National police week Celebrated

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National Police Week offers honor, remembrance, and peer support, while allowing law enforcement, survivors, and citizens to gather and pay homage to those who gave their lives in the line of duty.

HISTORY
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation's Capital each year.

The National Peace Officers Memorial Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, is one in a series of events which includes the Candlelight Vigil, which is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and seminars sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)

National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world.

At the beginning of the week, AAST executive director, John Bagnardi, asked me to research and find an article to post for 2022 National Police week.  I must admit the number of stories, events, ceremonies, and tributes all over the country was overwhelming. 

619 men and women whose names were added to the wall of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this year.  472 were officers we lost in 2021 (319 Covid 19 related and 147 officers died in previous years). 472 is the largest number of names added to the memorial in a single year.  52 names that will be added are Heroes we lost right here in Florida, 2nd highest number behind Texas. With these additional 619 names, there will now be 23,229 officers’ names engraved on the Memorial representing all 50 states, DC, U.S. territories, federal law enforcement, and military police agencies. 

National Police Week is set aside every year to pay tribute to both active and fallen officers.  A week that “we” as a nation give thanks to all the brave law enforcement officers that risk their lives every day to keep others safe.  We all hear about “Great” feats of heroism, as they are usually covered in the news and all-over social media.  However, there are so many “everyday” hero’s whose small acts, although no less heroic, are not necessarily nationally known.  I have read so many stories like these, from an Atlanta police officer who resuscitated a 4 month old by performing CPR, a state trooper in New York who saved two small squirrels who were running around in the middle of a very dangerous road, to Tempe police officers who replaced a 4year old’s toy tractor.  There are thousands of stories big and small that make all of the country’s officers distinguished and extraordinary. 

Instead of highlighting 1 story, I wanted to take a few minutes to honor and pay tribute to all 619 men and women whose names are now permanently carved into this memorial, as a reminder of their ultimate sacrifice.

Thank you all! Thank you for your sacrifice, your bravery, and your dedication.  Every one of these 619 individuals have their own story and they are a testament to the endurance and strength of America’s law enforcement officers at every level. Finally, thank you to those who are left behind, there are no words or enough comfort to shoulder the burden you carry for those who you have lost. We will forever honor their memory and their spirt. 

."I don't have to draw a line in the sand. I already have one. It's thin. It's blue. It's mine and if you cross it, I will protect it."- unknown

Kathryn Manasa, Membership Director

American Association of State Troopers

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Fulton-based state trooper given highest New York State Police award for heroism

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May. 13, 2022

A New York State Trooper stationed in Fulton has been given the highest award a trooper can receive for his acts of heroism, New York State Police announced.

Trooper Robert Stawicki has received the Brummer Award Wednesday for his response to a house fire that happened in December in Oswego County.

According to state police, Trooper Stawicki and Trooper Alec Nelson were the first on scene at the house fire and immediately ran inside. Trooper Stawicki found a child inside the residence and removed them from the fire. He began CPR, keeping the child alive until an ambulance could arrive, troopers said. Unfortunately, that child later passed away from their injuries.

New York State Police commended Trooper Stawicki for his quick thinking and efforts to keep the child alive at the scene, making him the 104th trooper to receive the Brummer Award since its creation in 1968, according to a State Police spokesperson.

The Brummer Award, established in 1968 by Wall Street financier and philanthropist Bertram F. Brummer, represents valor, heroism, and outstanding performance of duty by members of the New York State Police. Inclusive of this year, the Brummer Award has been presented 104 times, including 14 times posthumously.Line

MHP Trooper receives national honors for pulling helicopter crash passengers to safety

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HELENA – Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Amanda Villa received an Honorable Mention award from the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) at their 29th annual TOP COPS Awards in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 12. Held in conjunction with National Police Week, the awards honor law enforcement officers and educate the public about our nation’s heroes.

Trooper Amanda Villa received the award from the National Association of Police Organizations for her bravery on June 15, 2021, when a Department of Natural Resources and Conservation helicopter landed hard in front of her and crashed from the strong winds during the Deep Creek Canyon fire in Broadwater County according to MHP.

"Without hesitation, she jumped out of her squad car, attempted to radio for additional resources, and ran toward the helicopter that was starting on fire. Without regard for her personal safety, she climbed under the helicopter and pulled four passengers to safety," MHP said.

“Without Trooper Villa’s bravery and quick action, the outcome at the incident could have been much different that day. Because of her selfless actions the entire crew was able to go home,” Attorney General Austin Knudsen said. “Troopers put themselves in harm’s way every day to serve others, but Trooper Amanda Villa’s act of valor stands above and is among the best in the Highway Patrol’s long history of service, integrity, and respect.”

“Trooper Villa’s actions that day are a great example of why I take pride in working with the men and women of the Highway Patrol,” Highway Patrol Colonel Steve Lavin said. “We are fully committed to protecting Montanans.”

“Highway Patrol Trooper Amanda Villa’s actions in response to the helicopter accident on June 15th were an extraordinary example of the exceptional emergency response partnerships that the DNRC is so proud of and grateful for,” DNRC Director Amanda Kaster said last year. “She provided a heroic act of service for which our agency and firefighters are forever thankful.”Line

Delaware State Trooper Named Special Olympics Delaware Torch Runner of the Year

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April 13th, 2022

Delaware State Police Sergeant Gary Fournier of Delaware State Police Troop 3 Patrol was recently recognized by Special Olympics Delaware as the recipient of the 2022 Winnie Spence Torch Runner of the Year. The Torch Runner of the Year award is the most prestigious honor presented to a law enforcement officer who supports the ideals, values, and principles of the Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics movement.

Sergeant Fournier received this award at a ceremony held on April 12, 2022, for his extensive involvement with Special Olympics Delaware (SODE). Over 25 years ago, Sergeant Fournier began volunteering with Special Olympics Delaware as a recruit trooper. However, his passion for this program started as a young child growing up in New York. Sergeant Fournier has fond memories of attending Special Olympic competitions to watch his cousin participate in various events. As a result, when he had the chance to participate in the Special Olympics Torch Run as a Recruit Trooper in the Delaware State Police Training Academy, he did so without hesitation.

Since his initial Torch Run approximately 25 years ago, Sergeant Fournier’s involvement has expanded in positions held and time spent volunteering with Special Olympics. In 2012, he became a member of the Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics Executive Committee and served in Kent County as a fundraiser and leg coordinator for the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run. In addition, Sergeant Fournier used his experience as a Delaware State Police Public Information Officer to ensure messaging related to the Torch Run events, activities, and purpose was effectively communicated to the community and media.

In addition, as the Delaware State Police Motorcycle Supervisor, Sergeant Fournier has coordinated motorcycle escorts for several SODE events, including the Torch Run, Ride to the Tide, and Truck Convoy events. He is also involved as a volunteer and participant in events such as Dodgeball Madness, Over the Edge, 5k Run to the Plunge, and the Polar Bear Plunge. In 2019, through his work with the Special Olympics of Delaware was awarded the honor of representing Delaware in the 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics Final Leg at the World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

At the 2022 Summer Games Opening Ceremony, Sergeant Fournier will be presenting the “Flame of Hope” to the Athlete of the Year, Steve Dagg. It will be one more opportunity for Sergeant Fournier to present an athlete with a symbol of accomplishment, as he has done numerous times. Special Olympics Delaware credits Sergeant Fournier’s efforts over the past 25 years for what contributed to him winning the title of 2022 “Winnie Spence Torch Runner of the Year.”

Congratulations, Sergeant Fournier, for your accomplishment, and thank you for proudly representing the Delaware State Police.Line

Florida Highway Patrol graduates 54 during Police memorial Week

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On May 13, 2022, FHP graduated 54 new Troopers.  The 149th Basic Recruit Class included 11 members with military service and 22 college graduates.  Ten of the graduates are continuing in the footsteps of their family, who are already serving in law enforcement.

Congratulations to all 54 members of the 149th Basic Recruit Class who graduated today from the Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy. Line

Oklahoma trooper risks life to try to save suspect trapped in burning vehicle

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The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has recognized a trooper for his heroic actions in March after he tried to save a suspect who had crashed into a building in Sperry.

The vehicle and the building both caught fire after the crash.

When Trooper Aaron Kern arrived, the fire was aggressive and quickly growing. He and other officers on the scene jumped on top of the car and climbed into the building where they could see the driver.

They worked to remove bricks and wood that had covered the driver but couldn't get him out.

OHP says at one point, Kern even fought the fire from the back of the vehicle, trying to keep it from reaching the man.

Eventually, a wrecker was able to pull the vehicle out so the suspect could be removed. He was taken to the hospital, but he passed away.

OHP says Trooper Kern did everything possible to try to save the man's life.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol also said Lt. Mark Southall played an important part in getting the vehicle out of the building, coming up with the plan to get a wrecker on the scene to pull the vehicle out.Line

DPS Celebrates Newly Commissioned Highway Patrol Troopers

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May 6, 2022

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) commissioned 101 new Texas Highway Patrol Troopers from recruit class B-2021 during a graduation ceremony on Friday, May 6. The keynote speaker at the graduation was Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) member Dale Wainwright.

“Today marks a fresh beginning for each of you as you prepare to embark on a new and challenging field of service to the state of Texas,” Wainwright said. “DPS prides itself on courtesy, service and protection. You will be asked to exhibit these attributes time and again, often when it may not be your first instinct. You must always remember what it is you have sworn to defend.”

The ceremony was held at Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin. This was the department’s 168th recruit class, with trooper trainees ranging in age from 21 to 51 years old. This class included 21 females, which ties A-2021 for the most females in a single class.

“We are grateful to have so many recruits who have chosen this path,” said PSC Chairman Steven P. Mach. “The DPS Training Academy ensures only the best will wear the Texas Tan, and we are fortunate to have so many people from across the U.S. wanting to protect our state.”

This year’s recruit class included 27 military veterans, 19 recruits with prior law enforcement experience and a husband and wife who graduated simultaneously. Of the 101 graduates, 12 come from other states and 41 speak more than one language.

“Class B-2021 exhibits the perseverance and determination we hope all of our recruits will have. They have trained extremely hard to get here today,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “I’m so pleased to welcome such a diverse group to DPS, and I look forward to what each will do.”

The recruits underwent a 29-week training academy to graduate, which tested them mentally and physically. Collectively they completed more than 241,000 pushups and rowed more than 2 million meters. During the academy, four trooper trainees welcomed children to their families and one trainee got engaged.

The newly commissioned Troopers will report to their individual duty stations on May 29.Line

Girl visits Knoxville THP office to repay trooper who bought her a gift

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The little girl surprised Trooper Yates-Matoy on Thursday to repay him for his kind deed.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A 7-year-old girl paid a visit to Knoxville’s Tennessee Highway Patrol headquarters to visit “her favorite trooper” after he bought her a rose in March.

The girl and her mother were in Weigel’s in Vonore when a THP trooper overheard her asking about roses. He reportedly bought one and gifted it to her. Afterward, the mother took to Facebook to find the trooper so she could “let him know how special what he did for her was.”

Shortly later, the girl, who reportedly is fascinated by law enforcement, and her mother found out it was THP Trooper Frank Yates-Matoy.

“Thank you all who helped in the search effort, it is greatly appreciated,” the woman said. “We are so thankful for him and our sweet community!”

THP officials said it was “such a kind feature” by the trooper, saying the girl would probably remember the event for quite some time.

However, the story doesn’t stop there, according to troopers.

On Thursday, the little girl surprised Trooper Yates-Matoy at the Knoxville office to repay him for his kind deed. She brought gifts to the trooper, including drawings and Cinnaholic sweet treats.

The post from THP read, “Pretty sure all of our hearts are melted.”

While there, they ate cinnamon rolls together and walked inside and outside of the office.

Source WVLT Knoxville TN.Line

Col. Weaver sworn in as new superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police

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Friday, April 29th 2022

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — Col. Darnell Weaver was sworn in Friday as the 15th superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

Weaver is the first person of color to be appointed superintendent. He takes over for the retiring Col. James Manni.

Manni said Friday that when he first saw Weaver, the trooper reminded him of Hercules.

Both men crossed paths numerous times during their time with the state police.

"I had faith in him from the beginning," Manni said on Friday.

During the ceremony, Manni passed to Weaver the police badge that every chief has carried since 1959.

Weaver is a Cranston native with 28 years of service with the state police.

He said he was humbled by the appointment.

"Today is not about me, but instead I would like today to be about the men and women of the state police and the people of the State of Rhode Island," Weaver said. "My message is simple. I promise the residents of this state that this agency will continue to earn your respect every day."Line

'UNDOUBTEDLY SAVED LIVES': North Carolina trooper uses his own car to stop suspected drunk driver

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May 8, 2022

JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C.North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper is being credited for saving lives by putting his own life on the line to stop a suspected drunk driver from entering an interstate going the wrong way.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol said Trooper Cody Thao used his own patrol car as a barrier to stop the driver who was speeding up an exit ramp the wrong way. The dramatic crash was caught on dashcam vide

Police said Trooper Thao was called in to help with a pursuit in the early morning hours of April 8. Just as the trooper arrived, the pursuit arrived onto the I-40 eastbound ramp to Rock Quarry Road in Wake County. The suspect started driving the wrong way on the ramp.

The video shows Trooper Thao intentionally drive his own car into the path of the suspected drunk driver to stop him from entering the interstate going the wrong way. Amazingly, the trooper was not injured.

"I could not be prouder of Trp. Thao and his quick decision to stop the wrong way driver, his actions most undoubtedly saved lives," Colonel Freddy L. Johnson, Jr., commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, said in a statement. "His willingness to put himself in harm's way is representative of the lifesaving work our members do each day. Placing others before ourselves is not just a saying amongst the law enforcement profession, it’s a reality of what we do for the betterment of the communities we serve." 

Trooper Thao told Fox 12 he didn't even think about how he could be seriously injured until afterward.

"Once I saw the vehicle, I just decided to stop the chase right there," Thao said. "This is what we signed up to do, this is what we agreed to do."

He added, "All the credit goes out to the other troopers who inspire me on a daily basis especially here in Wake County."

Thao has been with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol for less than a year.

"Before that, I actually worked at a Tractor Supply," he said. "I don’t have any prior experience with law enforcement. I’ve always had a servant’s heart, and I’ve always wanted to help people."

The suspect, Joshua Ray Bibey, 26, was arrested and charged with driving while impaired.

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Pennsylvania State Police honors 102 fallen troopers on department's 117th anniversary

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HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania State Police honored the department’s fallen troopers Monday in conjunction with its 117th anniversary.

The State Police was established by Gov. Samuel Pennypacker on May 2, 1905, making it the first uniformed police agency of its kind in the United States.

Homage was also paid to four members who died in the line of duty since the last in-person ceremony in 2019: Trooper Donald C. Brackett, who died on May 18, 2019, due to a medical emergency; Trooper First Class Dung X. Martinez, who died on Oct. 21, 2021, due to complications from COVID-19; and Troopers Martin F. Mack III and Branden T. Sisca, both of whom died on March 21, 2022, after being struck by an intoxicated motorist.

“This year has been extremely difficult for all of our personnel as we solemnly etch additional names to the memorial wall,” said Col. Robert Evanchick, commissioner of Pennsylvania State Police. “The 102 names etched into the wall not only represent the individual troopers who died in service to the commonwealth, but also the sacrifices of family members and loved ones who suffered their loss. Today we honor all those who laid down their lives and will ensure their contributions to our department are never forgotten.”

Gov. Tom Wolf marked the occasion by proclaiming May 2 as Pennsylvania State Police Day in the commonwealth.

“Frances and I extend our condolences to these troopers and their loved ones, as well as to the larger State Police family and everyone affected by their loss,” Wolf said. “Today serves as an important reminder of the dangers faced by members of law enforcement throughout the commonwealth, and I ask all Pennsylvanians to pause in remembrance of the 102 troopers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Starting with an original complement of just 228 men, the department has grown over the past 117 years to a complement of more than 6,700 men and woman. It is the 10th-largest police agency in the United States.

The ceremony included a moment of silence, rifle salute and helicopter flyover, as well as the reading of the names of all 102 fallen troopers. An online version of the memorial wall, including photos and biographies of each member who died in the line of duty, is available at https://www.psp.pa.gov/memorial-wall/Pages/The-Memorial-Wall.aspx. Visitors are welcome to view the memorial wall and search the computer kiosk inside the Pennsylvania State Police Academy to learn more about each member who died while in service to the people of Pennsylvania.Line

Georgia State Patrol Graduates Its First Accelerated Trooper School & Georgia State Patrol Graduates 111th Trooper School

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APRIL 08, 2022

(FORSYTH) – The Georgia State Patrol graduated its 112th Trooper School on Friday, April 8, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth.  After 13 weeks of intense training, 27 new troopers will report to one of the 52 patrol posts throughout the state to complete the field training phase.

Governor Brian P. Kemp was the keynote speaker and issued the Oath of Office.  Colonel Chris C. Wright, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), acknowledged the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) 85th Anniversary and recognized the men and women, both sworn and civilian who have worked for the department. Additionally, remarks were given by Capt. Clayton Kicklighter, Director of Training. 

This Trooper School is the first accelerated school of the Georgia State Patrol consisting of all former law enforcement. Instead of the traditional 20 weeks at the academy, these Trooper Cadets spent 13 weeks and will report to their assigned post to complete 12 weeks of 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 Ethan Sarrell, class president, highlighted the prior law enforcement experience, ranging from two years to 28 years, each of them had before becoming State Troopers. Some were former supervisors, and one was the Chief of Police. “As former deputies, police officers, and game wardens, the members of the 112th are unique and each of us knows what is ahead of us. Although each of us arrived here from different backgrounds, each of us has the same goal…to continue serving and protecting our communities by maintaining law and order as members of the premier agency in the state of Georgia,” emphasized Trooper Sarrell.

Trooper Matthew Davis received a $5,000 scholarship towards a bachelor’s degree from Reinhardt University for having the highest academic average in his class. This scholarship is named after CPL Chadwick LeCroy who was killed in the line of duty on December 27, 2010. 

 

Georgia State Patrol Graduates 111th Trooper School

APRIL 29, 2022

(FORSYTH, GA) – The Georgia State Patrol graduated its 111th Trooper School on Friday, April 29, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth.  After 32 weeks of intense training, 41 new troopers will report to one of the 52 patrol posts throughout the state. 

 
Governor Brian Kemp was the keynote speaker and issued the Oath of Office.  Governor Kemp said “I want to thank the elite members of the Georgia State Patrol for what you do every single day to keep our citizens safe around this great state that we live in.  This is the largest Trooper class since 2018, and we’re thankful to have them in the fight with us against crime.” 

Additionally, remarks were given by Colonel Chris C. Wright, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), and Captain Clayton Kicklighter, 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 Matthew Bellflower, class president, reflected on their journey through Trooper School. "We earned this, this was not given to us," Bellflower stated.  "I challenge each of you to develop your individual professionalism that coincides with the professionalism of the Georgia State Patrol." 

Trooper Ryan Townsend also received a $5,000 scholarship towards a master’s degree from Reinhardt University for having the highest academic average, 95.55, in his class. This scholarship is named after CPL Chadwick LeCroy who was killed in the line of duty on December 27, 2010.  

This Trooper School graduated three weeks after the inaugural accelerated Trooper class, adding 68 new Troopers to the Georgia State Patrol ranks.Line

 

Man rushed to Virginia hospital after being bitten by deadly pet snake

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Authorities say state police helped rush an anti-venom treatment to a Virginia hospital after a man was bitten Saturday by his pet African Pit Viper, one of the deadliest snakes in the world.

Virginia State Police helped deliver the anti-venom treatment from the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach to Richmond’s VCU Health. Officials said he had received an initial dose of anti-venom treatment from the National Zoo in D.C.

A spokeswoman for VCU Health told WTOP she couldn’t disclose information about that particular case. She did say, however, it is rare for the hospital system to have to request anti-venom treatments from outside sources.

Pamela Baker-Masson, a spokesperson for the National Zoo, told WTOP the last time the Zoo had to provide anti-venom was over a decade ago.

“There’s a concern with the public owning these, especially venomous species, for this very reason,” said Christopher Holstege, M.D., director of the University of Virginia Health System’s Blue Ridge Poison Center, which wasn’t involved in this case.

Holstege said hospitals typically have anti-venom treatments on hand for native snakes, but not for non-indigenous species, like the African Pit Viper. And finding those lifesaving treatments can take time, when every minute counts.

“The sooner you can get treatment, anti-venom, the better,” Holstege said. “These snakes can cause tissue damage, you can get pain, swelling, death to the skin cells, and the muscles underneath potentially.”

He said a venomous bite can also lead to death.

Holstege cautioned not to treat a bite with tourniquets or suction devices; instead call 911.

Owning an African Pit Viper is illegal in Virginia.

The location of where the man was bitten wasn’t disclosed by authorities.Line

2022 American Association of State Troopers Trooper of The Year

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2022 American Association of State Troopers - Trooper of The Year

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Kentucky State Police hold fundraiser for Special Olympics

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Apr 22, 2022

FRANKFORT, Ky. —

Kentucky State Police once again is showing their support of Special Olympics Kentucky (SOKY) by hosting the Cover the Cruiser fundraising event at locations across the commonwealth and Gov. Andy Beshear encourages all Kentuckians to participate.

During the last week of April, KSP will park cruisers at various public locations and encourages Kentuckians to cover the cruisers with custom SOKY stickers for a minimum donation of $1, which will go directly to SOKY. The Frankfort event is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 28 at Kroger on Brighton Park Boulevard.

"It's great to see citizens working together to provide a better, safer and more inclusive Kentucky for all. Thank you to KSP for hosting this statewide fundraising effort and let’s all ‘stick it’ to the state police in an effort to raise more funds than ever before for the Special Olympics," Beshear said.

This fundraising event began in 2020 when the annual Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run was canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic. During the Torch Run, law enforcement members carry the Flame of Hope into the Special Olympic games. The flame represents courage and celebration of diversity.

The annual summer games will occur this summer at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond. The Cover the Cruiser event is being held before the official start of the annual summer games.

"The Kentucky State Police have been incredible Special Olympics supporters for several years and Cover the Cruiser has been a great extension of that support," said SOKY President and CEO Trish Mazzoni. "The money that KSP has raised in the first two years of ‘Cover the Cruiser’ has provided valuable sports and health services for our athletes, while also affording a unique way for people to get to know KSP while they support Special Olympics athletes across the state."

KSP raised $20,103.32 for SOKY athletes in 2021, with the highest fundraising honor being awarded to Post 6 in Grant County for collecting $2,713.

For more information about the Cover the Cruiser campaign or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit soky.org/coverthecruiser/Line