Protecting and Serving Arkansas10/07/2016
Last week, I welcomed thirty-two Arkansas State Police Recruits to the 2016 Recruit School Graduation. As I addressed Arkansas’s newest State Troopers, I thought back to the many stories I had heard just the night before at the Chiefs of Police Banquet – stories from some of Arkansas’s most seasoned officers who have experienced their fair share of interesting moments on the job. Their accounts made it clear to me that Arkansas’s newest State Troopers have quite a future ahead of them.
As I reflect on the stories I’ve been told by our state’s law enforcement officers, I think about the extraordinary courage and dedication that our officers have demonstrated over the last few months and how we need to recognize their service.
I think about the kindness of five Arkansas State Troopers who threw a birthday celebration for a ten-year-old boy from Hot Springs Village.
I remember visiting Trooper Roy Moomey of Crawford County, who was severely injured when he risked his life to save another, colliding with a car driving the wrong way on the interstate.
I think about the initiative of Trooper Gabriel Chambers when he brought water and groceries to a group of bikers stranded on the side of the interstate in Fayetteville in the middle of the July heat.
I think about the unwavering perseverance of Corporal Jason Chester and Sergeant Trey Dupuy when they swept a storm drain three times to rescue a 13-year-old boy who had been trapped there.
And with a heavy heart, I remember the courageous life of Sebastian County Corporal Bill Cooper who was tragically shot and killed in the line of duty. His selfless service to his community will not be forgotten.
Whether police officers or state troopers, our law enforcement community works hard to protect and serve Arkansas. And it is the responsibility of our law enforcement leaders to provide critical law enforcement training and best practices to those making life and death decisions on the frontline.
That is why our law enforcement officers are becoming increasingly involved in programs like the Arkansas Law Enforcement Accreditation Program – a voluntary process where Arkansas police agencies prove their compliance with the highest standards to ensure the public safety and the protection of individual rights. This is also why I have committed to supporting Crisis Intervention Training, which teaches officers how to identify symptoms of mental illness and appropriately respond to mental health emergencies.
Now, more than ever before, it is the call of our law enforcement to go above and beyond their everyday responsibilities. I am grateful for the ways that our officers have demonstrated leadership by protecting, respecting and serving our communities.
Again, thank you for your service, and keep up the good work.