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AAST accepts scholarship applications from the dependents of trooper members for assistance with their post-secondary education expenses.
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On Thursday, January 5th, 2017, the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s (THP) Interdiction Plus Team (IPT) arrested William A. Holley, 31, of Fort Wayne, Indiana for drug trafficking. At the time of the traffic stop four children ranging from ages 5 to 10 years of age were in the vehicle. THP Lieutenant Wayne Dunkleman observed a 2016 Toyota Sienna minivan traveling South on I-65 in Maury County following too close to another vehicle. Lieutenant Dunkleman stopped the vehicle which was a rental vehicle on I-65 at mile marker 37. As LT. Dunkleman made contact with Holley who was the driver, LT. Dunkleman was advised by Holley that he and his four children were traveling from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As Lt. Dunkleman interviewed Holley he noticed that Holley was extremely nervous and was giving off other possible indicators of criminal activity. During the roadside interview, Troopers Jeremy Miller and Richard Campbell arrived to assist. Holley advised the troopers that he was currently on probation in Indiana for possession of marijuana. Lieutenant Dunkleman requested a K9 sweep of the vehicle by Trooper Miller and his K9 partner Dolche. This resulted in a positive drug alert to the vehicle. At this same time ,Trooper Campbell checked with THP dispatch and found Holley to be suspended. As the troopers interviewed Holley he stated that his coat may have a marijuana smell. A probable cause search was conducted on the vehicle and four pounds of high grade marijuana was located in the cargo area in a black duffle bag. Lieutenant Dunkleman arrested Holley without incident and transported him to the Maury County Sheriff’s Office where he was charged with manufacturing for resale a schedule six drug. The Department of Children’s Services responded to the Maury County Jail and took custody of the children until relatives could arrive from out of state. Additionally, the Springhill Police Department assisted with providing child restraint seats that allowed for safe transportation of the children.
A section of Interstate 90 will bear the name of a Lorain County law enforcement officer who was killed in the line of duty. The stretch of I-90 from Warren Road to Hilliard Road in Cuyahoga County will be named after Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Kenneth “Kenny V.” Velez, 48. The Lorain native died from injuries he sustained in a traffic crash on Sept. 15, 2016. The roadway will be known as the “Trooper Kenny Velez Memorial Highway.” The tribute was tucked in among 28 bills that Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law on Jan. 4. Velez was not mentioned by name in the news announcement that Kasich’s office published that about the numerous bills. Kasich used the social media website Twitter to pay tribute to Velez and to state Rep. Dan Ramos, D-Lorain, a cousin of Velez and sponsor of the bill to honor the fallen trooper. Ramos also used Twitter to respond to the governor’s action “to honor Lorain Co & Ohio’s hero, Trooper Kenny Velez.” “I didn’t do that because he was my cousin, I did that because he was my constituent,” Ramos said on Jan. 7. “It meant a lot to me.” Last year, Ramos recalled the number of people who came out for Velez’ funeral as the most people he ever saw gathered in once place in Lorain County at one time. “It was powerful,” Ramos said. “He knew everybody and everybody knew him. Everybody liked him.” Ramos explained how the legislation came about and the legislative procedure in Columbus. After the death of Velez, Ramos said he consulted Velez’ children about a roadside tribute to their father. They approved and he introduced legislation in 2016. The bill for Velez had committee approval in the House, Ramos said. He added that Patrol Superintendent Col. Paul A. Pride was a Patrol Academy classmate of Velez and Pride testified in favor of the name change. However, the bill was on hold during campaign season and the year-end rush of the statehouse, so the tribute to Velez was folded into a Senate Bill for quicker approval. Once that happened, it landed among the bills Kasich signed last week, Ramos said. The governor and lawmakers sometimes will have signing ceremonies for people to attend in Columbus, but Velez’ family could not attend last week’s gubernatorial signing on short notice, Ramos said. Another ceremonial signing and meeting between Kasich and Velez’ family may yet take place, depending on everyone’s schedules, Ramos said.
State police conducting routine motor vehicle enforcement Friday night on I-84 arrested three men on heroin possession charges after finding more than 170 bags of the drug in their vehicle. The incident started at about 9:15 p.m. when troopers noticed a car with equipment violations as it traveled on I-84 near Tolland. They followed the car off the highway and stopped it on Rte. 74 in Willington. As troopers were talking to the occupants, they admitted they had drugs in the vehicle. Police found a total of 170 bags of heroin in the car. The driver, David McKnight, 53, of the Danielson section of Killingly, was charged with possession of heroin with intent to sell and a brake light violation. He was held overnight on a $75,000 cash bond and will be arraigned in Superior Court in Rockville on Monday. Anthony Falzone, 24, of Norwich, was charged with possession of heroin, as was Ryan LaFountain, 27, of Danielson. Both of them were released after posting $10,000 bonds. They are scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Rockville on Jan. 24.
The California Highway Patrol’s Mounted Patrol Unit marched with pride along the 2017 Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade route – one of 25 equestrian teams that were selected out of hundreds of applicants to take part in the Rose Parade. On Wednesday, December 28, the six CHP riders and their horses made the journey from Sacramento to Pasadena, by truck and trailer, to get settled before marching along the route down Colorado Blvd. and be part of the more than 100-year-old Rose Parade tradition. Authorities, saying they have learned valuable lessons from the March terrorist attack in Brussels, ramped up security for the 128th annual Rose Parade with barricades, security checkpoints and other measures. Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez told reporters Wednesday that some of those measures included water-filled barriers designed to stop would-be terrorists from crashing cars into crowded areas. https://goo.gl/bMGdi4.
Michigan will soon benefit from the services of 13 additional Michigan State Police (MSP) motor carrier officers with the graduation of the 21st Motor Carrier Officer Recruit School. Governor Rick Snyder served as the keynote speaker at Friday’s graduation ceremony held at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing. “Public safety and the protection of our highway infrastructure is a very important job,” said Snyder. “These highly trained officers play a crucial role in Michigan’s economy. Their dedication and commitment to serving our great state and its residents is appreciated.” Motor carrier officers are armed uniformed members of the MSP who specialize in commercial vehicle enforcement. They enforce traffic safety laws on commercial vehicles, protect the infrastructure through aggressive size and weight enforcement, conduct commercial vehicle and driver inspections and contribute to homeland security efforts by enforcing hazardous material regulations. “We welcome the addition of these new motor carrier officers to the MSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “Michigan’s residents are depending on them to deter and detect criminal activity with commercial vehicle activities, protect our state’s highways and infrastructure, and promote safety and security at our international border crossings.”
DHSMV is starting 2017 off with a call to Move Over, Florida! January is Move Over Awareness Month and we are committed to educating Florida motorists on the importance of the Move Over Law to protect all law enforcement and service responders, especially our#FHP troopers! The total number of crashes due to failure to #MoveOverFL increased 36 percent from 2015 to 2016. This is simply unacceptable – failure to move over puts lives in great danger. Motorists must move over or slow down to 20 mph below the speed limit when first responders and service providers are stopped on the roadside.
It's easy to be cynical these days. It's easy to only see the bad. But there is good. It's all around us. Sometimes we just need a reminder. We recently received this amazing oil portrait of fallen hero, Trooper Frankie Williams. The only message was scrawled on piece of FedEx paper attached to the package. It simply read: "This oil portrait is a gift for the family of Trooper Frankie J. Williams' family. Painted with love and respect." The artist left no signature and no request. For those who've lost it, may this restore your faith in humanity! Beautiful portrait!
Col. J. Bret Johnson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, announced 39 troopers graduated from the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 30 in the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy gymnasium. The 103rd Recruit Class reported to the Academy on July 5. The new troopers report for duty in their assigned troops Jan. 17. One of the new troopers is Corey D. Parrott, of Lincoln, who has been assigned to Troop A, Johnson County. Gov. Jay Nixon provided the keynote address during the graduation ceremony. Department of Public Safety Director Lane Roberts and Johnson also addressed the class. The Honorable Edward R. Ardini Jr., Missouri Court of Appeals – Western District, administered the Oath of Office to the new troopers. Dean Gil Kennon, vice president of College Affairs for Mineral Area College, conferred an associate of applied science degree to 12 of the new troopers. Troop F Color Guard presented and retired the colors. Trooper Andrew A. Armstrong, Troop F, sang the national anthem. The Rev. Jimmy C. McMasters, of Corning, Arkansas, provided the invocation and benediction.
A memorial cross was unveiled in Southern Utah Friday in honor of a Utah Highway Patrol trooper who died last month after being struck by a vehicle while trying to alert motorists of a low-hanging power line. A 14-foot-tall cross memorializing Trooper Eric Ellsworth was erected along Interstate 15 among 14 other white metal crosses already standing. Each cross bears the name and badge number of a fallen Highway Patrol trooper killed in the line of duty, reminding the public of those troopers’ service and ultimate sacrifice. The crosses, placed on private property owned by DATS Trucking located at 321 N. Old Highway 91 in Hurricane, face northbound traffic and can be seen just north of I-15 Exit 16. Don Ipson, a state senator and president and CEO of DATS Trucking, said he erected the crosses in 2007, following a lawsuit that had been filed alleging the crosses – originally placed near the areas where the troopers had died – violated the U.S. Constitution. The suit argued that the placement of crosses on public land violates the principle of separation of church and state. The American Atheists Inc. and three of its Utah members sued the state over the crosses in 2005. They claimed the memorials suggested a state endorsement of Christianity. In 2010, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver agreed and ordered the crosses removed. State attorneys appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it declined to hear the case. The Utah Highway Patrol Association said it had constructed the memorials in the Latin-cross shape, not for the purpose of endorsing any religion but because, in this roadside context, the cross, unlike any other marker, communicates to motorists passing at highway speeds the simultaneous messages of “death, honor, remembrance and safety.” “Memorial crosses, in general, are secular symbols widely used to honor and respect the heroic acts and noble contributions of fallen public servants,” the Highway Patrol Association states on its website. “Roadside crosses, in particular, are secular symbols widely used to memorialize, and generally understood to represent, traffic-related and other roadside deaths.” When Ipson, an honorary colonel with the UHP, heard the crosses had to be taken down, he notified the Highway Patrol Association of his idea to put all 13 memorial crosses, at the time, on his business’ property and offered to pay for them. Ipson and his family have been “unbelievable supporters of the Utah Highway Patrol,” UHP Col. Michael Rapich said Friday after Ellsworth’s cross had been erected. “This is just one thing among hundreds of other things that they do.” “You’ve been our champion in so many ways – we appreciate it,” Rapich told Ipson, adding: “This fight goes back a long ways.” Ipson said supporting the Highway Patrol has been a life-long passion of his, adding that he personally knew two of the troopers whose names now appear on the crosses. Ipson recalled being 12 years old when UHP Trooper Armond “Monty” Luke died in 1959 during a vehicle pursuit just outside of Panguitch, where Ipson grew up. Years later, when Ipson’s son was 12 years old and his family returned to Panguitch, Ipson said Trooper Ray Lynn Pierson died of a gunshot wound within a few miles of where Trooper Luke had died. Families of the fallen troopers have been appreciative of the crosses, Ipson said, adding that some families stop by to visit the memorial site from time to time.
This 74 second video shows the faces of each of the 139 law enforcement officers that died in the line of duty in 2016. I ask that you please take one minute out of your day to watch and remember all these heroes we as Americans lost this year. Honor these men and women by sharing this video. Show the world that police officers are human beings, just like everyone else. Music: "Never Let Go" by Bryan Adams.
Please watch this video at: https://www.facebook.com/Police1usa/videos/711052899064223/
Suffolk County Police today arrested a woman for driving while ability impaired by drugs with her baby in the vehicle after she refused to pull over on the Long Island Expressway in Manorville tonight. Maria Lagatta was driving approximately 20 miles per hour eastbound on the Long Island Expressway one mile west of exit 70 when Highway Patrol Officer Joseph Goss attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Lagatta refused to pull over. Officer Goss pulled alongside the vehicle and saw a baby in the rear passenger seat. Officer Goss was able to slow down incoming traffic so they would not get rear-ended. Lagatta then slowed down to approximately 5 miles per hour. Officer Goss sped past Lagatta, and parked his vehicle on the right shoulder. He then jumped into Lagatta’s car, through the passenger side window and was able to bring the vehicle to a stop. Lagatta and her 22-month-old daughter were not injured. The daughter was released to a family member. Child Protective Services were notified. Lagatta, 37, of Farmingville, was charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger 15 Years Old or Younger (Leandra’s Law) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Lagatta will be held at the Fourth Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on December 30. The vehicle was impounded for a safety check. Seventh Squad detectives are investigating.
The family of a wounded State Police trooper says he has been moved out of the intensive care unit and into a hospital room just days after being shot several times on night. The brother of Trooper Nic Cederberg writes on an online fundraising page that the officer will undergo surgery Friday to fix a broken arm. The brother, Jeff Cederberg, says the procedure is his brother's last major surgery for the time being and he is "amazing the doctors and nurses with how his recovery is going." Authorities say the trooper was shot Sunday night by homicide suspect James Tylka following a car chase. Tylka was then killed by police. Officers pursued Tylka after finding his estranged wife dead outside his suburban Portland home.
A New Jersey State Police lieutenant who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2015 attributed to his response to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center died Thursday from cancer, the State Police announced. Lt. Bill Fearon, of Cedar Grove, served 22 years with the State Police, most recently as a tactical instructor, according to his LinkedIn profile. Fearon was diagnosed with a brain tumor on May 3, 2015 and underwent surgery three days later. While undergoing treatment, he returned to work on a limited basis in July 2015, according to a story by NorthJersey.com. The Cedar Grove community rallied around the trooper during his illness and raised funds to cover medical expenses as he underwent chemotherapy treatment. A GoFundMe account started in May 2015 raised nearly $60,000 and a local fire department hosted a chili cook-off. The State Police, in a Facebook tribute to Fearon posted late Thursday, cited his enduring positive attitude during the ongoing treatment. He handed out "No Fear" wristbands throughout his battle with cancer, the State Police said. "Every day I put my feet on the ground and I look forward to winning," Fearon said, according to the State Police post. "This is the mindset that I have, it's about living without fear." Fearon is survived by his wife Janice, and their three children, Ryan, Elyse and Jessie.
Trooper Landon Weaver was shot and killed when he and another trooper responded to a domestic disturbance at a rural home on Bakers Hollow Road in Juniata Township, Huntingdon County, at approximately 6:30 pm. He had responded to the home to investigate a protective order violation when he was shot. The subject who shot him had been released on bail on a felony charge earlier in the month. The subject was located the following morning is and is now deceased. Trooper Weaver had served with the Pennsylvania State Police for only one year and was assigned to Troop G. He is survived by his wife.
Troopers found 10,000 oxycodone pills after stopping a truck on I-95 southbound Wednesday afternoon, state police. A trooper patrolling through the service center on I-95 southbound in Milford about 3 p.m. spotted a man outside a Ford F150 talking on a phone, state police said. They noted that he appeared agitated. The trooper also spotted numerous equipment violations on the truck, state police said. Another man came to the truck and they both left, pulling onto I-95, state police said. The trooper stopped the vehicle on the Exit 40 ramp. A police dog was called to the scene and alerted to drugs in the vehicle, state police said. Inside the truck, state police said the troopers found the pills, valued at about $200,000 on the street. State police took the passenger in the vehicle, 30-year-old John Carlos Torres of West Haven, to Troop G. Given the amount of drugs found, state police contacted the Drug Enforcement Administration, who after contacting the U.S. Attorney's office, decided to take over the case. State police turned Torres over to DEA custody. This was the second recent sizable opioids seizure in recent weeks in the region. On Dec. 21, police in Derby stopped a tractor trailer truck on Route 34. Inside they reported finding 55 pounds of suspected fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. The drugs, they estimated, were worth $1.5 million. This case was also turned over to the DEA with the U.S. Attorney's office handling prosecution of the driver: 47-year-old Erick Escalante from Arizona.
"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.