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News Releases

Governor Bevin Presents Governor's Medal of Valor to Family

Post 8 Troopers Receive Awards at Ceremony

Date of News Release: 06/22/2016

 (left to right) Sergeant Brian Lee, TFC Rollins, Detective Christopher Jones, Trooper Jared Wagner and Trooper Patrick Zalone at ceremony held in Lexington on June 17  (left to right) Sergeant Brian Lee, TFC Rollins, Detective Christopher Jones, Trooper Jared Wagner and Trooper Patrick Zalone at ceremony held in Lexington on June 17 (left to right) Sergeant Brian Lee, TFC Rollins, Detective Christopher Jones, Trooper Jared Wagner and Trooper Patrick Zalone at ceremony held in Lexington on June 17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2016) -- The Governor's Medal of Valor was posthumously awarded to Cameron Ponder, a Kentucky State Trooper killed in the line of duty in 2015, at a ceremony held in Lexington on June 17.

Gov. Matt Bevin presented the award to Brenda Tiffany and Joseph Ponder, parents of Trooper Ponder.

The Governor's Medal of Valor is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an officer of the Kentucky State Police for conspicuous heroism in the line of duty under circumstances of extreme personal hazard. It is awarded only by order of the Governor. Including Trooper Ponder, 19 Kentucky State Troopers have been awarded the medal since 1973.

Ponder was 31 years old and had been a trooper for eight months when he was shot and killed on Sept. 13, 2015 during a late night traffic stop and pursuit in Lyon County. After an eight-hour search, the perpetrator was fatally wounded by the KSP Special Response Team after he refused commands to drop his weapon and pointed it at officers.

Ponder is the 30th Kentucky State Police officer to lose his life in the line of duty since the agency was established in 1948.

KSP also announced the 2015 Trooper of the Year, Detective of the Year, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer of the Year, Facilities Security Officer of the Year and other awards for acts of bravery, life-saving, professionalism and dedication to duty at the ceremony.

"You all are a room full of men and women who take in and you give back, and our state will be eternally grateful to you for that," Gov. Bevin told the honorees. "You take in and you give back. I challenge you to continue to do that – to recognize how important that is because you bring life to the communities that you're part of."

Trooper Adam C. Childress, a Somerset, Ky. resident, was named 2015 Trooper of the Year. A four-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police, he is assigned to KSP Post 11 in London. Prior to graduating from the KSP Academy in 2012, Childress served as a deputy with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office for 10 years. Childress is the son of Pete and Tracey Childress of Mount Vernon, Ky.

Detective John Sims, a Mayfield, Ky. resident, was named 2015 Detective of the Year. A 13-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police, he is assigned to KSP Post 1 in Mayfield. Sims is the son of Ted and Stephanie Sims of Paducah, Ky.

Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer Chris McQueen, a Corbin, Ky. resident, was named the 2015 Jason Cammack Officer of the Year for the KSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division. A nine-year veteran of the division, McQueen is assigned to CVE Region 4 based in London, Ky. McQueen is the son of Glen McQueen and Mary Reed of Somerset, Ky.

Trooper First Class Britt Rollins, of Stanton, was Post 8's Trooper of the Year. During the calendar year of 2015 TFC Rollins issued 1,632 citations, investigated 17 collisions, investigated 40 cases, and made 239 criminal arrest. TFC Rollins is a year 14 year veteran of the KSP.

Christopher Jones, of Morehead, was Post 8 Detective of the Year. During the calendar year of 2015 Detective Jones investigated 31 complaints and investigated 33 cases. In addition to these investigations Detective Jones was instrumental in solving multiple drug investigations in the Post 8 district. Detective Jones is a 13 year veteran of the KSP.

Trooper Jared Wagner of Flemingsburg, received the KSP Citation for Meritorious Service. This honor is bestowed upon officers of the agency who bestowed upon officers of the agency who distinguish themselves by an act of meritorious service of such exceptional character that it contributed to the success of a major command or endeavor. Trooper Wagner is a 4 year veteran of the KSP.

Senior Trooper Patrick A. Zalone II, of Sharpsburg, received the KSP Citation for Bravery. This honor is bestowed upon officers of the agency who perform acts of bravery, without regard for personal risk despite clear and obvious peril, and clearly above and beyond the call or risk of ordinary duty. Trooper Zalone is a 7 year veteran of the KSP.