News Release

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Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
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Click here to view a photo of 2001 Trooper of the Year Detective Tommy Stiles.

Kentucky State Police Honor Bravery and Lifesaving Acts
and Name Trooper of the Year

(LEXINGTON, KY) -- The 2002 Annual Kentucky State Police Awards Ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington, Kentucky today. The ceremony was conducted to recognize State Troopers, local law enforcement officers and citizens who have distinguished themselves by various acts during the previous year.

Awards were presented to eighteen (18) Kentucky State Troopers, two law enforcement officers from local jurisdictions and one private citizen by Lt. Governor, Dr. Stephen Henry and Colonel Linda Mayberry, Deputy Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police. The 2001 Trooper of the Year was also named.

Detective Tommy Stiles was named the 2001 Kentucky State Police Trooper of the Year. As a detective working the Elizabethtown Post, Detective Stiles has had a remarkable 30-year career serving 18 years in the investigative capacity.

Detective Stiles' tenacious hard work throughout the year of 2001 is best reflected in his 130 criminal arrests while investigating 98 criminal cases, including homicide/death investigations, sexual abuse related cases as well as drug related investigations. The drug investigations resulted in forfeitures of more than $20,000.00 including homes, vehicles and farm equipment.

"The Kentucky State Police have long held a tradition of honor, valor and bravery," remarked Col. Linda Mayberry, "and the troopers awarded for these acts today have furthered these traditions and well served the citizens of the Commonwealth."

Detective Ben Wolcott, Madisonville Post, was awarded the KSP Citation for Bravery.  Wolcott received the award for his actions in a standoff and shooting with a fleeing suspect who had also detonated a hand grenade in the presence of two state troopers.

Trooper's Medals, which are awarded to troopers who perform lifesaving acts were presented to the following:

  • Sergeant Rob Winsett,Trooper Island
  • Sergeant Todd Jones, Madisonville Post
  • Trooper Tim Bailey, Madisonville Post
  • Trooper Lonnie Kavanaugh, Madisonville Post
  • Trooper Todd Holder, Bowling Green Post
  • Trooper Kevin Flick, Dry Ridge Post
  • Trooper Jerry Handy, Dry Ridge Post
  • Trooper Dustin Hon, Richmond Post
  • Trooper Clinton Combs, Harlan Post
  • Trooper Jim Whitaker, Harlan Post
  • Trooper Rob Farley, Harlan Post
  • Trooper Gary Sandlin, Hazard Post

The KSP Citation for Meritorious Service was presented to Lt. Jimmy Richerson, Academy, for his 15 years of exemplary performance in developing and coordinating the D.A.R.E. program for the Kentucky State Police.

The KSP Citation for Meritorious Service with "V" Device for Valor, bestowed upon officers of the agency who distinguish themselves by an act of courage, were given to:

  • Trooper Stuart Recke, Madisonville Post
  • Trooper Chris Chenault, Richmond Post
  • Trooper Darrell Hutchison, Richmond Post
  • Trooper Larry Woods, Driver Testing

The Commissioner's Award, presented to civilians, was awarded to Chief Keith Dukes, Princeton Police Department for assisting Sgt. Jones and Trooper Bailey in the rescue of a man from a burning vehicle. Breathitt County Sheriff's Deputy Clarence R. Gabbard, was also recognized for assisting Trooper Sandlin with stopping a suicidal subject from harming himself.

The Citation for Meritorious Achievement, the agency's highest civilian award, was bestowed upon Mr. James L. James of Ashland, Kentucky. Mr. James' alertness during a wrecker call lead to the arrest of two murder suspects and his selfless actions prevented further criminal activity from occurring. Mr. James performed an extraordinary act of service and did so voluntarily and at great personal risk to himself.

The awards ceremony is held annually during National Police Officer's Memorial Week. The Kentucky State Police further commemorated the week by holding a memorial service at the Kentucky State Police Professional Association's Fallen Trooper Memorial located at KSP Headquarters in Frankfort. The service honored the twenty-three (23) state troopers would have been killed in the line of duty in the 54 years since the inception of the KSP in 1948.

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