Wisconsin State Patrol will use airplanes to help reduce speeding
Wisconsin state troopers can now catch people speeding from the air. In a new effort to help keeps the roads safer, state trooper will start using airplanes to help detect speeding. The planes will use technology to help calculate if cars are going over the limit. If they are, a description will be given to a nearby state trooper. Highway patrol is hoping that this new technology helps to limit crashes that are caused by speeding. "We will be doing several aircraft details throughout the Wausau region. In an effort to get people to slow down and abide by Wisconsin laws. It's more of a highway safety factor again, with speed being a leading factor in crashes. We want to reduce the number of crashes and enhance highway safety," says Wisconsin State Patrol Sergeant Matthew Strickland. Portage county will be the first county to use this new method.
Highway patrol says that the planes should be in the air on August 16th.
California Highway Patrol officer killed in line of duty
Officer Kirk Griess was struck and killed by a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop on I-80, near Manuel Campos Parkway, in Solano. Another vehicle entered the area and struck both Officer Griess and the vehicle he had stopped. Officer Griess and the driver of the stopped car were both killed. Officer Griess was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the California Highway Patrol for 19 years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and son.
West Virginia State Police trooper wins state award
Senior Trooper J.B. Yeager of the Beckley Detachment received a Lifesaving Award Thursday in a ceremony at the West Virginia State Police headquarters. On Sept. 24, 2017, a male was on the Glade Creek Bridge on I-64 in Raleigh County, according to Sgt. R.A. Daniel, commander of the Welch detachment. The male was threatening to jump to his death. The male, who was from Oregon, had phoned 911, and a deputy with the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office had responded to speak with him. Yeager also responded and asked to speak with the male subject, Daniel said. After developing rapport with the male, she was able to convince him to step down from the bridge and transport him to a local hospital for evaluation. The male later said if it weren’t for Yeager’s kindness and compassion, he would have jumped to his death. “Trooper Yeager’s commitment to duty, compassion and caring exemplify the traits of the West Virginia State Police,” Daniel said.
Ohio state troopers seize $6.3 million worth of cocaine during traffic stop
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers have filed felony charges against a Canadian man after finding $6.3 million worth of cocaine in a car he was driving on July 31. The Patrol says troopers stopped a rented 2018 Chrysler 300 with California plates for "several marked lane violations" on the Ohio Turnpike. A drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle, and a search revealed 165 pounds of cocaine in the vehicle.
Minnesota State Patrol has sights set on 'Super Speeders'
As the weather heats up, drivers tend to put their lead foot on the pedal. Last year, Minnesota state troopers stopped more than two dozen drivers going more than 120 miles per hour. The worst offenders were young men. The top speed: 157 miles per hour. Minnesota Department of Transportation cameras captured exotic sports cars speeding on Interstate 394, even passing school buses. A state trooper clocked the group over 100 miles an hour. “The problem I have is when you get out onto a busy congested highway and start driving like that, putting other people at risk, somebody is going to die, and I don’t want to see that happen,” said the trooper to one of the drivers in dashcam footage. That was 2016, and drivers have not slowed down. “Holy buckets man, you were cruising. Did you see how fast you were going?” said a trooper to a driver going 137 miles per hour. From drivers without a license, to those under the influence going excessive speeds, state troopers have seen it all. “These are high rates of speed. Dangerous, dangerous rates of speed,” said Lt. Paul Stricker said. He has pulled over his fair share of so-called “super speeders.” “Somebody that’s traveling much faster than the general flow of traffic. Somebody that’s going to endanger other motorists that are out there. Traveling too fast, coming up on cars fast behind them, weaving in and out of lanes,” Stricker said. He sees speeders all over the metro. It is more common when there are multiple lanes, on loops like I-494 and I-694, and main interstates like I-35W. There a super speeder is typically a driver going above 70. Hundreds across the state topped 90 in 2017, with 30 offenders pulled over for going 120 plus. The most egregious stop of the year was a 34-year-old man going 157 in a 55 mile-an-hour zone. And those were the cars state troopers caught up with. Some try to offer an excuse. “We’ll hear everything from, ‘I’m late for a meeting,’ ‘I wasn’t paying attention,’ ‘I have to go to the bathroom,’” Stricker said. While WCCO was riding along, Stricker caught a driver weaving in and out of traffic, and witnessed other cars putting on the brakes. “Kind of went a little fast coming in and he caught me. Wasn’t trying to deny it, and I should have not been doing that,” said driver Grant Wenkstern. “I think most people realize how fast they’re going, just hoping to get away with it,” Stricker said. “Some of them you have to laugh at. I’ve told people ‘I’ve heard that one.’” But when it comes down to it, it is no laughing matter. The state patrol wants drivers to realize speed can be deadly. It was a factor in 88 fatal crashes last year. Troopers on the move use built-in radar to capture how fast a driver is going. Along the highway, they use a handheld radar to nab a car’s speed. “We’re here to change driving behavior to make it safe for everybody on the road,” Stricker said. At the end of the day, they want drivers to follow the posted speed. Exceeding it can be costly. “Our ultimate goal is for people to get home we want them to get to their destination safely,” Stricker said. We are in a stretch of what law enforcement calls the “100 deadliest days on the road.” It runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There is extra enforcement on the road. Speeding tickets vary by county, but the cost is typically $110 for going 10 miles over the limit. Fines double at 20 miles over. Drivers can lose their license for six months if they are caught driving 100 miles per hour or higher.
2018 Best Looking Cruiser Contest Results
2018 Best Looking Cruiser Contest Results
Congratulations! To the Kentucky State Police for being voted the “2018 America’s Best Looking Cruiser”.
This is the first year the Kentucky State Police has received the honor and will be the cruiser featured on the cover
of the “2019 America’s Best Looking Cruiser Calendar”.
The contest received over 250,000 “likes” and reached over 1 million people. Thank you to everyone who participated
to make this year’s contest a success.
The 2018 top 13 finalists are listed below:
1st Kentucky State Police
2nd Georgia State Patrol
3rd North Carolina State Highway Patrol
4th Ohio State Highway Patrol
5th Tennessee Highway Patrol
6th Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
7th Florida Highway Patrol
8th Delaware State Police
9th Michigan State Police
10th Idaho State Police
11th Texas Department of Public Safety
12th Mississippi Highway Patrol
13th Pennsylvania State Police
The 2019 Calendars will be available to purchase at www.statetroopers.org beginning September 2018.
Watch for the announcement on the AAST Facebook page.
Net proceeds of the calendar sales will benefit the American Association of State Troopers Foundation that provides educational scholarships to dependents of AAST members.
Lone Star Lawmen: Texas Rangers work on area's most challenging cases
A picture of the three Texas Rangers from Larry McMurtry’s novel-turned-TV miniseries Lonesome Dove hangs on a wall in the office of Texas Ranger Brandon Bess in the Liberty County Courthouse. “Which one are you?” Bess is asked. Glancing at the iconic photo, Bess responds, “I would have to say that I would be more like Gus and Ryan is more like Woodrow.” “So, who is Jake Spoon?” he is asked. Sitting across from each other in Bess’ office, Bess and Texas Ranger Ryan Clendennen, both amused at the question, look at each other for an answer. Nobody wants to be Jake Spoon, the Ranger-turned-outlaw. Like the characters in the TV show, the partnership between the two Rangers, assigned to neighboring counties, is one built on trust, friendship and a respect for each other’s strengths. Bess is assigned to Liberty, San Jacinto and Hardin counties while Clendennen’s territory includes Polk, Tyler and Jasper counties. The two Rangers have developed such an ease between them that each automatically knows the responsibilities to assume when investigating crimes. “When we go out to complex murder investigations together, I know Ryan is going to process the crime scene as an expert. He’s going to map it, read the blood and collect evidence,” Bess said. “I am going to start looking at videos, running down the witness list and start collecting all the police officers involved to see what happened before we got there. Then potentially go out and interview witnesses to the case. There is a lot of hard work that goes into it.” The more difficult cases, they say, are the ones that seem simple and straightforward. “When we get a murder case, we stress about it less. We know we will be there for days on end, long hours in a row, but it is what it is. You know that someone is going to jail for it. You just have to identify your suspects,” Bess said. “We stress over the easy cases, like an assault between public officials, because you aren’t sure if a crime has occurred and you have to be certain.” Murder cases involving children, however, are the worst and leave scars, despite the invisible shield that all law enforcement officers seem to possess. It comes with the badge. “We have to put on a shield to see the things we see and be able to get the job done so we can speak for the weak and for those who can no longer speak for themselves. That’s what we are here for,” Bess said. When a gunman recently opened fire inside of Sante Fe High School, killing nine students and a teacher, Bess and Clendennen assisted in the investigation. Before that, Clendennen also helped with the investigation of the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Last year, Bess was called upon to interview serial killer Anthony Allen Shore, who was executed on Jan. 18, 2018. Shore, who was convicted of one murder but confessed to four others, was thought to be a suspect in the 1983 murder of 20-year-old Susan Eads of Seabrook. Bess says he is certain Shore was not responsible for the crime. “I believe he committed more murders, but we proved that he did not kill Susan. He provided me with DNA and it did not match the DNA in Susan’s case. Shore also told me why he wouldn’t have targeted Susan. You can look at his victimology – the types of people he targeted – and it didn’t match,” Bess said. According to Bess, Shore admitted to sexually assaulting as many as 40-50 women in Texas and other states, but with no evidence or victims’ outcries, the investigation died with the condemned man. Both Clendennen and Bess were initially involved in the interviewing of Shore, but Clendennen exited the interview early on when Shore seemed to have a clear disdain for him. “It goes back to the first question about whether we relate to Woodrow or Gus. I sat in on the interview, but Shore just didn’t like me. We made an immediate decision that I would exit the room because Brandon had a nice rapport with the guy,” Clendennen said. “Looking back on it now, it’s kind of funny. I remember Brandon telling me several months later that he had gotten a Christmas card from the guy. “Think about that. Here is a guy on death row and he’s built such a rapport with the Ranger who interviewed him that he sent him a Christmas card not long before he was scheduled to be executed,” Clendennen continued. When asked what cases keep them up at night, they said “cold cases,” those that appear to be unsolvable without a major development or confession. For Bess, the case that haunts him is the 1982 murder of Monica “Christy” Wilson, who was killed at the age of 20. At the time of her death, Wilson was a newlywed and worked at a convenience store named Snappy’s in Liberty. The morning after her disappearance, Wilson’s body was found on FM 1409 in Dayton near an area known to locals as Dead Man’s Curve. Her killer was never identified. Clendennen says the unsolved murders of two young people from Polk and San Jacinto counties top his cold case list. “I think a lot about the Natasha Atchley case and the Carl Wills’ murder. There have been a lot of good investigators who have worked on the cases, but the thing about cold cases is a lot of times there isn’t a lot of evidence,” he said. “It almost takes a confession or a CODIS hit to get a suspect.” In 1992, 19-year-old Natasha Atchley disappeared following a birthday party in her hometown of Shepherd, Texas. The next morning her body was found in the charred remains of a vehicle that was set afire about a mile from where the party was held. Carl Wills, 22, was murdered in late August of 2011. His body was found on Sept. 1 by a fisherman in a roadside ditch on CR 2132 in north Liberty County, a few miles south of Rye. Wills had died from gunshot wounds to his back and head. Investigators believe that Wills, who lived in Livingston at the time, was killed elsewhere and dumped in Liberty County. “The cold cases require a ton of dedicated time, and you have to pick them up and drop them all the time to work on other cases,” Bess said. “Think about how many other cases are like that out there.” One of the biggest misconceptions about Rangers, they say, is that they are an internal affairs division to investigate law enforcement officers. “We actually are here to assist law enforcement. About 90 percent of the cases sitting on my desk, and the cases we handle, are assisting other agencies in their investigations,” Bess said. “But we are not in the business of interjecting ourselves into local departments’ investigations,” Clendennen added. Their role is often misunderstood by the public, they say. “People think they can just call us up to report a crime. We take citizens’ complaints but advise them to start with the agency in their jurisdiction,” Bess said. “We will do our best and be objective. The one thing we never want to do is harm the public’s opinion of the Rangers, no matter what we do.” Even when they are away from work, they know they have a reputation to maintain as one of the 162 Texas Rangers representing the state. “There just aren’t a lot of us across the state. We are just another police officer. The only thing that is different for us is that we are part of a family that has been around for almost 200 years. Our history is the oldest police agency in the world,” Bess said. “Once you are a Ranger, you are always a Ranger.”
Article courtesy of Vanessa Brashier with the Bluebonnet News
Arkansas State Police graduates 38 new members
The Arkansas State Trooper Training Academy began with 45 recruits on Sunday, February 25, 2018 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Twenty-one weeks later, Thirty-eight Arkansas State Police Trooper recruits graduated on Thursday, July 19, 2018. According to the Arkansas State Police news release, each recruit has accumulated more than one-thousand hours of classroom and practical training. Major General Mark H. Berry, Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard, was the keynote speaker addressing the graduates and assisted Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, in presenting the new troopers their certification and commission credentials. Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice John Dan Kemp administered the Oath of State Trooper Commission. Other dignitaries present for the ceremony included representatives of the Arkansas State Police Commission, department deputy directors, and division, troop and company commanders assigned across the department. Special recognition and awards were presented to the recruits who attained the highest scores within the respective training categories: academics, physical fitness and firearms. Upon reporting for duty at their respective troop headquarters, the new troopers will be placed with a certified departmental Field Training Officer (FTO). Each graduate will work in tandem with their respective FTO for a transitional period prior to being released to their assignment.
West Virginia State Police trooper honored with three awards for service
A State Police trooper injured in the line of duty received three honors Wednesday during a ceremony at the West Virginia State Police Headquarters. In March 2017, Sgt. David Fry responded to a domestic violence call in Lincoln County where a man high on meth was holding his wife hostage with a gun. Fry acted to save the woman and was shot in the shoulder and wrist. It took him eight months to recover from his injuries from which he had to undergo reconstructive surgery on his arm and intense physical therapy to be able to return to work. Governor Jim Justice and Superintendent of State Police Jan Cahill were both present to honor Fry with a Purple Heart, Medal of Valor and 2017 State Trooper of the Year. “This is a hero,” Justice said about Fry. “All these people are heroes. What they do for us every day is just this, and sometimes we forget it or we don’t appreciate it enough.” Justice explained the situation that Fry was involved in that night in March 2017 where he was the only responder to the incident and did not have any backup. He said the bravery that one has to display to go into a situation like that is amazing. “Let’s be real. How many of us, on our own, would go to a home where a guy is holding his wife hostage with a rifle and no back up anywhere and go try to help somebody?” Justice said. Fry was joined by his wife, daughter and mother at the WVSP Headquarters to receive his honors and said that he was very thankful for everything. “I feel fantastic. I’m very glad to be here,” he said. “I very much appreciate the governor’s remarks. I very much appreciate Col. Cahill not only in his official capacity but the way that the State Police, which is my family, has taken care of me through this.” He explained that it was just by chance that he was the trouper to be on the scene that night. “I’m in the position I’m in right because my number got pulled to take that call. There are two troupers who are out there right now who were in Hamlin with me at that time, but I’ve since been transferred,” he added. “It could’ve easily been them, and they would’ve done the same thing I did. I was given the opportunity to prove what we can do and that’s all it was.” Above all, Fry said that he is a state trooper and acting the way he did was not a personal thing at all but just what he was supposed to do. In the WVSP Headquarters there is a wall with photos of officers who have been killed on duty. Fry said his picture could’ve been added to the gallery. “This is about as close as you can get to not being on that wall,” he said. “I’m very proud, very honored, and I’m just really glad to be here.”
Nebraska State Patrol troopers honored for relaying rare lifesaving meds for child in Colorado
The late-night relay of a rare, lifesaving medication from Omaha to a children’s hospital in Colorado earned high praise for eight Nebraska State Patrol troopers Monday. At a press conference, Gov. Pete Ricketts commended the troopers for their teamwork and dedication. He particularly praised the initiative of Lt. Matt Sutter, who got the call from the Nebraska Medical Center about 10 p.m. May 29. Medical center officials needed a way to deliver the medication, which is usually used to treat brain infections caused by parasites, to Aurora, Colorado, as quickly as possible. But the last commercial flight of the day had left Omaha, and storms in eastern Nebraska kept smaller aircraft grounded. Sutter set in motion a modern-day Pony Express relay. An Omaha trooper picked up the medicine at about 10:15 p.m. from the medical center and headed west. The box was handed off to another trooper and then another and so on until it arrived in North Platte, where conditions allowed a medical transport airplane to take off. The medication arrived about five hours after it left Omaha. On Monday, Sutter said the teamwork required for the relay is typical for the patrol. But the possibility of saving a child’s life made the job special.
New Jersey State Police add 161 new troopers
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, and Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police, presented badges to New Jersey's newest state troopers during graduation ceremonies at the RWJ Barnabas Health Arena Friday, July 13. The 158th New Jersey State Police Class graduated 147 men and 14 women. Of this graduating class, 77 percent have a Bachelor's degree or higher, 18 percent are prior military, and 15 percent have prior law enforcement experience. Also, 28 among the class are multi-lingual and 13 are Trooper Youth Week graduates. The class completed 24 weeks of strenuous physical and academic training consisting of classroom lessons and practical training scenarios. The recruits also participated in role-playing exercises focused on motor vehicle stops, domestic violence situations, and human dignity. In the area of cultural diversity, the class received detailed instruction from community and cultural organizations. The life of a recruit is challenging in many ways. The New Jersey State Police Training Academy is one of the few residential academies in the nation. Recruits report to the academy before dawn on Monday morning, and they do not return home until dismissal on Friday evening. Therefore, recruits are away from their families during significant life events. The newly-graduated troopers have been assigned to stations throughout the state, and over the next few months, they will begin their careers under the watchful eye of their Trooper-Coaches and supervisors. “Today, the 161 graduates of the 158th New Jersey State Police Class are joining an elite group of law enforcement officers. In doing so, these men and women will continue a proud tradition of leadership and service in protecting and safeguarding the residents of this great state,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I am confident this new generation of leaders will serve New Jersey with pride, dignity and honor.” “Congratulations to the New Jersey State Police Class graduates as they embark on a life in public service. We are very fortunate to have recruited such a bright and talented group of officers and I am hopeful that in the line of duty they will always serve with respect, dignity and compassion,”said Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver. “We are grateful for their decision to enter this difficult and rewarding career and I wish them the best in the line of duty.” “As Attorney General, I hear on a daily basis about the vital work that New Jersey State Troopers perform to keep the people of our state safe and secure,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Whether they are patrolling our highways, arresting narcotics and gun traffickers, investigating violent crimes, apprehending child predators, or handling any number of other critical duties, the men and women of the State Police serve with courage and distinction. I congratulate the members of the 158th Class, and I wish them success and safety as they join the ranks and the proud tradition of the New Jersey State Police.” "The men and women of the 158th Class began their academy training as recruits and today embark on their careers as New Jersey State Troopers," said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. "Now that their academy training is complete, they will be tasked with serving and protecting our citizens. I am confident that they will put to use what they have learned over the course of the last six months and are adequately prepared for the challenges they will encounter.”
New Michigan state troopers sworn in for duty
Michigan’s newest state troopers have graduated from the Michigan State Police (MSP) 134th Trooper Recruit School. Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP, administered the Oath of Office and Governor Rick Snyder gave the keynote address during the ceremony at the Lansing Center, according to a press release from the MSP. The new graduates will report for duty at posts across the state, bringing the statewide workforce to 1,269 troopers. The school began in January and included training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, cultural diversity and implicit bias, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving. Out of 152 prospective troopers, 107 graduated, according to the release.
Drone helps Missouri State Highway Patrol
Trooper Dan Yingling has been with the Missouri State Highway Patrol for seven years now and he's excited about the new addition of a drone to their crash team. "You know, I've been out on some crash scenes where we can't necessarily shut the roadway down completely and when you're trying to move traffic off of one lane into another, sometimes people get confused and you end up having to try to play frogger a little bit just to stay away from the cars," explained Trooper Yingling. Safety is just one of the advantages of the new technology. "It's a very detailed, gives a very detailed photographic evidence of what happened," stated Sergeant John Lueckenhoff. The drone costs a little over $6,000, but investing in this technology now is saving the troop time. "Instead of having to get out into the roadways to plot each individual point, we can fly the drone over or beside the road way and then we can take multiple pictures and we stitch all those pictures together with some computer software and it creates a 3-D model for us," said Yingling. And that means that a crash like this that may take over an hour to process traditionally can be completed in a 16 minute flight time with the drone. "When you consider the officer's safety and the actual shortage of highway closures, ultimately, this is making it safer for everybody," stated Lueckenhoff. This was the first time Troop D used the drone to cover a crash scene and while the weather conditions have to be right for the equipment to be used, Lueckenhoff sees a lot of promise in the technology.
To view video, go to: http://www.fox14tv.com/clip/14477388/drone-crash-investigation-9-7-9
Michigan State Police return to garrison hats
Michigan State Police will switch back to garrison hats on Sunday, July 8, and away from the campaign-style hats troopers have worn since December 2016, the agency announced on social media. Garrison hats are what most people are accustomed to seeing Michigan State Police wear. MSP had brought the campaign-style hats, the original style worn by state troopers, on Dec. 22, 2016, in honor of their 100th anniversary. Troopers wore campaign hats from the founding of the Michigan State Police through the early 1920s. That decision was the result of a vote taken by State Police employees, said Lt. Mike Shaw, a Michigan State Police spokesman.
New York State Police trooper killed in the line of duty
Trooper Nicholas Clark was shot and killed when he and other officers responded to a suicidal subject at 10041 Welch Road, in Erwin, New York. He had responded to the residence, along with members of the Steuben County Sheriff's Office and Corning Police Department, after the man's wife called 911 at approximately 3:30 am and reported that he was suicidal and possibly armed. Crisis negotiators were attempting to make contact with the subject when he opened fire, fatally wounding Trooper Clark. The subject was found deceased a short time later suffering from a self inflicted gunshot wound. Trooper Clark had served with the New York State Police for just under three years. He is survived by his parents and brother. He was a former two-time high school state wrestling champion and had previously tried out for the Buffalo Bills football team.