Former New York State Police trooper shares his survival story

 Former NYSP trooper shares survival story

The fact that Craig Foglia survived a crash in May of 2017 is incredible.  The former New York State Trooper was hit by a truck while conducting a traffic stop in Campbell, Steuben County.  He has never shared his story of recovery - until now.  "Being involved in an accident as severe as I was...it's life changing and you learn to fight every day.  If you stop fighting you might not go home," Craig said to 13WHAM's Jennifer Johnson.  With much fanfare, Craig did go home, leaving Strong Hospital two years ago on July 12, 2017.  As he leaves the hospital, consider what we are learning now about his injuries then: a spinal cord injury, a traumatic brain injury, a punctured lung, a lacerated liver and all ribs fractured - some even displaced.  Soon after leaving Strong, Craig started working with his physical therapist - Dr. Chelsea Welch in Corning.  "He is definitely one of the most inspiring patients I have ever worked with," Dr. Welch said of Craig.  Two years after the crash, Craig remains inspiring and positive in the face of major change.  His career began as a deputy in the Monroe County Jail in 2002.  The next year, Craig landed the job he always wanted: road patrol for the New York State Police.  That work assignment took the Irondequoit native to the Southern Tier where he met his wife Kristina.  Life was good. Then came the crash in 2017.  On May 18, 2017, Craig had pulled over an SUV on I-86 West and was sitting in his New York State Police car on the side of the highway when he was hit from behind by a pickup truck.  "I told myself right there that I wasn't going to give up because that's not what we are trained to do," Craig said.  Under the guidance of Dr. Welch, Craig made a lot of progress.  But because of the spinal cord injury, he could not stop scuffing his foot which led to falls.  The insurance company finally cleared him for a device that his Strong Memorial Hospital physical therapist Cynthia Thieleman had recommended months earlier.  It's called the Bioness and it does the work of firing the muscle in his shin to lift his foot. "Bringing the Bioness into play just gave him better stamina to be able to travel anywhere that we want to," said Kristina, Craig's wife.  "Just day to day life was better for him - even six months after he had this."  Craig did want to travel to Texas to see his beloved Dallas Cowboys.  After the accident, he had to delay a tour of the training facility and player meet and greets.  He made it his rehab goal to go on that trip.  They did in 2018.  The same month he had to officially retire from the State Police.  His injuries meant he just couldn't do the job anymore.  That reality still stings.  At times, it tests his spirit.  But Craig teaches us all how to fight through challenges.  "If you're negative about things, it does you no good.  Brings you down," Craig said.  "It brings other people down.  Got to inspire people to keep plugging away.  And be positive in life.  You only have one chance at it and every day is a gift."

To watch video, go to: https://13wham.com/news/local/2-years-after-critical-crash-state-trooper-shares-survival-story?jwsource=cl

7/15/19

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Washington State Police sergeant offers home to stranded German family

WSP helps stranded German family

A family of six visiting from Germany was two miles from completing their year-long tour of the United States when disaster struck Friday afternoon. The Fischer family of Oldenburg, Germany, spent the past year traveling the United States in their truck and travel trailer, experiencing the trip of a lifetime while updating their family and friends on their YouTube channel “50 in 365”.  The journey began in Florida, with plans to finish sometime this month by visiting the Redwoods of California, and then head to Utah to sell the truck and trailer before flying home.  At around 4 p.m. Friday, July 5, 2019, the family was nearing the final leg of their journey, two miles from crossing over the border of their final, unvisited state in the continental U.S., Oregon.  While traveling on State Route 401 in Pacific County, Benjamin Fischer thought he struck something in the road.  He slowed and drifted to the right, his wheels sinking into the soft, earthen shoulder.  The wheels became stuck and the ground gave way, causing the truck and trailer to tip over into the ditch.  The good news: his wife, Melanie, and four children, Jakob, 15, Emilie, 13, Linus, 10, and Eli, 7, were unharmed.  The bad news: their truck and trailer were totaled and belongings dispersed.  Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers arrived on scene and assisted the family with collecting their things and calling for a tow truck to right the vehicle.  WSP Sgt. Brad Moon then took it one step further by arranging for the family to stay with him and his family at their Cathlamet home.  His wife, Shawna, came to the scene and brought the family home.  The father of four boys himself, the Moon household doubled from a family of six to a family of 12, and remained that way throughout the weekend as the Fischers went through their belongings, consolidating everything from their truck and trailer to the rented minivan they will use to complete their journey.  “We just saw a family in need that had just lost nearly everything, and we felt that we could reach out and help them,” said Sgt. Moon.  “It’s just doing my job and helping in any way we can.”  Between Sgt. Moon’s house and his in-laws across the street, the group functioned throughout the weekend as extended family, sharing meals, swapping stories, playing games and even celebrating Benjamin’s 42nd birthday on July 7.  “My heart is full; we ask our employees every day to earn their badge, and this goes above and beyond earning their badge,” said WSP District 8 Captain James Mjor.  “For a person like Brad, this is actually typical throughout his career.  I am glad he is on our team as one of our leaders, setting the example for law enforcement.” 

7/12/19

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Rhode Island State Police graduates 37 new troopers

RISP June 2019 graduation

Thirty-seven new troopers on Friday celebrated their graduation from the Rhode Island State Police Training Academy. The ceremony at the Lincoln campus of the Community College of Rhode Island marked the end of 24 weeks of intensive, paramilitary training that began in January. The training included academic and physical fitness components. The 37 recruits were accepted from about 1,500 applicants. Officials described the graduating class as the most diverse in the history of the academy. Seven women graduated — a record in the agency’s nearly century-long history. Of the 37 new troopers, 23 are white, eight are black and six are Hispanic. The 37 new troopers began 24 weeks of intensive, paramilitary training in January. The recruits were selected from approximately 1,500 applicants. The training included rigorous academic and physical fitness components. “I am very proud of these new troopers,” state police Supt. Col. James M. Manni said, according to a news release. “Their educational backgrounds include three associate’s degrees, 29 bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees. Eighteen played sports at the collegiate level. Nine previously served as law enforcement professionals, seven served in the Armed Forces and 10 speak a second language.” Manni and Gov. Gina Raimondo addressed the graduates and presented them with diplomas and badges.

7/10/19

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Kansas Highway Patrol trooper receives international award

Kansas HP Trooper received international recognition

A Kansas Highway Patrol state trooper who rescued a driver from a burning semi last year has received an international award. The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Monday, June 25 that Trooper Raul Carrillo had been honored with the Carnegie Medal, which is presented to people in the United States and Canada who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. The award comes with a financial grant. Carrillo, 46, was previously honored with the Governor’s Award for Valor after the Kansas Highway Patrol trooper rescued a man from a burning semi cab on Feb. 21, 2018. He is a 20-year veteran of the patrol from Derby. Video from his patrol vehicle’s dash camera shows the semi crash into a barrier wall on the Kansas Turnpike near El Dorado. It was hauling diesel fuel and caught fire. Carrillo can be seen running toward the burning wreckage. Carrillo heard the semi driver yelling for help, and the trooper freed him through the shattered windshield, KHP officials have said. The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission said that Carrillo, who was off-duty at the time, pulled on the driver’s belt to free his upper body from between the front seats. He continued to pull until the driver’s legs were no longer pinned beneath the steering column. They got away from the semi cab moments before it was engulfed by flames. The driver suffered severe burns and serious injuries, and Carrillo suffered burns to his hands, the commission said.

To watch video, go to: https://youtu.be/NJDiXrH7Tsc

 7/8/19

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Florida Highway Patrol car struck by tow truck

FHP car sideswiped by tow truck

The crash happened when the trooper was parked stationary in the westbound emergency lane of I-75 in Alligator Alley at the 98 mile marker. A flatbed tow truck was traveling west in the right lane. The tow truck veered into the emergency lane, resulting in the right side of the tow truck sideswiping the entire left side of the FHP patrol car. After impact, the tow truck continued west, uprooting a large portion of the guardrail. The trooper was transported to a local hospital with unknown injuries. The incident is still under investigation. FHP said the tow truck driver, from Southwest Transport, was likely asleep at the wheel. But the driver did not have any injuries. “If were performing a duty to the public,” said Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Greg Bueno, “all we’re asking the public to do is simply either move over certainly be 100% focused behind the wheel and of course, don’t hit us when we’re trying to hold other drivers accountable for violating the law.”

7/8/19

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Ohio Highway State Patrol trooper in critical condition after head-on crash

OSHP head on crash picture

An Ohio Highway State Patrol trooper was in critical condition in a Columbus hospital after an alleged drunk driver from Mansfield ran head-on into his cruiser early Thursday morning. The fiery accident on Interstate 71 in Morrow County, near the Richland County line, closed both sides of the highway while it was cleaned up and investigated. At approximately 2:40 a.m., trooper Jason Phillips was dispatched to look for a potentially impaired-driver near mile post 155. Phillips was then struck head on by a driver heading south in the northbound lanes. Both vehicles caught fire, according to Rob Sellars, spokesman for the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Columbus. Sellars said further investigation proved the car was the vehicle Phillips was sent to investigate. As of 8 a.m., both drivers were in the hospital. Phillips was taken to The Ohio State University Medical Center and the driver of the wrong-way vehicle, Michael Marchak Jr., 36, of Mansfield, was taken to OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital. The patrol said Marchak was also in critical condition. Phillips, 23, of Ashville, Ohio, native graduated from the State Patrol Academy in November 2018 and was assigned to the Mount Gilead Post.

To watch video, go to: https://www.facebook.com/OhioStateHighwayPatrol/videos/326871044918662/

 7/3/19Line

 

Massachusetts State Police graduate pinned with same badge number as dad killed in the line of duty

Mass SP Graduate gets fathers badge number

A Massachusetts State Police graduate was pinned with the same badge number her late father wore when he was killed in the line of duty in 2005. Samantha Cila, daughter of Trooper Vincent Cila, was one of 171 trainees who became a trooper during the State Police Academy graduation ceremony on Thursday at the DCU Center in Worcester. Samantha Cila’s mother and sister helped pin the sentimental badge onto her. The new troopers, who will all be assigned to road patrols, will report to their assigned barracks Friday. For the first three months of their career, each new trooper will be paired with a veteran trooper who will serve as a field training officer. Vincent Cila died in a motorcycle crash on the Massachusetts Turnpike at the Interstate 93 interchange on July 22, 2005, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring America’s fallen law enforcement heroes. He served the Massachusetts State Police for 22 years.

71/19

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Semi-truck crashes into Wisconsin State Patrol vehicle

Wisconsin SP patrol vehicle struck by semi truck

Two State Patrol troopers escaped injury after a patrol vehicle was struck by a semi-truck along I-94 in Dane County on Monday morning.  The Wisconsin State Patrol said the troopers were conducting a traffic stop around 9 a.m. near Cottage Grove when an eastbound semi-truck crashed into the rear and side of one of the patrol vehicles.  The trooper was not in the vehicle at the time of the crash.  Neither trooper was injured.  Another patrol car was stopped too.  That vehicle wasn’t damaged.  State Patrol said the crash caused damage to the rear driver’s side area of the patrol vehicle. Officials with the State Patrol said the crash illustrates the many hazards faced by emergency responders and all roadside workers.  They said it's important that drivers give space and slow down when passing.  "The biggest thing that anyone can do is move over. If you're on a two-lane road, move to the far lane and give the squad car, the tow truck, the fire truck, whoever it is, as much room as you possibly can on a roadway," Sgt. Craig Morehouse said.  "If everything else fails and you can't move over, you need to slow down significantly so you can pass the vehicles at a safer speed. " Dane County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the crash investigation.

To watch video, go to: https://twitter.com/i/status/1143562788272578561.

6/28/19

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New Jersey State Police trooper saves stranded kayaker

NJSP Trooper saves kayaker

A New Jersey State Trooper comes to the rescue of a stranded kayaker Sunday afternoon who fell overboard while fishing on Assunpink Lake in Upper Freehold Township.  Troopers responded to Assunpink Lake for the report of an overturned kayak around 4:06 pm and observed a man clinging to the capsized vessel approximately 150 yards from the shore.  Trooper Kevin Allen spoke with the man who said that he was weak and felt that he was unable to hold on to the kayak for much longer.  When asked if he could swim, the kayaker advised he could not.  Trooper Allen immediately secured his uniform in his troop car, entered the lake, and swam out to the kayaker to render aid.  The man was conscious and alert when Trooper Allen arrived, but his legs were stuck in debris under the kayak.  Trooper Allen was able to keep the man afloat until an Allentown Fire Department rescue boat arrived. They were all able to free the man’s legs and help him board the Allentown rescue vessel.  The man did not complain of any injuries, but he was stranded for about an hour.  Robert Wood Johnson EMS evaluated the kayaker on scene and transported him to Centra State Hospital in Freehold for further treatment.

6/28/18

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Maine State Police 2018 Trooper of the Year

Maine SP 2018 Trooper of the Year

A Maine State Police Troop A corporal who made 70 drug arrests in 2018 has been named Maine State Trooper of the Year.  Cpl. Adam Schmidt received the award in ceremonies at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro on Friday.  Schmidt, of Lyman, patrols York County with his canine partner “Ibo.”  Troop A is located in Alfred.  As well as the 70 drug arrests, Schmidt and Ibo responded to 184 canine calls throughout 2018, most, but not all of them, drug-related, Maine Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said.  A couple of notable non-drug calls included locating a missing person and, in a separate incident, a robbery suspect.  In August 2017, Schmidt and Ibo located an elusive bank robbery suspect in the woods off Lincoln Street in Saco.  The man, who was later convicted and sentenced to seven years in federal prison, had robbed a credit union in Arundel earlier in the day.  In 2016, Schmidt and Ibo found a Waterboro woman who had gone missing from her assisted living residence after a two-mile track in the woods.  Schmidt is a member of the department’s criminal interdiction team and was cited for his ability to seize drugs and drug-related money, as well as arresting drug dealers, McCausland said.  “Corporal Schmidt is a natural role model and he has become a mentor for younger troopers,” said Col. John Cote, chief of the state police.  “His leadership attributed to his promotion to corporal three months ago.”  Schmidt was raised in Sterling, Massachusetts, and joined the Maine State Police in 2013.  He was chosen from a field of 12 officers nominated for Trooper of the Year.

6/28/18

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Missouri Highway Patrol adds 31 troopers to its ranks

MHP June 2019 gradution

The Missouri Highway Patrol added 31 troopers to its ranks at a graduation ceremony Friday at the patrol's Law Enforcement Academy in Jefferson City.  The 107th recruit class reported to the academy Jan. 2 to begin the 25-week training to become a trooper.  The new troopers will report to duty in their assigned troops July 8.  Sandra Karsten, former Highway Patrol superintendent and current director of Public Safety, told the graduates as they begin their patrol career they would have days that would go by fast and others that would feel like they never will end.  "Never tarnish what your uniform represents," Karsten said.  "Never underestimate what you can accomplish through applying your training, and never take for granted what it means to be a Missouri state trooper.  I encourage each of you to serve the people of Missouri with the same pride that you feel today, every day that you don that uniform."  Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe told the class he wanted them to be safe at work and make sure they made it home safely to their families after they get done with their shifts.  "You have chosen a demanding, dangerous and rewarding line of work," Kehoe said.  "Starting the moment you take this oath, you have the ability to profoundly influence lives.  Some people will look at you with admiration and awe; some will look at you with disdain.  But others will treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve." Class Commander William Grose, of Sedalia, told his fellow classmates he was inspired by a statement from one of their instructors.  "When we give you a challenge, don't look defeated, look up and say, 'Bring it on,'" Grose said.  "So don't just hope to accomplish a goal.  Set a goal, and make it happen.  Be the best trooper you can be.  Show professionalism and respect, even when it's not reciprocated.  Be compassionate and resourceful.  Always be responsible for your actions."  Patrol Superintendent Col. Eric Olson had the chance to speak with the class prior to their graduation and found out what led them to choose working for the patrol.  "Many of you said professional law enforcement was important to you," Olson said. "Professionalism is one of the patrol's core values. I asked each of you what was the biggest challenge facing law enforcement in Missouri, and almost unanimously, your answer was the relationship between the citizens we serve and the law enforcement community have room for improvement."  Olson said they all agreed behavior of law officers is constantly under surveillance and often is evaluated on little evidence, such as a video clip that lasts only a few seconds.  "I asked you how we can develop more positive relationships, and everyone agreed that professional law enforcement goes a long way to gaining the trust of citizens," Olson said.  "To do that, you said a trooper should maintain proper physical appearance, speaking and interacting with people in a manner that never would embarrass you, your family or the patrol, and being accountable for your actions."

     6/24/19

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Nebraska State Patrol trooper killed in crash

NSP Trooper killed June 2019

 

Trooper Jerry Smith was killed in a vehicle crash when his patrol car was struck head-on by another vehicle on Highway 26, two miles west of Bridgeport, in Morrill County.  An oncoming pickup truck crossed the center line after swerving to avoid another car that had stopped to make a left turn.  The driver of the pickup truck was also killed in the crash.  Trooper Smith was a U.S. Army veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Bronze Star recipient.  He had served with the Nebraska State Patrol for five years and is believed to be the oldest recruit to complete the academy.  He is survived by his wife and two adult children.

 6/24/19

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Rick Miller to be South Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent

SDHP New Superintendent

Back in 2013, when then-C Now that Price has risen again, this time to secretary of public safety in Governor Kristi Noem's new administration, he again has recommended Miller -- this time, to leading the patrol that he had led. Miller officially takes office as the new colonel today during a ceremony in the state Capitol rotunda.  His promotion comes with additional responsibility.  The Legislature gave the governor four new positions in the Highway Patrol.  Miller said they will focus on enforcing South Dakota's laws against the addictive drug known as meth.  "Ultimately the goal is to let everyone know the state of South Dakota is serious on methamphetamine," he said in a KELOLAND interview Tuesday.  "Getting rid of it, making sure that it no longer damages lives and infects our state."   Miller served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps and more than 17 years in the Highway Patrol.  As an active Marine, he trained dogs in detecting explosives and drugs.  His second assignment with the patrol likewise involved a drug-detection dog.  The patrol currently has 11 K-9 units focusing on drugs and one on explosives.  As administrative superintendent, he handled training, budget, hiring and human resources . "I want to continue in hiring the right people.  Law enforcement has changed over the years, and anybody in law enforcement will tell you that.  Hiring the right people is getting tougher and tougher," he said.  "You don't have the people who get out of school or the military that say 'I want a career in law enforcement.'  Those people are harder and harder to find.  I think it's important to continue to find the right people and get them, those men and women, to stay with the agency.  "Whether it's a generational thing, they come to the Highway Patrol and stay for just a short time and move on to bigger and better.  We want to try keeping those people employed and stay with us as long as possible.  "So, I think hiring is a big goal I as well as my staff have."  He plans to continue emphasizing that the patrol's troopers be models for good behavior on the highways and in educating the public about safe driving habits.  The patrol's 279 personnel include motor-carrier enforcement officers.  "It's important for people to know that over time trucks can damage roadways, and those semis and large vehicles -- they're a lot larger and when they're involved in crashes do a lot more damage, so we've got to ensure that they're driving down the road safe, so there are safe drivers in them," Miller said.  As Miller was promoted in May, the patrol's other major, Dana Svendsen, who was in charge of enforcement, retired.  That means Miller quickly has two assistant superintendent positions to fill in the days ahead.  "With any organization, Highway Patrol included, having the right people in the right positions is very important.  And it really sets the tone for the agency, where we go throughout the years, the operational tempo and getting things done with great people," Miller said.  "I think it's an honor to lead the agency, especially in the state of South Dakota.  Law enforcement is very, very fortunate in South Dakota to have the support of the community," Miller said.  "I think I go to conferences with other law enforcement agencies and I don't think they can come close to the support we have (from) the citizens of South Dakota within everything that we do, whether it's a post on social media where we have a lot of followers, and people that are just very, very complimentary of what we do and how we do it.  "It's an honor to work with the men and women within the agency and also the men and women of the state of South Dakota."

6/21/19

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South Carolina Highway Patrol welcomes 54 new state troopers

SCHP 3 graduation classes

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety held graduation ceremonies June 11 for 54 SC Highway Patrol troopers from Highway Patrol Basic Classes 107, 108 and 109. USC Women’s Head Basketball Coach Dawn Staley was the keynote speaker. She thanked the graduates for choosing the law enforcement profession and wished them success and safety throughout their careers. “I always remember this…someone told me this:  Some people may say and do certain things to you but how you respond to them is how you make your reputation and you always want to be a person of great character, great integrity, a person that is a community leader, a person that is one that makes great decisions,” Staley said. The graduates of Basic 107, 108 and 109 bring the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 807 (including today’s 54 graduates and 22 troopers in training). Seven of today's graduates were prior-certified officers. Troopers are assigned to areas based on population, calls for service, and the number of licensed drivers/registered vehicles in an area. SCDPS Director Leroy Smith spoke to the graduates: “I want to remind you that your families, TEAM DPS, your state, and your communities are so proud of you,” Smith said. “Even in light of the dangers and risks, the time away from families and the many sacrifices you make along the way, we are so grateful that there are people like you – ready and willing – to yield to a higher call to serve and protect.” SCHP Col. Chris Williamson reminded graduates of SCHP’s core values: Selfless Service. Integrity. Responsibility. “I know today is full of excitement and nervous energy, but I ask you to pause for a moment, and I want to challenge each of you to reflect on what it means to commit yourself to this chosen profession,” Williamson said. “Ask yourself today why you yielded to this particular calling – a road that few are courageous enough to follow. How do you use your power to serve the greater good; and what does it mean to make a difference every day you put on this uniform?”

6/21/19

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New York State Police trooper helps 5-year-old overcome fear of law enforcement

 NYSP Trooper helps little boy scared of police

Marissa Balch says her 5-year-old son recently witnessed a news story on police brutality.  She says that her son, Dominic, told her on the way to school that "cops are going to get me and hurt me."  She says she was deeply troubled by his statement.  Shortly after, she brought him to the State Police barracks in Duanesburg.  There, Dominic was introduced to Trooper Dolce, who then gave him a tour of his police cruiser, even letting him turn on the flashing lights and even wear his hat.  Balch says she is appreciative of the comfort and kindness that Trooper Dolce gave to her son.  She believes that now her son has a new friend and trust in police.

To watch video, go to:  https://cbs6albany.com/news/local/mom-reaches-out-to-state-police-to-help-son-get-over-fear-of-police?jwsource=cl

 6/17/19

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