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Next year, there will be 34 new Kansas Highway Patrol troopers on the job throughout the state. It’s the largest class the Patrol has graduated in 14 years. The new troopers chanted and marched on stage during a graduation ceremony Thursday at the Highway Patrol’s training academy in Salina. KHP launched an aggressive recruiting effort last year because there’s been a shortage of manpower for many years. In 2015, the patrol set a goal to hire 75 troopers in the next three years to bring the agency to nearly-full capacity. Trooper Stephen LaRow says they stepped up their social media campaign and hired a full-time recruiter, Trooper Cory Beard. "In a time that we’ve been struggling to find applicants, to graduate a class this size I think shows a lot about his efforts and basically, how far our reach in social media has gone," LaRow says. This 56th trooper class began their basic training at the academy back in July. They completed 23 weeks of classes on driving, firearms, legal issues and other subjects. They also learned techniques for how to respond to people with special needs. LaRow says this year’s graduating class of 34 is a milestone—this is the largest trooper class to graduate since 38 new troopers graduated in 2002. He says this is also the first class to come under the new recruiter. "We have a full-time recruiter who goes out and attends job fairs, goes to college campuses," LaRow says. "He’s very interactive with people –answers a lot of questions through phone calls and emails, and things like that." LaRow says another change may have also helped their recruiting efforts. The Highway Patrol now offers the application test a lot more, and at sites throughout the state. In previous years, it was only offered once or twice a year. The new troopers will now have to complete three months of on-the-road field training with a senior trooper before they begin their full-time assignments.
Louisiana State Police was honored to be able to travel to the St. Jude Children's Hospital this week and spread Christmas cheer to the patients and families at the Target & Ronald McDonald houses. Troopers enjoyed visiting with and delivering Christmas cards to the amazing children of St. Jude's. The weekend concluded with 4 troopers completing the half marathon on Saturday.
Friday was a day 22 weeks in the making. Colorado cadets became troopers with the State Patrol. With their right hands held in the air, and their voices in unison, they took the pledge, making it official. “The bonds are unbreakable that we formed here,” new Trooper Kerry Donahue said. “There’s nothing like it.” The moment weighed on some of the people at the graduation ceremony. Tears were shed, as everyone knew they’d gained 15 troopers, but lost three in the last few years. Taylor Thyfault was hit and killed by a driver during a high-speed chase in 2015. Jaimie Jursevics was hit and killed during a crash investigation in November of that year, and Cody Donahue was hit almost exactly a year later. “I feel strong about my choice to become a Colorado State Trooper, knowing the risks. That’s something you do a long time ago, when you sign up, and decide this is the path you’re going to go down,” Donahue said, adding that the loss reinforces her duty to serve. The ceremony was held in Golden. Troopers were sent to their new offices once it ended.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) was challenged by the Virginia State Police to take part in the mannequin challenge. The THP is also teaming up with the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to donate food and supplies to those affected by the devastating wildfires. Acceding to a press release, officials hope the mannequin challenge will bring attention to the resources needed by the fire victims in East Tennessee. The collection period will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 6, through Tuesday, Dec. 20. Members of the THP will deliver the collected items to the Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries. Suggested items are blankets, bottled water, canned food, non-perishable food, factory-sealed food items, and pet food. “Kindness is a gift that we all can share with one another,” said Colonel Tracy Trott. “I am personally requesting that you please show your neighbors in Gatlinburg that you care about them. This is a catastrophic event that affects all Tennesseans.” The public can drop off items at any of the eight THP District Headquarters statewide. You can visit the website for a list of the district locations. Click here for a list of locations.
State police troopers rescued an unconscious driver from a burning car on I-91 early Friday morning, police said. About 3:08 a.m., troopers from Troop H in Hartford responded to a crash in which a vehicle rolled over on I-91 north at exit 29A. The vehicle, a Nissan Altima, was also reported to be on fire, state police said. A trooper working at a nearby highway construction job responded and found the car on its roof and on fire, with the driver trapped inside, state police said. Working with another trooper, he was able to extinguish the fire, and the unconscious driver was eventually removed from the car and taken to Hartford Hospital. The driver did not suffer any serious injuries, state police said. None of the troopers were injured, state police said.
You've probably caught wind of the mannequin challenge issued by the Virginin State Police going around. We have a great one to share with you done by the Michigan State Police. The impressive video goes on for about 2 and a half minutes. The inspiration behind it is taking a stand against hunger in our community. Their ongoing donation collection is featured throughout.
Watch the video at: https://www.facebook.com/MichiganStatePolice/videos/10154869432492216/.
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The Georgia Department of Public Safety is participating in the 2016 Toys for Tots campaign. This is the eighth year state troopers and officers with Capitol Police and the Motor Carrier Compliance Division have joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve to collect toys for less fortunate children during the holiday season. Last year, the agency collected approximately 42,587 toys and $89,979 in monetary donations for Toys for Tots or similar charities. Collection boxes have been placed at DPS locations across the state. Donated toys should be new and unwrapped, and may be dropped off at Georgia State Patrol posts between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. Additional collection sites are in the lobby at the Georgia Department of Public Safety Headquarters at 959 East Confederate Avenue in Atlanta and the Capitol Police Services office at 180 Central Avenue near the Georgia State Capitol. All donations will stay in the county in which the donation was received, allowing donations to benefit children in the local community. “The Department is honored to continue our tradition of partnering with the Marine Corps and Toys for Tots," Colonel Mark McDonough, commissioner for the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said. "Helping children and families in need have a safe and happy holiday is just another way for us to give back to the community." Additionally, he said child safety seat checks are being incorporated into toy collection drives on certain days in the local communities. For a complete list of Georgia State Patrol posts and addresses, visit the Georgia Department of Public Safety website.
The 55 members of the Virginia State Police Academy are taking a stand – literally- against hunger in local communities across the nation. On Monday (Nov. 20), the 125th Basic Session took their food drive to the next level by producing a “mannequin challenge” video at the state police Academy in North Chesterfield County. The trooper-trainees were already purchasing food to donate to local food banks and churches within the Blackstone, Va., and Metro-Richmond communities in time for Thanksgiving, when they came up with the idea to go global. With the help of Virginia State Police Superintendent, Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, and Academy staff, the 125th Basic Session has issued a “food drive mannequin challenge” to Tennessee Highway Patrol Academy Class #1216 and Michigan State Police 131st and 132nd Trooper Recruit Classes. “Since our jobs as troopers are not only to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth, but also to be community caretakers, we decided to ‘pay it forward’ by helping our communities by providing them with all the trimmings of a full Thanksgiving meal,” said Virginia State Police 125th Basic Session President, Trooper-Trainee T.C. Fairburn. “So with the current trend of mannequin challenges, our class thought producing our own video would be a fun and productive way to get the word out there to truly help others in need. Hopefully this idea will go viral with state police and highway patrol academy classes, nationwide, taking the challenge and helping give back this holiday season to the very communities we will serve and protect once we graduate from our respective academies.” This is the first time the Virginia State Police has ever produced a video “challenge.” The VSP mannequin challenge is 2 minutes and 42 seconds long, and available on the VSP YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/6KACfdUixWk. The 125th Basic Session began their 29-week Academy in August 2016 and graduate in March 2017.
These pictures were taken in an area of Gatlinburg, TN. where the flames prevented emergency vehicles from entering. Troopers walked into these areas that were surrounded by fire to evacuate those who were trapped. As you see a trooper carried an injured person out to safety. Please be safe.
Trooper Frankie Williams was killed when his patrol car was struck head-on by a vehicle on Route 55, near milepost 22, in Millville. He was responding to a call for service when the other vehicle crossed the grass median of the highway and collided with his patrol car. He was flown to Cooper University Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The subject in the vehicle that struck his patrol car was also killed. Trooper Williams had served with the New Jersey State Police for only 11 months.
A State Trooper and his intern helped deliver a baby girl on the side of the road. The baby was born on Spruce Avenue south of M-82 in Newaygo County on Sunday. Trooper Owen McGuigan was on patrol with a college student interested in law enforcement when they were dispatched to look for a Jeep that was on the side of the road. State police were told by Central Dispatch that an occupant in the Jeep was having a medical emergency, but due to a language barrier, Dispatch did not know what the emergency was. Within minutes, Trooper McGuigan was in the area and found the vehicle on the shoulder of the road. Trooper McGuigan quickly learned that the passenger, a 41-year-old Grant woman, was in labor. Things escalated quickly. We're told eight minutes after the initial dispatch call, Trooper McGuigan was holding a newborn baby in his hands. Trooper McGuigan barely had time to call for an ambulance and put his gloves on when a healthy baby girl was delivered on the side of the road. Trooper McGuigan and his intern were able to deliver the baby and keep her and the mother warm until EMS arrived. The mother and baby were then transported to Spectrum Health Gerber Hospital in Fremont. Troopers were assisted at the scene by Life EMS and Newaygo First Responders.
Family, friends and members of the Colorado State Patrol said goodbye Friday to trooper Cody Donahue.Donahue, 34, was struck and killed by a semitruck along Interstate 25 south of Castle Rock on Nov. 25. He was hit while investigating another accident. He died instantly. He is survived by his wife and two young children. A procession began at 9:45 a.m. at the Ellis Family Services in Littleton. It traveled onto westbound C-470 from West Bowles Avenue. The U.S. Honor Flag accompanied Donahue's body. The procession then went down Highway 285 to the Denver First Church of the Nazarene (3800 E. Hampden Ave.). As the procession neared South Kipling Street, more vehicles made up a massive procession. Several drivers stopped and got out of their vehicles as the procession traveled eastbound on Hampden. Several other people lined the streets, many with flags, to pay their respects. Originally from North Dakota, Donahue had been with the Colorado State Patrol for 11 years. Donahue's family issued a public statement Thursday thanking everyone for their love and support during this difficult time. They also begged drivers to watch for emergency vehicles and patrol cars, and to slow down.
For the second time this month, a good Samaritan stopped to help a law enforcement officer who needed assistance on I-75. This week, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper pulled over a speeding car. Soon after, the men became hostile and resisted arrest. The trooper was outnumbered - until a passing retired police officer stopped to help. Jeffery Duclos, a veteran and former Rhode Island police officer, said when he saw the trooper wrestling a man on the ground - alone - his training and 30 years of law enforcement work kicked in. "I saw the trooper on the ground in a confrontation with the person," Duclos said. He didn't hesitate to stop his car on busy I-75 in Collier County. "I think more people ought to be prepared to help," he said. The trooper had pulled over Richard Lazo Torres and Isaac Ruiz Wilson because Lazo Torres was driving more than 100 mph. The trooper said when they got to the side of the road, Lazo Torres switched places with Wilson to try and hide the fact he was driving because he has a suspended license. "I think the kid saw me coming, so he basically surrendered," Duclos said. He knows it could have been worse, that the trooper may not have made it home to his family that night. "Other people are in the car. If they come out, he's got a major problem." It's the second time a passerby has helped a law enforcement officer on the interstate this month. Two weeks ago, an unidentified man shot and killed Edward Strother, who was attacking a Lee County sheriff's deputy. "This individual who had a carry permit was a true hero," Duclo said of that good Samaritan. "He got out of the car; he jeopardized his safety." The Lee County Sheriff's Office has not released that man's name because he wishes to be anonymous. Lazo Torres and Wilson were in a rental car that was overdue for return. Both were arrested for switching drivers and resisting arrest. Duclos, who used to train police officers, said the trooper he aided was a complete professional.
A trooper paying attention to his Facebook page helped locate a missing autistic teenager from Woodbury earlier this month. The trooper saw a Facebook post about the teen at the beginning of his shift on Nov. 2. That same trooper was dispatched a few hours later to a pedestrian call on Interstate 494 in Eagan. Upon arrival, he immediately believed he found the teen. After a few questions, the trooper confirmed his suspicions. Through his friend who made the Facebook post, the trooper was able to get the teen’s address and take him home.
"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.