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When Missouri State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer read a News-Press NOW article about St. Joseph police officers receiving awards for their heroism, he knew he had to take the recognition to the next level.

Luetkemeyer sponsored three resolutions on the Senate floor in Jefferson City, each of which were adopted.

“I picked up the paper one morning and I thought about how often we see negative stories in the national media about law enforcement,” Luetkemeyer said. “And so when I see stories like that, I want to recognize it.”

The resolutions honor officers Dillon Powell, Lucas Winder and Craig Smith individually.

“Now, therefore, be it resolved that we, the members of the Missouri Senate, One Hundredth General Assembly, extend our most hearty congratulations to Officer Powell at this proud moment of well deserved distinction,” one resolution reads.

Powell and Winder originally were honored by the St. Joseph Police Department in October for saving a man from a burning trailer home.

“Officer Winder and I gained access through a window and carried him out of the burning building,” Powell said in a previous interview.

Smith was honored by the department in October after he and his trainee, Officer Brittany Tunks, responded to what appeared to be an overdose.

“We had just gotten issued our Narcan, so I administered that,” Smith said previously. “By the time the fire department got there, he was waking up.”

Luetkemeyer invited the officers and Police Chief Chris Connally to visit the capitol once the next legislative session begins on Jan. 9.

In order to attempt to cut down on vehicle thefts, Luetkemeyer said he plans to back a carjacking bill that will be introduced by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

“This is an issue that’s a problem in St. Louis, a problem in St. Joseph and it’s an epidemic across the state,” Luetkemeyer said. “So that’s something I’m committed to looking into this session.”

Matt Hoffmann can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @NpNowHoffmann.

This article originally ran on

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