Virginia Welcomes the 139th Batch of State Troopers to the Frontlines
September 16, 2023
In the heart of Richmond this past Friday, the 15th of September, the Virginia State Police Academy proudly celebrated a pivotal moment. The 139th generation of Virginia State Troopers, a diverse and rigorously trained group, was handed their diplomas in a ceremony filled with pride and hope.
Colonel Gary T. Settle, the Virginia State Police Superintendent, shared his admiration and belief in this new generation, commenting, “For 91 years, the Virginia State Police has stood as a beacon of security, ensuring safety for every individual residing, working, or merely passing through the great Commonwealth of Virginia. The dedication we’ve observed from these graduates reassures us that they are more than ready to uphold the lofty standards that come with our emblem.” His words resonated with the promise that the legacy of service and dedication the State Police embodies will continue.
These fresh troopers have undergone an extensive and comprehensive training regime. Their preparation involved a grueling 1,300 hours spanning a vast array of topics. Not only were they schooled in the expected areas like constitutional law and emergency medical care, but also in more sensitive and essential subjects such as de-escalation techniques, strategies for assisting individuals experiencing mental health crises, and promoting fairness and impartiality in policing. Starting their journey on February 27th, earlier this year, these recruits were immersed in 28 weeks of academic, physical, and hands-on training, proving their dedication and resilience.
Illustrating the appeal and prestige of the Virginia State Police, the 139th Basic Session witnessed a rich tapestry of backgrounds. Recruits hailed from all across the Commonwealth and from states such as Arkansas and Texas. Furthermore, international representation was seen from places like the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Saipan. Such diversity is a testament to the universal desire to serve and protect communities.
As they transition into their roles, the week of September 18 will see these troopers disperse across Virginia to their designated duty assignments. But the learning doesn’t stop here; each trooper will undergo an additional six-week intensive with a Field Training Officer, familiarizing themselves with their new patrol regions and ensuring they’re best equipped to serve their communities.
South Dakota Highway Patrol welcomes five new graduate troopers
SEPTEMBER 10, 2023
PIERRE, S.D. - On Friday, September 8, five South Dakota Highway patrol trooper recruits graduated from Class 69 at a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, with Gov. Kristi Noem as the keynote speaker.
Graduates from Class 69 and their duty stations:
Ryan Elliott - Watertown
Juan Flores - Watertown
Tyler Jordan - Kadoka
Nolan Koistinen - Spearish
Austin Shoemaker - Presho
“Serving in the Highway Patrol requires, passion, extensive training, and dedication to serving and protecting the public,” said Col. Rick Miller, superintendent of the state Highway Patrol. “Each one of these five individuals exemplify these qualities. They are now ready to serve our state with excellence, the standard required of all our troopers.”
I-15 STRETCH DEDICATED TO NEVADA HIGHWAY PATROL TROOPER MICAH MAY
A stretch of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas has been dedicated in memory of Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Micah May, who was killed in 2021 on the interstate in the line of duty.
The stretch of I-15 near Sahara Avenue is dedicated to May, who died in July 2021 after he was struck by a carjacking suspect driving on the freeway, the Nevada Department of Transportation announced Monday. Memorial signs have been installed in each direction of I-15 near Sahara in May’s honor.
May was struck by the suspect’s stolen vehicle while deploying stop sticks on I-15, in an attempt to halt a car chase that spanned portions of the freeway and surface streets. May later died at University Medical Center from crash injuries.
The portion of I-15 named after May is part of NDOT’s new Honorary Highway Name program, memorializing first responders who died in the line of duty on state roadways. Highway segments of up to 1 mile can be named after officers killed on the job, as part of the program.
“The dedication signs honor the legacy of each of the Nevada State Troopers and first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty,” Nevada State Police Director George Togliatti said in a statement. “We will never forget their sacrifice in serving and protecting Nevada and our communities.”
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Pennsylvania State Troopers receive awards for saving a life.
Sep 21, 2023
On September 13, 2023, Executive Director Laura Burke from the American Red Cross presented several members from Troop H, Newport with American Red Cross Lifesaving Awards during an award presentation.
In May of 2023, Corporal Jessica Snyder and Troopers’ Gage Boreman and John Shannon were in a residential area within Carroll Township, Perry County handling an incident. Police Communications Operator (PCO) Dane Reighter was monitoring Perry County 911 Radio and overheard them dispatching Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to a nearby residence for an individual in cardiac arrest. PCO
Reighter alerted the members of the incident, and they quickly responded to the residence where the medical emergency was occurring. Corporal Snyder; and Troopers’ Boreman and Shannon quickly assessed the patient and started administering CPR and were successfully revived. The patient was transported to a local hospital by EMS. One of the EMS personnel credited the Troopers with saving the individual’s life. Earlier that morning, the three members had completed their First Aid/CPR recertification training, which had been administered by Trooper Heather Lynch.
Michigan State Police chopper assists in boater rescue
Michigan State Police (MSP) Tri-City troopers were assisted by MSP Aviation to locate two missing boaters on Thursday.
On Thursday, Sept. 14 about 8 p.m., MSP troopers were dispatched to locate two Pinconning residents who had gone missing on Lake Huron near Pinconning, MSP said.
Trooper 3, an MSP helicopter, was able to locate the residents, who were stranded in the lake on their disabled boat, MSP said, adding the boaters were cold but uninjured.
MSP said Trooper 3 was able to guide the U.S. Coast Guard to the disabled boat. The Coast Guard then transported the residents back to shore, and they were taken home by MSP troopers.
SC Highway Patrol Holds Graduation Ceremony, Welcomes 33 New Troopers
COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Highway Patrol held a graduation ceremony today for 33 troopers from its Highway Patrol Basic Class 123, with SC Attorney General Alan Wilson as the guest speaker.
This graduating class includes 24 prior-certified officers and 9 who are new to the law enforcement profession. The addition of this graduating class brings the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 813 (including today’s graduates and 31 troopers currently in training).*
“Today we celebrate these new troopers and their embodiment of dedication, duty, and service,” said Robert G. Woods, IV, Director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. “It is my honor to welcome this group, not only the Highway Patrol but to the Department of Public Safety family. It is a privilege to see such fine men and women dedicate themselves to making our highways and communities safer for our state, its citizens and its visitors.”
Troopers are assigned to areas based on a number of considerations, which include population density, the number of calls for service, and the number of licensed drivers/registered vehicles in an area. To see where the troopers from Basic 123 are assigned, review the information in the link that includes their Troop assignments and photos: https://scdps.sc.gov/schp/classes.
“Each and every one of you should celebrate today because today we honor the hard work you put in to earn the right to wear the uniform of the Highway Patrol,” said Colonel Christopher Williamson, Commander of the SC Highway Patrol. “I am proud to welcome you to the patrol and I am reminding you that as you embark on your new career, the road ahead is as rewarding as it is challenging. Just know that with each challenge comes the opportunity to make a difference, whether to your team, your community, or your state.
Special awards from Basic 123 class include:
Major Israel Brooks, Jr. Physical Fitness Award: Presented to the trooper who excelled on the physical training test and each day during the early morning exercises.
Basic 123 Recipient: Thomas Hudson
Captain Cecil Dilworth Marksmanship Award: Presented to the trooper who demonstrated the best marksmanship during firearms training.
Basic 123 Recipient: Pier Petriccione
Colonel P.F. Thompson Outstanding Achievement Award: For the trooper who displays the character and dedication symbolic of former Highway Patrol Colonel P.F. Thompson, the longest serving SC Highway Patrol commander.
Basic 123 Recipient: Jordan Austin
Bridge dedication honors Fallen N.C. Master Trooper John Horton
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C.— State and local officials dedicated a bridge on Saturday, August 26, 2023, to Master Trooper John Horton, who died in a crash last year.
Officials say the John S. Horton Bridge is located on N.C. 120 over U.S. 74.
“We recognize the importance of this bridge dedication to serve as a reminder of the perils every law enforcement officer face, as well as John’s commitment to his community,” State Highway Patrol Col. Freddy Johnson said. “The sign will be a continual and tangible symbol recognizing the sacrifice of a law enforcement officer and a display of what lengths we are willing to go to for the good of our communities. That’s exactly what John did.”
Officials say Horton was killed during a traffic stop in January of 2022.
Pennsylvania State Police welcomes 50 new troopers
Aug 25, 2023
Harrisburg, PA – Colonel Christopher Paris, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, announced that 50 cadets have graduated from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy. The class was the 167th to graduate from the academy in Hershey since it opened in 1960.
"These women and men completed one of the nation's most comprehensive and intense basic training courses and are now prepared to join the ranks of the Pennsylvania State Police," said Colonel Paris. "The 167th Cadet Class exemplifies the Academy's commitment to excellence and will undoubtedly contribute to the continued safety and security of Pennsylvania."
Five cadets received special awards and recognition during today's ceremony at LCBC Manheim in Lancaster County.
Brody M. Moore received the American Legion Award for all-around academic, physical, ethical, and moral qualifications.
Brody M. Moore also received the Sergeant Charles B. Gesford High Pistol Award for the highest score on the department's pistol qualification course.
Aaron J. Mylan received the John K. Schafer Memorial Award for the highest combined score on a series of physical skills tests.
Thomas L. Walutes III received the Colonel Paul J. Chylak Memorial Driver Proficiency Award for the highest proficiency in driver safety training.
Marten L. Weston received the Daniel F. Dunn High Scholastic Award for the highest level of academic achievement in the class.
Andrew M. Zaborowski received the Colonel Ronald M. Sharpe Leadership Award for exemplifying the qualities of leadership.
The new troopers will report to the following troops September 5:
Matthew L. DeChicchis
Anthony M. Fannie
Nathan A. Lash
Collin E. Askins
Jaden R. Blasco
Jake L. Cuny
Daniel E. Kline Jr.
Jason D. Taylor
Charles G. Ball
Emily J. Harsomchuck
Philip V. Kyle
Aaron J. Mylan
Caleb B. Smith
Jacob T. Walker
Mason A. Emigh
Holly M. Bayliss
Coulton R. Berry
Caileigh G. Bolin
Emily N. Boozel
Ethan M. Everetts
Kyle M. Heller
Jesse T. Lee
Brody M. Moore
Tanner M. Nelson
Cameron S. Norris
Kyle D. Reese
Scott A. Urban
Matthew A. Perri
Bryan O. Aviles-Ortiz
Michael J. Bartosiewicz
Roy U. Jalloh
Matthew T. Kost
Zachary M. Lesniak
Francesco S. Mazza
Serena A. McConaughey
Andrew J. Moreton
Gregory A. Naugle
Sarah A. Rushmore
Jermaine J. Smith
Andrew M. Zaborowski
Brody T. Myers
Caleb M. Oestrike
Isaiah N. Owens
Peter P. Gutowski Jr.
Ryan M. Kelly
Tara F. Roden
Thomas L. Walutes, III
Marten L. Weston
Justus J. Cole
Wade R. Hursh
Georgia State Patrol Graduates Newest Class of Troopers
September 8, 2023
The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) graduated its 114th Trooper School Friday, September 8, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth. After 32 weeks of intense training, 37 new Troopers will report to one of 52 patrol posts around the state.
Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp delivered the graduation address and gave the Oath of Office. Additional remarks were provided by Lt. Colonel Billy Hitchens, Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS), and Captain Craig Singletary, Director of Training.
Trooper Cadets spend 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks training in the field. The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires all peace officers to receive a minimum of 408 hours of Basic Mandate Training. After completing Trooper School, the graduates have received more than 1,400 hours of training including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other trainings.
During remarks to his fellow class members Trooper Andy Benjamin, class president, reflected on the group’s journey through Trooper School.
“The journey has not been easy, but it has been worthwhile. We sacrificed a lot by leaving our homes, families, and friends to join the elite ranks of the Georgia State Patrol,” said Benjamin. “Today we are proud, and we celebrate, but our journey is not over, it is truly just beginning as we are no longer Trooper Cadets, but new GSP Troopers.”
“TOMMY MOOSE” PLUSH DOLLS DONATED TO HIGHWAY PATROL
August 24, 2023
VALLEY CITY, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – On Saturday, August 19, 2023, the Nodak Moose Legion donated 23 dozen “Tommy Moose” plush dolls to the North Dakota Highway Patrol. This effort was put together by the Junior Past President of Nodak 42 Moose Legion, Steve Foley.
The Tommy Moose program aids in helping children overcome fears and anxiety during times of stress. Donated to Law enforcement, fire, and other emergency workers, Tommy Moose plush dolls are presented to children in various traumatic situations. In addition to this service, the Tommy Moose character has grown to personify happiness, safety, and security through personal appearances, books, and on children’s goods.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP) will have the Tommy Moose plush dolls available for officers to hand out to children during frightening times or stressful situations. “Thanks to the Nodak 42 Moose Legion, the Highway Patrol will continue to provide professional services to the public by handing out a Tommy Moose to children in need,” says Major Tom Iverson.
Maryland State Trooper rescues woman from burning car in Frederick County
August 23, 2023
A heroic Maryland State Trooper rescued a woman from a burning vehicle in Frederick County on Wednesday.
Just after 12 p.m., Sergeant Brian Blubaugh was the first to arrive at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on westbound I-70 at mile marker 49 in Frederick County, police said.
According to a preliminary investigation, police determined that a van, operated by a 69-year-old woman from Pennsylvania, was traveling westbound on I-70 when, for unknown reasons, went off the roadway and struck an embankment, police said. The car then began to catch fire.
Sergeant Blubaugh, along with multiple good Samaritans, helped get the woman out of the burning van, saving her life. She was transported to a nearby hospital and treated for her injuries.
State Police K9's to get bullet, stab proof vests thanks to donation
August 21, 2023
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHP) — Eleven Pennsylvania State Police K9's will soon be getting bullet and stab proof vests thanks to a donation from the "Vested Interest in K9s" charity.
K9s Ivan, Rom, Suny, Natascha, Evan, Dexter, Nemo, Rocco, Jack, Gnash, and Molly will be getting the vests. Troopers said they are expected to receive them in eight to ten weeks.
Officials said the vests are sponsored by the Survival Armor incentive program and will be embroidered with the sentiment, "Gifted by Vested Interest in K9s and Survival Armor."
Vested Interest in K9's, Inc. has donated more than 5,200 vests to K9's in all 50 states, made possible by private and corporate donations.
The vests weighs between four and five pounds, and is worth $1,800 each.
PSP announced the donation on Monday.
It's estimated there are 30,000 law enforcement K9's throughout the United States.
OSHP State Trooper saves family from burning home
In the dramatic bodycam footage, you can see Trooper Von Sacken running to the already engulfed home. He came upon the home after making a wrong turn while taking two people on a courtesy ride back to their home.
“Which took us up a different street, which put us in that location... had we hit their street, we wouldn’t have seen the fire because of our location,” Von Sacken said.
It was all by chance Von Sacken saw the flames, but as soon as he did, he jumped into action. The trooper ran to the home of the neighboring home, sitting only a few feet from the flames. He banged on the door to wake the family up and evacuate the home.
The family told 13 Action News they are grateful for the Trooper, and call the encounter, ‘divine timing.’
See full video below