Sergeant Jay Murdock with the Clinton Police Department was recently awarded Van Buren County Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Rutledge announced the recognition at the annual awards and recognition luncheon at the 2017 Arkansas Law Enforcement Summit at Camp Robinson.

“It’s humbling to receive this award. The guys who won regional and state risked their lives. To be put in with that group is humbling,” Murdock said.

Clinton Police Chief John Willoughby recommended Murdock for the award.

“He never toots his own horn. It was easy for me to recommend him. I wanted to recognize him,” Willoughby said about Murdock.

Willoughby said he was told by the Attorney General that this was the first time someone from Van Buren County had been recommended. Willoughby and Murdock both said this award reflects and growing standard of excellence in the department. They cited the increased training being undertaken by officers - and how this training is costing the city no more than gasoline for commute to the training sites - leading to a higher number of officers qualified across multiple roles, such as investigation, as a further reflection of this.

“The difference in the department is the difference in the community,” Willoughby said.

Murdock had been cited in the past in this newspaper for providing a bicycle to a local young man who had lost his due to theft.