LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 22, 2021)
– Today, Kentucky State Police (KSP) held the annual achievement awards ceremony in Lexington to honor 62 troopers and officers who put on a uniform each day to patrol Kentucky's neighborhoods with a mission of serving and protecting their fellow citizens. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, last year's ceremony was postponed until it was safe to hold an in-person event in accordance with Healthy at Work and CDC guidelines. The achievement awards presented were for acts of service that occurred during 2019.
On behalf of Gov. Andy Beshear, Secretary of the Executive Cabinet J. Michael Brown attended the event to thank the award recipients for their valiant service to the commonwealth and protection of all Kentuckians.
"The COVID-19 pandemic may have delayed this recognition but nothing can diminish the achievement, dedication and bravery of those we honor this evening," said Secretary Brown. "I am honored to be able to personally congratulate the award recipients."
KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr. also spoke during the ceremony praising the agency's personnel for going above the call of duty and placing service above self.
"Tonight we honor troopers and officers who have went above the call," said Burnett. "From lifesaving rescues to acts of bravery during critical incidents, your efforts have impacted lives of the citizens you serve."
The 2019 award recipients include:
Trooper Jerry A. Baker Jr. was named 2019 Trooper of the Year. Trooper Baker is a 3-year veteran of KSP assigned to KSP Post 13 in Hazard.
Detective Michael R. Robichaud was named 2019 Detective of the Year. Detective Robichaud is a 10-year veteran of KSP assigned to the KSP Post 1 in Mayfield.
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer Mark A. Puckett was named the 2019 Jason Cammack Officer of the Year for the KSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Troop. Officer Puckett is a 9-year CVE veteran of KSP assigned to the CVE Central Region.
Trooper Shane Jacobs was named 2019 Public Affairs Officer of the Year. Trooper Jacobs is a 19-year veteran of KSP assigned to KSP Post 10 in Harlan.
Detective Terry A. Scott was named 2019 Arson Investigator of the Year. Detective Scott is a 19-year veteran of KSP assigned to the Special Operations Branch.
Officer Rick D. Kuiper was named 2019 Facilities Security Officer of the Year. Officer Kuiper is a 8-year veteran of KSP assigned to the Security Branch.
Seven troopers were awarded the KSP Citation for Bravery, an honor bestowed on officers of the agency who perform acts of bravery, without regard for personal risk despite clear and obvious peril, and clearly above and beyond the call or risk of ordinary duty.
Five troopers received the Lifesaving Medal, which is awarded to officers who perform life-saving acts under extraordinary circumstances.
Three troopers received the Guthrie Crowe Award, which is named in honor of the first commissioner of KSP and bestowed upon officers of the agency who sustain a severe wound or injury during the performance of their law enforcement duty.
Eighteen troopers were named Detective of the Year at the post, branch or division level.
Twenty troopers were named Trooper of the Year at the post, branch or division level.
Three Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers were named Officer of the Year at the regional level.
The mission of KSP is to promote public safety through service, integrity and professionalism using partnerships to prevent, reduce and deter crime and the fear of crime, enhance highway safety through education and enforcement, and safeguard property and protect individual rights.
KSP's focus this year is to maintain and strengthen its essential workforce in order to better provide public safety, maintain critical services and better reflect the diverse communities that KSP serves. The agency has expanded their recruitment department with the addition of one female trooper, one male trooper and the hiring of three new minority troopers. KSP is also partnering with Dr. Aaron Thompson of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Vickie Stone of the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet, and working closely with retired minority KSP Troopers, to further improve their diversity recruitment efforts.
Photo: From left to right, Detective of the Year, Michael Robichaud; Officer of the Year, Mark Puckett; Trooper of the Year, Jerry Baker; Public Affairs Officer of the Year, Shane Jacobs; Facility Security Officer of the Year Rick Kuiper, and Arson Investigator of the Year Terry Scott.