(FRANKFORT, KY) — Twenty-five civilian employees were honored today by the Kentucky State Police at a ceremony highlighting their performance and public service during the past year.
Clarkson-resident Nita Franklin was named 2015 KSP Civilian Employee of the Year. A 14-year veteran of the agency, Franklin is a Police Telecommunicator II at KSP Post 4 in Elizabethtown.
Franklin was recognized for a January 2015 incident that made a tremendous difference in the life of a child when she answered a call from a male subject regarding a custodial interference complaint. He explained that the biological, but non-custodial mother of his 10-year-old daughter had failed to return the child from a visitation with her in Texas.
“The father told me he had received a message from the child’s mother that she would not come back to a state where she would be arrested and she was headed for the border,” said Franklin.
Franklin immediately accessed FBI National Crime Information Center resources and entered the child as “missing endangered” due to the mother’s past history of mental and physical abuse.
Her next move played a critical role in bringing the situation to a positive conclusion. “I obtained the mother’s cell phone number and requested a “ping” on her phone from the service provider,” she said.
When this process located the mother in Texas, Franklin contacted local authorities and provided them with a description of the vehicle, suspect and child.
“Subsequent pings, which were coming in at about 15-minute intervals, tracked the vehicle travelling south heading toward the Mexican border,” Franklin recalls. “I was contacting authorities in those jurisdictions while continuing to monitor the pings.”
To her relief, it wasn’t long before she received a call from the Shelby Co. (Texas) Sheriff’s Office advising that the vehicle in question had been stopped and the occupants detained. (The mother was taken into custody and the child was eventually returned safely to her father.)
Franklin remembers that the most challenging part of the incident involved her unfamiliarity with the geography. “While trying to stay ahead of the vehicle between ping notifications, I was online researching maps and contact numbers for agencies in Texas as I was unfamiliar with the area,” she said.
“The ping information only listed the GPS coordinates and showed a small map of the location,” she adds. “Finding the appropriate agency to contact took time and kept me busy, so I really didn’t think about the stress until it was over. It was a rewarding feeling when we received the call that the vehicle had been stopped.”
“Due to Nita’s persistence and desire to go above and beyond her job duties and responsibilities, the child was safely returned to her biological father,” notes retired KSP Capt. David Millay, who was commander of Post 4 when the incident occurred. “Had the suspect made it across the border, the child’s life could have turned out much different.”
“Telecommunicators are the life line for our troopers every day,” says Millay, “and Nita has proven to be an invaluable asset to the Kentucky State Police. In my 20 years with the agency, I have met very few people who possess the demeanor she maintains under normal and event-driven stressful situations.”
Other KSP civilian employees who received awards included:
Administrative Support Service Award
Judy Guiler, Administrative Specialist III, Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations-East Region
Emily Perkins, Internal Policy Analyst III, Legal Services Branch-Frankfort
Administrative Support Supervisor Award
Brandy Mayes, Administrative Section Supervisor, Financial/Grants Management Branch-Frankfort
Clerical Support Service Award
Rebecca Eubanks, Administrative Specialist II, Post 11-London
Deborah Fisher, Administrative Specialist III, Administrative Division-Frankfort
Deborah Flowers, Administrative Specialist II, Post 1-Mayfield
Libby Wilson, Administrative Specialist III, Financial/Grants Management Branch-Frankfort
Commercial Vehicle Support Award
Ramona Lawson, CVE Inspector II, Region 5-Morehead
William Moore, Administrative Specialist I, Region 5-Morehead
Driver Testing Administrative Support Award
Trina Nugent, Certified Driver’s Test Administrator II, East Region
Kathy Perry, Certified Driver’s Test Administrator I, West Region
Forensic Services Support Award
Jeremy Triplett, Forensic Laboratory Supervisor, Central Laboratory Branch-Frankfort
Sally Edwards, Forensic Scientist Specialist II, Central Laboratory Branch-Frankfort
Amelia Barker, Forensic Scientist Specialist II, Jefferson Laboratory Branch-Louisville
Police Communications Support Award
Kim Lewis, Police Telecommunications Supervisor, Post 4-Elizabethtown
Tiffany Fields, Police Telecommunicator II, Post 6-Dry Ridge
John Stacy, Police Telecommunicator II, Post 13-Hazard
Maintenance Support Service Award
Timothy Hopkins, Maintenance Worker II, Post 9-Pikeville
Properties Management & Supply Technical Support Service Award
Donnie Webster, Property Officer II, Properties Management Branch-Frankfort
Communications Technical Support Service Award
John Powell, Network Analyst III, Communications Branch-Headquarters-Frankfort
Computer Technology Technical Support Award
Laurie Buchanan, Internal Policy Analyst III, Electronic Crime Branch-Frankfort
Records Technical Support Service Award
Ariah Faulkner, Program Coordinator, Criminal Identification & Records Branch-Frankfort
Scientific Support Service Award
Terry Lohrey, Systems Consultant IT, Criminal Identification & Records Branch-AFIS-Frankfort
Operational Support Award
Lisa Rose, Criminal Intelligence Analyst II, Post 12-Frankfort
“These award winners represent the best of the best of our civilian employees,” said KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer. “They truly are the underpinning of the Kentucky State Police and epitomize the professional image that we constantly strive to project.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Clarkson, Ky.-resident Nita Franklin (center), a police telecommunicator at Kentucky State Police Post 4 in Elizabethtown, received the KSP Civilian Employee of the Year Award from Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown (right) and KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer (left) on Oct. 21, 2015.