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Over the weekend Officer Alameda found a seal stranded on Highway 1 near Marina. Officer Alameda put the seal in his patrol vehicle and transported him to the Marine Mammal Center. During their initial contact Officer Alameda mistook the seals signs of affection and gratefulness as hostile bites. Officer Alameda and the seal made up and left each other on good terms.
A recent 911 call for service to the New Jersey State Police did not turn out to be the usual call for a disabled vehicle on the Garden State Parkway. On May 4, at 9:02 a.m., a call came into the Galloway State Police Station for a vehicle fire on the roadside at milemarker 61.2 in Eagleswood Township. Trooper Kimberly Snyder said she was the closest trooper in the area and rushed to the scene. When Snyder arrived she said she could see smoke billowing from the engine of a 2005 Nissan Frontier. “When I got there I found out he actually blew out his radiator and it was overheating,” said Snyder. She called for a tow truck and the driver John Lancellotti explained he was driving to take a final exam at Stockton University at 10 a.m. Lancellotti said his parents were working out of the area and couldn’t come to pick him up. It was then that Snyder said she made a decision to make sure Lancellotti arrived on time to take his final exam. Snyder, 35, said Stockton University is part of her patrol area, so she drove Lancellotti to the school. “He told me his father is retired from the job and he really appreciated that I did that for him. It was important for me to do it because he seemed like a good kid and he needed help to get there,” she said. “I felt bad he had to roll up in a troop car, but he made it on time. I was just doing my job,” said Snyder, an 11-year veteran of the State Police. A statement from the State Police this week said, that in a situation like this, a trooper is required to relay a stranded motorist to a safe area where the motorist can make arrangements for a ride home. But Snyder went above and beyond the call of duty, the release said. “Not too often do we come in contact with people on good terms. Usually they’re not happy, especially if we have to write them a ticket and it’s bad circumstances. It’s nice to do something under good circumstances,” Snyder said. A letter to State Police from Lancellotti’s parents said the ride from Snyder was a big deal to them and to their son. The letter said they were touched by Snyder’s professionalism and character and they were extremely grateful that she helped their son during a very stressful time.
Two Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Sciences students arrived in style at their prom Friday night. No, it wasn't a stretch limo or party bus. Rather, the two 17-year-old students, Edward Fengya and Reno D'Agostini, were escorted to the school's prom in a New Jersey State Police cruiser. That's because the car they were in, a 2003 Lincoln Town Car, became disabled after it crashed into a utility pole off the Garden State Parkway. Fengya had borrowed the car from his mother. And as the two headed to the prom, traveling southbound on the Parkway, the vehicle careened off the side of the highway and struck a utility pole shortly before 5:30 p.m., State Police said in a Facebook post. State Police Troopers Chris Jones and Charles Garrison responded to the crash. The two boys weren't injured but time was ticking away to the start of the prom. With little convincing, Fengya and D'Agostini hopped into Jones' State Police patrol cruiser, and off to the yacht club on Long Beach Island they went. When they arrived at the venue, Fengya and D'Agostini exited the patrol car and received a paparazzi-like welcoming from their fellow students. Jones walked up to the chaperon with the two students and said, "Hey, do these two belong to you?" according to the State Police post. After a handshake, Jones left and the two students enjoyed the prom. "We all hope that our children have good memories of their prom," State Police said. "We hope that they get there safe, and that they come home safe."
A Selfless Meal, and Conversation, for Two
We were shown this picture from a third-party who had not taken the photo, nor knew anything about it, other than they thought it was taken in Fall River. After a little digging, we were able to locate the citizen who had taken the photo. The citizen said the well-dressed Trooper in a suit appeared to be having lunch with a panhandler on Davol Street in Fall River. The citizen was struck by what he saw, snapped the photo, and posted it to a Facebook group in Fall River, captioned “And they say chivalry is dead…….Much respect.” We are grateful to that person, who thought to take the photo and share it.
After a little more digging, we found out the trooper is Luke Bonin, who is assigned to the State Police Dartmouth Barracks. After reaching out to Trooper Bonin, he was a bit surprised that someone had taken his photo, stating that he wasn’t seeking or expecting any publicity for it. But we pressed him, and he very reluctantly told us how he ended up sitting on his cruiser’s bumper that day sharing lunch with a stranger.
Trooper Bonin had just left court when he drove by the woman, who appeared down on her luck. She was holding a sign and asking for help from anyone who would pay attention. Trooper Bonin continued to drive on – directly to a local establishment, where he ordered two meals. He returned to the woman, pulled up, and exited his cruiser. Thinking he was there to remove her from the side of the road, she immediately stated to him that she would leave, that she knew she shouldn’t be there with her sign. But Trooper Bonin told her, “I’m not here to kick you out.” He then extended the two meals and told her to pick one.
They then sat, shared a meal, and a conversation.
Yes, Trooper Bonin, we know you do not want or expect publicity. We know you didn’t want to be noticed, but you were, and the job is proud of you. We commend you for your selfless act, and for “doing the right thing” for someone less fortunate than most people.
We have extraordinary troopers on the Massachusetts State Police who conduct themselves honorably, and perform selfless acts, every day. Most times, it goes unnoticed. But not this day.
Chet Bell with the Pennsylvania State Police Greensburg barracks says he would do it all over again. “I took an oath as a Pennsylvania State trooper to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth and it’s something everyday. I’m always working 24/7, it’s just second hand,” Bell said. Bell lives on Thornton Avenue in Hempfield Township, a few doors down from the home where the fire happened around 11:30 Saturday morning. He was eating lunch before his shift when he heard about the fire on the scanner, then jumped into action. “I had a fire extinguisher with me and I knocked down the fire until the fire department could get there and put some water on it,” Bell said. When he got inside, he found a woman in her 80s in a wheelchair in the kitchen. “When I kicked in the door, the smoke was banked down five to six feet off the ceiling and I could hear fire in house and just yelled to see where she was in the kitchen,” Bell said. Bell managed to pull her out the back door. It’s unclear if a toaster sparked the fire or something the woman sat next to it. “It was a situation that could have been out of control in seconds and fortunately I was in the right place at the right time,” Bell said. Volunteer firefighters with Hempfield Towship were there within minutes after Bell. “Once the fire started, you have minutes to get out of the room. It fills up with smoke rather fast especially a source of oxygen,” Fire Chief with Hempfield VFD No. 2 Tom Kline said. Fortunately, the woman was okay when paramedics checked her over, and so was her cat. “She’s very lucky Chet was there within seconds to get her out,” Kline said. “It’s just nice being able to help someone out when they need help that’s all. Especially in your own neighborhood,” Bell said. The fire chief says the woman is staying with family members until an electrical inspection is done and her kitchen is remodeled.
A 3-year-old girl who was bullied for dressing up as a Massachusetts State Police officer at school got some support from state troopers who wanted her to know that she can be anything she wants, including a police officer. When Cosette dressed up as a “Massachusetts Police K-9 Girl” for her library group’s gathering, some of her classmates singled her out for “not being as cool as them,” according to a State Police Facebook post. Many of the other girls were dressed as Disney princesses, police said. Cosette was clad in all black with a “Police” shirt and a Massachusetts State Police hat, and was holding a fluffy stuffed dog. The girl was heartbroken, police said. So two troopers made a special trip to the school to teach the class that girls can be whatever they want. Cosette’s classmates were receptive, police said. “Long discussions about Ninja Turtles, Captain America and their important craft projects followed,” the post said.
A Gloucester 6-year-old had an idea and he is running with it — literally. Braxton Lee says the news of State Trooper Chad Dermyer’s death hit his heart so hard, that he’s hoping to run more than 27 miles to raise donations for the fallen Trooper’s family. Lee plans to run nine 5K races for Trooper Dermyer, 37, who was fatally shot in March at a Richmond bus station during a VSP training exercise. He leaves behind a wife and two kids in Gloucester County. Lee wrote a letter to the Virginia State Police asking if he could donate money to the family of the fallen Trooper. They said, “OK.” “I will run a marathon for his family,” said Lee. “I feel very sad for them.” Some could call him a pocket-sized runner. He stands ‘tall’ at 3 foot 5 inches and he weighs 45 pounds. However, Braxton is a first grader who has crossed more finish lines than many adults. “I’m running for someone who got shot,” said Lee. “I think that nobody shouldn’t have done that. I’ve seen pictures of him.” He says the photos are pictures of a hero. Trooper Chad Dermyer is a man who Lee has never met, but amazingly enough, he’s a stranger who is pushing him to go the extra mile… or 27 miles. Lee is going the distance to make sure the Dermyer family gets the happiness he says they deserve. “Somebody shot a policeman and his kids probably miss him. I think that wasn’t very nice,” said Lee. Lee already has a few medals under his belt, but the medals are not what he is after in all of this. He says the family of Trooper Dermyer is the sole thing that is pushing him toward more finish lines. “I am running in honor and memory of trooper Chad Dermyer,” said Lee. “I think they are very sad right now [and] I think he should still be there for his family.” His mother, Mary Anne Lee, says she is proud of her son. “What’s driving him is that he couldn’t imagine being without his father and he can’t imagine what these kids are going through and that’s what is really motivating him,” said Lee. Lee came about the idea when he was eating at Chik-fil-A with his family. His mother says he saw a donation jar for Trooper Dermyer’s family, asked about it and from that moment on, he decided he was going to donate money in his honor. Lee may have little sneakers, size 12 to be precise, but he has a big goal in mind and he is determined. In a letter to Virginia State Police he writes: “I will run in his memory. Please donate money for his family. Love, Braxton Lee. Six-years-old.” Donations can be sent to: VSPA Emergency Relief Fund, 6944 Forest Hill Ave., Richmond, VA 23225. Write: Trooper Dermyer in the memo line.
A pair of Massachusetts State Police troopers rescued a baby deer that was attempting to cross a Shelburne highway. Sgt. Brian Gladu and Trooper Sean LeBlanc found the fawn struggling to cross Route 2 on Wednesday morning. “The animal appeared injured, or might have just been having trouble adjusting to its new legs, as it appeared to be only a few weeks old,” State Police said in a. The troopers placed the fawn in their cruiser while they consulted with a local veterinarian. After providing the animal with some food, troopers released it into a safe area nearby.
Congratulations to the Florida Highway Patrol Honor Guard for placing first among state law enforcement agencies and second overall in the nation at the recent National Honor Guard Competition in Washington D.C.! Additionally, they were one of only two teams invited to attend a special ceremony at the Pentagon transporting the United States Honor Flag.
The members of the team worked diligently to prepare for this special event and came through in GREAT fashion. More importantly, they represented the Florida Highway Patrol in a truly professional manner to honor the sacrifices of our fallen troopers and law enforcement officers nationwide.
Thanks for the commitment to excellence!
Team members pictured are:
Trooper Matthew Williams
Trooper Justin Young
Corporal Nathaniel Russell
Sergeant Luis Tejera
Sergeant Dennis Hobbs
Trooper Vanessa Franceschi
Trooper Michael Elder
Trooper Norma Guifarro
Sergeant Jewrel Wigfall
A Bluefield High School graduate whose long-time dream was to become a trooper was recently awarded one of the highest honors from the West Virginia State Police. Trooper D.R. Murray was honored with the prestigious Superinten-dent’s Award at a May event in South Charleston. Murray was presented the award for his numerous arrests and investigations while with the Welch detachment of the West Virginia State Police. During 2015, Murray completed 137 criminal investigations, made 80 felony and 140 misdemeanor arrests, confiscated $2,379,068 worth of illegal drugs and recovered $23,403 in stolen property, according to Welch detachment commander Sgt. C.F. Kane. Murray was also the lead investigator on a high-profile double murder in the Litwar area. “The perpetrator shot them and burned their bodies,” Murray said, recalling the case. “It was a who-done-it murder.” Within 38 hours of the initial call of the double homicide, Murray developed two suspects and interviewed each, Kane said. “One suspect confessed to being the shooter and killing both victims and the other suspect confessed to being present at the time of the shooting. Each suspect was charged with first-degree murder.” Murray credited his fellow troopers for their hard work on the double homicide. “Everybody at the Welch detachment worked wonders on that case,” he said. He also acknowledged the Welch troopers for their role in his achievement of the Superintendent’s Award, and spoke of the tight camaraderie at the McDowell detachment. “I would not have been able to get this if not for them,” Murray said. “This is not only my hard work, but their hard work. They’re legitimately why I got this award. They deserve it just as much as anybody does.” Detachment commander Kane said it was “a pleasure” having Murray work under his command. “He’s a well-rounded trooper,” Kane said. “The state of West Virginian and its citizens are lucky to have a man of this caliber in uniform.” Murray previously worked with the Bluefield and Princeton police departments, and served 10 years with the National Guard. He was deployed to Iraq from 2009 to 2010. However, serving as a West Virginia State Police trooper has always been his life-long goal. While a junior in high school, Murray was assigned to write a letter to his then-teacher, Kim Miller, wife of State Police Princeton detachment commander Sgt. Doug Miller, about his career aspirations. Kim Miller kept the 2004 letter, and shared it with the Daily Telegraph. “The thing that influenced me was the time that Trooper Doug (Miller) came to school and I went with him to his State Trooper car ...,” Murray wrote. “This is when I knew I wanted to be a State Trooper. This is what I am going to be, and this is what I want to be. Thank you.” In honor of receiving the Superintendent’s Award, Murray was presented with a 2016 Ford Explorer cruiser and a plaque that reads, “In recognition for positively representing the ideals of the Department by consistently performing their duties with outstanding skill, diligence, productivity, judgment and responsibility.” The State Police Welch detachment has a long history of award winners. Commander Kane is the only two time Medal of Valor honoree in the state. He earned the awards for an attempted rescue of a man in the Guyandotte River and the rescue of individuals during a fire at the Tyson Towers apartments. Sgt. J.S. McCarty was also awarded a Medal of Valor for his actions during the Tyson Towers fire. Trooper J.R. Coburn, also of the Welch detachment, earned a Medal of Valor for his actions in stopping a subject who was preparing to shoot a law enforcement officer in Mercer County. Murray, who was assigned to the Welch detachment upon his completion of the State Police Academy in 2014, has recently been reassigned to the State Police Monroe County detachment at Union.
Trooper First Class Brandon Bennett, a seven year veteran Arkansas State Trooper, assigned to Highway Patrol Division Troop C (Mississippi County), has been awarded the department’s Trooper of the Year (2015). The award was presented today by Governor Asa Hutchinson and Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, during the Annual Arkansas State Police Awards Luncheon. TFC. Bennett was also awarded the Arkansas State Police Medal of Valor. The honors were awarded for Bennett’s role in the July 1, 2015 apprehension of two Missouri fugitives who had shot a store clerk during a robbery. The arrests followed a pursuit that began near the Missouri – Arkansas border. The gunmen had already shot at a Mississippi County deputy and TFC. Bennett before the driver of the robbery getaway car lost control and crashed in a Blytheville neighborhood. Both fugitives fled the area on foot. TFC. Bennett left his patrol car to assist in the search and encountered one suspect hiding in thick brush. TFC. Bennett was met with resistance from the suspect who struggled to break-away from the trooper. The suspect was handcuffed by TFC. Bennett and turned-over to local authorities
That’s what the family of Becky Crawford of Belton on Wednesday expressed to Missouri Highway Patrol trooper Jim Thuss, who had pulled her from her burning car in early February. “I owe my life to Trooper Thuss,” Crawford said. “The car was literally engulfed in flames within seconds. If he hadn’t been there to pull me out, I wouldn’t be here today.” Crawford was severely injured in the crash, suffering a broken pelvis and arm as well as two fractures in her spine. Crawford’s family presented Thuss with a plaque at the Missouri Highway Patrol’s Troop A headquarters in Lee’s Summit. They also gave him a large thank-you card in which each family member had written a personal message. “It’s extremely humbling,” Thuss said. “We don’t do this for recognition like that. I’m grateful for them and absolutely thrilled that Becky has recovered as she has.” The crash happened the morning of Feb. 2 and was caught on the dashboard camera of Thuss’ patrol car. Thuss was on Route D just north of Missouri 58 near Belton when he saw a 2002 Cadillac DeVille traveling 68 mph in a 50 mph zone. As he turned around to pull the car over, he checked the car’s speed at 101. The Cadillac, using the turn lane, passed other traffic that had stopped for a red light at the intersection of Missouri 58. The car ran a red light and smashed into Crawford’s car. There was an instant fireball followed by a plume of smoke. Fire started to grow along the driver’s side of Crawford’s car. Thuss ran to the passenger side, climbed inside and pulled her out. An off-duty Johnson County deputy sheriff helped him carry Crawford up a hill and away from the car. The driver of the Cadillac fled from the scene, but Belton police arrested him a short time later. Thuss shies away from being called a hero. He pointed to a wall of pictures of troopers killed in the line of duty. He also mentioned the fatal shooting of Kansas City, Kan., police Detective Brad Lancaster earlier this week. “Those are the true heroes out there,” Thuss said. “I was out doing my job, and that is what occurred that day.” Crawford disagrees and said he’s an amazing person. “He may think he’s just doing his job, but he does way more than that,” she said. “He’s just a very caring person.” At the hospital, Thuss had told her that he wouldn’t have let her burn. “I think about that and it chokes me up because I just can’t believe he would do that for me,” she said. She believes her rescue was definitely a miracle. Crawford’s husband, Ron, said they felt getting together to honor Thuss seemed fitting. “We have our wife, our daughter, our sister, our mother because of what he did,” he said.
Police dogs are great at sniffing out hidden drugs -- and as more crime goes digital, state police in Connecticut are training canines to sniff out evidence on computers and cell phones. Somewhere stashed behind a long wooden wall, in a dark gymnasium packed with old suitcases, is a hidden computer memory card. It's the kind of tiny chip you'd slip into a cell phone or a digital camera. Selma, a trim black lab with a nose trained to sniff out technology, is determined to find it. She can find things like hard drives, "cell phones, mobile devices -- such as tablets -- and, more importantly, devices such as USB drives or SD cards," said her handler, Detective George Jupin with the Connecticut State Police Computer Crimes Unit. After picking up the scent, Selma zips over to one corner of the gym, and puts her paws up on the wall to indicate she's found the stashed memory card. Jupin said Selma goes out about twice a week to execute search warrants. One time he said police already searched a house, but when they brought in Selma, she hit on a drawer human officers overlooked. Shoved in the back was a digital camera -- and it was filled with pictures indicating a child pornography suspect was doing more than just looking. "You don't have enough time to look at everything, but with the canine, it definitely makes you feel that you've done a more thorough investigation," Jupin said. "Getting into all those nooks and crannies of a house, particularly when the houses are large -- or they're packed with a lot of stuff. It's helpful." Selma was Connecticut's first E-Dog. Since then, state police taught six other Labradors to find hidden hardware. Those dogs are serving at police departments across the country and at the FBI. Trooper First Class Michael Real trains the dogs. Originally, he said they were bred to assist the blind, but didn't make it in guide-dog school, in part, because of high energy and an obsession with food -- bad traits for a seeing-eye dog -- but ideal for a canine in training. "We take these dogs particularly because they have great food drive -- and that’s how they eat every day from the time we get 'em," Real said. "It’s odor equates to food." Selma gets her dinner when she finds a chemical compound surrounding the memory boards of all cell phones and computers. It's put there to help keep the hardware cool. Real said it took about a year to train Selma to find the compound on actual hardware. Now, she can find hidden DVDs and Blu Ray discs, too. Real said the E-Dogs are even alerting to vintage tech -- like stashed-away floppy discs or VHS tapes. "They constantly amaze you with their ability to identify something similar to what they've been trained on," Real said. "It kind of leads us down the path of other things we should be training them on." Detective George Jupin said he's already getting calls for Selma to assist in homicide and fraud investigations. And while bomb-sniffing dogs are already a thing -- Jupin said the next step for Selma might be bomb reconstruction -- using her nose at a blast site to sniff out the scattered components of a computerized detonator.
Aryn McCormick wore her late fiancé's sweatshirt, the baggy black one with "Irish Lacrosse" embossed on the front."Mine doesn't fit anymore," said McCormick, who is expecting her second child in August. Her older son, Seamus, will turn 1 on May 18. He was front and center Wednesday, wearing his green sweat jacket with the Fighting Irish logo, smiling at everybody who caught his eye. "Sad and happy," Camden Catholic senior goalie Khaia Baranowski said in summation of a special afternoon at Shamrock Field, when the Irish girls' lacrosse team welcomed back their former assistant coach and honored a loyal supporter of the program who made the ultimate sacrifice. Camden Catholic's 11-6 victory over Cherry Hill East on a cool, overcast day was dedicated to New Jersey state trooper Sean Cullen, who was killed in a traffic accident in West Deptford while on duty on March 8. Baranowski and other seniors presented McCormick with some tokens of their affection and appreciation during a pregame ceremony - a pair of miniature lacrosse sticks, a Camden Catholic bear and bib, flowers and letters from assistant coach Kathleen Notos' second-grade class. "There's some jokes in there," Camden Catholic head coach Bridget Sipera said of the letters. "Just really precious stuff." Players from both teams wore blue ribbons in their hair in honor of Cullen, and some Camden Catholic players had blue-and-gold shoelaces as well. A large sign that read "In Honor of Trooper Sean Cullen" hung beneath the windows of the press box, and all proceeds from the snack stand and sale of Camden Catholic gear were to be donated to the family. "This is a family that means so much to Camden Catholic," Sipera said. "This is something our seniors wanted to do. They came to me and asked if we could do something like this, and we ran with it." McCormick and Sipera played lacrosse together at Camden Catholic. Both were in the Class of 2002. McCormick was Sipera's assistant coach for four years, through 2013. She coached the current seniors as freshmen. "This is the reason why we love Camden Catholic," McCormick said. "This is the reason why we always come back - the tradition, the support." McCormick said she has been "overwhelmed" by the outpouring of support since Cullen's death. "It's been over the top," said McCormick, who lives in Cinnaminson in a home she shared with Cullen. "It's been amazing." McCormick said Cullen was "so supportive" of Camden Catholic girls' lacrosse program as well as a big fan of the Irish wrestling team. Cullen, a star wrestler at Cinnaminson High School and Lycoming College, served as an assistant coach for Camden Catholic's wrestling team for one year under then-head coach Ryan McCormick, Aryn's brother. "That's how we met," Aryn McCormick said. "Sean wrestled against my brother. We went out one night and he introduced us." Baranowski, who made five saves as Camden Catholic improved its record to 11-3, has a special relationship with McCormick. McCormick said Baranowski was the first "nonfamily member" to babysit Seamus. That was in February, about a month before Cullen's death. "I was excited, but I basically just watched the dog," Baranowski said. "[Seamus] slept the whole time." Baranowski said the game carried extra significance for the team. "We're so happy they're here," Baranowski said. "But at the same time, we're so sad that we lost a loved one."