Mississippi Highway Patrol entered 2022 calendar contest in honor of fallen trooper

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Last year’s entry came in eighth place in the national competition. This year’s entry has special meaning for the agency and came in tenth place. A photo of the Dodge Charger was taken at Red Bluff Canyon in Marion County. The cruiser belonged to late Trooper John Harris. Harris was a member of the MHP Interdiction Team and had three years of service.

Trooper First Class Ron Bosarge said, “Trooper Harris was involved in a fatal crash involving a tractor-trailer earlier this year in May while conducting a routine traffic stop. The Mississippi Highway Patrol would like to dedicate this year’s submission to the memory of Trooper Harris.” Harris was killed on Highway 16 in Yazoo County. He left behind a wife and two children.

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Injured Maryland swimmer rescued by state police helicopter

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A Maryland swimmer who suffered a head injury was brought to safety by a state police helicopter.

The patient, who was not identified, was hurt after slipping on a rock at the Youghiogheny River’s Swallow Falls, about 189 miles west of Baltimore, according to a Maryland State Police release.

“Due to the steep terrain, extended extraction time, and the nature of the victim’s injuries,” the aerial hoist rescue was performed by a Maryland State Police Aviation Command helicopter, according to the release.

Helicopter Trooper 5 had been dispatched shortly after 5 p.m., according to the release.

The patient was treated by Garrett County Fire and Rescue during ground operations as well, the release noted.

The patient was transported to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Wv., about 50 miles west of Swallow Falls.

Authorities did not detail the patient’s current condition.

A similar rescue was made earlier that day by Maryland State Police Helicopter Trooper 1, regarding an individual who was hurt after jumping 20 to 30 feet off a rock in a creek at Gilpin’s Falls, authorities said on the department’s Facebook page.

Maryland State Police also shared video of that rescue.

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Master Trooper Adam Gaubert, a 19-year veteran, was ambushed in his patrol vehicle

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A Louisiana state trooper was killed by a man who authorities believe also fatally shot another person and wounded three others across multiple parishes, the state police said.Master Trooper Adam Gaubert, a 19-year veteran of the force, was ambushed in his patrol vehicle Saturday near Prairieville, according to a Louisiana State Police news release. The suspect, Matthew Mire, 31, was taken into custody that night after a daylong manhunt.

“(Gaubert) served selflessly and courageously to keep our people and our communities safe, and he represents the best of all us,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement Sunday. The trooper was found dead near the scene of another killing. Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre said Mire fatally shot Pamela Adair, 37, at a home around 3 a.m. on Saturday before fleeing. Authorities said they have reason to believe she was Mire’s half-sister, but his motive for shooting her wasn’t immediately clear. He also shot a man who was transported to a hospital, the sheriff said. In Livingston Parish, authorities said Mire shot two people — a man and woman — at a trailer park on Highway 444. Deputies said the man was shot in the arm and the woman was shot in both her arm and leg around midnight Saturday. Both of those victims are expected to survive, the sheriff’s office said. Authorities believe Mire fired at another state trooper while fleeing into East Baton Rouge Parish. The trooper wasn’t injured, but his police car was damaged by bullets. Mire was taken to a local hospital for injuries stemming from a police dog bite and a gunshot wound to his leg that police believe was self-inflicted. Troopers are watching over him at the medical facility, and he will be booked upon release. Mire could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday. State detectives obtained arrest warrants for charges including first-degree murder of a police officer in Ascension Parish. In East Baton Rouge Parish, they obtained warrants for attempted first-degree murder and aggravated flight from an officer.

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North Carolina Highway Patrol officers treat stranded woman to lunch

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An elderly woman was traveling alone when her car ran out of gas alongside I-85 in Alamance County, North Carolina. She called local law enforcement to request assistance.

North Carolina State Troopers Linch and Coggins arrived on the scene to help the woman. Trooper Linch sat with her in her vehicle while Coggins retrieved gas for her.

After refueling her car, the troopers invited her to join them for lunch. The woman and the two troopers were joined by Troopers Foster and Gibbs upon arrival. 

Andrea King Lowe saw the luncheon, snapped a photo and posted it on Facebook. In just over 24 hours, her post received 2.8 thousand likes, 4.7 thousand shares and over 380 comments praising the good deed of the officers.

"That’s what it’s all about y’all. Community service at its best. Proud to be part of this organization/family." Lowe said in her post.

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Darlington County road named after South Carolina Highway Patrol Col. Chris Williamson

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The first African American commander for the South Carolina Highway Patrol is now cemented in history on the very road's he serves.

On Saturday, a road dedication for Commander Christopher N. Williamson was held at Darlington Raceway.

Members of the South Carolina legislature and Governor Henry McMaster were present to be a part of this special occasion.

Speakers at the ceremony described Williamson as someone with integrity, dedication, and someone always looking to pay it forward.

Colonel Williamson told ABC 15 he hopes when young people drive on Colonel Christopher N. Williamson Road they will also strive for greatness and change their communities for the better.

"But it's not about where you come from, where you're going. What commitment in your life and that upbringing that you have that's a part of you, that make you want, that instill something in you to do better than the people before you," said Colonel Williamson.

The commander has been with the highway patrol for more than 30 years.

Colonel Christopher N. Williamson Road is located on the portion of Society Hill Road in Darlington County. It starts from the intersection with Greenfield Rd. to the intersection with South Carolina Highway 34.

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Maine State Police Trooper Keeps His Word and Makes a Splash

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Maine State Police Trooper David Barnard has recently transferred to Troop F which is responsible for police coverage for all of Aroostook County and the northern parts of Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Somerset Counties. Prior to that, he was a member of Troop J, which provides coverage to Hancock and Washington Counties.

According to Baileyville Police Chief Bob Fitzsimmons, who is a model of community policing, Barnard made a promise to some young folks jumping off a bridge into the water. The bridge separates Princeton and Indian Township and has been a popular swimming spot for folks for as long as Chief Fitzsimmons can remember. David told the kids that he would be back when he wasn’t in uniform and take the jump with them.

Even though Trooper Bernard recently transferred to a different area, he kept his promise to those kids!
Although many of the activities on this list are geared toward kids, the entire family can find fun in many of them. Preserve family memories by making a scrapbook, complete with old photos and a family tree. Create brand new memories with a backyard campout—complete with s’mores and ghost stories—all with the comfort of a toilet just a few short steps away.

For adolescents who don’t like to get too much sun, indoor activities like creating a website or designing a board game inspire creativity without leaving the house. Parents of gamers can even inject learning into video game time, with a course on architectural history taught through Minecraft.

Kids of all ages can beat the heat with a water balloon fight or pass the time on a rainy day by learning more about the weather. Get down and dirty by making slime or play dough, get the blood flowing by training for a family 5k, or create a backyard obstacle course.

There’s more out there than you know. Keep reading to find 50 fun-filled activities to keep children engaged this summer.

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Ohio Highway Patrol post commander dies of Covid-19

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The commander of the Springfield Post of the Ohio State Highway patrol, Lt. Brian Aller, 47, died on September 29th.

“The patrol can confirm the off-duty death of Lt. Brian K. Aller of the Springfield Post who passed away today,” said Lt. Nathan Dennis of the OSHP.

A Facebook page and GoFundMe were made in support of Aller after he was hospitalized after contracting COVID-19.

According to the pages, Aller was admitted to the hospital Sept. 11.

Aller was commander of the Springfield Post since January 2014, after working as an OSHP trooper for over 15 years.

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office extended condolences to Aller’s family and coworkers at the OSHP, saying he “will be sorely missed,” according to a Facebook post.

“Lt. Aller was a previous employee of the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office (1996-97). Lt. Aller was a great law enforcement officer and a good friend. His contributions to the Clark County and Champaign County communities are immeasurable,” the sheriff’s office said in the post.

Aller began his law enforcement career as an officer with the St. Paris Police Department, then later was a deputy with the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office before applying for the State Highway Patrol. He was then at the OSHP Dayton post for five years, and worked as a sergeant at the Piqua post for 11 years before becoming Springfield’s post commander.

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Washington State Patrol Trooper dies from COVID-19

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A veteran Washington State Patrol trooper and accident-reconstruction expert who led the agency’s investigation into the 2017 derailment of an Amtrak train in Pierce County has died from COVID-19 contracted while on the job, the agency said Sunday.

The patrol said Trooper Eric Gunderson, 38, a husband, father, and 16-year WSP veteran, died Sunday morning surrounded by his family. Gunderson is survived by his wife Kameron and two sons, Braden, 10, and Blake, 13, the agency said.

WSP Chief John Batiste said Gunderson is the 32nd trooper to die in the line of duty since the agency’s formation 100 years ago, a landmark celebrated just weeks ago.

“Eric Gunderson was a respected trooper and public servant,” Batiste said in a statement. “I had hoped our second century of service would be more forgiving.”

“But serving the public, as we do, has inherent dangers and this pandemic has been a foe to our agency and indeed our state and nation,” Batiste said. The agency said Gunderson is believed to have contracted COVID-19 while on a trip related to his police work with aerial drones.

Agency spokesperson Chris Loftis said he did not know whether Gunderson had been vaccinated and said the agency for now is “focusing on supporting the family and honoring their privacy during their loss.” He said the agency “will share what it can, when it can regarding this intersection of a very raw moment of tragedy and a very real time of public debate and interest.”

Gunderson embraced technology and used his expertise as a pioneer in the use of drones to expedite and improve investigations.

Gunderson’s methods were featured in media articles and he traveled the country lecturing and advocating for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to aid law enforcement.

“His pioneering work has allowed the state to shorten the time of road closures during collision investigations,” the WSP said in a release. “His work after the 2017 Amtrak passenger train derailment in DuPont gained wide acclaim and appreciation for its precision and value.”

Gunderson used drones to map the scene of the DuPont wreckage even as rescuers were pulling survivors from the train, which was on its inaugural run from Seattle to Portland on Dec. 18, 2017, when it approached a curve leading to a bridge over Interstate 5 at more than 50 mph over the recommended speed. The train jumped the rails and several cars spilled onto the freeway. Three people were killed, 68 passengers and crew members were hurt, and damages were estimated at more than $40 million.

Gunderson’s expertise with the drones and reconstruction techniques enabled him to create a model of the massive crash and much of what led up to it within nine hours, according to reports. He had put together a three-dimensional view of the accident scene in a day and a half.

“Pushing the envelope with our technology is having a huge impact,” Gunderson said in a subsequent article about his work. “We could never have trained for an incident like the derailment. But when it happened, we didn’t hesitate to respond because we knew we had the technology and tools we needed. You’re going to have victims who want answers and investigators who have to give those answers. Our ability to provide information that will help people find the answers feels really good.”

Gunderson joined the WSP in 2005 and was commissioned as a sworn officer three years later. He worked as the technology liaison officer with the Criminal Investigation Division in the patrol’s Tacoma-based District 1, and later became a detective specializing in accident reconstruction. His technical expertise was called on by every bureau in the agency. He also was a member of the WSP’s Special Weapons and Tactics team.

Plans for a memorial service are pending the “guidance and wishes” of the family, Loftis said.

“We will show our fallen hero the respect and honors his service to our state and agency deserve,” said Batiste, the WSP chief.

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THIS SUMMER BROUGHT 29 NEW TROOPERS TO THE MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL

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Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, announced that 29 troopers graduated from the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy on Friday, July 23.

According to a news release, the ceremony took place on the south lawn of the Missouri State Capitol, and the public was invited. The graduation ceremony was live-streamed via the Patrol’s YouTube channel.

Officials say the 111th Recruit Class reported to the Academy on February 1 to begin the 25-week training to become a trooper. The new troopers reported for duty in their assigned troops on Monday, August 9. Congratulations Troopers!

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Georgia State Patrol Graduates 110th Trooper School

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The Georgia State Patrol graduated its 110th Trooper School on Friday, September 17, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth.  After 32 weeks of intense training, and a three-week interruption due to a COVID outbreak, 34 new troopers will report to one of the 52 patrol posts throughout the state.

First Lady Marty Kemp was the keynote speaker.  Colonel Chris C. Wright, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), paid tribute to the first responders killed on Sept. 11. Lt. Colonel William W. Hitchens, III, DPS Deputy Commissioner, issued the Oath of Office.  Additionally, remarks were given by Lt. Colonel Stephanie L. Stallings, DPS Director of Support/Administrative Operations, and Capt. Garrett Fiveash, Director of Training. 

Trooper Cadets spend 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks in field training.  The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires that all peace officers receive a minimum of 408 hours of Basic Mandate Training.  At the completion of Trooper School, these newly graduated troopers received over 1,400 hours of training, including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other training.

During remarks to his fellow class members, Trooper Scott Curry, class president, reflected on family and how it extends beyond the immediate family to his classmates and the training staff he walked with on this journey towards becoming a Trooper. He expressed how important the friendships that were made helped get each of them through those tough times.

Four of the graduates received special honors for top performance in various proficiencies. The honorees were:

  • Driving Proficiency – Trooper Jamie Allen
  • Firearms Proficiency – Trooper Zachary Goodman
  • Top Gun – Trooper Cameron York
  • Highest Academic Average – Trooper Cameron Reese

Trooper Reese also received a $2,000 scholarship towards a master’s degree from Reinhardt University for having the highest academic average (95.89) in his class. He already received a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Studies. This scholarship is named after CPL Chadwick LeCroy who was killed in the line of duty on December 27, 2010.  The university also gave a $1,000 scholarship to each trooper towards a bachelor’s degree.

Additionally, the following graduates were recognized for their leadership: Trooper Bradley Gurganus, Vice President; Trooper Katlyn Reid, Secretary; Trooper Vijaya Purugulla, Treasurer; Trooper Derek Long, Chaplain; Trooper Darryll Fulghum, Sergeant-at-Arms; and Trooper Joshua Powell, Pennant Bearer.

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Maryland mourns death of state trooper

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The Maryland Department of State Police is expressing its condolences following Saturday’s death of Trooper First Class Alec Elijah Cohen.

Trooper Cohen, 29, was found unresponsive at his Baltimore County home on Sept. 17 and was transported to Sinai Hospital in Baltimore before passing away Saturday morning.

Police said Cohen was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, where he remained in critical condition until succumbing to a “medical related illness” at 11:35 a.m.

Cohen’s body is now at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. No other details were provided.

“TFC Cohen will always be remembered for his extraordinary commitment, selfless service and unwavering dedication to the citizens of this state as a Maryland State Trooper,” the police said in a statement.

Cohen had been a member of the Maryland State Police for four-and-a-half years and was assigned to the Northeast Barrack at the time of his death. He graduated from Northeastern University with a master’s degree in Criminal Justice and then joined the Maryland State Police after graduating with the 146th Academy Class.

“Maryland State Police fulfilled his lifelong dream for public service and law enforcement. He was proud of his job and his MSP family,” Cohen’s family said in a statement provided by police.

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FHP Trooper Brian Pingry at Troop F in Fort Myers dies from complications of COVID-19

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The Florida Highway Patrol said Sunday that a trooper in the Fort Myers station has died from complications of COVID-19.

Brian J. Pingry, 60, served at Troop F in Fort Myers for seven years, joining as a member of the 129th Florida Highway Patrol basic recruit class.

Pingry, a Field Training Officer who trained and mentored new troopers, died on Saturday. He was the third FHP trooper and the 40th Florida law enforcement member to die from COVID-19.

Lt. Greg Bueno, with the FHP's Public Affairs Division at Troop F, said Pingry worked for a retail company in the private sector for a couple decades before coming to the FHP.

"To go through the rigors of academy for six months and all the requirements/necessities to be a state trooper is challenging but to do it in essence as his second, later in life career is so extremely commendable," Bueno said. "Our state, Lee County and local community lost a great civil servant and person who prided himself on quietly doing his job every day."

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes and Florida Highway Patrol Acting Director Lieutenant Colonel Troy Thompson released a combined statement about Pingry:

“Trooper Pingry was a highly regarded member of the Florida Highway Patrol for more than seven years and will be truly missed by the entire Florida Highway Patrol and FLHSMV family. We send our deepest condolences to the Pingry family – please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

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Alabama Law Enforcement Agency state trooper dies from COVID-19

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An Alabama state trooper has died from complications related to the novel coronavirus, authorities said.

Senior Trooper Jason Vice of Northport died Thursday following what the Alabama Law Enforcement Association described as “a battle with COVID-19.”

He was 41.

“The entire ALEA family is absolutely devastated at the loss of one of its own, Senior Trooper Jason Vice, who will be truly missed,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor in a news release.

Vice is survived by his wife, Jenny; two daughters, Isabella and Lilly; and other relatives and friends.

“We mourn this tragic loss alongside his wife, Jenny, their two children and many other loved ones,” Taylor said. “We were honored to have been given the opportunity and privilege to have worked alongside such a dedicated law enforcement veteran who continuously demonstrated his courage, sacrifice and devotion by serving and protecting the citizens of Alabama.”

Vice is believed to be the first Alabama state trooper to die as a result of COVID-19, but he joins at least seven other law enforcement officers across the state and one investigator from the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office to succumb to the disease, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

A former sheriff’s deputy in San Bernardino, California, Vice joined ALEA in 2006 and was initially assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, the agency said.

While there, he became certified as a traffic homicide investigator as well as a commercial motor vehicle enforcement officer, which he used in June 2019 to transfer into the Motor Carrier Safety Unit that is assigned to the Tuscaloosa-Selma highway patrol posts.

In this role, Vice was responsible for weighing and conducting inspections on commercial motor vehicles to ensure their safety for Alabama’s roadways, the agency said.

“I want to personally extend my deepest and sincerest condolences to Trooper Vice’s entire family, as well as all of his loved ones,” Taylor said. “The overwhelming outpour of care and support serves as a testament to Trooper Vice’s commitment and dedication, to not only his local community, but to the entire state of Alabama.”

In an attempt to defray funeral costs and other expenses, Vice's sister, Jessica Dean, established a GoFundMe account for the family.

"He was always so selfless and I know that he would be honored and thankful to anyone that would like to help in anyway they can," Dean said in her message to potential donors. "If you can give any amount or just a prayer it would be greatly appreciated."

Those desiring can visit the GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/f/trooper-vice-family-support. As of 5 p.m. Friday, 45 donors had raised more than $300 above the initial $5,000 goal.

News of Vice’s death comes as DCH Health System reported Thursday that 147 inpatients with COVID-19 were at its hospitals in Tuscaloosa, Northport and Fayette.

Of these, 39 required intensive care treatment, 36 needed some kind of breathing assistance, either via ventilator or pressurized mask, and 119 – about 81% – had not been vaccinated against the disease, the health system said.

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Bakersfield CHP officer dies of COVID-19 complications

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Bakersfield CHP Officer Scott Merritt died Friday of COVID-19 complications, the agency said. Merritt, 42, served 11 years in Kern County after his first assignment with the CHP area office in Santa Cruz. He was an officer with CHP for nearly 16 years. 

In a statement, Gov. Gavin Newsom said: “It is with great sadness that Jennifer and I send our condolences to Officer Merritt’s family, friends and those who served with him. Officer Merritt dedicated nearly 16 years of his life to serving the people of California, and he will forever be remembered.”

Flags at the Capitol in Sacramento will be flown at half-staff in Merritt’s honor. 

Merritt is survived by his wife and two children.

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California Highway Patrol Officer, Joseph Boberg, passes from COVID-19

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Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday issued the following statement regarding the death of Officer Joseph Boberg of the California Highway Patrol (CHP):

“Jennifer and I send our deepest condolences to Officer Boberg’s family and friends, as well as those who worked alongside him. Officer Boberg’s service to California will be forever remembered.”

Officer Boberg, 42, passed away on September 7, 2021 due to complications related to COVID-19.

Officer Boberg had been assigned to the CHP’s San Andreas Area Office since 2014. He began his career as a CHP officer after graduating from the CHP Academy in 2009 and was assigned to the Monterey Area Office. He transferred to the Napa Area Office in 2013 prior to his transfer to the San Andreas Area Office.

He is survived by his wife, Brandy; children, Chase and Cailyn; brother, Jeffrey Jurgens; and parents, Joanna Jurgens and Michael Boberg.

In honor of Officer Boberg, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Joe has served the citizens of Calaveras and Alpine Counties since December of 2014 and was loved by all that knew him. We will miss his sense of humor the most. Joe, Rest in Peace.

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