King Honors Officers

(MONTGOMERY)— At the Attorney General's 2010 Law Enforcement Summit held today in Montgomery, about 600 officers were expected to attend the ceremonies and specialized training in the investigation and enforcement of identity theft laws. The summit is a joint presentation of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Development Association and LifeLock Inc.

“We have gathered national experts to share their knowledge and skills with local law enforcement officers who will return to their communities with better tools to combat the growing trend of identity theft crime,” said Attorney General King. “An important tool in this fight came about through the calls of local law enforcement throughout Alabama, who shared with me their concerns and supported our successful effort to give Alabama a tough new law.”

This cooperative effort resulted in legislation drafted by Attorney General King’s office and passed by the Legislature in 2006. “The legislation strengthened the penalties for identity theft, making all instances of ID theft a felony,” said Attorney General King. “In addition, our bill increased the statute of limitations for criminal and civil actions to seven years, and gave much-needed authority to courts to correct fraudulent information on public and private records.”

Today’s summit features a series of presentations from Senior Investigator Justin Feffer, who founded the Los Angeles District Attorneys Bureau of Investigation Cyber Crime Team and currently is assigned to the joint federal-state Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force. Chief Executive Officer Robert Boback of Triversa Inc. will lead a session about security concerns and how to protect P2P, or peer to peer, computer information networks. Triversa Inc. is in partnership with LifeLock Inc. to provide services to fight identity theft.

This 11th annual conference also includes the traditional tribute by Attorney General Troy King to state and regional law enforcement officers of the year. The Attorney General also is honoring fallen law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty during the last year, presenting family members with certificates of valor.

Attorney General King welcomed law enforcement officers as the conference began, telling them "how proud I am to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you as Alabama's chief law enforcement officer, and how proud I am of the work being done by law enforcement across the state, the work being done by you. "

In a special ceremony during the conference, the Attorney General named Alabama heroes in law enforcement "who go above and beyond the call of duty—those officers who display exceptional bravery and dedication to the people of Alabama" as Outstanding Law Enforcement Officers of the Year. Departments from throughout Alabama were invited to nominate officers for this award, and committees of law enforcement professionals selected statewide and district winners. Outstanding Law Enforcement Officers of the Year for 2010 are:

• Statewide: Sergeant Robert Hayes of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office
• Northern District: Trooper Thomas K. Autrey of the Alabama Department of Public Safety
• Middle District: Trooper Edkenjunta Jones of the Alabama Department of Public Safety
• Southern District: Sergeant James P. Davis of the Fairhope Police Department

Each honoree received a gift certificate for one of the Retirement System of Alabama resorts and a framed Certificate of Merit from Attorney General King. In addition, the statewide winner was awarded with a gift certificate for a Glock semi-automatic pistol, provided by the Alabama Peace Officers Association, the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police, the Alabama Sheriff's Association, and Gulf States Distributors which is a provider of law enforcement equipment.

A highlight of the annual event came shortly after noon, with Attorney General King's recognition during an awards luncheon of those selected as Officers of the Year and special remembrances of individual fallen officers.

The Attorney General honored those who made this ultimate sacrifice during the last year*, presenting certificates of valor to family members of the following:

• Deputy James Anderson, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, who died on September 20, 2009, as a result of the injuries he sustained when he was intentionally struck by the driver of an automobile while making a traffic stop;
• Officer Philip Mahan Davis of the Pelham Police Department, who was shot and killed on December 4, 2009, while making a traffic stop;
• Sergeant Mylon Thompson “Tommy” Bishop Jr. of the Guntersville Police Department, who on January 1, 2010 succumbed to complications of a gunshot wound he sustained 16 years earlier while responding to a domestic disturbance.

*Note: Because the Attorney General's law enforcement conferences are held annually in the fall, some events noted in Certificates of Valor and Merit fall within the 2009 calendar year.

"All of the officers we honor share one thing in common: they all lived and died the same way, as heroes serving the people of Alabama with honor and integrity," said Attorney General King.

*****Please refer to following pages for detailed information about the meritorious acts of each recipient of Attorney General King’s Officer of the Year regional and statewide awards:

Southern District Winner:
Sergeant James P. Davis of the Fairhope Police Department

Sergeant Davis is assigned to his agency’s Special Operations Unit. As the unit supervisor, he coordinated the agencies numerous parades, festivals, and other special events. He is solely responsible in planning the police department’s participation in three large Mardi Gras parades, Veterans Day and Christmas parades. He also schedules officers for many other smaller events held in the city of Fairhope. Sergeant Davis is also a traffic homicide investigator and a leader of the SWAT team. In January 2011, Sergeant Davis is scheduled to attend the FBI National Academy.

One particular incident that demonstrates Sergeant Davis’ dedication to the service of his community occurred on May 28, 2010. At the end of his shift while driving home the police radio broadcast details of a potential intoxicated driver. Despite the fact his duty day had ended, Sergeant Davis responded to the complaint and stopped the suspect.

It was then determined the driver was not intoxicated but was an elderly gentleman who was experiencing poor health. Deemed unable to safely operate a vehicle, Sergeant Davis took the man to his residence located several miles outside the police jurisdiction.

When he reached the man’s home, Sergeant Davis realized the home was in foreclosure and the man was homeless as a result. He brought him back to the police department in an attempt to locate resources which could be of assistance. Several hours later, a grandson was located in Mississippi and was unaware of the gentleman’s plight, and upon of being advised, began to take the necessary steps to provide for him.

Sergeant James Davis’ sustained, superior performance, coupled with his devotion to duty, is in keeping with the highest traditions of public service, and reflects great credit upon him, his family, the Fairhope Police Department, and the State of Alabama.

Middle District Winner:
Trooper Edkenjunta Jones of the Alabama Department of Public Safety

Trooper Edkenjunta Jones joined the Alabama Department of Public Safety in June 2006. He quickly established himself as one of the top troopers in his Post. His work habits and dedication have earned him the respect of senior Troopers and supervisors.

Trooper Jones has proven to be hard working and dedicated, yet compassionate and caring when necessary.

Trooper Jones is consistently among the top Troopers with the highest DUI arrests within the Selma Post. As a result of his enthusiasm and DUI detection ability, he was recommended and has attended Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement training to enhance his DUI detection abilities.

His hard work, dedication, and aggressiveness in his DUI enforcement greatly contributed to a significant reduction in fatalities during 2010 in the Selma Post. Trooper Jones constantly offers ideas and advice to other Troopers that aid them in their enforcement actions.

One example of Trooper Jones’ work occurred recently on County Road 30 in Dallas County. He observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed and immediately activated his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop. The driver refused to immediately stop which resulted in a short pursuit.

When the vehicle stopped, the driver exited his vehicle and Trooper Jones cautiously approached the driver while verbally commanding the driver to turn around and place his hands behind his back. The driver refused to be handcuffed. After a brief struggle, the driver was overpowered and arrested.

Trooper Edkenjunta Jones’ sustained, superior performance, coupled with his devotion to duty, is in keeping with the highest traditions of public service, and reflects great credit upon him, his family, the Alabama Department of Public Safety, and the State of Alabama.

Northern District Winner:
Trooper Keith Autrey of the Alabama Department of Public Safety

Trooper Keith Autrey of the Alabama Department of Public Safety serves at the Gadsden Post. On April 9, 2010, he was off duty and at the Gadsden Country Club. He was in the hallway leading to the locker room when he observed a gentleman running down the hall yelling, “She’s got a gun.” Immediately after that, he observed the man’s wife enter the hall carrying a loaded 38 caliber handgun. Trooper Autrey ordered her to put the gun down, but she responded by pointing the gun at him at very close range.

Without hesitation, he stepped to the side, grasped the handgun, pinned the armed suspect down, and removed the gun from her possession. Others in attendance called 911 and the Etowah County Sheriff’s Deputies responded as the off duty Trooper maintained physical restraint over the suspect. The violator was charged with Domestic Violence-Third Degree and later charged with Making Terrorist Threats and Menacing.

The investigation revealed that an argument ensued earlier in the day between the married couple. The husband reportedly discovered an inappropriate text message between his wife and another man. Heated communications between the three parties involved occurred earlier in the day prior to the event at the country club. It was also discovered, when the wife arrived at the country club, she entered several different rooms which were very congested, and at one point she pointed the gun around the people saying, “This is for my husband”. No doubt, the quick actions of Trooper Autrey prevented a very bad event from occurring.

Trooper Keith Autrey’s sustained, superior performance, coupled with his devotion to duty, is in keeping with the highest traditions of public service, and reflects great credit upon him, his family, the Alabama Department of Public Safety, and the State of Alabama.

Statewide Winner:
Sergeant Robert Hayes of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office

Sergeant Robert Hayes is honored for his bravery, heroism, and courageous dedication to duty to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the State of Alabama, for his actions in responding to a call reporting a 20-year-old male who was very distraught and heavily armed, making threats to take his mother hostage. The caller advised that the suspect was possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol and had already fired a weapon in the home.

Several units responded to the area along with Sergeant Hayes who directed units to set up a safe perimeter around the home. Sergeant Hayes also requested the assistance of the hostage negotiation team and the tactical response team. Upon arrival Sergeant Hayes, assisted by Lieutenant Kerry Phillips, took up a point of observation behind their vehicle four houses north of the suspect’s home. Sergeant Hayes assumed command and then attempted to make contact with the suspect.

Prior to the tactical team’s arrival, the suspect exited the residence armed with an SKS assault rifle and fired two shots at Hayes and Phillips. The suspect then started to advance toward the officers with the rifle in a raised firing position. The suspect was immediately given loud repetitive verbal commands to disarm and stop his advance, which was heard by other officers a block away.

The suspect failed to comply and continued to approach the officers and fired another shot at them. Sergeant Hayes, fearing for his life, other officers on the scene and local residents of the heavily populated subdivision, was forced to take action.

He stood up from his point of cover and fired his patrol rifle one time striking the suspect in the chest instantly rendering him incapacitated. He and Lieutenant Phillips approached the suspect and secured him and his weapon and immediately summoned for medical assistance. The suspect was transported to a Huntsville hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the Madison County Sheriff’s Office had responded to the home on several occasions due to domestic violence incidents and the suspect had been arrested on at least one occasion.

A search of the home discovered multiple weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition as well as a home-made improvised silencing devise for firearms. It also appeared that the suspect had been planning to ambush responding officers by placing a shotgun next to the door he had exited.

The actions taken by Sergeant Hayes were directly responsible for preventing injury and or death to him, other assisting officers and numerous civilians who lived in the area.

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