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The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) [Friday] was joined by the Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) as the department commissioned 95 men and women as the state’s newest Highway Patrol Troopers. PSC Commissioner Manny Flores was the keynote speaker during the Class B-2016 recruit graduation ceremony, which was held [Friday] in Austin. “It takes an extraordinary individual to make the momentous commitment to taking on the responsibilities of a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper,” said Commissioner Flores. “DPS and all Texans are deeply thankful of your service, and our state can rest easy knowing all of you will be serving on the frontlines.” The new troopers will report to duty stations across Texas in the coming weeks and spend the first six months in on-the-job training. “This is a proud moment for Class B-2016, and I want to congratulate each one of you,” said PSC Chair Cynthia Leon. “You have inspired us all with your accomplishments during the many months of rigorous training, and this is a day you will never forget – the day you became a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper.” The troopers began the 23-week DPS Training Academy in March. Instruction covered more than 100 subjects, including counterterrorism, traffic and criminal law, arrest and control procedures, crash reconstruction, first aid and Spanish. They also received training in use of force, communication skills, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, cultural diversity and physical fitness. The B-2016 class includes: 11 former peace officers, including a former trooper with the Virginia State Police and a former trooper with the Georgia State Patrol; 28 military veterans, including a retired Navy SEAL, who is the class’s oldest recruit at 52; the youngest recruit is 21; and the first-ever married couple in DPS history to start and complete a recruit school together.“The department is pleased to welcome 95 new Troopers to our ranks – their specialized law enforcement training will be indispensable in fulfilling our mission to protect and serve Texas,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS and the state of Texas appreciate their willingness to commit their lives and career to serving others.” In 2015, the Texas Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott authorized 250 additional Trooper positions to be permanently stationed in the border area (DPS Regions 3 and 4) by August 2017, as well as additional DPS recruit schools to help fill that need and address vacancies across the state. A total of 51 troopers from Class B-2016 will be stationed in Regions 3 and 4 as part of this initiative, bringing the total number of positions filled thus far to 203. By the end of 2016, all 250 positions will be filled. DPS is currently accepting applications for recruit classes scheduled for 2017. The next application deadline is Sept. 21 for the class beginning March 12, 2017. To apply or for more information about joining the Texas Department of Public Safety, visit www.joindps.com. In addition, DPS schedules recruiting events throughout the year.
It was a bittersweet moment for the widow of fallen New Jersey State Trooper Eli McCarson. She recently gave birth to their son. Local photographer Aleia Ward, of Aleia Monet Photography, captured a beautiful image of the new bundle of joy. She also photographed his widow, Jordan, in a maternity photo shoot. 30-year-old New Jersey State Trooper Trooper Eli McCarson was killed in December of 2015 while on duty when his vehicle went off the side of the road and struck an electric utility police.
Public safety officers kicked off their annual Sober or Slammer campaign on Tuesday and revealed the next phase of their new emoji campaign designed to reach drivers in a unique way. It's an Emoji public service announcement that will air on televisions throughout South Carolina. Troopers revealed the ad in connection with their sober or slammer efforts. If you haven't already seen the emojis, they appear on ice boxes, gas pumps, billboards, and box trucks. Sgt. Bob Beres, of the S.C. Highway Patrol, is the star of the promotional video released to highlight the dangers of drinking and driving as Labor Day approaches. "Trooper Emoji Bob, I think did a good job pushing this stuff out and getting a feel and knack for it - developed a following. We took it one step further and through social media, we created this commercial for a larger audience and across all platforms," said Col. Mike Oliver, of Highway Patrol. With the help of local law enforcement, increased enforcement on roadways will run through Sept. 5.
Fans attending high school football games across the state will once again be the focus of a special effort to raise awareness of the need to wear your seat belt every trip, every time. “Friday Night Lights” is designed to help reduce serious injury and fatality crashes involving teen drivers by providing them firsthand knowledge of what can happen when you don’t buckle up. Fans at select high school football games will have the opportunity to experience a ride in the NSP Seat Belt Convincer and/or view a presentation of the Rollover Simulator. “We all win when drivers and passengers buckle up,” said Colonel Brad Rice, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “Getting out among the community at events such as football games allows our troopers the opportunity to provide valuable safety information and encourage voluntary compliance with all traffic safety laws.” During breaks in football actions, troopers utilize T-shirt shooters to catapult shirts with a seat belt safety message to football fans. The shirts were purchased with the assistance of AAA Nebraska/Cornhusker Motor Club Foundation and the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety.
A young man who walks eight miles to and from work every day now has a more efficient form of transportation. A few weeks ago, South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers in the Sioux Falls area received a call about someone walking on Interstate 229, the department posted on its Facebook page. Sgt. Scott Swenson responded to the call and met a young man named Tanner who told Swenson he spends about an hour and a half every day walking to and from work. "I had a squad meeting a few days later and we came up with an idea of getting him some better transportation," Swenson said Saturday. The squad received a refurbished bike from the penitentiary and met up with Tanner again to give him the bike. On Aug. 16, the Sioux Falls B Squad gave the teen a new bicycle. This isn't the only time the department has given out bicycles. Bikes refurbished in the penitentiary are often given to kids at events, Swenson said. "This is a good example of what law enforcement does, not just in South Dakota but all over the country," Swenson said.
A Massachusetts State Trooper and his K-9 helped to save a man who had been attempting to commit suicide on Saturday afternoon. State Police say the man – whose identity has not been released – had called 911 in a state of distress and told the operator he was going to kill himself. Police subsequently ascertained that the man was in Myles Standish State Forest, and Troopers from the Bourne State Police barracks, as well as the Air Wing, Plymouth Police, and a number of other agencies were deployed to look for him. A State Trooper and his K-9 proceeded to track into the forest from the man's last known location, and within a short period of time they had found him hanging from a tree, police said. The man was quickly cut down and EMS personnel transported him to a nearby hospital. Police say the man is expected to survive, and called it a reminder that "a quick response can mean the difference between life and death." No further information has been released at this time.
Order your "2017 America's Best Looking Trooper Cruiser Calendar" now! Special discounted price for early ordering! Only $10. Delivery expected in late October, with plenty of time to give as gifts during the Holiday Season. 100% of the net proceeds over actual printing and mailing costs will be deposited in the AAST Foundation, which provides educational scholarships to dependent children of AAST Trooper Members. Click on the link in the upper right corner to place your order NOW! We are offering a special reduced price for those who order early. The price will be increased after the calendars are printed. Thank you all for your support of our contest, AAST and America's State Troopers!
Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, announces a partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to stop drunk drivers and help save lives. The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" will commence on August 19, 2016 and end on September 5, 2016. During this period, state and local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of driving drunk, coupled with increased troopers and officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our state's roads. According to NHSTA, on average, over 10,000 people died each year in drunk-driving crashes. In 2015, 15 lives were lost in the State of Rhode Island because of impaired drivers. "People need to understand that drunk driving is not only deadly, but it is illegal," said Colonel O'Donnell. "Drunk driving is a massive problem in the United States. Drivers need to pay attention to their own driving, but also to others on the road who could be driving drunk," he added. "It is your business. If you think you see a drunk driver, call 911 and let us know." During the enforcement period, there will be a special emphasis on drunk-driving enforcement. Local drivers should expect to see more marked as well as unmarked patrol vehicles and increased messaging about the dangers of drunk driving. "This is an unacceptable problem. Drunk driving is selfish and dangerous. We want to increase awareness with this campaign, but also see lasting results of decreased drunk driving," he said. "This is important to remember: do not trust yourself when you drink," said Colonel O'Donnell. "You may think you aren't drunk, but law enforcement will know you are. Law enforcement officers' skills in detecting and identifying drunk drivers have never been better. They will spot you and arrest you." The Rhode Island State Police ask all to please plan ahead before you go out and designate a sober driver or use an alternative transportation service. Whatever you do, do not drink and drive. This August, and every day, remember: there is never an excuse to drink and drive. If you choose to break the law, law enforcement will see you before you see them. "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over." Motorists are reminded that they can immediately report dangerous drivers or hazardous roadway conditions to the police by dialing 9-1-1 on their cellular phones.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have teamed up in the hope of preventing deaths due to blood loss. “Any time we have an active shooting situation, which seems to be occurring every day across the U.S., we go to the fight as they say,” said Lt. Jeff Gordon of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Troopers are often the first responders to scenes involving traumatic injury, such as gunshot or stab wounds. Of the 1,400 or so troopers in North Carolina, about 100 of them are certified EMTs. However, they are often without the equipment needed to help trauma victims. Doctors at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center recognized the issue, and began designing Individual Patrol Officer Kits, or IPOKs, with troopers in mind, even before the shooting incidents in Orlando and Dallas. “However, with those events happening, it gave us more credence and pushed us to make certain to be able to pull this project off,” said Physician Assistant Jeff Hinshaw of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The IPOKs contain a tourniquet, gloves, emergency trauma dressing, gauze and a vent compact chest seal. “These particular devices, the tourniquets, the chest seals and the gauze can make a huge difference when it comes to saving somebody’s life,” Hinshaw said. “The very first patient that I took care of who died from injuries died from the lack of a device like this,” added Dr. Wayne Meredith, also of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Two-hundred of the kits will be distributed amongst the troopers. One-hundred of the kits will be given to the troopers who are EMS trained, with the remainder to be used as replacements. Not only will the kits be used on civilians, but also the troopers themselves should they be injured. Troopers say that one law enforcement officer is killed every 61 hours in the United States. They added that two-thirds of the officers who die in the line of duty lose their lives due to a loss of blood.
Louisiana State Police have set up a hotline for people trying to get information on how to reclaim their cars that were towed after becoming stranded on I-12. Due to the recent severe weather and flooding in the state, numerous vehicles were left in the lanes of travel and on the shoulders of the interstate. Vehicle owners are asked to call the State Police hotline at 225-922-0444 or 225-922-0447. Drivers should be prepared with as much information about their vehicle as possible, such as their license plate number, vehicle description, etc. Those vehicles were removed in order to re-open the interstate. Additionally, vehicles that were were blocking lanes of travel were towed by many tow truck companies and safely stored. There will be no cost to drivers for the towing, according to Louisiana State Police. If drivers were charged for an I-12 tow, State Police advises that drivers keep as much documentation as possible and that the State Police Towing & Recovery section will work to resolve any issues.
In two years, Connecticut State Police Troopers, using the antidote Narcan, have saved the lives of 100 people who overdosed on opioids, announced Gov. Dannel Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman Monday. The milestone 100th save occurred Sunday morning in Woodbury. A state law enacted in 2014 gave civil and criminal liability protection to anybody who administers Narcan in good faith to an individual experiencing an overdose, and troopers have done a great job using the medication, Malloy said. “Connecticut’s state troopers are among the best in the nation, and this is proof positive that their dedication to the residents of this state is having a lasting impact,” said Gov. Malloy in a statement. “Training and equipping our state’s first responders was a common sense step in our efforts to combat the alarming, nationwide trend of heroin and prescription drug abuse. Not only are these frontline men and women saving lives, but their action is helping people begin the necessary path toward treatment and recovery, and I thank them for their service.” Added Lt. Gov. Wyman, “Giving first responders access to Narcan – and the training to use it – saves lives. This announcement makes clear just how important this strategy has been to our overall efforts to combat opioid abuse. But more importantly, it speaks to our commitment to protecting to public health and the residents who deal with addiction.” Local police departments throughout the state have also started equipping officers with Narcan, for which the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and other agencies provides training. “I am proud of our troopers. Their commitment to the safety and wellbeing of everyone who lives in Connecticut, including residents grappling with opioid addiction, is second to none,” said DESPP Commissioner Dora Schriro. “One hundred people who were in severe medical distress were given a second chance to address their addiction because of the actions of Connecticut State Troopers.”
Congratulations to the Georgia State Patrol, this year's winner of AAST's Best Looking Trooper Cruiser Contest. When all of the "likes' were counted at 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday, August 15, 2016, Georgia State Patrol had collected 18,174 likes, with West Virginia State Police close behind with 17,461.
This year's contest received more positive attention than any previous contest, including more than 153,000 votes cast for a favorite cruiser and over 13,000 post shares, reaching more than 1.75 million people with news of this contest.
We would like to extend warm thanks to all who participated and made this contest a success, from submitting the official agency photos to simply visiting our Facebook post and clicking "like". The many positive comments that came in for law enforcement officers over the contest's ten day period were wonderful and showed how much communities across America love and support their law enforcement officers.
We will soon begin working on our "2017 America's Best Looking Trooper Cruisers Calendar", using the photos of the 13 cruisers that received the most overall votes during the contest period (see list of top 13 cruisers below). Calendars will be available for purchase in October with delivery expected well ahead of the holiday season. These calendars make for a great and inexpensive holiday gift. 100% of the net proceeds of the calendar sales will be placed in AAST's Foundation, an IRS registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which provides scholarships to the dependent children of AAST member troopers. Since 1989, AAST has awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships to dependent children of troopers.
Top 13 Cruisers:
Georgia, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, Alabama, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Michigan
Officers from the Delaware State Police Mounted Patrol Unit have been spotted in recent weeks on horseback in the Alder Park Apartment complex and other areas around Rodney Village. Master Cpl. Alison Meadows said the area’s residents should not be concerned — the places the troopers patrol are usually chosen at random. He said the Mounted Patrol Unit serves a two-prong approach for Delaware State Police. “Alder Park and Rodney Village are among the many neighborhoods we like to visit,” Master Cpl. Meadows said. “It’s a two-pronged approached to getting involved within the community because we get the chance to have face-to-face policing and our presence in the community alone helps to be a deterrent to prevent crime from happening.” Chris Ott, property manager at Alder Park, said “it’s been great” that the horseback patrol has been hoofing it around the apartment complex and surrounding areas. She said the horses are “intriguing” and command respect from the community. “We love it. It’s a positive thing,” Ms. Ott said. “Not only is it intriguing for our residents and their children but it helps to create a great rapport between the officers and our residents here. It’s all a positive thing. “I hope they will continue making appearances in the future. It’s all been positive for our residents.” The increased police presence comes in the aftermath of several incidents at the Alder Park Apartments since June. But, according to Master Cpl. Meadows, the occurrences weren’t the impetus for the Mounted Patrol Unit’s presence. On June 11, police were called to the complex when a woman stabbed another female in the parking lot. On July 18, police responded to a murder/suicide that took place at the apartment’s complex. There was a reported armed robbery in the basement of one of the complex’s buildings on July 22 and just two days later, on July 24, a Delaware State trooper and a male suspect exchanged gunfire during a foot chase at the apartments. “We are not targeting any neighborhood,” said Master Cpl. Meadows, “It’s all a part of having proactive control.” The mounted patrol units have also patrolled areas in Capitol Park, the Dover Air Park and its surrounding areas and Meadowbrook Acres near Woodside. They routinely patrol commercial and residential areas in all three counties and help maintain order at large events such as the Firefly Music Festival and the Delaware State Fair. The State Police Mounted Patrol Unit includes six draft horses and seven officers who are under command of Ms. Meadows, a 20-year veteran of the state police and an accomplished equestrian. It was Master Cpl. Meadows who approached former state police superintendent Col. Robert M. Coupe in 2011 with the idea of putting troopers on horseback, much like they do in cities such as Philadelphia. She said horses can go into areas that police cars cannot and the officers are able to interact much easier with people atop their steeds. Master Cpl. Meadows said it has been a pleasure getting the chance to meet people she sees while on horseback. “They’ve been very complimentary about our presence,” she said, about the residents of Alder Park. “We’ve received face-to-face compliments and received written compliments that have gone through their appropriate channels. “All of the correspondence seems to be thankful for the extra police presence.”
West Virginia State Police will be on the lookout more often for drunken and impaired drivers. State Police say in a news release that grant money through a partnership with the Governor's Highway Safety Program will enable troopers to increase DUI patrols late this summer and in the early fall. The release says the increased patrols will be in the area of events such as high school and college athletic contests, and fairs and festivals. State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous says such events routinely result in a higher number of vehicles on the roadways.
A vehicle reported as stolen drove over the center line and went through a red light while trying to evade a Michigan State Police trooper, according to footage from the trooper's in-car camera. The video shows the moment the trooper used a bumping tactic known as a precision immobilization technique, or PIT maneuver, to stop the vehicle, ultimately sending it off the road. Police were called about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, to a report of subjects attempting to break into a vehicle in the 2800 block of Ontario Court in Howell Township in Livingston County, according to a press release from Michigan State Police. The subjects were reported to have left in a white vehicle, police said. A responding trooper witnessed a white vehicle leaving the area and attempted to pull it over, but it kept going. Police said the trooper pursued the vehicle for about two miles and the suspect vehicle attempted to enter westbound I-96 from Pinckney Road. There, the video footage shows the trooper struck the vehicle on its right rear side, causing it to go off the road and down into a grassy ditch. Police said the vehicle rolled over. Although the speed of the chase was not immediately available, Michigan State Police Sgt. Mike Foley said PIT maneuvers are only done at speeds less than 40 mph. Of the three men located in the car – a 20-year-old, 19-year-old and 18-year-old from Lansing – one suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to an area hospital. The other two suspects were lodged at the Livingston County Jail. The 2007 Mercury Milan had been reported stolen out of Lansing, police said.
"Your gift will further my education and allow me to follow in the footsteps of family members before me. My grandfather, Captain Joe F. Dixon (retired), served Florida Highway Patrol for 39 years and my dad, Major Jeffrey S. Dixon, has been on the patrol for the past 25 years. My family has been in FHP for several decades and someday I hope to join the ranks of the patrol and pursue a career in law enforcement.