The Kentucky State Police recently named the 2009 Trooper of the Year and Commercial Vehicle Officer of the Year, and the recipients of two Governor's Medal of Valor and 46 other awards for acts of bravery, life-saving, professionalism and dedication to duty.
Kenneth B. Russell of Stamping Ground was named Trooper of the Year. A 27-year veteran of the KSP, Russell is assigned to Post 12 in Frankfort.
In the past year, Russell issued 1,923 citations, including 1,668 for speed violations. He opened 23 criminal cases resulting in 81 arrests. Sixteen of the arrests were fugitives from justice he encountered during traffic stops. He also recovered 12 stolen vehicles.
A native of Frankfort, Russell is a 1973 graduate of Franklin County High School and a 1979 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University. He is the son of the late KSP Maj. Kenneth Russell and Katherine Russell of Frankfort.
Michael Simpson of Richmond was named the Jason Cammack Officer of the Year for the KSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division. A six-year veteran of the division, Simpson serves in Region 3 based in Georgetown.
In 2009, Simpson led the state in safety inspections and commercial citations. He carried out 2,020 vehicle safety inspections and wrote 1,905 commercial citations.
Simpson is a native of Brodhead and a 1995 graduate of Rockcastle County High School in Mount Vernon.
Trooper Timothy Mullins, of Post 13 in Hazard and retired trooper Richard Miller of Hazard each received the Governor's Medal of Valor, the highest honor that can be bestowed on an officer of the agency, for conspicuous heroism in the line of duty. It is awarded only by order of the governor.
Seven troopers received the KSP Citation for Bravery, an honor bestowed on officers 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.
The recipients are Troopers Michael Dennis, Jermaine Savage and Camileo Threatt, all of the Madisonville post; Sgts. Charles Kelton and Howard Rice of the Campbellsburg post; Trooper Howard Blanton of the Richmond post; and Lt. Frederick Williams Jr. of the Frankfort post.
Trooper's Medals, awarded to officers who perform life-saving acts under extraordinary circumstances, were presented to Trooper First Class Fredrick Cornett of the Columbia post; Detective Christopher Fugate of the Drug Enforcement, Special Investigations Branch East; Trooper Jerry Perkins Jr. of the Pikeville post; and Trooper James Smith of the London post.
Trooper Matthew Foster of the Madisonville post received the Citation for Meritorious Service with valor distinction acts of courage.
Nineteen troopers were named Trooper of the Year at the post, branch or division level. They are:
Troopers Brad Ramsey of the Mayfield post, Jonathan McChesney of the Bowling Green post, Jonathan Downs of the Elizabethtown post, Rick Ellis of the Campbellsburg post, Chad Mills of the Dry Ridge post, Hector Alcala of the Morehead post, Scottie Pennington of the London post, Brad Russell of the Frankfort post and Allen Lacy of the Henderson post; Troopers First Class Dewayne Holder of the Columbia post and Craig Sutton of the Technical Services Division; and Detectives Lonnie Kavanaugh of the Madisonville post, Billy J. Caudill of the Pikeville post, Dustin Hon of the Richmond post, Jason York of the Harlan post, Ben Campbell of the Hazard post, Mike Murriell of the Ashland post, Randy Hunter of East Drug Enforcement and Tommy Johnson of West Drug Enforcement.
Seven commercial vehicle enforcement officers were named Officers of the Year at the region level. They are:
Steven Chris Glenn, Region 1; Glenn Perry, Region 2; Michael Simpson, Region 3; Mike Hamblin, Region 4; Anthony Blakemore, Region 5; Anthony Bersaglia, Region 6; and Tristan Truesdell, Programs Branch.
The 2009 KSP Safe Driving Award, which recognizes the post with the highest average number of safe driving miles between assessable accidents, was presented to Post 5 in Campbellsburg. The post had a record of 1,041,915 miles with one assessable collision.
The KSP Commissioner's Award, bestowed on civilians who distinguish themselves by performing a life-saving act or a meritorious achievement that significantly contributed to the success of a major KSP endeavor, was presented to John Bradley of Willisburg, Deputy John Couch of the Perry County Sheriff's Office, Lt. Russell Dishner of the Hazard City Police Department, Detective Robert Duffy of the attorney general's office, and Officer Kenny Terry of the Drug Enforcement Special Investigations East Task Force 16.
Pamela J. Gardner of Murray and Jeffrey L. White of Hazel received the KSP Citation for Meritorious Achievement, the agency's highest civilian award. It is given to individuals who performed an extraordinary act of service or heroism in direct support of an officer of the agency engaged in the official performance of duty. The act resulted in the saving of human life, prevented grievous bodily harm to others or halted a major crime in progress, and was done voluntarily and at great personal risk or sacrifice.