Justice Secretary John Tilley joined Kentucky State Police Commissioner Richard Sanders in recognizing 79 KSP troopers and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers for bravery, life-saving acts, and dedication to duty, during a July 21 ceremony.
“The past few years have been challenging times for law enforcement,” said Sanders. “With attacks on police across the country, it can negatively impact the morale of our officers. So when we have opportunities to recognize our officers for their dedicated service, it reaffirms our support for them and what they do on a daily basis.”
Four Post 16-Henderson troopers were recognized at the ceremony.
“Those who protect and serve put their lives on the line every day for the safety of our families and communities,” Secretary John Tilley told the gathering of officers, family and friends at the ceremony. “These awards recognize troopers and officers whose actions have demonstrated bravery above and beyond expectations, and for that the Commonwealth is grateful.”
Trooper Blake Owens was awarded Post 16’s Trooper of the Year. Trooper Owens has demonstrated exemplary service as a patrol unit assigned to the Daviess and Hancock County Squad. He has a tremendous work ethic and maintains a positive attitude at all times. Trooper Owens is proactive in drug investigations, conducting numerous investigations resulting in many arrests. Trooper Owens’ enthusiasm toward his patrol duties has influenced the entire post.
Trooper Owens was the recipient of the 2016 DUI Award for Post 16. During last year, Trooper Owens made 100 DUI arrests and over 300 criminal arrests.
Trooper Owens has been a member of the Kentucky State Police since 2015. Owens is originally from Frankfort KY and a 2009 Western Hills High School graduate. He also graduated from University of Kentucky in 2013. He now resides in Owensboro and patrols Daviess and Hancock counties.
Detective Matthew Wise was awarded Post 16’s Detective of the Year. In 2009, Detective Wise was assigned to Post 16 Investigations where he has excelled. Detective Wise was the senior detective in the squad and considered an informal leader. He was often tasked with the more complex investigations received at post. His willingness to accept any task given him and his ability to successfully complete those tasks has led him to be selected to the newly formed KSP Critical Incident Response Team. The fact that he was chosen to be a part of this elite investigation team speaks highly of Detective Wise’ ability and also his standing among those who formed this team. Wise investigated multiple notable cases ranging from child sexual exploitation to embezzling of currency totaling over $400,000.
Detective Wise began his career with the Kentucky State Police in 2005. He is a 1998 graduate from Ohio County High School and graduated in 2005 from Eastern KY University. He resides in Hartford (Ohio Co) KY.
Trooper Eric Browning was recognized and recipient of a Lifesaving Award. On August 12, 2016, Trooper Eric Browning, who is assigned to the Marijuana Eradication Team, was at the London-Corbin Airport finishing up paperwork from their weekly flight. Just before 10:30 a.m., a sport airplane was attempting to land but bounced from the runway and started heading toward the Kentucky National Guard Joint Readiness Center. The plane then lifted upwards, clipped trees behind the Center and crashing in a wooded area approximately 100 yards from the landing strip.
Trooper Browning, who witnessed the incident, ran to the crash site where he made contact with the trapped pilot. Browning was able to move the planes dash cluster to help free the elderly man and packed him to the runway where he can be airlifted to UK Hospital.
The 79 year-old pilot was treated at UK Hospital and made a recovery from the collision.
Trooper Browning began his career with Kentucky State Police in January 2015. His first assignment was Post 2-Madisonville but transferred back to his hometown of Beaver Dam (Ohio Co) in early 2016. He resides in Ohio County and is assigned to the McLean/Ohio County squad.
Trooper Adam Wright was recognized for a lifesaving event. On September 13, 2016, Trooper Wright was patrolling McLean County when he overheard on the two-way radio of a man on top of a roof in Livermore who had collapsed from a suspected heart attack. Wright was nearby and was first on the scene. He climbed on the roof and noticed the roofer was unresponsive and skin was turning bluish/gray. Trooper Wright began chest compressions for nearly seven minutes until an ambulance could make it to the residence.
The roofer was taken to Owensboro Health and in five days later, made a full recovery from a seizure and heart attack.
Trooper Wright began his career with Kentucky State Police in 2013. He started working at Post 9-Pikeville and transferred back to his hometown of Beaver Dam (Ohio Co) in late 2014. He resides in Ohio County and is assigned to the McLean/Ohio County squad.
(This story originally published on August 7, 2017)