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In the true holiday spirit, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper helped a stranded South Florida visitor get home by personally, and anonymously, paying for his bus ticket. The young man from Georgia was visiting South Florida the weekend of Dec. 6 when the trip went sour. The man said he was left stranded with no cell phone, no wallet and no help from family or friends. The man said he walked for hours through the streets of South Florida dragging his luggage. The man had little more than $20 to his name. He finally ended up at the Greyhound bus station, where he happened upon FHP Trooper Terence Hicks. "He told me that he only had $20 to his name, that his wallet was stolen. I took it upon my heart to assist him," Trooper Hicks said. The traveler explained his desperate situation and, without hesitation, Hicks reached into his wallet, and his heart, and gave the man $120 to purchase a bus ticket home. The man said Hicks would not give him his name, but told him that if the roles were reversed and he found himself stranded in Georgia, he would want someone to help him get back to Miami. The kind gesture would not remain anonymous for long, as the traveler penned a heartfelt letter and sent it to FHP. In it, he called Hicks a "true American hero" and a "great human being." "It bought me to tears because when the people I depended on the most let me down, God still made a way," the man wrote. "I have never met anyone in my 25 year lifetime that could Care so much about another human beings wellbeing enough that they would do that for me. "I just want to thank him for not only helping me home, but for changing my heart towards people, and making me believe in law enforcement," the man wrote. He concluded his letter with the words, "Thank you thank you thank you, to a true American hero........ From a grateful American!" By providing a detailed physical description of Hicks, along with his age and the exact date and time they'd encountered one another at the station, FHP was able to identify Hicks as the trooper behind the compassionate gesture. In a statement, FHP said that through his actions, Hicks displayed "one of the most important qualifies a police officer must have, compassion."
The Maine State Police are honoring Wreaths Across America with a special license plate this week. The plates feature the Wreaths Across America logo and the state police seal. Troopers are part of the convoy headed to Arlington National Cemetery and have been for the past several years, officials said. The plates were funded by the Maine State Trooper’s Association and the Maine Trooper’s Foundation. After the plates are taken down, the trooper who displayed the plate will sign it and it will be given to families who have lost a service member in combat, or it will be auctioned off to benefit Wreaths Across America, Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said.
Kentucky State Police’s annual Shop with a Trooper allowed more than 70 children to participate this year. It is the 13th year KSP has hosted this event.
It begins with a ride in a cruiser to Wal-Mart where they eat breakfast, take a picture with Santa, and then they begin to shop. They start with the winter necessities and afterwards head for the fun stuff. Each of the children got to spend $125.00 this year.
The funds raised for the event are through fundraisers and private donations. “It allots us the opportunity to take 75 to 80 children from our five-county coverage area Breathitt, Knott, Letcher, Leslie and Perry's counties. We're able to take this children shopping and try to add a little joy to their Christmas experience," Jody Sims, police intelligence officer for KSP Post 13, said.
The United Steel Workers Local Union in Williamson, West Virginia joined in the fun also. They presented a $250.00 donation check to Kentucky State Police’s Pikeville Post on behalf of all union employees of Trinity Healthcare.
KSP also began its Sixth Annual Food Drive for local communities throughout Kentucky Dec. 6. In 2014, KSP collected over 230,000 pounds of food for needy families.
"When we have things like shop with a trooper, cram the cruiser, trooper island those are opportunities, to first, take care of our children, give back to the communities and interact on a positive base it shows that we do care even though it doesn't always appear that way to let people know how much we do care about the people we serve in our communities and to have a positive impact on those people," Sims said.
Sgt. Harold Norris (retired), the second oldest living state trooper in Iowa was called back to action Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. He was on hand to show off the original 1935 Ford Tudor Patrol Car at the rededication ceremony.
The restored patrol car looks exactly like the standard-issue car, and a trooper was dressed in the uniform used in 1935 to match.
Students in the automotive program at Des Moines Central Campus did the remodeling work on the vehicle, and the group Keep Iowa Beautiful partnered with the patrol in rededicating it.
“It’s about symbolism; it represents the State Patrol. It represents the officers that are long gone, and troopers,” said Keep Iowa Beautiful executive director, Gerald Schnepf. “It represents the troopers that are retired. It represents the troopers that are out on the field right now. So, it’s a good symbol, and Iowans need to see that. They need to see that piece of history, and then it should stimulate some thinking in their minds about protection and safety. And what the troopers have done for them.”
The car will remain on display at the Iowa State Bank for the next 30 days. After that, it will travel the state to be displayed at various car and historical events.Sgt. Harold Norris and the Executive Director of Keep Iowa Beautiful were recognized for their assistance in the project.
Ethan Vincent, son of slain Louisiana State Police Senior Trooper Steven Vincent, touched everyone’s heart when he was photographed by April Reeves. The pictures tell such a powerful story of a boy that will forever have his father’s spirit with him.
April Reeves, the Lafayette photographer who snapped the shots, posted on her Facebook,"As promised, I wanted to share more images of Ethan with his father's hat and flag. I truly hope that when he is older, he is as happy to have these treasures as I was to capture them for him. This child is amazing, strong, and so very proud of his dad. There is something about the way he lit up when talking about his dad and the pride radiated from him when he placed that hat on his head."
Trooper Vincent was shot and killed during a traffic stop in late August, near Lake Charles. Kevin Daigle, the man accused of killing Vincent, is awaiting trial. Daigle is also charged in the death of a second man.
All Photos by April Reeves Photography Please contact photographer for permission to use
There are many calls in which troopers respond to vehicle crashes involving animals. Sometimes, sadly, left behind are orphans and volunteer rescuers must come get them.
Connecticut Trooper Ben Pagoni responded to such a call in which a doe was killed in a car crash. Upon arrival, he found she left behind two babies. In this case, there were no rescues present. Trooper Pagoni received permission to take custody of the deer and has been, with the help of his family, caring for them until a rescue becomes available.
“Sometimes Troopers get more than they bargain for when responding to a call,” State Police said.
North Dakota Highway Patrol troopers are growing their mustaches to support South Dakota Tpr. Zachary Bader, calling it “No Shave November.”
“Everyone kind of gets a laugh out of it, most of the guys don't have a mustache, generally pretty clean shaven, so to see people walking around and kind of hiding their face, because they're kind of maybe a little bit embarrassed by it, but I think it's good. It has helped us really raise awareness," says Sgt. Steve Johnson.
He hopes the mustaches will help bring out a smile and raise awareness.
Bader suffered serious injuries after being assaulted during a traffic stop and was left for dead in October. He had extensive injuries to his head, including broken bones and was found bleeding and semi-conscious along the roadway. Bader was recently released from a Rapid City hospital and is recovering but has a long road ahead of him.
Troopers say funds are being raised to help with medical expenses. Some of it is coming from money patrolmen are saving by not shaving. So far the GoFundMeaccount set up by Bader's family has raised more than $61,000.
Four Washington state residents are charged in the assault that injured Bader. One of them has been charged with attempting to murder and to assaulting Bader; two others with being accessories to attempted murder and to the assault of a law enforcement officer. All four were charged with possessing more than a pound of pot with the intent to distribute it. Authorities say they recovered more than 50 pounds of marijuana, $33,000 in cash and a handgun after the incident.
Colonel Bill Grey, commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and Frank L. Perry, secretary of the Department of Public Safety, presented several members and citizens with awards in a ceremony November 17, 20105. The awards given included the State Highway Patrol Meritorious Service, Samaritan and Appreciation.
Meritorious Service Award:
The Highway Patrol Meritorious Service Award is given by the Patrol to a member or members who serve the state of North Carolina in an outstanding manner.
Trooper Joe D. Berrong, II – Troop F, District 9, Wilkesboro and Sgt. Benjamin P. Gates – Troop E, District 9, Salisbury for representing the State Highway Patrol in St. Louis, Missouri while competing in the 2015 North American Inspectors Challenge -- and they won.
Samaritan Service Awards:
The Highway Patrol Samaritan Award is an award bestowed to a member of the Patrol who went beyond the call of duty to aid or assist a fellow citizen.
Trooper Paul Howard, Jr. – Troop B, District 4 – Kenansville
Trooper Jeremy C. Freeman – Troop B, District 5 – Elizabethtown
Trooper David W. Emory – Troop I, District 3 – Greenville
Trooper Patrick E. Ellis – Troop E, District 5 – Mount Airy
Sgt. Benjamin P. Gates – Troop E, District 9 – Salisbury
Trooper Stephen S. Allred – Troop G, District 5 – Silva
Trooper Jordan E. Parton, Trooper Samuel D. Martin – Troop F, District 4 – Statesville
“The sacrifices displayed by the sworn and civilian members of the State Highway Patrol serve as outstanding examples of the unwavering service provided by state employees,” Perry said.
“The men and women honored here today have demonstrated exceptional dedication to the citizens of North Carolina,” said Colonel Grey. “I am proud to work with employees that display such a willingness to serve.”
Courtesy of North Carolina Department of Public Safety
Alabama State Troopers were honored Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Troopers Justin O'Neal, Delvylon Williams, Richard Pittman and JT Morrow were honored by Governor Robert Bentley.
Trooper Justin O’Neal helped a homeless man he found walking along the interstate that hadn’t eaten in days. “I just felt with my heart that the man was hungry and needed something to eat so I stopped and bought him some McDonald's and took him as far as I could. Being a Christian and a good person that's just something that everybody needs to do. A lot of people think we're just out here to enforce laws and take people to jail; a lot of people have a bad eye toward law enforcement nowadays so anything that looks positive for us is always a good thing, it looks good for police officers in general, not all police officers are bad people, and we are generally good people that do this on a regular basis,” said Trooper Justin O’Neal.
Trooper Delvylon Williams bought meals for a homeless father and son. "I have two kids, and I wouldn't want anyone to do me like that, so I just went by and gave them something to eat. We do this every day, and today we just got recognized for it. We all do good things out there other than what you see, stuff happening in the media but this is the positive thing, and I'm glad to show the positive thing we all do as law enforcement agents across the country,” said Trooper Williams.
Trooper Richard Pittman and Capitol Patrol Trooper J.T. Morrow were also honored for helping a veteran.
It seems that Alabama state troopers live by their motto of "courtesy, service, protection,” everyday.
Louisiana State Troopers had the honor of welcoming Trooper Thomas Walton to the select ranks of the Louisiana State Police.
Thomas Walton is a brave 8 year old boy who was born with 4 holes in his heart, 1 atrial septal defect and 3 ventricular septal defects. Fortunately, three of the holes closed on their own during the first three years of his life; however, the remaining hole will be operated on soon.
Trooper Thomas began his day with a tour of the LSP Training Academy where he met with cadets from LSP Cadet Class #94 and viewed LSP vehicles and equipment making sure the motor units were ready for the day ahead.
Tpr. Walton then visited with Colonel Edmonson to receive his honorary LSP Commission and enjoy some quality time over breakfast in the DPS cafeteria.
After a hearty breakfast, Trooper Thomas Walton traveled to theJoint Emergency Services Training Center to receive lessons on pursuit driving, motorcycle patrol and LSP K-9 narcotics detection. He commanded the chopper and perfected his sniper skills. He went about his day making sure everyone stayed safe.
New York State Police Trooper Joseph Menna was hit by a car Saturday night.
Trooper Menna stopped a Chevrolet Suburban for a traffic violation. While approaching the offending vehicle, chaos erupted behind him. The driver of a Chevrolet Cobalt braked suddenly, lost control and struck a Honda Odyssey. At the same moment the driver of a Buick was attempting to merge into the lane of the Cobalt and hit the car, pushing it into the parked Suburban.
The trooper was then struck by the Suburban, knocking him over the guardrail where he fell down the embankment.
Trooper Menna was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and was released, declining medical attention.
Three Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers were honored Wednesday for saving the lives of Two Citizens.
Trooper Matthew Stoffer received a certificate of recognition for his lifesaving efforts. Stoffer was responding to a call of an erratic driver. When the man pulled over, he yelled for help. His 1-year-old daughter wasn't breathing.
“As he picked up the lifeless baby from the child seat and placed it on the front seat, he swept the baby’s mouth thinking possibly the baby was choking and started chest compressions,” said Mansfield post Commander Lt. Matt Them. “At that point the baby began to breathe on its own, which it was not previously. The parents advised the baby was sick and became unresponsive and they were trying to get to the hospital.” After the baby began to breathe, the ambulance came and the girl was flown to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.
Trooper Stoffer hopes to see her again one day.
Troopers Steve Gillum and Drew Nelson were honored with a Governor's Resolution. Troopers Nelson and Gillum were on patrol Sept. 3, when they were called to assist the Mansfield Police Department on an attempted suicide call, Lt. Matt Them said. A woman called police saying a man was threatening on social media to hang himself and that he would be at his grandmother's house.
When Nelson and Gillum knocked on the elderly woman’s door, she said she was the only person home. A quick search found that to be true, Them said. But before leaving, Nelson and Gillum asked to search a detached garage. There were no windows, Gillum said. They needed to be sure the man was not harming himself elsewhere on the property.
The woman said her grandson wouldn’t be there, but agreed to let them check. When the troopers stepped inside, they found the man hanging from the rafters, a rope around his neck. They immediately lifted the man and cut the rope. He regained consciousness shortly after.
District Capt. David Church from Bucyrus commended the troopers on a job well done.
A Pennsylvania State Police trooper who was critically injured during an ambush at a police barracks last year completed the New York City Marathon last weekend in the hand cycle category. In an interview done May 2015, Tpr. Douglass stated the marathon was his goal.
Trooper Alex Douglass of Dunmore placed 47th in the 26-mile race Sunday using a three-wheeled cycle that's powered by hand. He completed the race in two hours and 33 minutes.
Douglass underwent a full hip replacement and has had difficulties walking since the shooting on Sept. 12, 2014. He had numerous surgeries before the replacement.
On Jan. 23 run 7.31 miles to honor Trooper Nicholas Dees.
The Trooper Nicholas Dees Memorial Run is to bring awareness to Don't Text and Drive. Trooper Dees was killed while working an accident on I-40 by a man who was Texting and Driving which was not a law at the time. Nicholas paid the ultimate sacrifice for the State of Oklahoma and because of his death Oklahoma now has a Don't Text and Drive Law. All proceeds will be going to children of Law Enforcement officers who are pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice. The Chahta Foundation will collect all proceeds, and the Choctaw Nation will match donations dollar for dollar. Click here for registration details.
If you cannot be at the run, but still wish to join, register for the virtual run click here for details.
"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.