Benton lieutenant first in state to receive prestigious FBI honor

Lt. Mike Treassitti of the Benton Police Department is the 2014 recipient of the Livio A. Beccaccio award from the FBI National Academy Associates in Quantico, Va.

He is the first Arkansan to be selected for the prestigious award.

According to Lt. Kevin Russell, public information officer for the Benton Police Department, "The Livio A. Beccaccio award is a living memorial presented to only one FBI National Academy graduate a year nationwide.

"It’s presented to a member who has demonstrated exemplary character through an act of heroism, outstanding community service, innovation in law enforcement, or leadership reflective of that by which FBI Special Agent Livio A. Beccaccio lived. "

Beccaccio served as chief of the National Academy Unit at the FBI Academy from 1987 to 1994. Prior to that, he was the chief of the physical training unit at Quantico and held multiple assignments since joining the FBI in 1968. He died Sept. 17, 1997, in a helicopter crash which took the lives of 12 members of the international peace mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Treasitti was nominated for the award and selected from a nationwide pool of nominees. He was selected due to an act of heroism involving a line-of-duty shooting that occurred on Interstate 30 in 2013 while trying to apprehend a fleeing felony suspect.

The chase began in Benton and continued along Alcoa Road and the south service road of Interstate 30.

The suspects fired upon Treassitti's cruiser while traveling at high speed on the service road before crossing the median onto the highway. The pursuit ended with the death of the suspect.