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Maryland State Police troopers pulled over 129 drivers Wednesday morning as part of an initiative to combat distracted and aggressive driving on Interstate 270, First Sgt. Rebecca Bosley said. The stops resulted in 119 citations and 69 warnings issued to drivers, she said. Most were issued to people talking on their cell phones, Bosley said. The timing of the initiative followed four recent crashes involving police cars stopped on the side of I-270, and two troopers who were injured. Motorists have struck stopped police cars on Aug. 27 and 29, as well as Sept. 6 and 11, Bosley said. Two were at accident scenes, one was at a traffic stop, and one was rear-ended while in traffic. Eight troopers in separate cruisers from the Rockville barracks were assisted by two Montgomery County police cars during the initiative, which ran between 6 and 10 a.m. along the highway from I-370 to Democracy Boulevard, Bosley said. Failure to follow the state’s “Move Over” law—in which motorists are expected to slow down or, if possible, move a lane away from a traffic stop on the shoulder of a road—could lead to a $110 citation and 1 point on a driver’s license. The police were also targeting single motorists traveling in the I-270 HOV lane, in which cars must have at least two occupants. A violation can lead to a $90 fine and 1 point.
Two troopers based out of the Michigan State Police Lapeer Post received bravery awards "for their diligence and perseverance under uncommon circumstances and for going beyond what is typically expected of most law enforcement officers." On January 4, troopers Jared Grigg and John Sholtz responded to a house in the city of Lapeer. They observed the home fully engulfed and that the front door was unapproachable due to flames, according to a statement from the Michigan State Police. A bystander told them children’s screams could be heard from inside the home. Grigg and Sholtz gained entry through the back door of the home and searched the first floor, which was already engulfed in fire and full of thick smoke. Sholtz found an unresponsive 6-year-old boy on the floor of the attached garage and carried him outside to Grigg. Sholtz went back in and searched for additional children and shortly after, dispatch informed him there were no other children inside of the home. The boy was treated by emergency medical personnel and recovered. In awarding the department’s Bravery Award, the MSP Board of Awards found that the courageous actions of Grigg and Sholtz undoubtedly saved the child’s life, according to the statement. Grigg enlisted with the department in 2012, graduating as a member of the 124th Trooper Recruit School. Sholtz enlisted with the department in 1994, graduating as a member of the 110th Trooper Recruit School. Prior to serving at the Lapeer Post, Sholtz was assigned to the Hastings and Richmond posts, as well as the Gaming Section.
Today the preschool had a special visit from PA State Trooper Greene as part of their learning about careers curriculum. Trooper Greene sat and talked with them about how police officers like to help people. He also let them sit in his vehicle. They enjoyed talking on the intercom and sounding the siren. He gave them all Junior Trooper stickers. They know if they ever need help they can trust an officer. Special thanks to Trooper Greene for educating our little ones today!
Iowa State Patrol officers were captured on camera Saturday helping a lost boy at the Hawkeye game. Officers can be seen in the photo sitting next to the six-year-old as they worked to reunite him with his dad. Troopers Cody Reicks and Frank Burns say they were assigned to work the NW corner of Kinnick Stadium when they heard the boy was missing. “We hadn’t been there for maybe a minute and we heard the radio broadcast of a missing boy,” says Reicks. “The description was a young boy, six years old wearing a number six jersey,” Burns told us. It wasn’t long before the two spotted little A.J. in the large crowd all alone. “Frank looked up and pointed him out, said hey I think that’s him and I said yeah, matches the description,” Reicks says. The two troopers quickly made their way to A.J.’s side. “We sat down on the bench next to him, we were talking about the game, talking about Hawkeye football and where he was from and just kind of put him at ease he looked kind of tense at first,” Burns says. Matt Winchester, a Hawkeye fan sitting up behind the boy and the officers snapped a photo. “I literally thought it was just the patrolman just socializing with people and I thought that was cool enough, took the picture because I thought it was pretty neat I wanted other people to see it,” Winchester told us. The boy was soon reunited with his dad. “He gave him a big hug and obviously his dad was pretty relieved to find him,” Burns said. It’s something that could have easily been missed by the thousands at the game, but the hard work of Trooper Burns and Trooper Reicks, reunited a father and a son missing each other. “It’s more cool now that I know what was really going on,” Winchester says. “There were a lot of people looking out for him and I think it was a very good effort by all the law enforcement,” he added. Iowa State Patrol is unsure of who the family is, but the troopers tell us it’s just a nice feeling to reunite a child with their parents. We are told there were also many local police officers who helped get the boy and his dad back together. This whole incident happened just before kickoff, in time for the little boy and his dad to enjoy the Hawkeye game.
From Mr. and Mrs. Michael Landrum, Cleveland, TN.
"I would like to say THANK YOU to Trooper Apodaca, Badge #600. We were traveling through Atlanta today and had a blow out on our camper. Trooper Apodaca pulled in behind us which slowed the traffic around us allowing my husband to safely change the tire. THEN, the trooper got right in there and helped! When he finished, he saw that we safely entered back into the fast paced traffic of the interstate. I was soooo relieved. You better believe we BACK THE BLUE!! God bless our Law Enforcement where ever they are. Thank you Trooper Apodaca, Thank you Georgia State Department of Public Safety."
A five-year-old-cat who now goes by the name of Callahan is healing at the hospital after a Massachusetts state trooper found him lying on the side of the road inside Boston's Callahan Tunnel on Tuesday. Callahan is healing at MSPCA-Angell in Jamaica Plain after the trooper rushed him to the adoption center. "I saw the cat injured and lying motionless inside the tunnel next to the road and it was clear he'd been struck by a car and needed help," said trooper James Richardson, who was driving through the tunnel in his cruiser, in a statement. "We all love and root for animals and there was no way I was going to leave him-I'm really glad he's now in safe hands. "I was very relieved when my dispatcher suggested I bring this poor cat to the MSPCA and received quick confirmation that indeed he had been settled in and was getting the medical care he needed in order to recover," he added. That cat had experienced head trauma, a broken pelvis and scrapes. Dr. Cindi Cox, head shelter veterinarian at the MSPCA, examined Callahan when he came in and was surprised that the young cat survived at all. "It always amazes me that cats can survive these kinds of strikes," she said. "Fortunately his pelvic fractures aren't severe enough to require surgery; they'll heal with about six weeks of cage-rest and I expect his balance will improve once his head trauma resolves." Callahan isn't neutered and has no microchip or identification tags. He arrived dirty and scared, but is very friendly, said officials. "This is probably a cat who survived on hand-outs from kind people but who likely lived alone, without a home of his own," said Alyssa Krieger, adoption center manager at the MSPCA-Angell, in an announcement. The entire MSPCA adoption center staff extended its gratitude to trooper Richardson for coming to the stricken cat's aid. "He's a hero to us and certainly to Callahan," said Krieger. Callahan will be neutered and micro-chipped ahead of his adoption, which is expected to take place in about six weeks. Meanwhile, he'll be placed in a foster home to recover.
Welcome to Hampstead with its cornfields, two-lane roads and streets lined with American flags. It's a town of roughly 6,300 people that can't hide from the nation's heroin epidemic. "You here stuff around here, Westminster... you know a lot of different people that you wouldn't think how big of an involvement it is,” said Dawn Caltrider. “It's getting pretty big around here." But it's a little less big after an otherwise routine traffic stop on Interstate 95 landed a pair of drug kingpins behind bars after troopers discovered two kilos of cocaine in the trunk of their vehicle. At that point in the investigation, heroin in Hampstead or elsewhere was nowhere on their radar. "I was a Baltimore City police officer,” said Fred Geerken. “We had some of the same problems. How many police can you devote to that versus the other things that are going on, but I think maybe a task force---a special group." Enter the Carroll County Drug Task Force, which had already identified 32-year old Shani McDonald of Windsor Mill as a major heroin dealer in Hampstead, Manchester, Finksburg and Westminster. 49-year old Vernon Kidd, Jr. of Finksburg was the driver. "These two individuals were also suspects in what has been a six-month long investigation including law enforcement, not just in other states, but several departments here in Maryland and what they have found is that these two suspects were involved in the large-scale distribution of illegal drugs to include a lot of heroin, cocaine and other substances," said Elena Russo of the Maryland State Police. Police raided two houses tied to McDonald along with a pair of additional stash houses and turned up $140,000 worth of heroin, a pair of handguns and ten grand in cash, while shutting down a major distributor in Carroll County. "This operation has impacted the number of overdoses that we've seen particularly in Carroll County,” said Russo. “In 2015, there were 43 overdoses. In 2016, we are up to 113. That's a 162% increase, and again, our investigators believe that these two are directly impacting those numbers." At the time of their arrest, police believe the two men had just picked up the cocaine from New York and were bringing it back to distribute in Carroll County. A trooper initiated that stop when he noticed someone in the car wasn't wearing their seatbelt.
It's a busy late summer day on the Saint Lawrence River, and it's all to thank veterans and Fort Drum soldiers. Bob Cooke, North Country Troopers Assisting Troops said, "New Jersey State Police has an event like this. Some of our guys went there and said we would like to put something like that on here in a local sense with Fort Drum." North Country Troopers Assisting Troops hosted its fourth annual fishing event in Clayton Sunday to thank more than 80 active military members and veterans. The troops went out in boats with law enforcement and other sponsors to enjoy a day catching fish like walleye or pike. There were also 28 professional fishing guides from Cape Vincent, Alexandria Bay and Clayton, helping troops and troopers catch as much as they can. "We did better than last year," veteran Ryan Rhoades said. "I think all of us pretty much caught two or three fish a piece, so it's a pretty good turnout today." 10th Mountain Division soldier Isaac Rightnowar said, "We started out with a three and a half pounds mallmouth and we got that one in. These guys really took place in helping out and making sure that fish was in the live well." The fishing trip ended with a boat procession, led by the Coast Guard and a Clayton fireboat. Once they arrived back, they were greeted by civilians and state police officers, thanking them for their service. The troops said it means a lot. "The community coming out to thank us, we appreciate them," SFC Oswaldo Maldonado, 10th Mountain Division said. "We appreciate the New York state troopers. " Showing support with a calm summer day on the seaway.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Trooper Kenneth Velez was struck and killed by a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop on I-90, near the Warren Road exit, in Cuyahoga County. Trooper Velez had served with the Ohio State Highway Patrol for 27 years. He is survived by his wife and three children. End of watch: September 15, 2016
Nine new four-legged troopers with a nose for explosives have been welcomed to the Washington State Patrol. According to the State Patrol’s blog, Moss, Ralph, Maxo, Buster, Evie, Frankie, Mitchell, Vilma and Rex graduated from the 20th Explosive Detection Canine Handler Course on Sept. 2. Chief John Batiste himself presented them with their official Washington State Patrol K9 badges. Also honored were Master Trainer Steve Gardner and Trooper Matt Chatterton, who is Evie’s handler, who were presented with 20-year service pins. Kate Park was given a certificate of appreciation for her dedication to the Homeland Security Division.
A woman is praising a Massachusetts State Police trooper who she says went above and beyond to take care of her and her dog following a crash. She said the accident would have been routine if she didn’t have her large Great Dane dog in the back seat. Trooper Sullivan of the Newbury barracks, as State Police put it, “assisted in a Great (Dane) way.” The woman said Cowboy would have “lost his mind” if he had to stay in her car while it was towed. Great Danes are by nature sensitive dogs. So Trooper Sullivan let the dog climb into his cruiser. The trooper dropped the woman and her Great Dane off where she needed to meet her husband to get a ride. “Thank you!!! A million times over!!” the woman wrote to police.
You've heard about acts of kindness among strangers, but here's one that breaks the mold. The center divide of Interstate 80 is an unforgiving no-man's land populated by the broken down or the desperate. Last Saturday night, John Badial of Vacaville fit the latter category. "All my money for the week, all the money we had was in the center divide," Badial said. He's an auto mechanic and father of two who made the common mistake of leaving his wallet on the roof of the family car. "I went right over the bump and I happened to glance in my rear-view mirror and saw everything fall out of my wallet and hit the ground," Badial said. California Highway Patrol Ofc. James Morrell doesn't often receive calls about people crawling around highway medians in the dark on their hands and knees. "I thought he was broken down or ran out of gas, something like that," he said. As Morrell soon learned those $200 meant everything to a man with a family living paycheck top paycheck. "Everything is accounted for. Every nickel gets spent, pretty much, so it was a huge loss for us," Badial said. But there is more to this story because Morrell is second generation CHP and there was something about Badial's plight that touched him. As he escorted him to a gas station, he noticed a cash machine nearby. While Badial filled up his tank with gas, Morrell withdrew $60, walked over and gave it to him. "Because that is how I was raised, my parents taught me to help everyone in any way that I'm able to do. And that's again the reason why I got this job. I wanted to help everybody," Morrell said. "I was pretty thankful and got choked up about it because he doesn't know me from Adam, you know," Badial said. They know each other, now. Two strangers linked by bad luck and goodwill and an act of kindness on a busy highway.
"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.