In a ceremony on the Warren County Courthouse steps Monday morning, Deputy Dustin Keyes and Officer Matt Barnes brought their K-9 charges to receive their awards for being the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and City of Vicksburg’s “Top Cops” for this year.
Keyes, a Vicksburg native, is a graduate of St. Aloysius and the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy. He has been a deputy under Sheriff Martin Pace in the Warren County Sheriff’s Office for 6 years, and is the handler for K-9 officer Heidi. Keyes is married with three children.
“Deputy Keyes was nominated as the Warren County Sheriff’s Office ‘Top Cop’ for some outstanding police work several months ago” Pace said. “He had learned of a broadcast of two individuals that were wanted for armed robbery in the Brandon area. They has also committed armed robberies in the state of Alabama. Deputy Keyes spotted the vehicle on the interstate and attempted to stop the vehicle. The subjects jumped out on foot, one of them fired at Deputy Keyes with a handgun. They then carjacked a vehicle with two victims in it. This led to a lengthy pursuit that several agencies were involved in throughout the city and county. They were finally taken into custody in the Kings Community. It was determined then they had also committed a homicide in another state.”
“They are currently convicted on multiple felony charges in the Federal Court system,” Pace added. “They have state felony charges pending in several other jurisdictions.”
“No one was injured, the hostages were recovered and the suspects are now in the penitentiary” declared Pace.
The Vicksburg Daily News asked Top Cop Keyes what was going through his mind the night he was being shot at by desperate fugitives: “Make it home” he said pensively.
Officer Matt Barnes attended Warren Central High School, Hinds Community College and then served in the U.S. Army. He is engaged to Samantha Ranier, who is also a public servant. Barnes has been with the Vicksburg Police Department for four years, and for the past nine months has served as a K-9 patrol officer with Nadia. He is also a graduate of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy.
“Matt Barnes is a hard worker. Even before he got to K-9 he was out making numerous drug arrests” said Vicksburg Police Chief Milton Moore. “I told Chief (Bobby) Stewart I wanted Barnes on K-9 because of his hard, hard work. Since he has gotten K-9, his drug arrests have greatly, greatly improved. He’s a benefit to the department, to the city as a whole. Very reliable, very dependable, and I am so proud of him.”
“Never thought I’d do something like this” said Top Cop Barnes. “It’s an honor to get this award”
Chris Satcher, an investigator with the 9th Judicial District, was on hand to present the award on behalf of Crime Stoppers. Along with “Top Cop” trophies, he presented Keyes and Barnes with certificates and gift cards.
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