This past week, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Arkansas State Police (ASP) Annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon. It was hosted by the Arkansas State Police Foundation. I was simply humbled by, not only the presence of almost 1,000 or more attendees, but the acts of valor and meritorious service of those who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.

There were over 50 awardees from all over the state and I was fortunate enough to sit with and visit with one of which I would like to highlight in this week’s article.

Chris Davis, a civilian, was at his home with his wife. Upon hearing a commotion, he opened his front door to find the bodies of two individuals who had just been involved in a motorcycle accident with a large truck and trailer. There was a male and female passenger. Unfortunately, Mr. Davis could see that the male passenger had expired, and the female passenger was critical because her leg was amputated and was hemorrhaging from a major artery. Mr. Davis immediately went into action doing his best to apply pressure and stop the bleeding. He had no formal medical training, but his actions allowed time for the first responders to arrive. The accident victim passed away enroute to the trauma system, but it is important to note that it was determined that her wounds were too great to have survived.

Mr. Davis received the Distinguished Service Award for civilians or troopers attempting to save others from physical harm or death. I know this was a civilian awardee; however, the event was filled with like occurrences of officers and civilians selflessly serving others. Congratulations to all the Troopers and civilians who received awards. This story is an example of how we all work together for common good.

The Assembly supports efforts that include judiciary reform and improvements for people who serve us in law enforcement. As a reminder, the State budget for fiscal year 2020 includes additional funding allocations for the ASP to hire more troopers. The basic starting salary for Troopers has been increased from $36,000 to $40,000. The Legislation has also enacted additional funding for the Department of Community Correction to hire more parole officers.

Governor Hutchinson attended the event as the keynote speaker and allocated $4 million in funding towards the Arkansas State Police training facility in the form of a precision driving track. Law enforcement officers spend the bulk of their time in patrol vehicles where most injuries and fatalities occur. Over the past few weeks, I have shared the importance of strategic legislation. Witnessing this event and learning of the many acts of valor of our Troopers and active citizens has truly highlighted the impact. ASP, thank you for your service!

Each week I like to share informative as well as useful information that constituents might possibly use to better themselves or their communities.

If you have questions about any legislation or the legislative process, feel free to contact me at me via email at [email protected] or by phone at 501-682- 6211.