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New Hampshire State Police helped save a wedding this weekend after the mother of the groom became lost in the woods. Officers were called on Sunday when a woman wandered off a property that she had been renting in Landaff. The missing woman had gotten lost in the woods and had been missing for four hours. Police say the missing woman and her family turned out to be from Massachusetts and were in the area for the woman's son's wedding. Thankfully, officers were able to track down the woman and safely reunite her with her family. The wedding was only delayed a few hours. "The bride and groom will definitely have a story for the future," New Hampshire State Police wrote on their Facebook page as they congratulated the couple on their wedding.
The fourth annual Hunger Action Month food drive came to a close this week with the announcement that 33,379 pounds of food, which is the equivalent of 27,816 meals, were collected at 15 community events hosted by the Maryland State Police (MSP) as well as several Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) locations throughout September. This collection, which also includes monetary donations raised at the events, via online virtual food drive platforms, and from state agency employees, will benefit the Maryland Food Bank. September is known nationally as Hunger Action Month and traditionally marks the month-long food drive hosted by the state agencies in partnership with the food bank. This year, in an effort to increase community engagement, MSP and MDOT officials hosted 15 special events across the state. From Oakland to Salisbury and many towns in between, these community events featured a variety of activities, including child safety seat installations, MSP Aviation tours, K-9 Unit performances, fingerprinting, Bomb Squad robot demonstrations, Barrack tours, and educational activities that focused on safe driving. “This year we tried something new, and we’re very grateful to the Maryland State Police and Department of Transportation for working so hard to host these wonderful events and food collections to help our neighbors in need,” said Maryland Food Bank President & CEO Beth Martino. “We wouldn’t be able to operate without the contributions of partners like MSP and MDOT, and we can’t thank them enough for once again joining us in our fight to end hunger in Maryland.” State Police and Department of Transportation employees joined together to collect donations for the Food Bank in La Plata, Md., on September 10. MSP and MDOT representatives were out in full force collecting donations throughout the month, while select MDOT locations also accepted food donations for those in need. Additionally, supporters who were unable to attend these events were encouraged to donate food online using the MSP and MDOT virtual food drive platforms.
The New York State Police sergeant pressed his face to the vibrating glass, watching a trooper the size of a plastic army man approach the cornfield below. "Walk around the perimeter," the scout said into his headset, his voice muffled by the helicopter's whirring blades. "There. Walk in about 20 rows." Five-hundred feet below the hovering aircraft, the trooper beat back cornstalks to reveal dozens of marijuana plants. "Yeah, that's weed," he said over the radio. State Police investigators tore out 48 marijuana plants during an eradication effort Monday. It's fall and around the region farmers are reaping seasonal crops. But State Police are also at work in the fields — and the sky — as they search rural pockets for marijuana growing among corn and other crops. The Monday haul spotted by helicopter was growing in four plots hidden within two adjacent cornfields in the Greenwich area in southwest Washington County. From above, the clumps of 6-foot-tall illicit plants glowed fluorescent green against the neatly sowed, browning corn. On the ground, investigators found tags identifying the plants.
"It tells me they know what they're doing," the aerial scout said about the labels. The pilot shook his head and added, "It means they're dealing." Monday's mission was one of the season's last. Marijuana grows from July to late September and the State Police are wrapping up their airborne eradication efforts for the past year. The troop that patrols the Capital Region was "especially productive this year" with more than 10,000 plants seized, State Police said. "We've really saturated the area," an aviation sergeant said. "We've had a very successful season."
What started as an ordinary day for one local trooper ended up with him being recognized across the state as a hero. Trooper Jonathan Gouge with Troop F in Burke County was awarded the Governor’s Award for Excellence for Safety and Heroism in a ceremony on Sept. 27. Gouge said he was driving through Valdese with his wife on the morning of Jan. 2 when he noticed heavy smoke coming from a home on Eldred Street. Gouge was off duty, but that didn’t stop him from acting quickly. He said he pulled over to investigate, and a neighbor told him a woman was still inside the apartment. Gouge tried to get someone to the door, but no one answered, so he tried to kick in the door only to find it had been dead bolted. The trooper wouldn’t be deterred though. He wrapped his hand in his hooded sweatshirt and broke through a window in the door to get into the home. Gouge said he found a stunned woman, who didn’t appear to know what was happening, standing outside of her bedroom. “I think she was sleeping,” Gouge said. “I think I had just woke her up when I tried to kick down the door.” Gouge said the woman was screaming and confused, but he helped her out of the burning apartment then headed back inside to get her medications. But Gouge’s heroism didn’t stop there. The quick-thinking trooper headed back into the flames once again and ushered out two of the woman’s small dogs, then located a third and brought it safely outside. Along with the Governor’s Award, Gouge has been recognized locally by Chief Charlie Watts with the Valdese Fire Department, who said he was told on the scene that a trooper had helped the woman outside. “I think, had he not been there that day, there would be at least one victim,” Watts said. “The elderly lady in the apartment would have died or suffered serious injury. There’s no doubt in my mind about that.” Gouge also was commended by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. “I received the Valor Award,” he said. “That’s the highest one you can get from Highway Patrol, so I was very honored. That was pretty cool.” Gouge said he has never had any special training and has never worked or volunteered as a firefighter, but he just did what he hoped anyone in the same situation would do. “I’d hope someone would stop and help my family,” he said. “I feel like we should just help each other out.”
While at Harlan Elementary in September, Iowa State Troopers Miller and McCreedy were approached by a young boy in a wheelchair who is battling cancer. He told the troopers that his teacher had just killed their classroom fish. Trooper Miller jokingly stated that she should probably be arrested, so the young boy invited them into the classroom where the students and State Troopers discussed the options for funeral arrangements. Collectively, they came to the agreement not to arrest Mrs. Schechinger, say goodbye to their fish and take a few photos with some great State Troopers.
The State Highway Patrol proudly welcomed 30 new troopers at a graduation ceremony September 30th for the 139th basic highway patrol school. The celebration ended 29 weeks of extensive academic and physical training.
Students at Ayers Elementary School in Martins Ferry spent the last few mornings with law enforcement officers, building positive relationships through shared stories. Students had the chance to meet local first responders through the new reading program Books with Badges. The program takes responders to area elementary schools to read books to students in an effort to build trust and positive relationships between students and emergency personnel. Wednesday’s program saw nearly a dozen first responders visit the school to read to students, including representatives from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Martins Ferry and Bridgeport police departments, the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department and the Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire Department. Responders selected the books they would read to the children before splitting up to head to several different classrooms to read to second- and third-graders. Once inside the classrooms, the officers and firefighters handed out stickers and took turns reading to the attentive pupils, who were happy to have the chance to meet the men and women in uniform and to get to know the responders. The Books with Badges program is the brainchild of Trooper Chase Watts of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Development of the program has been in the works for about a year. Watts started the initiative to build trust between students and emergency personnel, and to give back to the community. “The biggest thing is that I wanted to have a program where younger kids could be influenced in a positive way, and with everything that’s going on these days in the country I thought this was a great way to make a change,” said Watts. “I just encourage schools to try to incorporate this program into their districts in some way, because every community can benefit from it somehow.” Watts, a Martins Ferry graduate, chose Ayers Elementary to be the first school to experience the program and said it has met with great success so far. Watts plans on expanding the program to other local elementary schools in the coming weeks. He hopes the reading program will continue to grow and expand its reach. For more information on the Books with Badges program, visit bookswithbadges.org or look up the program on Facebook.
Sgt. Steve Jarrett stopped by Grace Pointe Church in Montgomery for Community Helpers Day. Sgt. Jarrett visited with the children and staff. They discussed the importance of seat belt use, the role of law enforcement in the community and read books.
Connecticut State Police have trained and added ‘Selma‘ to their ranks. Selma is the first electronic storage detection dog in the world. State Police Detective George Jupin put canine Selma through her paces Tuesday morning looking for electronic devices. She is a one-of-a-kind Electronic Storage Detection (ESD) sniffing dog that can find hidden thumb drives, hard drives, computers, cell phones, and tablets. Detective Jupin says three years ago the State Police canine unit, computer crimes unit, and crime lab came up with a groundbreaking way in which dogs could sniff out electronic devices. We have a chemist named Dr. Jack Hubbal, and he was able to look at some of these devices and come up with a chemical used to train the dogs, and we put it altogether and it has been very successful and has been in the field for about three years.” The canine unit took this chemical in its pure form, and trained Selma in the same way they would train a bomb-sniffing, drug, or arson dog. Detective Jupin says this chemical is not harmful to her, or humans. “It is a specific chemical that you are going to find on the computer memory chips that you’re going to find in devices such as thumb drives or sell phones or hard drives or tablets.” The dog is in such demand that she could be busy 24 hours day, 7 days a week. The canine team assists federal agents, other State Police around New England, as well as local police. As an example, they were out until 11:30 p.m. last night working a case that ended in an arrest. Usually, detectives go in first and remove all electronic devices that they can find, and then they call in Selma. “Things that may have been concealed in a vent, or under a drawer, or under multiple layers of packaging, or concealed someplace, that is just out of your view or couldn’t be reached.” The State Police have had requests from all over the world, including Australia, to train dogs for other departments. They have recently trained FBI dogs to sniff out media.
On Tuesday September 27th around 9:00 p.m., Trooper Ryan Walczak of the Troop D Community Action Team (CAT) was on patrol in the city of Brockton when he observed a vehicle that had a suspended registration. Trooper Walczak attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled in an extremely erratic and dangerous manner. For safety reasons, Trooper Walczak did not pursue the vehicle. A short time later, Trooper Walczak observed the vehicle parked sideways on a nearby street. The vehicle was unoccupied and still running, backup was requested. Trooper Jason Trout also of the Troop D Community Action Team and Trooper Bill McSweeney of the K9 Unit responded. Trooper McSweeney deployed K9 Scully on a track from the vehicle. Scully tracked a short distance and located the female driver hiding in a bush. The woman was taken into custody. A subsequent investigation revealed the woman was under the influence of drugs, and also had four warrants for her arrest. She was also charged with failing to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and a suspended registration.
Miss Ella bought gum in the gas station with her own money. She went outside and saw Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Hale. After asking her mom if she could give him a piece of her gum she just bought, she bouncingly went and asked him if he would like a piece. Trooper Hale said yes, as long as he could have a picture with her. She was over the moon!
A grieving man who was rushing to be with his mother in Michigan after learning of his younger sister’s sudden death received some unexpected support after being pulled over during the multi-state drive in Ohio. Over the weekend, Mark E. Ross found out his teenage sister had died in a car crash. Around 3 a.m. Sunday, Ross hopped in a car his friend was driving in Indiana and sped toward Detroit, he said in a Facebook post. As the car passed through Ohio, an officer pulled it over. The driver was taken to jail in Wayne County, Michigan, and the vehicle was impounded. Ross knew this might be more than just a traffic stop for him too — he had a petty warrant out for his arrest, which meant he too was probably going to jail, according to CNN affiliate WDTN. As he began to tell the officer about the loss of his sister, Ross broke down crying. That’s when one of the troopers at the scene — Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. David Robison — started to pray with Ross. “He reaches over and began praying over me and my family,” Ross wrote on Facebook. “Everybody knows how much I dislike cops, but I am truly (grateful) for this guy. He gave me hope.” Robison also did one other thing for Ross: He offered to drive him 100 miles to Wayne County to bail out the driver and get him closer to Michigan. Ross snapped a photo of the himself with the sergeant and posted it on Facebook Sunday morning. As of Tuesday morning, it has been shared nearly 100,000 times on the social networking site.
Check out what this proud mom had to say about her little guy when he had a visit to his daycare from Trooper Tony Harper and other officers! Now that little happy face should put a smile on yours! Happy Friday! Celestine: "Raiden, once again, was on cloud 9 when the officers came to visit the daycare! I've never seen this kid love something/someone so hard...it's amazing how excited he gets when he sees any officer. If he sees anyone in uniform he can't contain himself. No matter where we are. I pray this never fades and he always knows these men and women are here to protect, not harm. They are here to love, not hate. Thank you Small Miracles and thank you to the officers who took time out to visit these kids!"
"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.