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A new study states firearms fatalities against law enforcement jumped in the past year (Sinclair Broadcast Group)
At the National Police Officers Memorial in Washington DC, the wreaths keep arriving. “Unfortunately we are the only memorial here in the United States in our nation’s capital that has to add new names to that memorial each and every year,” said Craig Floyd, President & CEO National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. For Officer Brian McWilliams, with the Indianapolis Sheriff’s Department, it was a trip he hoped he wouldn’t have to make. “Got a few friends that I worked side by side with that passed away over the last few years,” said McWilliams who was visiting the memorial with his 8-year-old son, Brian Jr. He says his job has gotten much more difficult in the last two years and now every call that comes poses a risk. “You might go on the same call multiple times a day but you’re dealing with different personalities, different ethnic groups,” he said. Floyd echoed his sentiments. “Every assignment is potentially life-threatening and that could be the most mundane traffic stop that officers do over and over in their career,” he said. As of July 18, 2016, firearms fatalities for law enforcement officers had jumped 72 percent from the previous year – with 18 in 2015 and 31 in 2016, which includes the five officers targeted and killed in Dallas, TX on July 7 and the three in Baton Rouge, LA on July 17. Barbara Anne Cady, visiting the memorial from Mississippi, said there seems to be a new reality. “People just don’t feel safe, the people on the job or the public,” Cady said.
It's the fourth day of protests and heavy security in Cleveland, during the 2016 Republican National Convention, but police have been playful when they're not protecting the public. As temperatures spiked into the 90s, a handful of Indiana state troopers challenged crowds to friendly games of ping pong next to REBoL, a cafe in Cleveland's Public Square. Troopers and citizens took turns playing, though no winner was named. It was a sweet moment of comradery in a week full of heated protests and arrests in the city. Gabe Niardi of Columbus, Ohio played several rounds with one trooper, before walking off, grinning, "That was cool, man."The same Indiana troopers stopped to play Pokemon GO with a syracuse.com reporter earlier this week. This week is the first time Trooper Curtis Jones has visited Cleveland, and he said it's been a great experience. "Coming here, we were expecting the worst and hoping for the best," said Jones, of Indiana. "Everything's turned out far better than we could have imagined. Everybody in Cleveland has been kind. "All week, Curtis said citizens have been thanking him and his colleagues, and asking to take photographs with them. The Indiana state troopers are just one of the many out-of-state groups, called in to back up the Cleveland Police Department. The city prepared heavily for this week, if protests grew into dangerous riots. As part of its security plan, Cleveland organized a massive police force of 5,000 officers, recruiting from surrounding suburbs and nearby states to bolster its existing force of about 1,200. Cleveland.com reported the city intended to buy 2,000 sets of riot gear, including riot-control suits and collapsible batons. Cleveland received $50 million in federal money to pay for security during the RNC. Mayor Frank Jackson's administration planned to spend roughly $30 million of the grant on personnel and $20 million on equipment.
As the nation continues to be in turmoil over a series of attacks on law enforcement officers, several agencies in Oklahoma are thanking citizens for their support. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol posted a note that was left on a trooper’s door when he got home. “For my neighbor, while peering out my window, I saw my neighbor passing by. I felt compelled to stop and pray and let me tell you why. You see… he wears a uniform, a target he is now. God protect him from the evil, bring him home tonight somehow. His family needs and loves him, and his dog he does the same. As do his friends and neighbors who call him by his name.So Lord, protect him while he serves, keeping harm from everyone, bring him safely home again to rest when day is done,” the note read.
The Nevada Highway Patrol released dash cam video of one of their troopers saving a woman’s life on a busy highway. It happened last month on Interstate 15, KNSV reported. Trooper Dave Becker was on patrol when he heard the call for a pedestrian on the highway. He saw a woman wearing nothing but a bikini on the left side of the busy roadway. The trooper got out of the car and tried to reason with her. But she took off running across the highway and he went after her. The video shows him pulling her from under a large red vehicle at the very last moment. “Even my sergeant asked me “why’d you go after her?” My job’s to keep her safe, she took off I took off, its what we do,” he told KNSV. The woman was taken to a hospital. The trooper went back to work.
Trooper Jeremy Barr, a 12-year veteran of the Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division, has been recognized nationally for his lifesaving actions. The American Association of State Troopers recognized Barr’s heroic actions by naming him the 2016 national Trooper of the Year for risking his life and preventing injury to innocent citizens traveling the Arizona roadways. Barr was presented the award on Monday, July 11, 2016, at a ceremony held during the 2016 National Law Enforcement Police Exploring Conference, Northern Arizona University Skydome, Flagstaff, Arizona. On August 22, 2015, during the early morning heavy traffic period Trooper Barr responded to the call of a wrong-way-vehicle north of Phoenix on Interstate 17 at milepost 244. The call indicated a vehicle was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of the two lane roadway at approximately 70 miles per hour. Interstate 17 at milepost 255 is located in a mountainous region between Phoenix and Flagstaff and there are only two lanes dedicated for southbound traffic. Due to the geographical location, the section of road has a blind curve with a rock berm bordering its western side, and a rock ledge bordering on the east side. The combined factors allow little room for maneuvering and avoiding hazards. As Trooper Barr approached milepost 255, he observed the wrong-way vehicle, a Ford F-150 pickup truck, still traveling northbound in the southbound lanes. Without hesitating, Trooper Barr continued toward the wrong-way driver with his lights and siren activated, knowingly placing himself between an active lethal threat and innocent motorists. Although his fully marked police vehicle was illuminated, the wrong-way driver continued to approach Trooper Barr. As the wrong-way vehicle came head-on toward him, Trooper Barr skillfully drove the left front corner of his Chevrolet Tahoe into the pickup trucks left front corner. The resulting impact effectively crippled both vehicles, and the velocity of the impact successfully pushed the truck into the rock ledge. Trooper Barr’s heroic actions came with a personal cost. He suffered extensive injuries including seven herniated discs in his back, fractured vertebrae, a broken neck, injuries to his shoulder and kidney. Trooper Barr’s injuries are so severe, he has not yet been able to return to active duty. Trooper Barr has not only loyally served the citizens of Arizona as a State Trooper, but also served with the Phoenix Police Department, and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Trooper Jeremy Barr risked his life to prevent injury or death to innocent citizens traveling on the Arizona roadway. For this reason, it is an honor of AAST to recognize him as the 2016 Trooper of the Year from a pool of nominations from across the country.
A local state trooper is getting praise for going above the call of duty, leading to a viral post on Facebook. The post hasn’t even been on Facebook for a day and already has been shared more than 1,400 times. According to the post, the woman pictured travels monthly to New York for cancer treatments. On a recent trip back home, her car broke down near Wilmington, which is when Tpr. Jon Gurganus saved the night. Gurganus fixed the woman’s water pump and followed her 20 miles to make sure she was okay. He said it just worked out that he knew how to help with what she needed. “I haven’t done anything to deserve any more than any other law enforcement officer in this state or this country,” Gurganus said. “It’s just, it’s what we do. If anybody deserves more credit from this incident, it’s the lady that took the time to post it, to share the good that happened, and I really appreciate her doing that.” He also gave the woman a phone charger to keep her phone alive for the rest of the trip. Gurganus said he just hopes this lighthearted post will help heal some people today.
Officials say an off-duty Virginia State Police trooper went "above and beyond the call of duty," after rescuing a toddler found wandering alone in traffic on Route 13 in Accomack County. The Daily Times Salisbury reports Senior Trooper Johnny Godwin was traveling on the highway Saturday when he saw the child, who was about 1 to 2 years old, standing in the middle of the southbound right lane near a curve in Temperanceville. Area Commander 1st Sgt. B. E. Jeff Jones says Godwin got out of his vehicle, which he used to block traffic, and grabbed the child out of the path of oncoming traffic. Godwin stayed with the child until someone from Child Protective Services arrived. The trooper has been with the Virginia State Police since 1997.
To raise awareness about motorists moving over for law enforcement officers working along our roadways, the Ohio State Highway Patrol posted a photo of a trooper holding his newborn daughter with an impactful message. One year later, the Patrol posted the same trooper with his daughter and his newborn son -- with a new impactful message. The two posts combined reached almost four million people on Facebook. The posts received over 261,000 shares and likes. The Patrol greatly appreciated the positive attention given to this important message on Facebook and by local media.All 50 States have "Move Over" laws to protect law enforcement officers and other first responders stopped on our Nation's roads. Yet only 71% of the public are aware of these laws, and traffic-related incidents continue to be the number one cause of death among on-duty law enforcement officers. We need to continue to get the word out to all drivers and maximize the safety potential of these laws. By raising public awareness of "Move Over" laws through earned and social media, you can make a difference and help to save lives.
On a straight piece of highway, it's not easy for a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper to do traffic enforcement. But with the help of a plane flying 2,000 feet above, the highway patrol has another tool to keep the roadways safe. With 14 aircraft across the state of Missouri, the MSHP Aircraft Division's main job is traffic enforcement. In 2015, the Aircraft Division assisted with writing 15,072 citations or warnings. When the division does traffic enforcement, they use three sets of pre-painted "blocks" on the roadway that are measured at 660 feet, or 1/8th of a mile, apart. The pilot uses a stopwatch to time how fast a car crosses through those blocks. The stopwatch is calibrated to the 1/8 mile distance, and is able to give the pilot a speed. The pilot and a trooper on the ground always do a test to make sure the stopwatch and the ground trooper's speedometer are calibrated correctly. When a car crosses the first blocks, the pilot starts his stop watch. When he crosses the second set, he stops the first stopwatch and starts a second stop watch. When the car finally passes through the third set, the pilot stops the second stop watch. The pilot uses these two speeds to determine if the driver is speeding. If the pilot feels the driver is speeding, he will radio to a ground trooper waiting they have a violator. The pilot will tell the ground trooper the color and style of the car, which lane the car is in, and what cars are around the speeding car; any details to give the trooper a better indication of which car needs to be pulled over. Once the trooper gets behind the correct car, the pilot will tell him and the trooper will pull the speeding car off to the shoulder. Once the pilot sees both the trooper and the speeding car on the shoulder, he is able to end visual contact with the violator. The ground trooper will then write the ticket or warning for speeding as well as any other violations the ground trooper sees including if a seat belt was being used. Once that is complete, the ground trooper relays what citations or warnings he's written back to the pilot. In addition to traffic enforcement, the division also helps with search and rescues, manhunts, and pursuits. Using helicopters, the Aircraft Division can access otherwise inaccessible areas such as cliffs and bluffs, or conducting a water rescue when someone is stuck in a flooded home or car. They also assist in locating people, whether they are criminals or lost children. Being in the air, the pilots can see things that otherwise wouldn't be visible from a ground prospective. Being able to have a plane above a pursuit, the MSHP is able to take law enforcement on the ground out of a potentially dangerous situation. The pilot can safely follow the suspect and allow other officers to get in position ahead of the suspect.
The California Highway Patrol was monitoring a “swap meet” held in the parking lot of a local mall last Sunday. According to the authorities, around 80 trucks and off-road vehicles were participating the meeting, and some of the drivers were performing donuts. Naturally, the officers were watching the drivers while undercover in unmarked cars. At one point into the night, one of the drivers left the scene and was observed driving at speeds of up to 90 mph (145 km/h). The officers continued the pursuit in their unmarked vehicle, and they drove for approximately five miles, until the Chevrolet Silverado reached a dead-end street in Fullerton. At that point, the driver turned the truck around, and attempted a game of “chicken” with the police officers. In layman’s terms, the incredibly dangerous game of “chicken” consists of two vehicles driving directly into each other’s path, and the one that steers away first is considered the "loser." The officers did not want to let the suspect leave the scene and risk an accident with innocent civilians, so they opened fire on the vehicle. Pedro Villanueva, the 19-year-old driver of the red Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, died on the scene. His passenger was injured by a bullet that struck his upper torso, but he is expected to survive. Authorities are unaware whether Villanueva figured out if he was being pursued by a team of undercover police officers when he decided to drive towards them at speed. Villanueva’s family and friends mourn his death, and a GoFundMe page was opened to raise money for his relatives. According to the LaTimes, the page shows a photograph of the 19-year-old man as he is holding a guitar while sitting in the bed of his pick-up truck. We would like to remind you that street racing is dangerous, and getting pursued by the police in any country is a serious offense.
An Alabama State Trooper was recently awarded for his investigation into a crash two years ago that led to what a prosecutor believes is the first manslaughter conviction based on the state's texting and driving law. Trooper Bruce Irvin recently received the citation from Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Stan Stabler, according to the agency's Twitter and Facebook pages. Trooper Irvin is assigned to Highway Patrol's Mobile Post. Two years ago, USA student Miranda "Randi" Hamilton died in a crash that prosecutors blamed on another driver's cell phone use. On Wednesday, that man drew a potentially precedent-setting 10-year split sentence on his manslaughter conviction. Irvin was the traffic investigator for an April 14, 2014 crash on Lott Road, just west of Schillinger road that killed 24-year-old Miranda Hamilton of Mobile. A jury earlier this year found Jonathan Mikeal Raynes, 23, of Purvis, Miss., guilty of manslaughter in the wreck. Raynes was sentenced in April by Circuit Court Judge Robert Smith to a 10-year-split sentence with two years to serve in prison. Raynes is appealing his conviction and sentence to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Raynes, according to testimony at his trial, had told Irvin that it had not been his phone that distracted him, Irvin testified that he believed otherwise. Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich argued that Raynes was "fixated" on his phone at the time of the crash. Her case was built largely on the testimony of Paul Weathersby, an information technology specialist and digital forensic examiner for the FBI's Mobile division. Weathersby testified that Raynes had been using his cellphone in the hour before the crash mostly to send instant messages or look at profiles of women on dating sites. He used several social media apps, but returned repeatedly to a dating site called Badoo, which he apparently was using for the first time that morning. According to Weathersby testified Raynes last manipulated his phone at 8:57:36 a.m., or 32 seconds before the first 911 call about the wreck was logged. If the prosecution doesn't have a smoking gun in a manslaughter case based on Alabama's texting and driving law, will a warm one do? Based on the verdict in a Mobile case, the answer apparently is "yes.' No eyewitness testified that he was using his phone at the instant of the crash. Rich said earlier this year that she believes this is the first time Alabama's texting and driving statute has been applied in a manslaughter case. The state's texting and driving law went into effect in August 2012. Starting Wednesday in Alabama, car-driving texters, emailers, Facebookers and Twitterers will take on a new handle -- lawbreakers. That's when Alabama becomes the 38th state with a law banning texting and driving.
At approximately 3:00 am on July 4, 2016, the New Oreleans Police Departmentcontacted Louisiana State Police about a missing child from the New Orleans area. Roshei Selmon (3 years old) was last seen with his 45 year old grandfather, Roland Williams, and both had been reported missing by their family. Louisiana State Police issued a Level II Endangered/Missing Child Advisory due to the fact that Williams suffers from a medical condition which impairs his judgment. Williams was believed to have been traveling with the child in a beige/tan 2007 Cadillac DTS. Louisiana State Police broadcast the missing person information to all on-duty Troopers. Shortly after 6:00 am, an alert Trooper from State Police Troop A in Baton Rouge spotted the vehicle at a convenience store on Satsuma Rd. near I-12 in Livingston Parish. The vehicle was unoccupied, so the Trooper entered the building to search for the child and his grandfather. Upon searching the building, the Trooper located both Selmon and Williams in the restroom area of the store. Both were unharmed and in good condition. While awaiting confirmation of Selmon and Williams’ identity, the Trooper provided them both with food and water. The New Orleans Police Department and the family of Selmon and Williams were contacted about the recovery.Acadian Ambulance was dispatched to the scene as a precaution, and checked both Selmon and his grandfather for any injuries. Both were in good health, and were released to family members to return home. "Far too often law enforcement and other public safety agencies are called to respond to tragic events,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. "However, in this darkness, we never stop searching for the light of hope. The successful recovery of this young child and his grandfather are our beacon today. Working together with our public safety partners for positive resolutions are why we do what we do.”
Two parents have been charged with child endangerment after police say they had their 15-year-old drive them to Cedar Point - while they were in the car legally intoxicated. An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper pulled a mini-van over on State Route 2 shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday morning for speeding. When the trooper asked for the driver's information, he discovered that the male was 15 and didn't have a license or even a driver's learning permit. The driver's mother, father and 12-year-old sister were also in the van, with the father in the passenger seat next to the 15-year-old. The trooper noticed "obvious signs of impairment" with the parents and gave them a portable breath test. The father, Timothy McCoy of Reynoldsburg, tested at .184% alcohol content and the mother, Michelle Kirk, also of Reynoldsburg, tested at .265%. The legal limit for blood alcohol in Ohio is .08%. The family said that they had been driving to Cedar Point, had left early in the morning with their 15-year-old driving, and had gotten lost and had been driving all night. Police report that the teen drove all the way from Columbus to Vermilion before they stopped the van. The parents were placed into custody and the family was taken to the Ohio State Patrol post in Sandusky. A grandmother came to pick the children up. McCoy was charged with child endangerment and was taken to the Erie County Jail. Kirk was charged with child endangerment and wrongful entrustment of a vehicle. She was released with her children when her mother arrived to pick them up. Both parents will be in court on July 5th. Children Services in Columbus was notified about the incident and will be given a copy of the report.
A federal prosecutor saya a Massachusetts man charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill his estranged wife has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for trying to hire someone to kill the undercover state trooper who posed as the hit man. Fifty-gour-year old Andrew S. Gordon, a financial planner in Chelmsford, was convicted in March of using the mail and telephone to try to hire a New Hampshire gang member to kill the state trooper and another man, both of who were witnesses in the state case against Gordon. The gang memeber was actually another undercover office. U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz in Boston said in a news release that Gordon was sentenced Tuesday to the prison term plus three years' supervised release and a $20,000 fine.
The head of the Louisiana State Police voiced unequivocal support Tuesday for a trooper who body-slammed an apparently drunken Illinois man in the French Quarter over the weekend, describing the officer’s use of force as commensurate with conditions on Bourbon Street at 4 a.m. Col. Mike Edmonson, responding to a cellphone video viewed more than a half-million times on Facebook, said the off-duty trooper reacted appropriately under the circumstances and that State Police have not opened an internal investigation into the arrest. “It’s easy to take a tape and pick it apart, but my troopers are dealing with a lot of people who are intoxicated and a lot of unknowns,” Edmonson said in a telephone interview. “Unless you’re in the heat of the moment, you don’t know what’s going on. You don’t know who these individuals are, where they’ve been and what they’re doing.” The arrest happened after 4 a.m. Saturday in the 200 block of Bourbon Street. The trooper, whose name was not released, had just finished a 12-hour shift and was headed to his vehicle when employees at the Beach on Bourbon flagged him down “asking for help with an intoxicated subject refusing to leave” the bar, said Trooper Melissa Matey, a State Police spokeswoman. The Illinois man, 39-year-old Michael Hoffman, apparently had complained that he had not received his debit card back from bartenders, said Joshua Plauche, a Florida photographer who happened upon the incident and filmed it with his cellphone. “In my opinion, it was a misunderstanding,” Plauche said, “but I don’t know on which end.” Hoffman can be heard in the video inquiring about pressing charges and asking the trooper, “How is this OK?” Another man, Hoffman’s brother, initially tried to defuse the situation but later appeared to raise the tension when he stepped between the trooper and his brother. That maneuver prompted the trooper to throw Hoffman’s brother into a row of trash cans lining the street before forcefully taking Hoffman to the ground inside Willie’s Chicken Shack, a business next door to the bar. Hoffman was treated for a cut to the hip but has lodged no complaints about his arrest, Matey said. He received a summons to appear in New Orleans Municipal Court on counts of criminal trespass, public intoxication, disturbing the peace and resisting arrest. Plauche said he had been impressed by the trooper’s patience and demeanor throughout the first several minutes of his dealings with Hoffman. “The cop did a great job in the beginning, when they were talking,” he said, adding that he intends to upload additional footage of the incident. “I respected that.” But the body slam seemed like an overreaction, the photographer said, noting the trooper had not even called for backup. “It was an emotional decision by the officer,” said Plauche, who has not been contacted by any law enforcement officials. “I think of it as the conversation being Point A and the body slam being Point C. The trooper skipped over Point B.” Edmonson said he had no concerns about the trooper’s use of force, adding it was clear from the footage that Hoffman had been resisting arrest. He said the trooper used a common police tactic known as an “arm-bar takedown” to gain control of the situation.
"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.