Patrolman William Fosko of the Conway Police Department has been named Arkansas’ 2009 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Fosko, who turns 39 today, was selected by a panel of police chiefs and sheriffs appointed by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel for the valor shown in the moments after patrolman Matt Kimery was shot in the upper chest on March 17 outside a home off Farris Road.

The shooter presented too great a threat for a MEMS ambulance crew to get to the wounded officer and so Fosko, putting himself in an exposed position quite literally in the line of fire as the shooter continued to fire from inside a residence, performed first aid to stop the bleeding and carried Kimery to safety. Kimery was treated for injuries including fractured bones and a punctured lung. He returned to duty three months later.

Fosko said on Tuesday that he was honored, but that on that night he was doing only his sworn duty and "what I’d expect anyone to do for me."

The man who is alleged to have fired the shot, 28-year-old Harley Deny Inthisone of Danville, was arrested later at the scene by Metro S.W.A.T. and is being held without bond awaiting trail for attempted capital murder.

McDaniel presented Fosko with the award at the 7th annual Law Enforcement Summit at the State Capitol, saying later that he was "proud to have the chance to meet and honor this Arkansas hero. 

"He risked his own life to drag a wounded brother officer out of the line of fire," McDaniel continued. "He is a great example of courage and sacrifice." 

Fosko was nominated for the award by Conway Chief of Police A. J. Gary and Major Joe Taylor.

(Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached at 505-1238 or by E-mail at joe.lamb@thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)