KSP soldiers honored by Kentucky Women’s Law Enforcement Network

Police Officer of the Year and Member of the Year

BURKESVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ / Press Release) – Kentucky State Police announced Friday that two soldiers have received awards from the Kentucky Women’s Law Enforcement Network (KWLEN) during a ceremony at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park. Detective Leslie Strong received the “Police Officer of the Year” award and Detective Rugina Lunce received the “Member of the Year” award.

According to KWLEN, the “Police Officer of the Year” award is presented to an officer who is dedicated to improving the lives of citizens in the communities in which they serve and demonstrates extraordinary worth, investigative work and community policing efforts. Detective Strong was the recipient of this award in 2021.

Detective Strong is assigned to the KSP Electronic Crime Branch with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and is a six-year veteran of the agency. Detective Strong quickly recognized the need for additional tools to aid her investigative team when searching for electronic devices. She took steps to get Kentucky’s first Electronic Storage Device (ESD) dog.

Detective Strong and her dog “May” graduated from the ESD training program in March 2021. Since then, they have executed 14 search warrants, rescued nine child victims and participated in six school tours and community events. Captain Jennifer Sandlin says Strong is taking action to make KSP a leader in law enforcement and is proud of the work she has done.

“Through Detective Strong’s ability to recognize the need for an ESD detection dog and her research and request initiative, she expanded the ability of the ICAC task force to locate evidence,” to save children and prosecute offenders, ”said Sandlin.

According to KWLEN, the “Member of the Year” award is presented to an individual who advances public awareness of KWLEN and demonstrates a significant level of commitment to the organization. Detective Rugina Lunce was the recipient of this award in 2021.

Lunce is assigned to the Drugs Control and Special Investigations Unit and is a 21-year KSP veteran. In 2018 Lunce was appointed the agency’s national human trafficking coordinator. She is also president of the Kentucky Law Enforcement Human Trafficking Investigators Association.

Her commander says she is very dedicated to her job, often taking phone calls late at night, on weekends and on holidays to help victims of human trafficking.

“I cannot think of a more deserving person to be recognized for this honor,” said Captain Roger Short. “Detective Lunce is passionate about her work and has been instrumental in coordinating several high profile human trafficking investigations.”

One of these surveys received national recognition and was announced by the KSP in September. Operation United Front, a multi-state human smuggling operation conducted Aug. 26 by 29 agencies across Kentucky – saved 21 victims, including two minors, and resulted in 46 arrests. The 12-state human trafficking operation, led by the Missouri attorney general’s office and the Missouri Highway Patrol, would be the first such multi-state operation.

KSP’s mission is to promote public safety through service, integrity and professionalism using partnerships to prevent, reduce and deter crime and the fear of crime, improve road safety through education and enforcement , protect property and protect individual rights.

This year, the number one priority for KSP is to create a better Kentucky by making the streets of the Commonwealth safer, the communities stronger, and the nation safer by providing an exceptional law enforcement workforce. diverse. For more information on career opportunities with KSP, visit their website.

Last week, the governor announced plans to make historic investments to improve public safety in his next budget proposal. The governor’s two-year budget plan will provide millions of dollars to fund competitive salaries for Kentucky State Police soldiers, officers and carriers, provide recording devices for sworn KSP soldiers, and increase the training allowance for peace officers.


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