News Release

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Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
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Detective Dan J. Smoot

KSP Announce Trooper of the Year Award
and Other Awards & Honors

(Richmond, KY) -  Kentucky State Police Commissioner Patrick N. Simpson announced the winner of the Trooper of the Year Award at a special ceremony held today at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington. He also recognized 45 other troopers, 14 private citizens and one local law enforcement officer for acts of meritorious service and achievement, valor, bravery, life-saving acts, professionalism and dedication to duty.

"These individuals have distinguished themselves by actions that significantly contributed to the success of major Kentucky State Police endeavors," said Simpson. "It´s a great pleasure to be able to honor their efforts through public recognition in this manner. On behalf of the agency, I express sincere gratitude to all for a job well done."

Simpson named Detective Dan J. Smoot from KSP Post 13 in Hazard as Trooper of the Year for 2002. A resident of Jackson, KY, Smoot is a 20-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police. He is a graduate of Beechwood High School in Fort Mitchell and has served at the KSP Hazard post since 1983.

During the first half of 2002, Smoot was assigned to the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program and averaged 87 citations per month while answering numerous complaints, investigating traffic crashes and performing a variety of other patrol duties. During the second six months of 2002, he was reassigned to drug investigations where he handled 137 criminal investigations, averaging 23 cases per month which resulted in 97 criminal arrests. His efforts have generated forfeitures of more than one million dollars through federal and state cooperative investigations.

"Detective Smoot has made a monumental impact on the drug trafficking problem in his region," Simpson said. "His dedication, knowledge and leadership in drug investigations is unsurpassed within this department. His investigations have resulted in arrests and convictions which have lead to long state and federal prison sentences for mid and high-level drug dealers."

"Combined with his active participation in school and community events in his post area, Det. Smoot, through actions and example, is a symbol of what a Kentucky State Trooper should be and displays all of the characteristics to which all Kentucky State Troopers should strive," Simpson added.

Sgt. Eric Walker and Trooper George Bell of KSP Post 1 in Mayfield received Citations for Bravery, an honor bestowed on officers of the agency who perform acts of bravery, without regard for personal risk, of clear and obvious peril and clearly above and beyond the call or risk of ordinary duty.

Trooper´s Medals, awarded to troopers who perform life-saving acts, were presented to:

Trooper Darren Allen, Richmond Post
Trooper Dustin Hon, Richmond Post
Trooper Scott McIntosh, Richmond Post
Trooper Kenneth Russell, Frankfort Post
Trooper Lonnie Kavanaugh, Madisonville Post
Trooper Bradley Cure, Special Operations
Trooper Oman Sandlin, Pikeville Post
Trooper Terry Alexander, Bowling Green Post
Trooper Eric Taylor, Richmond Post
Trooper David Gibbs, Columbia Post
Trooper Craig Stalker, Pikeville Post
Trooper Scott Doyle, Henderson Post
Detective William Fleischer, West Drug Enforcement

The KSP Citation for Meritorious Service was presented to the following four officers who distinguished themselves by an act of meritorious service of such exceptional character that it contributed to the success of a major KSP command or endeavor:

Trooper William Manzanares, Madisonville Post
Trooper Chad Mills, Dry Ridge Post
Trooper Curtis Tinker Jr., Frankfort Post
Lt. Beth Wright KSP, Human Resources

Four other officers received the Citation for Meritorious Service with "V" Device for Valor for distinguishing themselves by an act of courage performed under more than ordinary circumstances:

Trooper Mike Ashley, Richmond Post
Trooper Robert C. Knifley, Columbia Post
Trooper Jason Simpson, Columbia Post
Trooper Jeremy Slinker, Special Response Team

The Guthrie Crowe Award, named after the first commissioner of the Kentucky State Police and bestowed on officers who sustain a severe wound or injury in the performance of duty, was presented to Trooper Craig Stalker of the KSP Pikeville Post and Trooper Jason Cross of KSP Human Resources, who sustained injuries while assigned to the KSP Bowling Green Post.

Commissioner Simpson also recognized the recent promotions of Lt. Kevin B. Nally of the Harlan Post and Sgt. Charles C. Thompson of the Elizabethtown Post.

The Commissioner´s Award, presented to civilians who perform a life-saving act or a meritorious achievement that contributes to the success of a major KSP endeavor, was presented to:

Frannie Beth Hibbs, Henderson Post
Linda Stone, West Point, KY
Darin Moore, KSP Strategic Planning
Beth Coleman, KSP Strategic Planning

The agency´s highest civilian award, the Citation for Meritorious Achievement, which is bestowed on individuals who perform an extraordinary act of service or heroism in direct support of an officer engaged in the official performance of duty, was presented to:

Kenneth Fletcher - Regina, KY
David Hoff - Burnside, KY
Chris Johnson - Jenkins, KY
Kevin Steelmon - Richmond, KY
Jerry Gibson - Loyall, KY
Greeley Hurley - Stopover, KY
Bruce Justice - Plainfield, Ind.
Tom Schoenstra - Richmond, KY
Kevin Wessling - Winchester, KY
Bobby Wolfe - Winchester, KY
Deputy Bill Mills - Henderson Co. Sheriff´s Dept.

The KSP awards ceremony is held annually during National Police Officer´s Memorial Week. It is immediately followed by a memorial service at the Kentucky State Police Professional Association´s Fallen Trooper Memorial located at KSP headquarters in Frankfort. The service honors the 23 state troopers killed in the line of duty during the 54 years since the inception of the KSP in 1948.

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