- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas State Police Trooper First Class Brandon Bennett has been named the state’s Trooper of the Year for 2015 and was presented with the Medal of Valor.

Bennett received the award Thursday from Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state police Col. Bill Bryant during a ceremony in Little Rock.

Bennett was chosen for his role in the pursuit and eventual arrest of two fugitives from Missouri who had shot a store clerk during a robbery. The two suspects were arrested after shooting at Bennett and a Mississippi County deputy, then crashing their vehicle in Blytheville.

State police employee James Kingsbury was named the agency’s Civilian Employee of the Year while Cpl. Freddy Ware and recently retired Special Agent Hays McWhirter were both presented the Distinguished Meritorious Service Award.

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