Sergeant responds to shots-fired call, just the beginning of his tireless efforts

By Tammy Keith Originally Published November 29, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated November 28, 2012 at 11:54 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: Rusty Hubbard

Sgt. Kenneth Poore with the Yell County Sheriff’s Department was named Officer of the Year for the 2nd Congressional District.

— Deputy Kenneth Poore of the Yell County Sheriff’s Department said he was just doing his job when he made an arrest during a domestic call, but his superiors thought he went above and beyond his duty.

Sgt. Poore, 47, of Dardanelle was named 2012 Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for the 2nd Congressional District in Arkansas. The award is sponsored by the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office.

Poore said he had been fighting a fire last summer in Ola with other officers, all of whom were working double shifts to try to get the blaze under control.

He left about 10 p.m. and went home to Dardanelle, and about 1 a.m., he was called out for an emergency.

“They finally relieved me to go home; then we had a Code 1 disturbance — subject with a gun. Shots had already been fired in the house,” Poore said.

It was a situation between Salvador Sanchez and his wife, who lived between Dardanelle and Centerville, Poore said. There were children in the house as well, he said.

When Poore pulled up, he parked at the corner of the property to wait on a backup unit.

“Well, apparently, he was there waiting on us to arrive,” Poore said of the suspect.

“I realized I forgot my flashlight, and I was going to hang out around a big bush, and I heard someone walking around the other side of the bush,” Poore said.

“I could see through the bush. I could see his silhouette, and I could tell he had a gun — he had it up to his shoulder.”

Sanchez was looking at the vehicle, trying to locate the officer, Poore said.

“When he lowered the gun down, I stepped out from around the bush and had to order him several times to put the gun down,” Poore said.

“He turned around and started walking off. I asked him to put the gun down, … and he took them and threw them.”

Poore thought the suspect had more weapons, but it turned out that Sanchez had a single-shot shotgun and shotgun shells in his hand “for a quick reload.”

“I held him at gunpoint till other officers arrived,” Poore said.

Poore said he didn’t have time to be afraid, and he maintained that he didn’t do anything special.

“I was doing my job,” he said.

Shots had been fired inside and outside the home, Poore said.

Sanchez, 30, was arrested on several charges and

received a six-year sentence with two years sus-

pended. Poore said Monday that Sanchez is in the Yell County Jail.

Poore said he was surprised by the honor when the sheriff called him this fall to tell him he’d received the Officer of the Year Award.

“He said, ‘Job well done.’ I said, ‘For what?’” Poore recalled.

Capt. John Foster, who nominated Poore, said it was more than one incident that led to the honor.

“That, of course, kind of sparked it, but he’s been a good officer for us and a good investigator,” Foster said. “He’s one of the hardest-working guys we’ve got. He’s one of those guys, if you give him a case to work on, no matter how big or small it is, he’s going to do everything he can to solve it.

“That incident — it just happened in the middle of while everybody was out working that big fire in Ola. It was one of those deals; it’s not so much about Kenny Poore. ... All the officers, and especially the firefighters, too, had been doing a tremendous job and were all just exhausted. I thought that [Sanchez arrest] stood out as an example of real quality police work. I know he was exhausted, and he made good decisions.”

Poore and six other Arkansas officers were honored at a ceremony in October at the annual Law Enforcement Summit sponsored by the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel presented Poore with a plaque, engraved, in part, “for your exemplary commitment and courageous service to your community.”

Poore said he has lived in Dardanelle since his family moved there from Iowa when he was about 8 years old.

He worked at ConAgra in Russellville and joined the Yell County Sheriff’s Department Auxiliary in 2001. He became a part-time employee in 2004 and a full-time deputy in 2006. The sheriff’s department is split between the two county seats — Danville and Dardanelle.

“I sort of fell into it. It was something I was always wanting to do,” Poore said of his career.

He said he plans to stay with the sheriff’s department until he retires.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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