Kentucky State Police make 11-year-old boy who has stage 4 cancer an honorary Trooper

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Two Kentucky State Police troopers got to meet an 11-year-old boy this week who touched their lives -- so much so, they decided to make him an honorary trooper.

Trooper Copley and Trooper Goodall got to meet 11-year-old Braxton Obrien.

According to a post on Goodall's Facebook page, Braxton was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in his liver and kidneys in 2018. Braxton underwent surgery to remove the tumors.

In 2019, Braxton learned the tumors had returned and he had yet another surgery to remove them. All the tumors were removed and Braxton was able to return home.

Unfortunately about a month ago, doctors found Braxton's chest and liver were filled with tumors. Braxton was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and continued to fight it.

Doctors recently told Braxton and his family that the chemo was not having any effect on his cancer. After hearing the news, Braxton went home to Lawrence County under hospice care, Goodall said.

The two troopers met with Braxton Thursday. The troopers learned that Braxton wanted to serve his country, so they let him serve his community by making him Trooper Braxton.

Goodall said that while they were visiting with Braxton, despite his circumstances, all he thought about was his brothers and his family.

"If the world could have a fraction of the positive attitude and courage that Braxton shows it would definitely make a difference," Goodall wrote in his Facebook post.

Goodall said Braxton was the "most amazing boy" the two troopers have ever meet. He asked the public to pray for Braxton and his family.

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Texas DPS Trooper reflects on rescuing man stuck under burning truck

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A trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety speaks out after his heroic action is caught on camera.

Just after 4 a.m. on a Sunday night, DPS trooper Armando Martinez came across an overturned pickup truck in the middle of the highway on U.S. 281 by University Drive in Edinburg.

Stuck inside that truck was 22-year-old Gerardo Avila, unconscious while the vehicle caught fire.

“My only thought was to get Mr. Avila out,” Martinez said. “It was in the middle of the highway. Four in the morning, you do have traffic, but none of that mattered. It was just— get that person out safely.”

In less than two minutes, Martinez and another trooper rescued Avila from the flames; he is now in a San Antonio burn unit being treated for his injuries.

“I can remember how intense the situation got,” Martinez said. “The only fear that I had was that I wasn’t going to be able to get him out, but I was determined to make sure it happened.”

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Kentucky State Police and Special Olympics bring back 'Cover the Cruiser'

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Kentucky State Police once again showed their support of Special Olympics Kentucky by hosting the Cover the Cruiser fundraising event at locations across the commonwealth. 

“Special Olympics emulates what Team Kentucky is building each day,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “It focuses on what we as Kentuckians have in common while accepting our differences in support of building one another up so that we can reach our fullest potential. I commend this fundraising effort by KSP and encourage everyone to stop by the location nearest them and help Cover the Cruiser.”

This fundraising event began in 2020 when the annual Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run was canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Torch Run relays on foot the Special Olympics Flame of Hope to Madison County to kick off the state summer games.

Earlier this month, SOKY President and CEO Trish Mazzoni announced that the annual summer games will resume in-person this year utilizing a condensed format to allow for proper social distancing and implementations of other safety protocols. The ‘Cover the Cruiser’ event is being held prior to the official start of the annual summer games. This fundraiser concluded on Sunday, May 23.

“We’re excited to continue the Cover the Cruiser partnership with KSP. As they have so many times, they came through in an incredible way for our athletes last year in a time of great uncertainty,” SOKY President and CEO Trish Mazzoni said. “KSP has been a big part of our program for a long time. Their enthusiasm for doing this again this year has been incredible and we’re happy to have the opportunity to work with them.”

KSP raised $16,206 for Special Olympics athletes last year with the highest fundraising honor going to Post 11 located in Laurel County for bringing in $2,577 for SOKY.

“These amazing Kentucky athletes have always held a special place in the hearts of our troopers. So much so, that a friendly fundraising competition among posts has developed,” said KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr. “While we appreciate the efforts of our troopers, we would not have this success without the generous support of Kentuckians.”

For more information about the ‘Cover the Cruiser’ campaign or to make a tax deductible donation visit, http://soky.org/coverthecruiser/.

Special Olympics is the world’s largest program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The organization has been serving the needs of our athletes and their families since 1970 and welcomes 11,300 athletes in Kentucky.

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State trooper soars to the rescue after hawk breaks wing

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A juvenile red-tailed hawk is on the road to recovery after an Arizona State trooper soared to the rescue when the bird was found injured in Oro Valley Friday.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Trooper Perrin spotted the hawk hopping around the southbound lanes State Route 77 near Milepost 80 while on patrol at around 5:50 a.m. Friday.

After capturing the bird of prey with a raincoat in order to ensure its safety, Perrin discovered that the hawk could not fly.

The hawk was then transported to Tucson Wildlife Center for further treatment.

“The hawk is doing well and healing from a broken wing,” the Tucson Wildlife Center reported on Monday. “Once he’s completely rehabilitated he will be released back into the wild.”

Anyone who encounters an animal in need is advised to visit tucsonwildlife.com or call 520-290-9453.

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‘And he kept his hat on’ | Georgia trooper helps man finish yardwork, pic goes viral

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The Georgia State Patrol’s Cpl. Neil Frankel has become a social media star.

Replete with the GSP’s iconic trooper’s hat and spit-shined shoes, Frankel took time out of his patrol on Tuesday to help an elderly man finish cutting his grass.

Frankel was on routine patrol Tuesday along Sandy Cross Road in Oglethorpe County, according to Online Athens, when he came upon a man who had fallen while cutting grass along a ditch.

“He thought he might need an EMS evaluation so he called us,” Oglethorpe County Emergency Medical Services Director Jason Lewis said. “They do a full work-up on him and while they are doing that Neil is cutting the grass on the bank for him.”

An EMT on the scene took the photo and out it up on Facebook. “We didn’t expect in a million years it would get the traction it has gotten. It goes to show folks want a good story,” Lewis said.

Here is a sampling of some of the comments:

  • “And he kept his hat on. I would have ditched the hat, duty gear and probably the shirt too.”
  • “I love the last bit about his shiny shoes.. Great Job Trooper.”
  • “This shows a lot on how he was raised .... his parents did an amazing job.”
  • “Amazing...even with your hat! This is what it’s all about!!”
  • “America right there ... what it’s all about.”
  • “Can you send a officer to Wilbur Kennedy Rd Collins Ga key is in the lawnmower and gas jug rite by it. ....oh thanks in advance Y’all do go above and beyond.”
  • “That’s walking the walk with a servant heart! Thank you CPL Frankel!”

Frankel works out of Post 17 in Wilkes County.

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Trooper collapses from fentanyl exposure after fixing face mask, Michigan police say

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A Michigan trooper collapsed during a traffic stop after he was exposed to fentanyl, police say.

The trooper was searching a vehicle he stopped on Wednesday along a state highway in Bay County and adjusted his face mask, The Detroit News reported. Suddenly, he was disoriented and fell over, the newspaper reported.

Recognizing he could be overdosing, his partner administered Narcan and the trooper recovered, WSGW reported. Narcan is a nasal spray used to treat opioid overdoses.

The trooper was hospitalized in stable condition, WSGW reported. An update on his condition was not available Thursday.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the DEA.

“Troopers recognize the dangers of certain drugs getting into their system through skin contact, breathing or even their eyes,” Lt. James Lang said in a press release obtained by MLive.com. “Troopers carry Narcan to treat overdose cases or even fellow troopers.”

The 32-year-old driver suspected of driving under the influence of drugs was under investigation, MLive.com reported.

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Michigan highway named for State Police Trooper

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A section of highway in Delta County has been renamed in honor of a Michigan State Police trooper who died in the line of duty on the roadway.

Trooper Darryl M. Rantanen was killed when the patrol car he was riding in was forced off the roadway on May 27, 1974, during a pursuit of a stolen vehicle, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. The driver, a 24-year-old trooper, was seriously injured.

During the pursuit, Trooper Rantanen’s partner attempted to pass the vehicle. Before he could do so, the juvenile driver swerved into the patrol car, causing it to turn on its side and strike a tree.

The 16-year-old was later arrested, convicted of manslaughter, intent to do great bodily harm, and sentenced to 9 to 25 years in prison.

Designated as the Darryl M. Rantanen Memorial Highway is a section of U.S. 2/U.S. 41 between Hyde and Bark River.

House Bill 4429, which made the designation, was introduced by state Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, and signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on May 13.

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'You see a lot more:' Montana Highway Patrol says drones keep roads a lot safer

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 Montana Highway Patrol said their 15 drones mean less disruption to traffic, which means everyone is a lot safer on the roads.

Trooper Trever Chase has been involved in the drone program since 2017 when it started. He said drones have changed the way they investigate fatal crash scenes.

"Prior to the drone program, we used what was called a 'Total Station,' which was basically a 2-3 man team out there on scene basically surveying it: all the different evidence, the roadway, the tire marks and the vehicles themselves," Chase said. "Now, the drone requires just a 1-2 man team. We don't need to shut down roadways. And it would go from about 1 1/2 hours being on scene with the Total Station to about 20-30 minutes with the drone."

In addition to keeping the roads safer and saving time, the drones produce a better product.

"It will take multiple, hundreds, of photos," Chase said. "And, then it takes those photos and inputs them into software that we have. And, it uses those photos to match pixels and create basically a 3-D image of the actual scene."

Montana Highway Patrol Sgt Shawn Hazelton said 6 of the drones have thermal imaging. This is particularly helpful with missing person searches and searches at night.

"It gives us a whole different perspective as far as the ability to look at a scene," Chase added. "Eyes in the sky: you see a lot more."

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Local State Trooper loses home in fire

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According to a Go Fund Me page, a Texas State Trooper, and his family of 6 lost their home and all of its belongings, including a puppy, in a house fire several days ago.

Please keep this family in your prayers. If you’d like to help there is a relief fund listed below.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/trooper-duncan-family-fire-relief

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Mississippi trooper hit by vehicle, killed while conducting traffic stop

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A Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper killed while conducting a traffic stop on Highway 16 was identified Saturday.

Col. Randy Ginn, director of the MHP, said in a statement that the agency mourns the loss of Trooper John Harris, who was hit by a vehicle and killed Friday in an accident in Madison County.

“Trooper Harris was a passionate, dedicated public servant and an important member of the MHP family,” Ginn said. “Our hearts and prayers go out to his family in this difficult time.”

Harris, 44, had worked for the agency for just over three years, a spokesman for MHP said in an email.

An investigation into the accident continues.

Gov. Tate Reeves, in a statement on Twitter, said Harris’ death is a “stark reminder of how fragile life on earth can be and of the sacrifices made each and every day by his fellow MHP troopers and his brothers and sisters in law enforcement across Mississippi and around this great country. Elee and I pray for his wife, his young children, his mom and dad, and the rest of his extended family.”

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DPS Honors Fallen Officers with Memorial Service

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The Texas Department of Public Safety remembered and paid tribute to Texas Highway Patrol Troopers, Texas Rangers and Special Agents who lost their lives in the line of duty at Tuesday’s 2021 Peace Officers Memorial Service.

Those honored included Trooper Moises Sanchez, who died in August 2019, and Trooper Chad Walker, who was killed in March 2021. The service was held at DPS Headquarters in Austin, with Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as the guest speaker.

“Today, I am deeply humbled to speak at the 2021 Peace Officers Memorial Service,” Patrick said. “Since I have been Lt. Governor, I have attended far too many funerals for our fallen officers. I stand with Texas DPS and our brave peace officers, and will continue to work diligently to better protect our Troopers as they put their lives on the line, every single day, for Texas communities.”

Since 1823, when DPS first began as the Texas Rangers, 223 DPS Officers have died in the line of duty. In the two years since DPS held its last Peace Officers Memorial Service, 512 officers nationwide were killed in the line of duty, 92 of whom were serving in Texas, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

“Not everyone has the courage and fortitude to be in law enforcement. It is a job you must be committed to 24 hours a day. It is a duty your family must be willing to serve as well,” said Steven P. Mach, Texas Public Safety Commission Chairman. “Today we pay our respects to our fallen heroes, among them Trooper Moises Sanchez and Trooper Chad Walker. We are eternally grateful for everything they have done.”

During the ceremony May 18, the families of Trooper Chad Walker and Trooper Moises Sanchez laid flowers on a wreath to honor them.

Trooper Walker was shot in March, when he stopped to assist a stranded driver near Mexia in Limestone County, and the driver opened fire. He died from his injuries five days later.

Trooper Moises Sanchez was shot in April 2019, while trying to apprehend a driver involved in a wreck in Hidalgo County. He died from his injuries that August.

“Every day, our law enforcement officers walk into dangerous situations not knowing what the outcome may be, and they accept this as part of their role to protect and serve people in their communities,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Today we remember the sacrifices of those who have given their all in the line of duty. We pay special respects to Trooper Moises Sanchez, Trooper Chad Walker and their families. These fallen heroes exemplified courage, bravery and honor, and they will never be forgotten.”

For a list and photos of fallen DPS members throughout history, visit the DPS memorial website. For information about officer deaths across the state and nation, visit the Officer Down Memorial Page online. Visit DPS’ Facebook for photos from the 2021 Peace Officers Memorial Service.

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Kentucky State Police Officers honor the fallen

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Many law enforcement agencies across the nation view their fellow officers, deputies, and troopers as brothers and sisters who work together to make their community a safer place. The same can be said for the Kentucky State Police Post 4 who took the time Wednesday, May 12, to visit the gravesites of the troopers who had fallen in the line of duty. “This is a tradition of ours. We honor those who have fallen. They gave the ultimate sacrifice; this is the least we can do,” Trooper Scotty Sharp, KSP Post 4 Public Affairs Officer, said. Post 4 has six fallen troopers who have been laid to rest in their district. Troopers William F. Pickard and Edward R. Harris were buried in Red Hill Cemetery in Hodgenville. Pickard, 26, was fatally shot on January 21, 1976 while attempting to serve an arrest warrant. Harris, 29, was fatally shot on November 7, 1979 during the course of a traffic violation stop. For several of the troopers, this was their first time to participate in a memorial service. Trooper Riley Pineiroa, who graduated from the academy in January, said “I’ve grown up around law enforcement, so I am used to going to memorials like this. But it’s definitely different when you are actually in that role as a trooper. It’s a lot more personal. Knowing that each day your fate could be the same as trooper Harris or trooper Pickard, it’s a different ball game.” Line

Nebraska law enforcement memorial honors fallen trooper, Lincoln officer

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Law enforcement across Nebraska honored peers who lost their lives on duty, and whose names became permanent additions to the stone memorial in Grand Island..

State leaders, department heads and loved ones remembered NSP Trooper Jerry Smith and Lincoln Police investigator Mario Herrera, remarking on their decades of work and sacrifice.

Herrera was shot in August 2020 and succumbed to his injuries Sept. 7. He was wounded while serving a warrant to a suspect in a murder case being investigated by LPD.

Trooper Smith was killed in June 2019, when another car struck his cruiser head-on while driving on a state highway in the Nebraska panhandle.

"The idea that we can come here and see his name along with all the other heroes who lay down their lives is incredible," Michelle Smith, Trooper Smith's daughter, said.

"May their legacy live on," acting Lincoln Police Chief Brian Jackson said, "in the actions of every police officer who protects the vulnerable, renders aid to the injured, consoles the afflicted and comforts the frightened."

Since 1962, this section of the calendar has been recognized as National Police Week, with May 15 marking Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Smith and Herrera are the 147th and 148th names, respectively, added to the Grand Island memorial.

COVID-19 canceled the annual memorial's planned meeting in 2020. In that time, new movements also sprang up: calls for police accountability and to reallocate their funding.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts told those gathered and watching online he thought such actions would keep Herrera and Smith -- "men who epitomized the word service" -- from helping communities in need.

"The reckless and dangerous 'defund the police' movement: that would actually hurt the very minority communities it claims to come from," Ricketts said.

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson decried divisiveness on social media and the animosity on these platforms directed at law enforcement.

"We get brilliant 18-year-olds, 30-year-olds commenting on law enforcement. I hope you understand that's dripping with sarcasm," Peterson said, "...those who would go onto the internet and call critical names and criticize those who are there to protect them."

In remembering Herrera and Smith, Peterson also urged officers to continue carrying out their jobs with integrity.

"Please don't be discouraged because we need you now more than ever," he said.

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State Trooper Justin Schaffer Among Eight Fallen Washington Officers Honored in D.C. This Week

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Washington State Patrol Trooper Justin Schaffer is among eight Washington state law enforcement officers whose names will be added to the Law Enforcement Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., this week as part of National Police Week, observed this year Sunday, May 9, through Saturday, May 15. 

The memorial honors law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

“This week is a time to honor our law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in a written statement. “I am constantly inspired by the extraordinary courage and dedication with which members of law enforcement act each day, putting their lives on the line to make our communities safer. To members of law enforcement and your families: we know that not a single day, nor a single week, is enough to recognize your service and sacrifice. On behalf of the entire Department of Justice, you have our unwavering support and eternal gratitude.”

Schaffer, a Washington State Patrol trooper based in Chehalis, was fatally struck by a vehicle while placing spike strips on Interstate 5 in Chehalis during a pursuit of a robbery suspect on March 24, 2020.

A fellow Washington State Patrol trooper, S. Renee Padgett, who died on Sept. 4, 2018, from cancer that was later learned to have been caused by exposure to toxic chemicals on duty, is among the fallen Washington officers joining Schaffer on the memorial.

The other six fallen Washington officers whose names will be added to the wall this week are:

• Kurtis James Enget, Bainbridge Island Police Department

• Jonathan Paul Shoop, Bothell Police Department

• Jon Michael Melvin, Grant County Sheriff’s Office

• Berisford Anthony Morse, Washington State Department of Corrections

• Daniel Glenn Oaks, Yakima County Department of Corrections

• Charlie Joe Cortez, Tulalip Police Department

In total, names of 394 fallen officers were added to the wall in 2020, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice estimates that, based on data analyzed by the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), nearly 60% of the officers who died nationwide in the line of duty in 2020 died due to COVID-19.

“In such a difficult time for all of us, our law enforcement officers are on the front lines — at risk of contracting COVID-19, on top of the other risks inherent in law enforcement,” said acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman in a written statement. “We hold these fallen officers in our hearts as we thank their colleagues who continue to protect and serve each and every day.”

The names of all 394 officers added to the wall in 2020 will be read during a virtual candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific, on May 13, which can be watched at https://www.youtube.com/user/TheNLEOMF. The Fraternal Order of Police’s Roll Call of Heroes can be viewed at www.fop.net.

The Police Week in-person public events, originally scheduled for May, have been rescheduled due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns to Oct. 13-17, 2021. An in-person candlelight vigil event is scheduled for Oct.14.

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‘Too close to the heart': Indiana State Police honors fallen troopers at memorial service

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More than 100 Indiana State Police troopers and guests gathered to watch a solemn  tradition unfold: the presentation of colors by the honor guard, the melancholy sound of taps, and the reading of the names of the 47 troopers who have died in the line of duty.

Some of those names included former colleagues and friends of ISP trooper Steve Romack, who more than once had to tell family members that their loved ones wouldn't return home.

"I did a couple of notifications, which is probably the hardest job you'd ever have to do," Romack said.

Romack officially retired from the Indiana State Police in 2012, but his pride for the agency and the memories of his fellow troopers remains strong.

"Too close to the heart," said Romack. "Great bunch of people. Don't get any better."

He attended Tuesday's ISP memorial service honoring fallen troopers as he does every year. Romack comes from a family of service, including his wife Renee Romack, who was in the military.

"I just can't imagine a life without service to other people," Renee Romack said. "It's nice to come here and see (Indiana State Police) honor their own."

ISP districts across the state honor fallen troopers every May, but last year's statewide service was conducted virtually due to coronavirus restrictions. This year, the ceremony was held indoors in a conference room due to rain.

"Although it's not the same that it has been historically, it's just nice to gather and remember the sacrifices that these great troopers made," ISP Sgt. John Perrine said.

This was also the first in-person service honoring Lafayette trooper Peter Stephan, who died in a 2019 crash while he was on his way to help another trooper.

"Anytime we have to add a name to that list, it's heartbreaking," Perrine said.

It's important to show gratitude and remember the law enforcement officers who have been lost, even years later, according to the Romacks.

"We all share the same dirt, same trials and tribulations," Steve Romack said.

"(It feels) humbling," Renee Romack said. "With everything going on in the world today that they actually take time to remember the fallen."

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