Iowa State Patrol Colonel to retire

Iowa State Police Colonel retiring

The leader of the Iowa State Patrol is retiring after a 32-year career with the force. The service retirement of Col. Michael Van Berkum was approved Monday and will be effective in January.  He had been the patrol's chief since 2015.  In a statement to The Associated Press, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Roxann Ryan says Iowans should thank Van Berkum for his decades of service.  She says he embodies the best of the patrol - "leadership, integrity and dedicated service for the public good.  In announcing his retirement Ritzman said, “It has been the honor and privilege of my life to serve the men and women of the Iowa State Patrol as their colonel.  In my eyes, there is no finer group of troopers or people.”  "Ryan has not named a replacement for Van Berkum, but the department says more information will be released when he retires next week.

12/12/18

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Florida Highway Patrol trooper struck by vehicle

FHP trooper struck by car

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was seriously injured after being struck and tossed in the air by a spinning, out-of-control car along a busy interstate Monday -- just seconds after the trooper pushed another man out of harm's way. The Florida Highway Patrol said Trooper Mithil Patel, 31, was standing on the side of Interstate 95 north of West Palm Beach as part of an accident investigation. As Patel was on the side of the road a truck ran into the back of a black Audi in a nearby lane, sending the vehicle spinning out of control towards the trooper. Video of the terrifying incident was captured by CBS12, which was covering the original accident. Patel then pushed another man to the side before Patel was struck by the vehicle. The man Patel pushed out of the way, Rony Bottex, told WPTV he hasn't stopped praying for the trooper who saved his life. "If he wasn't there, if the officer wasn't there, I'd be dead," Bottex told the television station. Patel was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach and was reported to be in good condition, according to CBS12. While authorities said the crash remains under investigation, they also stressed motorists should always remain cautious when first responders are tending to incidents on roadways.

To watch video, go to: http://bit.ly/2BMpPO3.  

WARNING: viewer discretion is advised.

12/5/18

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Tennessee Highway Patrol donates supplies to Bay County in Florida

 

Two semi trucks full of donations rolled into the Bay County, Florida Highway Patrol headquarters Tuesday morning. The Tennessee Highway Patrol along with members of the Tennessee department of transportation, drove down plenty of needed items for individuals impacted by Hurricane Michael.  Items include food, water, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and blankets. Tennessee Highway Patrol Lieutenant, John Harmon, said after seeing the damage first hand, its unreal— and they're glad they can help. "We Knew you still needed help, and so we contacted our brother agency, The Florida Highway Patrol, to see if that need was still here. They said it was and we asked them if we could help them and they told us exactly what the communities needed," said Harmon.  FHP thanked them for their donation by presenting the Tennessee officers with a Florida flag signed by Florida officers. FHP said they plan to distribute these donations to local food banks and non-profit groups.

12/4/18

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Texas Department of Public Safety welcomes 92 new highway patrol troopers

Texas DPS December 2018 graduation

The Texas Public Safety Commission welcomes 92 new highway patrol troopers Sunday. “Law enforcement officers have the opportunity and privilege to change people’s lives, and to serve as an inspiration and a positive influence to others — both on and off duty,” said PSC Chairman Steven P. Mach. “As you embark on your new career as a Trooper, you will no doubt make a difference in the lives of countless Texans as you protect and serve them.” This marks the 164th recruit school, which includes 11 women, 20 former law enforcement officers and 29 military veterans. The oldest graduate is 51-years-old and the youngest is 21-years-old. “Today you join an elite group of law enforcement professionals, and we are confident that you will uphold the traditions and values of both DPS and the Texas Highway Patrol,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “It takes extreme courage to risk your own safety in order to protect the safety of others. We thank you all for answering the call to serve and protect your fellow Texans, and we are proud to be welcoming each of you to the DPS family.” The state’s newest troopers will report to duty stations across Texas to spend the first sixth months in on-the-job training. The troopers underwent 26 weeks of training. Instruction included a variety of subjects including counterterrorism, criminal law and Spanish. They also received training in the use of force, firearms, and physical fitness.

12/4/18

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North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper delivers baby

NCHP Trooper delivers baby girl

State Highway Patrol Trooper Sgt. Brian Maynard can add baby deliverer to his resume. After leaving his family’s home Saturday night, the on-duty officer saw a couple going roughly 85 mph past him on the highway. They were in labor, according to WTVD. “I just feel lucky and blessed. To have been at the right place at the right time,” Sgt. Maynard said. The highway patrolman’s dash cam video during the traffic stop Saturday night captured the scene off Highway 64 near exit 429 in Wake County. Parents Jimmy and Laura Baker could no longer make it to the hospital. The baby’s head was pushing through. “He said ‘hey my wife is having a baby,'” Sgt. Maynard said. “I said OK well we’re going to do this right here me and you. I contacted EMS. Got them on the way. Grabbed my gloves, blanket. It was interesting. It was scary. I just tried to do the best that I could do with things I’ve seen on TV and things I had heard. Relieved that everything went good.” The Bakers and Sgt. Maynard, who is a 15 year veteran officer, delivered a healthy baby girl. “For so many years, I’ve seen a lot of death,” Sgt. Maynard said. “To be a part of the process that actually brings a life into this world is absolutely amazing.”

11/28/18

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West Virginia State Police graduates 40 new troopers

WVSP November 2018 graduation

For the first time since 2015, the West Virginia State Police has a new cadet class. The graduation ceremony for 40 new West Virginia State Troopers was held Friday, November 16, at the University of Charleston’s Riggleman Hall. “We are so excited about this,” Col. Jan Cahill, West Virginia State Police Superintendent, said. “It’s been almost four years since we had hired a State Police cadet class.” This new class of troopers took part in an accelerated course. They came from law enforcement backgrounds such as county, city, campus, or natural resource police officers. The accelerated class took about 10 weeks to complete with a couple weekends, according to Cahill. The basic class, that all of the 66th graduating class had already been through, is for trainees new to law enforcement and it takes between 25 and 30 weeks. “It was just a great class,” Cahill said. “This class just jived well together. After the first week, they were like a division one football team. They really worked well with each other and were talking last night at their dinner. “I think they wouldn’t have minded staying a few more weeks, they liked it. They liked the camaraderie and brotherhood together. It was an outstanding class.” Cahill said the force is up to around 630 with this graduating class, not as high as they’ve seen in the past with 690. “Any police agency across the state and nationwide will tell you recruitment, retention, and attrition are all the challenges of law enforcement right now. “It’s a tough job, It can a thankless job but it’s a rewarding career. The guys that put this uniform on, they never regret it.” Cahill and Governor Jim Justice announced at the ceremony that there is enough money for a 67th Cadet Class that will be starting January 7. It will be around the same size as the 66th class. Justice was among a number of speakers as he gave a graduation address. “I could not be more proud of you,” Justice said. “I mean that from the bottom of my heart. God bless you in every way. Thank you so much for having me and thank you for all those who came today to support you.” The 66th Cadet Class finished with an average GPA of 96.8, according to Cahill. The valedictorian of the class was Carolton E. Smith, who finished with a 99.9 GPA.

11/26/18

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Florida State Trooper's 3 year old daughter diagnosed with Cancer

rosie

A Florida State Trooper’s 3 and a half year old daughter needs our help! Sgt. Ramirez’ precious daughter has been diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma or brain cancer. Rosie, a normal toddler, began complaining of stomach pain and began eating very little, her parents took her to be checked out and that is when a large mass was found in the toddler’s stomach. Later the mass was confirmed as stage 4 neuroblastoma, this cancer is aggressive and has spread to her bone marrow.

Please keep Rosie and the Ramirez family in your thoughts and prayers.

If you wish to make a donation to their gofundme here is the link:

https://www.gofundme.com/rose-ramirezs-cancer-treatment?fbclid=IwAR0nPA4nisMYVkwq5kZPEwtTEJKXBJqaH7xi4HrmDcZh8yGpGT4c_sROqio

Texas Department of Public Safety former trooper needs assistance

DPS Go Fund Me

DPS Trooper Daniel Shown was shot in the head 8 days before Christmas, 24 years ago in Waco, Texas.  He was giving back up to a sheriff's deputy who had reported "shots fired".  The deputy had been trying to persuade a drunken man to come out of the house, lay down his .22 rifle and quit shooting.  Daniel ran behind a big tree and shined his flashlight at the house.  The shooter fired at the light.  A bullet struck Trooper Shown in the center of his forehead.  Daniel had to have part of his brain removed and had complications during surgery.  He lost vision in his right eye, his left arm is totally paralyzed and his left leg partially paralyzed.  Daniel lived thanks to another Trooper named Ramos that opened his airways and kept him from choking to death on his own blood. Daniel owes many thanks to surgeons, doctors, nurses and many DPS officer friends.   Daniel has had many struggles over the years, including an automobile accident which crushed his right knee so he had to have a total kneecap replacement.  He acquired an infection due to a sponge being left in his knee during surgery and now his right leg is fused together and does not bend like it should.
Daniel is a very humble man that is in need of some assistance.   He desperately needs an updated motorized wheelchair that will allow him to live more independently within his home alone.  He also is in need of a handicapped accessible vehicle to transport his wheelchair to church and to his doctor's office and to the grocery store. Any help you can give is appreciated to help Daniel keep living on his own.    Please feel free to donate what you can and please share this with your friends so that we can get Daniel mobile!  

To assist, please go to: https://www.gofundme.com/dps-trooper-needs-assistance.

11/21/18

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North Carolina Highway Patrol graduates 14 new troopers

NCHP November 2018 graduation

The State Highway Patrol proudly welcomed 14 new troopers at a graduation ceremony for the 146th Basic Highway Patrol School. The ceremony was held at the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Auditorium in Raleigh. Governor Roy Cooper and Colonel G. M. McNeill Jr., the 27th Commander of the State Highway Patrol provided remarks to those in attendance. The oath of office was administered by Associate Justice Cheri Beasley of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. “These newly sworn troopers are now a part of the promising future of our esteemed organization,” said Colonel Glenn M. McNeill Jr. “They are expanding on the great history of the State Highway Patrol and taking this exceptional training to the field to fulfill their role as ambassadors for our state.”

11/19/18

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New York State Police swear in 158 new troopers

NYSP November 2018 graduation

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today congratulated the 158 new members of the State Police at the 207th session graduation ceremony from the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy. "These new Troopers have answered the call and dedicated themselves to selflessly serving the people of New York State," Governor Cuomo said. "I commend these men and women for their hard work over the last 26 weeks and for their commitment to public service. Our state will be safer with these members joining the ranks and enforcing our laws." "There is no greater or more noble calling than protecting and serving the people of this state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who spoke at the graduation ceremony. "I'm honored to congratulate the more than 150 brave and selfless men, women and veteran graduates, who are committed to keeping New York and its citizens safe. Congratulations to the 207th graduating class and thank you for your brave and selfless service making a difference in the lives of others." New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, "After 26 weeks of difficult classwork and training, the 207th Basic School will continue the fine tradition of the State Police members that have come before them. This graduation ceremony is the culmination of the hard work you have shown over the past six months. It is also a testament to your continued dedication, as you waited years before your name was called to join the long gray line.  I congratulate all of our new members and wish you luck as you start your career."

11/19/18

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New York State Police trooper escorts wandering elephant back home to animal sanctuary

NYSP Save wandering elephant

A New York State Trooper received the biggest shock of his career Sunday night while on patrol -- an 8,000-pound surprise, to be exact. Sgt. Dave Scott was on duty when police received a call around 11:35 p.m. detailing an elephant that had somehow gotten loose in Westtown, New York State Police Public Information Officer for Troop F Steven Nevel told ABC News. Scott and another trooper responded to the field within 10 minutes, where the elephant was enjoying her freedom. Scott, who is familiar with the area, had an inkling that the elephant had escaped from the Sanctuary for Animals, a farm that houses all kinds of animals, across the street. Scott then went to the sanctuary and alerted the owners of the elephant's breakout, who came out and ordered the elephant to go back to where she belongs. "They came out and spoke to the elephant like someone would talk to their dog," Nevel said. "They told her to turn around and head back home, and she started heading back home."  The 46-year-old Vietnamese elephant named Fripha, who arrived in the U.S. after she was burned by napalm during the Vietnam War, was able to stroll out of the sanctuary after a worker forgot to turn on an electric fence, Nevel said. Fripha was not fazed by the commotion and remained "nice" and "friendly" during the run-in, he added.  While state police often get calls detailing wayward bears, dogs and deer, it was the first time Scott had ever had to escort an elephant home, describing the encounter as "the strangest thing," Nevel said. "I wish I could have seen the trooper's face when it came over the radio that we have a wandering elephant," Nevel said.  "I can imagine that he would have said, 'Can you repeat that?'"

11/15/18

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'You just don't think,' New Jersey state trooper says after rescuing unconscious man from burning car

 

New Jersey State Troopers dragged an unconscious man from a car on the side of a highway moments before it was consumed by fire. In video released by the New Jersey State Police on Thursday, State Troopers Thomas O'Connor and Christopher Warwick can be seen yelling at the man to get out of his Ford Fusion before realizing he was unconscious on State Highway 42 in Camden County, New Jersey, just east of Philadelphia. Police responded to the call at around 11:23 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. When they arrived on the scene, they found the unconscious man pressing on the gas pedal of the car and smoke coming out of the front wheel well, State Police said in a statement on their Facebook page.  "Moments after their arrival, the front end of the vehicle became engulfed in flames," the statement said. O'Connor told ABC News that he and his colleagues had been trained for these kinds of situations. He said that in that moment, they did not have time to think about anything else but saving the man's life. "You just don't think," he said. "You just go in and you're focused on trying to save somebody's life." Although the man was trapped in the car, O'Connor said that he and Warwick were eventually able to get his legs loose from underneath the steering wheel and pull him out of the driver's side window. Even though the ordeal only lasted a few minutes, O'Connor said it felt like much longer. "I guess at that current moment, it feels like you've been there for an hour. But in reality, it's pretty quick," he said. The troopers dragged the man to safety where he regained consciousness, according to the statement. He did not suffer any injuries. The two troopers happened to be in the area when the call about the burning car came in, they said. Warwick said that there was a sense of pride in helping the man, but that fellow troopers would have done the same thing. The video speaks for itself, Warwick said, adding, "I think it was a quick reaction. Fortunately, it had a positive outcome."

11/13/18

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Ohio State Highway Patrol seizes 510 pounds of marijuana

Ohio SHP Marijuana bust

State Highway Patrol troopers seized 510 pounds of marijuana from a truck they stopped on the Ohio Turnpike in Olmsted Falls. Troopers found the drugs, valued at $1.3 million, in a 2018 Penske truck with Indiana license plates that they stopped for speeding and a marked lanes violation, the Highway Patrol said in a news release. Troopers became suspicious when they stopped the truck about 1:20 p.m. Monday. They called in a drug-sniffing canine, the news release says. They found the marijuana packed into U-Haul boxes in the back of the truck. The Highway Patrol released a photo Thursday that shows roughly two-dozen boxes in the truck.

11/13/18

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"Buckle Up Every Trip, Every Time" is new safety campaign by Ohio State Highway Patrol

 

With the holidays approaching and the road getting busier, law enforcement agencies are taking extra precautions to keep you and your family safe. “Buckle Up Every Trip, Every Time” is the new campaign of the Ohio State Highway Patrol this holiday season. While the seat belt law in Ohio is a secondary violation, officers are operating under a “zero tolerance” policy for violators of seat belt laws. They say that the holidays will bring heavier traffic to the area and more drivers from out of town who are unfamiliar with the roads. “Even if you’re from the area and you know the roads very well, you could be in front of, behind, beside someone who doesn’t. And again, you can’t always control what they do so if they cause a crash, you always want to make sure you have that seat belt on,” stresses Sergeant Garic B. D. Warner. The Ohio State Highway Patrol also reminds us that tickets can be written if the seat belt is being warn improperly as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates over 400 lives in Ohio were saved because of seat belts in 2016.

11/7/18

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Indiana State Police trooper seizes $5M in illegal drugs during truck inspection

ISP 5 million drug bust

An Indiana State Police trooper seized $5 million worth of drugs during a routine DOT inspection on Tuesday, October 30.  Indiana State Police say the trooper stopped the semi at the scales around 10:30 a.m. and got suspicious while talking with the driver.  After receiving consent, the trooper searched the trailer and found 220 pounds of suspected cocaine and 65 pounds of suspected methamphetamine. The drugs were found inside travel bags and have an estimated street value of roughly $5 million.  The trailer was loaded with aluminum crates and was traveling from California to Ohio. 

11/7/18

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