Memorial dedicated to troopers killed in the line of duty
The Arkansas State Police Hall of Honor was dedicated and opened during ceremonies today at the department’s Little Rock administrative headquarters.
The memorial enshrines nineteen distinct commemorative inscriptions and sculptured busts of each Arkansas State Trooper killed in the line of duty.
Governor Mike Beebe addressed survivor families, State Troopers, and members of the Arkansas General Assembly who gathered for the Hall of Honor opening. In his remarks, Governor Beebe commended the spirit of public service each of the nineteen Troopers exhibited during their career. The governor further commented to the surviors, the citizens of Arkansas are eternally indebted for the sacrifice of life given by the Troopers which ensures the safety and security of Arkansans today and tomorrow.
Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police, told those in attendance today, “I believe the Hall of Honor will bridge the generations of State Troopers who’ve come and gone with the survivor families and the Troopers of today, allowing them to share common, yet sacred ground, where we can stand together and remember the lives of those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for their state and for this department.”
Anchored at the entryway to the 1,592 square-foot memorial is a three-foot casting of the Arkansas State Police badge surrounded by a starburst of light and shadowed by a mourning ribbon that signifies the eternal memory of Troopers killed in the line of duty.
“The light represents all that is good, and it is reflected off a badge which brings hope to those who call for help,” said Colonel Howard. “However, across this badge is a shadow, to remind all who enter, that we will never forget the service and sacrifice of the State Troopers whose memories are enshrined within this Hall of Honor.”
An appropriation by the Arkansas General Assembly totaling $355,000 was dedicated to cover the costs associated with building the Hall of Honor and sculptured castings.
A listing of Arkansas State Troopers killed in the line of duty during the department’s 77-year history follows:
TROOPER SIDNEY PAVATT- End of Watch - September 25, 1948
Trooper Sidney Pavatt had been called to the Summit community where local law enforcement officers and citizens had mounted a search for an Army deserter believed to be robbing people by day and hiding at night in the hills of Marion County.
What no one knew at the time the search started was the suspect had shot and killed a man earlier the same day.
Along the rugged terrain of an area where the suspect was last seen, a single rifle shot fired from the window of a remote cabin struck Trooper Pavatt. The wound took the life of the young Trooper who died later after being taken to a hospital almost thirty miles away.
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Trooper Pavatt was twenty-six years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for fourteen months.
TROOPER ERMON COX - End of Watch - August 17, 1958
Trooper Ermon Cox along with his young son, Benny, had gone to a local store near Osceola to pick-up groceries. As the two left the store a car sped past, its driver suddenly losing control of the vehicle and weaving across the highway.
Trooper Cox realized the driver may be intoxicated and had to be stopped before someone was hurt. Before being in a position to stop the vehicle the driver turned-off the highway then quickly entered a house.
Trooper Cox had followed the car into the driveway and was backing away when the suspect came from the house with a rifle and fired a single-shot mortally wounding the Trooper.
Years later Benny Cox would grow-up to follow in the footsteps of his father and become an Arkansas State Trooper.
Trooper Cox was thirty-five years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for nine months.
TROOPER HARRY LOCKE - End of Watch - September 24, 1966
Trooper Harry Locke died as the result of an early morning traffic crash that occurred while he was on patrol along U.S. Highway 79 east of Clarendon.
Particular information about what may have occurred leading up to the crash is less than certain, but statements from an investigation and reports would suggest the likelihood that Trooper Locke was in pursuit of a fleeing vehicle.
Trooper Locke was thirty-six years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for six years and five months.
TROOPER ALLEN BUFFORD - End of Watch - July 27, 1969
Trooper Allen Bufford was on patrol along State Highway 14 in Independence County near Batesville.
Near midnight, he stopped a speeding car. The driver was a young woman. Her passengers were two men, one was a prison parolee.
As Trooper Bufford approached the car he stood at the side to question the driver about her speed. The parolee stepped outside the car and walked to the rear where he stood behind Trooper Bufford and fired two shots from a derringer pistol, both hitting the Trooper.
Trooper Bufford was twenty-nine years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for one year.
TROOPER RON BROOKS - End of Watch - February 27, 1975
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Trooper Ron Brooks was outside the Monroe County Courthouse as four prisoners took control of the local jail. The inmates armed themselves with guns and prepared to make a getaway.
As the escapees walked away from the jail onto the streets of Clarendon, they were met by Trooper Brooks who chased the prisoners on foot into an alley a short distance from the jail. Trooper Brooks fired a warning shot into the air and ordered the fugitives to the ground.
Two of the escapees heeded the warning, the other two continued to run.
Trooper Brooks approached the two who stopped and were already on the ground. As he began to handcuff the pair and bring the escapees to their feet, one pulled a pistol and fired into Trooper Brooks.
A native of east Arkansas, Trooper Brooks had already gained notoriety on radio stations nationally for a song he wrote and sang, entitled, “A Little Boy’s Christmas Prayer”.
Trooper Brooks was twenty-seven years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for four years and ten months.
SERGEANT KELLY PIGUE - End of Watch - December 8, 1977
Sergeant Kelly Pigue had patrolled the highways across four counties in east and central Arkansas during the early years as a State Trooper. Assigned as a post sergeant to Cross County he had settled into a new job as a State Police supervisor.
As rain fell across east Arkansas, just outside Wynne, Sergeant Pigue was eastbound along U.S. Highway 64 when a truck and trailer jackknifed, skidded into oncoming traffic colliding head-on with Sergeant Pigue’s patrol car.
Sergeant Pigue was thirty-eight years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for eleven years and one month.
SERGEANT GLENN BAILEY - End of Watch - September 5, 1980
Sergeant Glenn Bailey had capably demonstrated his skills as a State Trooper and was a respected post supervisor of Troopers in the West Memphis area.
Late in the afternoon Sergeant Bailey was patrolling one of the state’s busiest sections of highways where Interstates 40 and 55 merge.
Radar in Sergeant Bailey’s patrol car locked onto a car in opposing traffic moving in excess of 100 miles per hour.
Sergeant Bailey quickly found himself involved in a pursuit. The driver ignored the patrol car closing in from behind and Sergeant Bailey called by radio for officers in the area to block an intersection at the Marion exit. The fleeing suspect was soon stopped and surrounded by local sheriff’s deputies and Sergeant Bailey.
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Defiant of orders to surrender, the driver came out of the car firing a pistol at Sergeant Bailey who had begun to approach the car.
Sergeant Bailey sustained a wound to the chest, near his heart, and was rushed to a hospital where doctors put out the call for blood donors in their effort to save the wounded Trooper. Hundreds of local citizens and law enforcement officers answered the call and lined the sidewalk outside the hospital ready to give what they could to save a man they knew well, but more important, respected.
Sergeant Bailey was forty-three years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for eighteen years and four days.
TROOPER WILLIAM ROSE, Jr. - End of Watch - December 28, 1982
Trooper Bill Rose was dispatched not long after nightfall to a motor vehicle crash south of Trumann.
Time passed without a radio call from Trooper Rose reporting he had arrived at the crash scene. The unanswered radio calls led State Troopers, local police and sheriff’s deputies begin searching for Trooper Rose.
Local law enforcement authorities found Trooper Rose dead, still in his patrol car, the engine running. The car had had left U.S. Highway 63, crossed into a farm field and rear wheels were spinning against the mud as deputies approached the scene.
Trooper Rose was fifty-six years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for twenty-two years and ten months.
TROOPER LOUIS BRYANT - End of Watch - June 30, 1984
Trooper Louis Bryant was patrolling a new post assignment in Sevier County when he happened upon a van east of DeQueen along U.S. Highway 71.
What led to the traffic stop is uncertain, but the driver, unknown to Trooper Bryant, was a survivalist fugitive on the run and wanted in two states.
The driver carried an assortment of firearms and a vow never to be taken alive. He stepped from the van and opened fire hitting Trooper Bryant.
Trooper Bryant was known among his friends as gentle and quiet, but as a Trooper he was known to be firm and fair.
Trooper Bryant was thirty-seven years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for eight years and nine months.
TROOPER ROBBIE KLEIN - End of Watch - October 15, 1984
Trooper Robbie Klein had only months earlier returned to the Criminal Investigation Division. It was where he had started with the department. He later transferred to Highway Patrol, then on to Administrative Services. But now, Trooper Klein was back doing what he liked.
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He was among a contingent of State Troopers late one autumn afternoon involved in a manhunt that covered south Pulaski County. They were looking for two prison escapees, both believed to be armed.
At nightfall the search moved into open farmland south of Little Rock, not far from the prison. Minutes before midnight, a Trooper spotted a truck and quickly determined it had been stolen earlier the same day, possibly by the escapees.
Troopers moved into the area and made their way toward the truck parked in the drive outside a small farmhouse. Then from the still of the night there was the sound of a shotgun fired by one of the escapees laying the dark. He took the life of Trooper Klein.
Trooper Klein was eulogized, “as a man who had a God given purpose in life, he struggled against the army of evil and carried with him a shield of faith.”
Trooper Klein was thirty-nine years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for twelve years and two months.
TROOPER MICHAEL BASSING - End of Watch - July 24, 1986
Trooper Mike Bassing had joined the department but covertly moved into his first assignment to work as a narcotics investigator.
A part of his training took him to Montgomery County to join other investigators and law enforcement officers of other departments participating in a training exercise with federal drug agents.
During an afternoon exercise Trooper Bassing and three other law enforcement officers were onboard a helicopter headed from the Mt. Ida Airport into a remote area of the National Forest where marijuana plants had been reported.
As the helicopter began to rise and turn on course for its destination a malfunction occurred causing the chopper to crash, leaving Trooper Bassing, two sheriff’s deputies dead and a federal agent injured.
Trooper Bassing was thirty-three years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for eight months and four days.
TROOPER WILSON ATKINS, Jr. - End of Watch - July 3, 1988
Trooper Wilson Atkins in his application letter to the department wrote of his wish to become an Arkansas State Trooper. In his own words he said, “I have a great respect for the law, becoming a State Trooper has been my ambition so that I can get involved and help …”
Among his recruit class he rose to squad leader and was soon assigned to the department’s Highway Patrol Division.
His initial post was Monroe County and on patrol along Interstate 40 near Brinkley, Trooper Atkins stopped a speeding westbound car.
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As Trooper Atkins stood off the roadway explaining his reason for the stop and writing a ticket citing the driver for the violation, a pick-up truck veered onto the westbound shoulder and struck the Trooper, killing him instantly.
Trooper Atkins was thirty-nine years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for five years and six months.
TROOPER CLARK SIMPSON - End of Watch - February 18, 1989
Trooper Clark Simpson had heard the story about another Trooper seven months prior who only three miles away along the same run of Interstate 40 had lost his life. Tragically the story played out again and the life of a new Arkansas State Trooper was cut short by the negligence of another driver.
Trooper Simpson was working late. It wasn’t long after midnight, and he reported a traffic stop along the westbound lane of traffic. Again, it was a speeder, but this time a tractor-trailer loaded with heavy cargo.
After the citation was issued to the driver, Trooper Simpson returned to his patrol car, but left the blue emergency lights activated to warn traffic behind him as the driver of the cargo truck built speed along the shoulder to re-enter the traffic lane.
Witnesses reported that as the truck merged into traffic, followed by Trooper Simpson, a second tractor-trailer collided with the rear of Trooper Simpson’s patrol car causing an explosion.
Trooper Simpson was thirty-two years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for seven months and twelve days.
CORPORAL JOHN SCARBEROUGH - End of Watch - September 2, 1998
Corporal John Scarberough was known to be thorough, give all he could to whatever had to be done, but make it right.
His arrests of drug smugglers are legendary. His commendations from commanders are noteworthy and the letters of thanks from states and towns across the country thanking him for stopping the delivery of drugs onto their streets are remarkable. But the letters of appreciation and respect for the lesson he taught his adversaries are rewards he cherished.
While on an interstate highway traffic stop west of Benton, Corporal Scarberough was inside his patrol car when a passing truck swerved onto the shoulder and struck the rear of the Trooper’s patrol car killing him instantly.
Corporal Scarberough was fifty-four years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for twenty-two years and five months.
CAPTAIN TOM CRAIG - End of Watch - December 14, 2000
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Captain Tom Craig had done it all. His devotion to the Arkansas State Police is reflected throughout a career that took Captain Craig to assignments in every division of the department.
Upon receiving his initial assignment in Lawrence County working as a Trooper in Highway Patrol, Captain Craig wrote, “…I want to be a Trooper because I want a job that is in contact with people and helping them.”
Helping people was his objective – his calling – until the very end.
On a cold morning about daybreak along an ice covered highway in southwest Little Rock he stopped to help the victim of a weather related traffic crash. As Captain Craig was doing what he could to help he was struck by a passing truck that had skidded out of control across the highway.
Captain Craig was forty-nine years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for twenty-six years, four months and fourteen days.
TROOPER HERBERT SMITH - End of Watch - February 14, 2001
Trooper Herbert Smith had set his career sights on a goal. His objective was to lead by example in the way he lived.
In a letter to the Director of the Arkansas State Police, a local educator commended Trooper Smith’s work with local school children, writing, “… We are appreciative of the positive influence that our children receive from Trooper Smith.”
On the morning of February 4, 2001 Trooper Smith was seriously injured when his patrol car spun out of control while he was responding to a report of a child experiencing a seizure along Interstate 530 north of Pine Bluff.
In eulogizing Trooper Smith a commander wrote, “Trooper Smith was a family man who set the stride for other troopers, husbands and fathers to follow,”
Trooper Smith was thirty-five years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for two years, eleven months and fourteen days.
TROOPER JIMMIE WHITE - End of Watch - June 1, 2002
Trooper Jimmie White wrote in his application to the department, “… to become a member of the Arkansas State Police would certainly be the highlight of my professional career . . .” That proved to be an understatement.
Not only did Trooper White’s dream become a reality, but law enforcement officers and citizens looked to him as an embodiment of the best, someone who was the highlight of the Arkansas State Police.
He was called a professional, intelligent, an expert, outstanding and well versed, an officer ready to answer the call any time, but best known for his attitude as a caring individual.
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Trooper White had traded the campaign hat for a motorcycle helmet and found a calling in his new assignment with the Highway Patrol Division Motor Squad. He loved what he was doing.
During an escort assignment his motorcycle was involved in a collision with another vehicle.
Trooper White was thirty-two years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for seven years, one month and one day.
CORPORAL MARK W. CARTHRON - End of Watch - September 12, 2005
Trooper Mark Carthron came to the State Police with a smile and a firm handshake.
It was the smile that set him apart and charmed even those who would challenge him along a dark stretch of highway.
Trooper Carthron was eulogized as someone who believed he must be good to all mankind. His fellow Troopers in Crittenden County remembered him as the first who would answer a call for help. They said he put his God first; his family second and gave all that was left to the State Police.
It was the instant readiness that put him in harm’s way on September 11, 2005 when he heard the radio call of Troopers along I-40 headed toward Crittenden County trying to stop two robbery fugitives.
As the pursuit neared his location, Trooper Carthron stepped to the shoulder of the road to throw a stop-stick. The maneuver worked, damaging the tires of the fleeing car, but in retrieving the device from the highway he was struck and killed.
Corporal Carthron was thirty-one years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for eight years and ten days.
SERGEANT RICHARD LEBOW - End of Watch - February 4, 2008
Sergeant Richard LeBow was never one to give up. As a sheriff’s deputy he wanted to wear the badge of the State Police, but his first interview ended without a call to join the next class. He asked to be reconsidered and six months later found himself as an Arkansas State Trooper.
As a Trooper his work record is represented with written accounts of giving of himself unselfishly. He had been recognized for his compassionate two hour long roadside negotiation that stopped a man from taking his own life. He gave to his community and helped those who found themselves away from home stranded along the highway.
Sergeant LeBow lost his life after his patrol car left the westbound lanes of Interstate 40 in Crawford County, crossed the median, and collided with a transport truck.
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Sergeant LeBow was fifty-one years old at the time of his death and had served the citizens of Arkansas for twenty-seven years, one month and four days.