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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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