergeant Carrie Woods, Phillips County Sheriff’s Office

    Pike County

    Chief Randy Lamb, Murfreesboro Police Department

    Poinsett County

    Trooper Jason Fagan, Arkansas State Police

    Polk County

    Chief Deputy Randy Jewell, Polk County Sheriff’s Office

    Pope County

    Lieutenant Jeffery Noyes, Pope County Sheriff’s Office

    Prairie County

    Sheriff Rick Hickman, Prairie County Sheriff’s Office

    Pulaski County

    Sergeant John Blackmon, Arkansas State Police

    Randolph County

    Wildlife Officer Jeff Dalton, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

    St. Francis County

    Officer Scott Samuelson, Forrest City Police Department

    Saline County

    Sergeant Ronald Davidson, Benton Police Department

    Scott County

    Trooper Mike Lance, Arkansas State Police

    Searcy County

    Officer Michael Patterson, Marshall Police Department

    Sebastian County

    Officer Steven Creek, Fort Smith Police Department

    Sevier County

    Deputy Chris Wolcott, Sevier County Sheriff’s Office

    Sharp County

    Sheriff Mark Counts, Sharp County Sheriff’s Office

    Stone County

    School Resource Officer Keenan Ray Glenn, Mountain View Police Department

    Union County

    Sergeant Christopher Wayne Lutman, El Dorado Police Department

    Van Buren County

    Sergeant Jay Murdock, Clinton Police Department

    Washington County

    Lieutenant Timothy Franklin, Fayetteville Police Department

    White County

    Corporal Jason Glisson, Arkansas State Police

    Woodruff County

    Corporal Kurt Ziegenhorn, Arkansas State Police

    Yell County

    Corporal Charles Phillips, Dardanelle Police Department

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