Virginia State Police dedicates helipad to honor trooper-pilot killed in line of duty in 2017
Two Virginia governors joined more than 200 family and friends Wednesday, April 18, to formally dedicate and name the helipad at the Virginia State Police administrative headquarters in Chesterfield County. Governor Ralph Northam and former Governor Terry McAuliffe, along with Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran and the family of Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates unveiled the new sign that designates the helipad in Bates’ memory. “The Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates Helipad will serve as a lasting tribute to Berke’s incredible spirit and legacy as a public safety professional, aviator, father, son, brother, and friend,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent. “This memorial will be seen by those visiting our administrative headquarters and academy. It is also rightly located just across the way from the very academy doors Berke proudly walked through in January 2004 to begin his career as a Virginia State Police trooper. We hope this simple, but meaningful, tribute brings added and lasting comfort to his family, friends, and colleagues.” Bates, 40, and the State Police Aviation Unit Commander, Lt. H. Jay Cullen III, became the Department’s 64th and 65th Virginia State Police line of duty deaths when their helicopter crashed Aug. 12, 2017, in Albemarle County. The Department dedicated its Chesterfield Aviation Base and Headquarters in Lt. Cullen’s memory in February 2018. Trooper-Pilot Bates was born in Manassas, Va., and graduated from Brentsville District Middle-Senior High School in Nokesville, Va., in 1994. He served as a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol from 1998 until he joined the Virginia State Police in 2004. He graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy on August 27, 2004, as a member of the 107th Basic Session. His first assignment was in Virginia State Police Richmond Division’s Area 8 Office, which encompasses the City of Richmond and Henrico County. Less than a year later he became a member of the office’s Motors Unit, serving as a motorcycle trooper until 2013. He joined the Governor’s protection detail, known as the State Police Executive Protective Unit, in October 2013 and served with the unit for three years before accepting promotion to Special Agent with the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Richmond Field Office General Investigations Section. In July 2017, he became a Trooper-Pilot with the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit. Bates is survived by his wife, twin 12-year-old son and daughter, parents, and siblings.
California Highway Patrol graduates 82 new officers
On Friday the California Highway Patrol held its cadet graduation at the CHP Academy in West Sacramento. CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley and California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Annis were on hand for the morning ceremony, during which 82 new officers were sworn in. Throughout 28 weeks of training, these men and women have been preparing to provide the highest level of safety, service, and security. Following Friday’s graduation ceremony, the new officers will serve in communities throughout the state. CHP spokeswoman Jaime Coffee said that of those new officers four are assigned within Northern Division, the jurisdiction that includes Lake County. Of those four, three will report to the Humboldt Area and one is being assigned to Ukiah Area, which is the office next to the Clear Lake Area office, which is located in Kelseyville.
Nebraska State Patrol confiscates $5 million worth of pot
Nebraska state troopers said Thursday that they had seized more than 1,850 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $5 million. About 6 p.m. Wednesday near Geneva, a trooper stopped a 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van that was driving on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 81, a Nebraska State Patrol spokesman said. During the traffic stop, a patrol K9 alerted troopers to the possible presence of a controlled substance inside the van. Troopers searched the van. The patrol spokesman said they found 1,853 pounds of marijuana, 8,779 doses of hash oil for vape pens and 46 pounds of loose hash wax. The driver, a 39-year-old man from Arvada, Colorado, was arrested on suspicion of possession of more than 1 pound of marijuana, possession with intent to deliver and having no drug tax stamp.
Utah Highway Patrol stops pickup truck hauling more than 300 pounds of marijuana bound for Minnesota
Utah Highway Patrol troopers on Monday seized more than 300 pounds of marijuana on Interstate 80, the state Department of Public Safety (DPS) said. About 7:30 a.m. Monday, a UHP trooper stopped a pickup truck on I-80 at milepost 158 — several miles south of Coalville — for making an improper lane change, according to a DPS news release. After speaking to the driver, the trooper became suspicious of criminal activity. In his conversation with the driver, the trooper was made aware the pickup truck was a rental from a third party, the news release said. The trooper deployed his K-9, which gave a positive indication of a drug odor coming from the vehicle. The trooper then found 356 pounds of marijuana in the bed of the truck. According to State Bureau of Investigation agents (SBI), who are conducting the investigation, the marijuana originated in Northern California and was headed to Minnesota, the news release said. SBI agents estimate each pound of the drug would have sold for $2,500, for a total of about $890,000 for all 356 pounds. The investigation is still active. No further information is available.
Pair of baby black bears saved by Virginia State Trooper 'just doing his job'
These little cubs may not be paying taxes, but they sure do owe Virginia State a whole lot after a trooper saved their lives. The two black bear cubs were rescued by senior trooper DH Cepelnik after their mother was struck and killed by a vehicle. The department posted a photo of the trooper with the cubs writing that he was just doing his job when he rescued them. The pair is now residing at the Wildlife Center of Virginia where they’re receiving lots of love and attention.
Governor LePage nominates new Maine State Police Chief
Gov. Paul LePage has nominated Lt. Col. John Cote to take over the top spot at the Maine State Police. Cote, who has been the deputy chief for the last two years, would succeed Col. Robert Williams, who retired in February to take over security at Colby College in Waterville. “I am pleased to nominate Lt. Col. Cote,” LePage said in a statement Friday. “He is an experienced law enforcement professional who will help us continue to provide the highest level of service to the people of Maine. He understands the needs of the agency as we work to recruit more troopers and fight the opioid epidemic.” Cote has been with Maine State Police for 29 years. Prior to serving as deputy chief under Williams, he commanded the state police’s Troop F in Houlton. He has an associate degree in criminal justice/legal technology from the University of Maine and has completed numerous law enforcement professional development courses, including a 10-week program at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, last year. His nomination will be heard by the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and would then go to the Maine Senate for confirmation. LePage announced his nomination on the same day he spoke at a graduation ceremony for five new troopers at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.
South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper does push-ups in blizzard to honor fallen officers
Doing push-ups on their own can be difficult. Doing them in a blizzard, in uniform? Now that's impressive. To honor those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in 2018, a Trooper with the South Dakota Highway Patrol did 39 push-ups to honor each life lost. The unnamed Trooper did all of the push-ups during an April blizzard sweeping through South Dakota.
New Colonel of Tennessee Highway Patrol named
The first African-American has been named as the top leader of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a veteran of the agency who was responsible for its daily operations for the past seven years. Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner David W. Purkey announced Lt. Col. Dereck Stewart as colonel Wednesday, The Tennessean reported. Stewart will take over as new colonel of the agency June 1. Col. Tracy Trott will retire after 40 years of service on May 31. “It’s always worth it to notice when history gets made,” Haslam said at a Nashville ceremony noting Stewart becoming the first African-American in the position. “We promoted him because he is the best, most qualified, (and) has the right track record.” Haslam said it had been an honor to work with Trott. Under Trott’s leadership, the highway patrol has grown to a force of more than 900 troopers and has been the recipient of several national awards, according to a Facebook post from the agency. Purkey noted that Tennessee has experienced the lowest traffic fatality rates since 1963 during Trott’s tenure.Top of Form Stewart, who was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 2011 after serving in various agency roles, called Trott a friend and mentor. Stewart is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association and the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University.
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South Dakota Highway Patrol graduates 12 recruits
Twelve new recruits officially join South Dakota’s Highway Patrol at a graduation ceremony Friday, April 13, in the State Capitol Rotunda in Pierre. Class 60 consists of nine men andthree women. Graduation was the culmination of a one-year period which started with the recruits making the initial application to the Highway Patrol. After being selected, the recruits completed eight months of training which included basic law enforcement training, attending the South Dakota Highway Patrol Recruit Academy and finally, field training. “We always tell our recruits that it is not easy to become a Highway Patrol trooper, but we want them ready for any situation they might face,” says Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “Graduation is a major achievement for the recruits and their families. We are proud to share the moment with them.” “These recruits bring their own backgrounds, life experiences and skills to the Highway Patrol,” says Col. Price. “Each of them will help make the Patrol stronger and better able to meet the needs of the public.” Gov. Dennis Daugaard was the guest speaker for the ceremony. At the end of graduation, the new troopers received their patrol cars which were parked behind the state Capitol. Many of the graduates are scheduled to be on duty as early as Saturday, April 14.
Maryland State Police gets its first female barrack commander
The first female commander of the Maryland State Police’s Westminster Barrack doesn’t see the barrier-breaking achievement to be of particular significance — but she understands that, to others, it’s a big deal. “As far as significance, it is not significant to me,” Lt. Rebecca Bosley wrote in an email. “However, I do understand that it may be significant for other people, and it is important to have role models, so I understand that it is important to show a younger generation that having a leadership position and being female is possible.” Sheriff Jim DeWees, who previously held the commander position during his career with MSP, said Bosley has the skills needed to gain the respect of those she leads, and that’s more significant than her gender. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a male or female as long as you can lead troopers,” he said. Bosley said she anticipates that leadership training and communication skills will be crucial in her new role. “Speaking with the community and providing people information is imperative. Transparency and fairness is critical for community involvement,” she wrote in an email. Bosley took command on Feb. 14, succeeding Lt. Patrick McCrory, who had been in place since 2013. She has moved around quite a bit during her career with MSP, but she keeps returning to Westminster, which was her first assignment after graduating from the police academy. She was in Carroll until 2008, when she was promoted and transferred to Frederick. She returned to Westminster as a corporal and was named Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for the barrack in 2010. But then she was on the move again, promoted to sergeant and transferred to Howard County, where she was the NCO of the year for the Waterloo Barrack in 2012. She was then selected to command the newly developed DUI enforcement team known as State Police Impaired Driving Effort (SPIDRE) and commanded that unit until she was promoted to first sergeant and transferred to the Rockville Barrack. Bosley was promoted to lieutenant in January 2017 and took command of the Motor Vehicle Division. Then, in February, she was sent back to where she began, as commander of the Westminster Barrack. “Lt. Bosley has an outstanding work ethic, upholds and demands a high standard of integrity, is extremely reliable and she wants to ensure the Westminster Barrack provides the best law enforcement service in Carroll County,” said Capt. Shawn Ward, commander of the Central Troop of MSP via email. DeWees said having Bosley in the command position has further enhanced the relationship between their two agencies. Bosley attends weekly meetings with the command staff of the Sheriff’s Office, allowing the agencies to “gather our resources and fight the same issues,” DeWees said. Bosley is familiar with much of his command staff. He added that on top of having strong ties to Carroll, “They couldn’t have found a more competent person.” When asked what people may not know about the life of a law enforcement officer, Bosley said, “What I would like people to understand is we are doing a job and it is not personal.” Law enforcement officers typically see people at their worst, she said, and that limited interaction isn’t sufficient to make a judgment. “We are normal, everyday people who just want to make a difference for the better,” she said.
Patrol cars issued to new Kansas Highway Patrol troopers
Kansas Highway Patrol Troopers are riding in style. Thirty-eight troopers and five Capitol Police officers from KHP's 57th class received their personal patrol cars Thursday at Phillip Billard Airport in Topeka. The troopers graduated in December but have spent nearly 80 days training with veteran troopers. Now, that their training is done, they are being released to patrol Kansas' roadway on their own. "Definitely you feel like you've earned it. It's an amazing feeing to be a part of the Kansas Highway Patrol to just continue and be a part of that tradition," said Trooper Gustavo Ramirez. The graduating class was one of the largest in KHP history.
Connecticut State Trooper killed in vehicle crash
Trooper Kevin Miller was killed in a vehicle crash on eastbound I-84, in Tolland, at approximately 12:30 pm. on Thursday, March 29
His patrol car collided with the back of a tractor-trailer that was traveling slower than other traffic in the right lane of the interstate.
Trooper Miller was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He had served with the Connecticut State Police for 19 years and was assigned to Troop C. He is survived by two children.
Washington State Troopers care for baby after mom is arrested for DUI
A powerful photo that captured many in the Tri-Cities, a Washington State Trooper caring for a 10-month-old baby. After officers arrested the mother for suspicion of DUI, along with reckless endangerment of a child. Washington State Troopers said a trained airplane pilot, observed multiple violations through their patrol air craft. Including speeding and driving too close to other vehicles. Washington State Trooper, Carlos Mata, was called to the area where he located the vehicle, pulling her over on I-82, Westbound, near Kennewick. “There were a lot of open containers of alcohol and there was a strong smell of alcohol,” said Mata. Trooper Mata, said the mother claims she had been drinking the night before and felt dizzy in the morning but needed to get to town. After police said she failed a sobriety test, blowing a total of .198 over twice the legal limit, they booked her into the Benton County Jail. Authorities said at the jail her alcohol percentage escalated to .235, two and half times the legal limit. Trooper Mata said, “we made multiple attempts to reach a family member to come pick up the child and were unsuccessful, at first.” This then forced troopers to bring the child back to the state patrol office, where troopers cared for the infant. “Yesterday, it took a couple of troopers off the road just to care for the infant here at the office, tying about three units,” said Mata. But it was worth it, within a few hours the troopers say the father came for the baby and authorities say they are happy to know the infant was safe at the end of the day. “It’s good to know you made a difference that day and you might have saved somebody's life,” said Mata.
South Carolina Department of Public Safety presents Trooper of the Year Award
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety held a ceremony Monday honoring troopers from around the state for exceptional service in 2017. Among the many honors presented was the Trooper of the Year Award. For the first time in the 50 year history of the award, it was presented to a female trooper. Trooper Stevi J. Price, who is stationed in Richland County, was named the South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year. Price, also the Troop One Trooper of the Year, was chosen for the state's top honor from among 10 other nominees from around South Carolina. She was recognized, in part, because of her heroic efforts in saving a person trapped inside of a burning car. The incident occurred Aug. 12. Price was on her way to a call when she stopped to assist with another collision. Price approached the smoking vehicle to find the passenger, an unresponsive female, stuck in the front passenger seat. The key was broken off in the ignition so the vehicle was still running and the accelerator also was stuck. The car was beginning to catch fire. With the assistance of another trooper and a Columbia police officer who had arrived on scene, Price was able to free the passenger’s legs that were pinned under the dashboard and pull her to safety just before the vehicle was overtaken with fire and fully engulfed in flames. Price also received the Director’s Medal of Valor for her heroic efforts. Price is a native of Statesville, N.C., and has been with the Highway Patrol since 2015. She has been consistently praised by the public, her supervisors and peers on her professionalism and demeanor.