Black River Technical College Law Enforcement Training Academy held their biannual graduation ceremony Friday, April 21, 2017. The auditorium was packed with the officers’ families and peers, all there to show their support. These men and women endured thirteen weeks of rigorous training, in preparation for this moment: graduation.
This graduation is much like all ceremonies, as it has guest speakers, awards, and the prized certificates to be awarded to the graduates. The service is jumped off by the Jonesboro Firefighters Pipes and Drums Corp playing the officers into the auditorium. Colors are presented by the Honor Guard, and the National Anthem is sung. This year was no exception, and was conducted with the highest reverence to the occasion.
The awards portion of the ceremony was exceptional this year in that there were several ties. For Top Shooter, there was a 3-way tie for 3rd place and a 5-way tie for second place. Craighead County’s Troy Hess was one of the five who won that distinction in the Top Shot category. The Academic Award was very close, as 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place were separated by a margin of less than 1%. Caleb Lawson, a US Veteran, was the top in the Academic Award. The Overall Award was no different, as there was a two-way tie. Jake Tyler Holloway of the Department of Parks and Tourism and Zachary Purrington, a US Veteran, were the top two in Overall Officers. Holloway also was the award winner for the Physical Fitness Award. This award saw a tie for second place. This is a great indication to this writer that the nearly 60 names on that list will be great assets to their respective departments.
Graduation guest speakers are invited to share pearls of wisdom and encouragement to those graduating. BRTC’s speaker was Walt Colman, NFL referee. One has to ask what a referee can say to a room full of law enforcement officers. Can you think of any other profession that garners less respect than a football referee? Mr. Colman spoke to the class of three things:What you do is important and everyone makes a difference. Don’t take yourself too seriously; learn to laugh (sometimes at yourself). Always do what’s right and you’ll never worry about what choices you made.
These three points translate into all professions, but they strike to the heart of most law enforcement officers. Not every job in law enforcement is going to make headlines. Mr. Colman’s analogy likened this to the linebacker position. Most linebackers aren’t getting on a box of Wheaties. Most people couldn’t tell you a linebacker’s name. Let him fail at doing his job one good time, and the whole world knows who he is. You might be driving roads no one has heard of and checking businesses on midnights, but what you do is important. Mess up one good time, and you’re getting roasted on HLN, having to wear a disguise just to go to Wal-Mart.
To Deputy Troy Hess and Deputy Aaron Chadwick: congratulations on your successful completion of the Law Enforcement Training Academy Class 2017-A. May you serve your community with honor and distinction. Welcome to the family.
On April 7, 2017, the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office and the Courthouse bid farewell to Bailiff Larry Burcham. Larry’s career spanned 4 decades and two departments. Many know Burcham from working security at the Convocation Center, as he spent many years in that capacity. Regardless of how you know Larry Burcham, if you met him, you came away with a story. He left an indelible mark on everyone he touched.
Not many people can say they spent forty years working in a single industry. Larry Burcham did exactly that. He began his career in law enforcement as a reserve officer for Jonesboro Police Department in 1977. He worked in that capacity for three years before becoming a full-time police officer for the department in 1980. Fast forward twenty-five years to Burcham’s first retirement in 2005, to which he became a reserve deputy for the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office immediately upon retirement. A very short time later, he started working as a part-time bailiff for the county. It was a year later, Larry came on board as a full-time bailiff. He worked for eleven more years and Burcham announced his second retirement.
The basement of the Annex was chocked-full of friends and colleagues from several departments all to send him off. Sheriff Marty Boyd and Chief Rick Thomas presented Larry with his retirement pistol, a plaque, and a heartfelt Thank You! for his service. When I spoke with Larry as I was leaving, he told me about what that day meant to him. He spoke of his good friend, Jessie Hanks, and how he and Jessie were supposed to retire together. Jessie wasn’t able to retire on his terms, as he passed away from cancer two years ago. Larry wore Jessie’s uniform shirt on his last day of work as a tribute to his friend.
Larry Burcham spent more than half of his life dedicated to serving and protecting the citizens of Jonesboro and Craighead County. When I asked his peers for stories of their time with Burcham, each smiled, and said I have to think about which I want to tell you, there are just so many to choose! We should all want to know that we spent our time on this planet leaving people better than we found them. Burcham did exactly that.
We here at the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center wish you all the best, Larry. Sincerely, thank you for all your years of service to your community.
|Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Craighead County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center held its 3rd annual Employee Banquet catered by the gentlemen from John 3:16 Ministries. It was a packed house, as our family continues to grow. That may sound cliché, but this department is a family. Everyone knows each other, and knows their kids' names. This event is the once-a-year time for many of us to come together outside of work and fellowship, as many only see the other shifts during training classes.|
|Sheriff Boyd has always strived to make everyone within the CCSO and CCDC feel valued. This event is his way of making sure we all know how much he appreciates us, as well. Working with sponsors, there was a fantastic fish dinner prepared and served by John 3:16 Ministries, enviable door prizes, and two grand prizes: a 9mm handgun and a large flat-screen TV.|
|Each year, we have guest speakers, and this year was a bonus as we were treated with two. The first is no stranger to anyone with a television, and has made his career teaming up with law enforcement. Craig Rickert of KAIT Region 8 News anchor fame spoke to us about his journalism career, interactions with law enforcement agencies, and his involvement with Crime Stoppers. He had some pearls of wisdom that I took with me and feel compelled to share. He said, in every interaction, act like everyone knows you and no one knows you. Never behave badly thinking someone doesn't know you; it always gets back to the ones that matter. The other half of that statement is just as important. No matter how famous (or infamous) always shake hands, introduce yourself, and establish who you are to that person.|
|We were also able to meet the group from Philander Smith College of Little Rock, AR informed us of the opportunities available through their online program. Alex Mathis, Area Recruitment Supervisor and Andy Wills, Recruiter, presented the group with an amazing opportunity to obtain, or even complete, a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice.|
|100% online No campus visit Combines military and law enforcement experience to earn up to 30 hours of free credit hours Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission|
For many, the work schedule of law enforcement has been the biggest deterrent to college. They just cannot break away on a regular basis and attend classes. This will afford the officers the opportunity to further their education. Thirty free credit hours is a huge boon, as this is two semesters for free. That's a quarter of the degree, paid for with the years of experience applied in the field. Contact Andy Wills if you have questions at email@example.com.
|Each year, the respective departments nominate and vote for an officer of the year. This was the year of the Sergeant Jasons. Sergeant Jason Hall is the 2017 Detention Officer of the Year for 2017 for his steadfast leadership and unwavering integrity. Sgt. Hall runs a tight shift and is respected by his peers. Sergeant Jason Allen is the 2017 Sheriff's Office Deputy of the Year for 2017 for his resolute direction and abiding inspiration. Sgt. Allen leads his shift with a commitment to excellence that motivates his guys to go farther and do more than they imagined. We are grateful to have both of these to encourage and instill the same work ethic to the next wave of law enforcement officers.|
|On February 13, a 911 call of a fire in the 600 block of County Road 765 prompted all available units to respond. Deputy Josh Miller found the house already filled with smoke, and 62 year old Sue Nance unable to escape. Deputy Miller was able to extract Ms. Miller from the rear of the structure through the blackness of the smoke, and felt the arm of Brookland's Cpt. Janssen Settlemoir reach in to pull them the rest of the way from the house. For his bravery and heroism, Deputy Miller was awarded the Life Saving Commendation. The Craighead County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center is very proud of these three men and their contributions to the department.|
This event would not have been possible without the enormous support from the enthusiastic sponsors. These companies have shown their support with donations to the event in the form of door prizes, and in the case of John 3;16 Ministries, feeding the masses! You have a choice where to spend your money, please consider patronizing those who support your local law enforcement agencies. Thank you to everyone who was involved with another successful banquet.
Brookland Middle School 6th Grade class pulled out all the stops showing their appreciation to the Law Enforcement Community this week during their Breakfast with a Cop event. These incredible kids put together a fantastic spread of breakfast foods and beverages, decorated the tables with centerpieces and handmade cutouts, and succeeded in creating an overall mood of appreciation for the hard work and dedication each and every member of law enforcement exhibits every single day. The kids put together goodie bags for the officers to take with them, including the meaning of each goodie. For me, the Hershey's Kiss was the best, with "To show you our love for all you do."
Thank you to everyone who played a part in putting this together. This was a mutually beneficial event for building strong relationships between law enforcement and these future leaders.
To see more photos and the story from KAIT's Mallory Jordan, you can follow this link.
You can also head over to our Facebook page, to see this and other stories!
March 10, 11, and 12th Craighead County Sheriff's Office will host Structure Dominance for Law Enforcement class instructed by Jason "Jabo" Long with Fast Bear Consulting. "This course is designed to provide the individual officer with the foundation necessary to work both alone and as a part of a tactical unit." The class was comprised of students from all over Arkansas and surrounding states, and in this class they received hands on instruction on a variety of topics to aid them in their execution of duties.
Classes are sponsored and coordinated through the Sheriff's Office throughout the year, so follow us on Facebook to stay apprised of the latest classes, some of which are open to the public.
On February 23, 2017, Craighead County Special Weapons and Tactics Team was invited to visit with the Westside Explorers. This great group of kids had their questions lined up for our guys and were ready, rapid fire the moment they stepped off the MRAP. Lt. Aaron Davis and his team set up stations for the group to see exactly what kinds of equipment is used and deployed during a SWAT call-out. Davis spoke of Crisis Negotiation, which is the first step with any standoff. Deputy Jamey Carter was present to explain his approach as a negotiator. Deputy Brannen Hollis described how the team works together, and how each member has a specific task.
We love each time we have the opportunity to have a positive interaction with the public, but especially with teens.
The Craighead County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center:
At around midnight, the Detention Center began having issues with the phone system, specifically, the phones are working intermittently. Ritter Communications stated they were doing routine updates, and will be back online as soon as possible. Please be patient with our staff while the system is under maintenance. Ritter has crews working diligently to remedy the situation and is still working at post time (2:40 am). Thank you
Residents Against Illegal Drugs (R.A.I.D) is offering a $1100 scholarship for Criminology majors. The endowment is for anyone currently enrolled in college or a graduate school from Craighead County, AR or surrounding area that is pursuing a major or minor in Criminology. For more information, you can click the link here and it will take you to the Arkansas Community Foundation website with the list of available scholarships and the online application. The window to apply is February 1, 2017 to April 1, 2017.
The Craighead County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center upgraded the phone system throughout the facility last week. During this transition to the new system, the direct line to Booking has changed. The new direct line to connect to Booking is 870-933-7719. One can always call the direct lines to the Sheriff's Office at 870-933-4551 and the Detention Center at 870-933-4526. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience during this implementation of much needed equipment.
We have two scams to warn you about, one is hitting people over the phone and the other is email.
We'll start with the phone scam. The caller rings the line and says they represent the Craighead County Sheriff's Office and the person answering the phone has warrants. The caller then demands a money order to pay the fines to keep the recipient out of jail. The calls are spoofed, which means the phone number appears as if it is coming from a different location, such as Craighead County Sheriff's Office. First, we here at Craighead County Sheriff's Office are not going to call for warrant notification. This is done in person. Secondly, we are not going to demand payment. Most importantly, if you receive a phone call like this, please contact our offices at 870-933-4551 and let them know you were contacted by these scammers.
We have all heard about Yahoo! being hit with one of the largest hacks in recent history. Gmail has been recently exposed with phishing scams that have left their users vulnerable. A fake email is being circulated that contains a link to a PDF that takes you to a very genuine-looking Gmail login page. If you login on this page, this is where you will be compromised. When the attacker gets into your account, they will have access to your contacts, and then forward this attack on to your friends on your behalf. The emails appear as if they are from someone you know and trust, therefore you feel safe clicking on links.
Gmail has some tips on keeping your account secured.Check for viruses and malware Do an account Security Checkup Update your account recovery options Enroll in 2-step verification Perform regular operating system and browser updates Never use your Google Account password on another site Protect your password Use a strong password If you use a public computer, take these extra steps: Always sign out of your account. Just click your name or email address at the top of the page, and select Sign Out. Clear forms, passwords, cache, and cookies in your browser on a regular basis.
Visit Google's Safety Center for more tips and ways to protect yourself while online.
As these scammers are getting more sophisticated, you have to be more vigilant against their attempts to separate you from your personal information, and ultimately, your hard earned money.