LITTLE ROCK – A Jonesboro Police Department corporal whose quick action helped protect lives at a Jonesboro mobile-home park in January has been named the Attorney General’s 2014 Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today.

Cpl. John Eidson was presented with the award today at a ceremony honoring outstanding law enforcement officers during the Attorney General’s annual Law Enforcement Summit. Several other officers also received awards in recognition of their exemplary work.

Eidson was identified as a “hero” by Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, who nominated the 20-year veteran of the Jonesboro police force for the honor.

On Jan. 9, while responding to reports of a shooting, Eidson approached a visibly agitated suspect at the partially open door of a mobile home. Eidson asked the suspect if he was armed, and the suspect fired at the officer, narrowly missing his face. Eidson exchanged gunfire with the suspect outside the residence. The suspect, who was wounded in the gunfire, returned to the residence and was later found dead. Seven people, including four children and an individual who had been shot by the suspect, escaped from the mobile home.

“Cpl. Eidson demonstrated the instinct and the skill that law enforcement officers must have in order to protect lives,” McDaniel said. “His quick thinking and courage under fire kept an already dangerous situation from becoming even worse. His bravery and dedication to the job are an example to all of us.”

Nominations for Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year were solicited from law enforcement agencies across the state.

In addition to Eidson, outstanding officers were chosen from each of the state’s four congressional districts. Those named outstanding officer from their respective congressional districts were:

First District: Trooper Steven Roberts, Arkansas State Police. Roberts was checking truck stop parking lots in St. Francis County in July when he identified a vehicle alleged to have been used by a suspect in a bank robbery just a few minutes earlier. Roberts stopped the suspect’s vehicle and took him into custody. Approximately $12,000 and a fake gun were found in the suspect’s possession, and the suspect admitted to Roberts that he had robbed between 30 and 60 banks in several states.

Second District: Lt. Michael Treasitti and Det. Kyle Ellison, Benton Police Dept. Treasitti and Ellison were pursuing a vehicle driven by known drug dealer when the suspect’s vehicle ran over spike strips and struck a barrier on an Interstate 30 service road in July 2013. In the midst of heavy interstate traffic, the suspect fired shots at the officers. Treasitti positioned his vehicle to lessen the risk to other motorists, then the officers exited their vehicle and returned fire. The suspect was killed in the exchange.

Third District:  Sgt. Daniel Klatt, Carroll County Sheriff’s Department. In June, Klatt located a 16-year-old girl who was lured away from her home by a 39-year-old convicted sex offender by quickly recognizing the girl to be a likely victim of Internet crime and using phone and Internet records to identify the suspect. Klatt spent hours scouring phone records and geolocation data to track the suspect’s movements. He worked with other law enforcement agencies to apprehend the suspect and recover the victim safely.

Fourth District:  Sgt. Roy Williams, Garland County Sheriff’s Office. Williams helped wake residents and assisted in evacuation of an apartment building that caught fire in the early-morning hours of July 16.While helping others, a portion of a burning ceiling fell on the officer, resulting in first- and second-degree burns. He refused medical treatment until he knew everyone in the complex was safe. Williams, who lived in the complex, lost his belongings in the blaze.

In addition to the Officer of the Year recognitions, special tribute was paid to law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. The fallen officers were posthumously recognized with special commendations for valor. Those valor tribute recipients were: Lafayette County Chief Deputy Pete Richardson, Turrell Police Chief Keith Bradford Sr. and Phillips County Deputy Sheriff Bobby Nearns.


*Release used courtesy of the Arkansas Attorney General's Office