Message From The Sheriff
MESSAGE FROM SHERIFF
BOBBY WALRAVEN  ( read )
Phone:
Emergency: 911
24 Hrs Non-Emergency:
870-898-5115
Crime Tips:
870-898-7282
Address:
351 N. 2nd Street
Ashdown, AR 71822
Mailing Address:
351 N. 2nd Street Suite #2
Ashdown, AR 71822
Administrative Office Hours:
M-F 8:00am - 4:30pm
Administration

 

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 Chief Deputy Kevin Sanders

Winthrop native joins sheriff’s office

*Courtesy of Quinton Bagley Little River News*

 A 1984 graduate of Winthrop High School, Kevin Sanders has always been interested in law enforcement. That interest has led to a 26-year career that started in 1991 as part of the Texarkana, Ark., police department until now where he serves as Little River County chief deputy under Sheriff Bobby Walraven.

“I worked construction several years after high school but felt that law enforcement was my calling,” Sanders said. “I received my Associate’s degree in criminal justice from Texarkana College in 1990. After that, I applied to the Texarkana (Ark.) Police Department and got the job.”

Sanders worked for the TPD until 2014. During that time, he attended the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy and became a certified law enforcement instructor and certified fire arms instructor. In 2014 he retired and went to work as a civilian as manager for central records/communications for TPD on both sides as well as the Miller County Sheriff’s Department. He held that position until January of 2017 when he became chief deputy of Little River County.

“When Bobby (Walraven) ran for sheriff the first time, he asked me if I would be his chief deputy if he won and I told him I would,” Sanders said. “This time when he ran, he asked me again. I was hesitant but with the support of my family, I decided it was the right move for me.”

Sanders said he felt the most important part of his job was being in a position to help people.

“It sounds kind of corny but being in a position to help people is the most important part of this job to me,” Sanders said. “A lot of times you are dealing with people on the worst day of their lives. Being able to help them and help them get closure is a great feeling.”

Sanders said there were different ways to help people.

“Sometimes when you send a person to jail you are helping them,” Sanders said. “Here while back my wife and I were out to eat. This gentleman came over and asked me if I knew him. I told him no. He said that I had arrested him several years ago for drugs and sent him to prison. He wanted to thank me because he was able to get his life in order and put that part of his life behind him.”

Another important part of the job for Sanders is being a part of the community.

“I feel it is important to get out in the community and let the people know that you are there to help them,” Sanders said. “I feel it is very important to have a good relationship with the people. Sometimes all people see is the bad such as getting a ticket or taking someone to jail. We want people to see that we are people to who are just doing our job to protect the people we have sworn to protect.”

Sanders, who is married with two grow children, said he enjoyed spending time with his family, fishing and riding his motorcycle in his spare time.

“I have two children,” Sanders said. “Samantha is 22 and is in nursing school. Jake is 18 and is in diesel mechanic school. My wife, Cathy, teaches math at Simms Independent School District. I try to spend as much time with them as I can when I am not working.”

 



 

 

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Captain Danny Hallett 

Hallett comes out of retirement

*Courtesy of Quinton Bagley Little River News*

 When most people retire after 30 years of service they do many things they were not able to do when they were working – traveling, completing projects around the house or enjoying other activities they have long neglected. Normally, returning to work does not cross their mind. That is not the case for Danny Hallett.

Hallett retired as a sergeant from the Ashdown Police Department after 30 years of service in 2014. Nearly three years later, he is back as the captain over patrol for the Little River County Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Bobby Walraven.

“There were several factors that played a role in returning,” Hallett said. “The most important being my desire to work with the people and help them.”

Hallett was raised in Wilton and has lived in Little River County since he was three years old. He started his career as a jailer for the Texarkana, Texas police department and worked there for a year and a half before coming to the Ashdown Police Department.

“I started working at Ashdown in 1984,” Hallett said. “Not long after I started, I went to the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy. Over the years I have accumulated numerous hours of training, certifications, supervisory classes, etc. I can’t keep count.”

Hallett said the most important part of being in law enforcement for him was helping the people.

“Being able to help people solve their problems,” Hallett said. “Sometimes it’s a long process. Sometimes you get disgusted but you have to keep traveling on.”

In his spare time, Hallett enjoys camping, hunting, fishing, working in his garden and working on his honey-do list that his wife Kerrie, who works as the transportation director for the Ashdown School District, has for him.

Hallett said that he enjoyed retirement but was happy to be back at work helping the citizens of Little River County.

“I am glad to be here,” Hallett said. “Hopefully I do the job they expect me to do.”

 



 

 

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Deputy Brandon Kennemore

Kennemore joins sheriff’s department

*Courtesy of Quinton Bagley Little River News*

For Brandon Kennemore, a career in law enforcement was never in doubt. He has held several jobs in the profession and currently serves as an investigator for the Little River County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Bobby Walraven....

“Being a law enforcement officer has always been something I wanted to do,” Kennemore said. “My uncle, Mark Kennemore, worked for the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission until he retired. My cousin, Boyd Kennemore, works for the Ashdown Police Department. There never was a question of if I would be a cop it was just a matter of when.”

Kennemore got his start at the age of 14 as an Explorer with the Ashdown Police Department. In 2004, he worked as a jailer and dispatcher for Sheriff Danny Russell.

In 2006, after being elected constable in Ogden, Kennemore put himself through the Arkansas Law Enforcement Academy.

“After I graduated from the Academy, I went to work for the City of Foreman Marshal’s Office.” Kennemore said. “I then went to work for the City of Ashdown and then went to the South Central Drug Task Force and then back to the Ashdown Police Department as an investigator before coming to work at the Sheriff’s Department.”

Kennemore said there were many aspects of his job that he enjoyed but the best part was helping people.

“I like working narcotics,” Kennemore said. “It destroys so many lives so if you can get one person to stop then it makes it all worth while. Everyone at some point has been affected by drugs. I also like busting the drug dealers and putting them out of business.”

Kennemore said that he felt eliminating the drug problem in the county would lead to less crime overall.

“The desire or need for drugs leads to other crimes such as burglary,” Kennemore said. “You eliminate the drugs then the number of burglaries and such should decrease as a result.”

In addition to working for the sheriff’s department, Kennemore also serves as constable of Red River Township.

He and his wife, Stephanie, own a small farm in the Richmond area. Kennemore said in his spare time he enjoyed spending time with his wife and kids, riding ATVs and working cattle.



 

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 Deputy Kenneth Ruppel 

The desire to help others drives Ruppel

*Courtesy of Quinton Bagley Little River News*

The desire to help people is a common theme when talking to most people in law enforcement. Little River County Deputy Kenneth Ruppel takes his desire to the next level. Not only is he a law enforcement officer but he also serves in the Arkansas National Guard.

“I have always wanted to help people,” Ruppel said. “That is initially why I joined the Guard. Law enforcement gives me the opportunity to help people on a daily basis.”

Ruppel is a graduate of Springdale High School in northwest Arkansas. That is also where he got his start in law enforcement.

“I went to work for the Rogers Police Department in January 2015,” Ruppel said.

While with the RPD, he attended the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy at Springdale and graduated in May 2015.

After working in Rogers for a little over a year, Ruppel moved to southwest Arkansas.

“My parents live here,” Ruppel said. “I came down here to be closer to them. It is a bit of a change from northwest Arkansas but I like it though. There is a lot less traffic.”

Upon moving to Little River County, Ruppel went to work for the Little River County Sheriff’s Department under then Sheriff Gary Gregory. When current Sheriff Bobby Walraven took office in January, Ruppel was one of several deputies that were retained.

“I have worked at the sheriff’s department for nearly a year,” Ruppel said. “I really enjoy it. I get a chance to meet the people of Little River County and help them.”

During his spare time, Ruppel enjoys spending time with his wife, Courtney, who is a part-time animal control officer for the City of Ashdown, and their four children, two boys and two girls ranging in age from six years to five months.

“I enjoy shooting guns with my wife, running, swimming, working on my motorcycle and cars,” Ruppel said. “I also enjoy breaking horses. I have broken a few for my parents.”

Ruppel isn’t afraid to use those horses in his job. Last year when deputies were searching for a man who ran from his car after being pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy, Ruppel and another Little River County Sheriff’s Deputy searched for him on horseback.

Ruppel said there were many things about his job that he enjoyed but one stood out most of all.

“I like the self satisfaction of being someone that people can count on,” Ruppel said.



 

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SRO Stephanie Boyer

Working with kids a dream come true for Boyer

*Courtesy of Quinton Bagley Little River News*

All parents worry about their children. When they drop their child off at school, they feel their child will be safe. But the last few years has shown us that violence can find its way into the classroom whether it is a school shooting or bullying. The Little River County Sheriff’s Department is working closely with the Ashdown School District to prevent such acts from happening here at... home. The person on the front-line in that fight is school resource officer Stephanie Boyer.

Boyer was hired in 2014 by then Sheriff Gary Gregory and retained in that position by new Little River County Sheriff Bobby Walraven.

“I really enjoy my job and working with the teachers, staff and kids,” Boyer said. “Growing up I wanted to be a teacher, cop or pediatric nurse. I wanted to help kids.”

Boyer, the daughter of a career Navy man, has lived all over the United States and overseas. She was born in Oakland, Calif., then moved with her family to Norwich, Conn., and then on to Virginia Beach, Va., where she graduated from Green Run High School in 1987.

Boyer met her husband, Roger, a 1993 graduate of Foreman High School, when he was stationed in Virginia Beach, Va., with the U.S. Navy. He switched to the Army in 2006 and retired in July 2013, after 20 years of service.

While stationed in Germany with her husband, Boyer decided to go back to school and get a degree in criminal justice through Central Texas College with an emphasis on juvenile justice.

“I am currently in the process of getting my bachelor’s degree in psychology,” Boyer said.

Boyer said that she feels that her job is an important one.

“I want the parents and kids to know that I am not there to get them in trouble,” Boyer said. “I am there to protect them and the teachers. I don’t want the kids to be afraid of cops. I want them to know that I am there to help.”

Boyer and her family came back to Little River County four years ago because her husband wanted to be closer to his family after he retired.

Boyer has two children from a previous marriage, Shane (28) and Brittany (24). She and her husband have an 18-year-old son, Hunter, who attends school at Ashdown High School. In her spare time she enjoys crocheting, spending time with her family, taking ‘mini’ vacations and tending to her animals. 

 



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 Deputy Chris Snider 

Making a positive impact important to Snider

*Courtesy of Quinton Bagley Little River News*

 Law enforcement was not the career that Little River County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Snider dreamed of when he graduated from Horatio High School in 2001 but it was the career that chose him.

“Being a cop was never what I intended to do,” Snider said. “I went to college to be a coach and a teacher.”

Born and raised in Sevier County, Snider went to work for the Foreman Marshal’s Office in 2007 and worked there for nine years before moving over to the Little River County Sheriff’s Office in May 2016. He graduated from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in 2008.

“I had a couple of cousins that were law enforcement officers and they talked me into applying,” Snider said. “I got the job with the Marshal’s Office and really liked it and decided to make a career out of it.”

Although Snider did not become a coach and teacher, being a law enforcement officer allows him to still have a positive impact in the lives of kids throughout Little River County.

“I enjoy being a deputy and making a positive impact on the county and the people who live here,” Snider said. “I have the opportunity to talk to kids and give them someone to look up too. In the past few years there has been so much negative talk about cops. I want the kids to see that we are just people like they are and that we are here to help them. I really enjoy helping people out.”

While Snider spends most of his time patrolling the roads throughout Little River County, in his spare time he likes to spend time with his family.

“Spending time with my family is very important to me,” Snider said. “My wife, Hollie, and I have been married six years and I have a 12-year-old son named Peyton. When I am not working, I am spending time with them. I also enjoy hunting and working out at the gym.”



 

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Austin Ardwin

Feels right at home

*Courtesy of Quinton Bagley Little River News*

For Little River County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Ardwin, being part of the law enforcement community has never been a question of if but a question of when.

“I have been in law enforcement since February 2014,” Ardwin said. “I worked as an administrative officer and then a part-time deputy for Sheriff Gary Gregory from February 2014 until December 2015. I was at the Ashdown Police Department for all of 2016, and when Sheriff Bobby Walraven won the sheriff's election he asked me to come back to the sheriff's office. I started back on January 1, when he took office.”

Ardwin graduated from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy last year and holds a special distinction there.

“I graduated from ALETA in 2016, first in my class academically,” Ardwin said. “My brother, Gerid, graduated first in his class in 2012. We’re the only set of brothers to both graduate top of our class according to ALETA staff.”

Ardwin is a 2012 graduate of Ashdown High School and a 2015 honors graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor's degree in public administration.

The desire to help people is a common theme at the Little River County Sheriff's Office when officers are asked why they chose their profession. More Ardwin, that sentiment holds true.

“I feel like being a deputy is my own way of giving back to the community,” Ardwin said. “I love the people of Little River County. I was raised here, most of family lives here, and most of my friends are here. I love the fact that I can travel anywhere in this county and find people who support the work I do. Law Enforcement is a hard job, but it’s made much easier when the vast majority of people want you to succeed. I feel that in this county we (the Sheriff’s Office) are fortunate to have such a supportive public.

“Being a deputy requires so much more than simply enforcing the law,” Ardwin continued “We’re expected to fight fires, provide treatment to sick and injured, and be an advocate for those who have been wronged, all while still enforcing the law. Often times, we’re all the county has to offer in terms of emergency response, and I can’t think of a higher honor, nor a more powerful responsibility, than being the one entrusted to do that.”

Ardwin is the son of Ashdown Police Chief Mark Ardwin and his wife, Dixie Ardwin.

“My dad has been with the Ashdown Police Department since 1987,” Ardwin said. “My brother, Gerid, has been with the El Dorado Police Department since 2012. He was recently promoted to School Resource Officer after four years as a patrolman. My mom worked for several years for the Arkansas State Parks before taking a position as a teacher. She has worked at Ashdown High School since 2011.”

When not patrolling the roads of Little River County, Ardwin devotes his time to other areas.

“In the 2016 election I was elected constable for the Oak Hill/Mills Community area,” Ardwin said. “I’m also employed by the Little River County Ambulance Service as an EMT, and I work part-time for them. I have been a member of the Oak Hill Volunteer Fire Department since 2011 and graduated from the Arkansas Fire Training Academy in 2015. I am also certified as a technical rescue specialist.

“When I’m not doing any of that, I write historical articles and manage the “Southwest Arkansas Historian”, a Facebook page focused on southwestern Arkansas History,” Ardwin continued. “We have a following of over 1,400 people and our on-line readership is often greater than 5,000.”