Texas DPS trooper recognized nationally for saving stabbing victim

AAST 2019 Trooper of the Year

Texas DPS Corporal Joshua Moer receives the Trooper of the Year award from Keith Barbier, president of the American Association of State Troopers, for his actions to save Kaylea Butts after she was kidnapped and stabbed multiple times on April 26, 2018.(Photo: TORIN HALSEY/TIMES RECORD NEWS)

 

An April day in 2018 could have turned out much differently for Kaylea Renee Butts had she not crossed paths with Corp. Joshua Moer, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper recognized Tuesday for saving her life.  Butts, of Norman, Okla., had been kidnapped and driven through country and main roads and across the state line, stabbed multiple times and lost five pints of blood by the time the horrific episode ended in the death of Anthony L. Carter, her kidnapper.  Moer lead a team of law enforcement agencies that pursued Carter over 35 miles, reaching speeds up to 150 miles an hour into Wichita County.  After spike strips halted the chase, Carter chased Butts from the car and began stabbing her.  From 40 yards away, Moer aimed his handgun and shot at Carter 11 times.  All 11 shots hit Carter, according to the American Association of State Troopers.  During a ceremony Tuesday at The Forum, the national organization recognized Moer's heroism.  The American Association of State Troopers recognized Corporal Moers’ heroic actions by naming him the 2019 Trooper of the Year.  "In this highly stressful situation, Corp. Moer displayed leadership and courage that saved the life of Ms. Butts," according to the association's announcement.  "Corp. Moer maintained his composure and relied on his training while using sound judgement.  After the event, Corp. Moer showed compassion, but knew he had based his actions and decision on a deep reverence for human life."

9/13/19

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Florida Highway Patrol welcomes 37 new troopers

 FHP September 2019 graduation

Friday, September 6, the 142nd basic recruit class of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) graduated from the FHP Training Academy. These 37 Troopers join the more than 1,900 Troopers who patrol Florida’s roads each day to provide safety and security to residents and visitors. Members of the 142nd basic recruit class went through 28 weeks of intense physical and classroom training covering topics including defensive tactics, law, vehicle operations, firearms and first aid. While at the FHP Training Academy, recruits also participated in several community service activities, including blood drives and volunteering to help those living with developmental disabilities. “The sacrifice and commitment these Troopers have made today is truly commendable,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Florida is safer, and our communities are more enriched by the value they bring.” “I am grateful that these men and women have answered the call to public service for our great state,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “I commend them for their dedication and welcome them into the ranks of the Florida Highway Patrol.” Upon reporting to their duty stations, the new Troopers will be placed with a certified Field Training Officer (FTO). Troopers will work in tandem with their FTO for 10 to 14 weeks prior to being released to solo duty.

9/11/19

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Idaho State Police trooper almost hit by fuel tanker

idaho trooper almost hit by fuel truck

Move.  Over.  That's the message Idaho State Police is relaying after the agency posted video of a near-miss involving an Idaho State Police trooper and a fuel truck along Interstate-84.  The Aug. 30 incident took place near Jerome when a trooper stopped along the interstate to remove a large piece of tire tread off the roadway.  The driver of the fuel truck wasn't prepared for the slowdown of vehicles behind the trooper's car and made a last-second decision and went off the road to avoid hitting the vehicles in front of him, ISP says.  "This is why it's so important to slow down when you see emergency vehicles on the roadway," ISP said on Twitter.  "We're happy to report the trooper is OK."  The driver was shaken up, remorseful and apologetic, ISP says.  The trooper did not issue a citation.

To watch video, go to: https://www.khq.com/03b004c8-63d7-4b5b-922e-2d39f270ec05 

9/11/19

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Arizona State trooper urges seat belt use while sharing his brother's story

Arizona trooper warns to wear seat belts

Arizona state trooper Danny Morales always had an idea he wanted to go into law enforcement. That idea was solidified years later after his older brother Gabriel Morales died in a rollover crash. Morales said the day his brother died state troopers went to his family's home to let them know what happened. "When they went over they were there for us, they had a support group," said Trooper Morales. Gabriel was 16 years old when he died, Danny, only 12. "Him and a group of friends went out to a restaurant just east of Douglas, they were coming back and then the vehicle ended up going off the road, they ended up rolling over and my brother was ejected from the vehicle," said Morales. At the time, Morales didn't know the details of his brother’s death. Later he found out his brother wasn't wearing a seat belt. The circumstances behind his older brother's death not only propelled him into his career choice, but also help him carry out daily tasks. In the past two years Trooper Morales has given out more than 900 seat belt citations to drivers and passengers. He said he also shares the story of his brother’s death in an attempt to get the message across as best possible. "I let them know that I went through it, my brother passed away in a car accident and they wouldn't wanna put their family through that. Just to make sure they wear their seat belt and they just never know what could happen," said Morales. In Arizona seat belt violations are secondary offenses. This means you must first be pulled over for another kind of violation before you can be cited for not wearing a seat belt.

910/19

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Woman Shares Emotional Tribute to Slain Illinois State Patrol trooper

ISP Trooper Tribute

Days after an Illinois state trooper was fatally shot, a woman posted an emotional tribute on social media recalling the time he came to her aid on the side of the road. Cynthia Stanley said she still remembers the time Trooper Nicholas Hopkins helped her on the side of a highway four years ago. Recalling their meeting in a Facebook post Thursday, Stanley wrote about how Hopkins took her to a gas station, filling her tank as the two talked about their families. "During this event he smiled the entire time and talked about his newborn twins and being a doting husband," Stanley wrote, saying she was motivated by the recent tragedy to post her story. "He was excited about seeing his babies grow and being a husband to his wife. He shared some endearing moments and I never forgot him." The post included photos of Stanley and Hopkins together, smiling, as well as two of Hopkins filling the gas tank on Stanley's car. Hopkins, 33, was executing a search warrant earlier this month in East St. Louis when he was fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire, officials said. Hopkins, of Waterloo, was a 10-year veteran of the force and is survived by his wife Whitney and three children: twins Evelyn and Owen, as well as younger sister Emma.  Stanley said one of her colleagues at work read out loud an article about a state trooper being shot - and her mind jumped to Hopkins. "My heart about sunk and my first thought was please don't let it be him. Please don't let it be him. It was him," Stanley wrote. "Tears filled up in my eyes as I continued to read the rest of the article." "This is beyond my understanding," she continued. "He was one of the good ones just making a living like the rest of us and building a legacy for his family. His kindness will forever live within my heart and I thank him." Stanley's post garnered more than 48,000 shares and 15,000 comments as of Thursday morning.

9/3/19

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Family of Illinois State Police trooper shot last Friday releases statement

Illinois SP killed family provides statement

The family of an Illinois State trooper who was shot and killed in the line of duty Friday has released a statement, three days after his death.

"Words cannot convey the pain of the loss and the emptiness in our hearts. Words also fail to describe the lasting impact Nick had on the lives of everyone who knew him. Nick was a son, brother, nephew, uncle, cousin, friend, carpenter, and trooper, but the job he loved most was being a husband and father. Nick will live on through the memories we cherish and in how we emulate his passion for life: "You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late." It brings us comfort to know Nick's legacy will live on by the actions of others. To his comrades on the SWAT team, thank you for your heroism and allowing us to spend more time with him. We are incredibly grateful for the love, dedication, and loyalty you showed your fellow brother. To the Illinois State Police and the entire law enforcement community, we thank you for your dedication to protecting and serving in the face of unknown danger. We are overwhelmed with your generosity. We will never forget your commitment to building and preserving Nick's legacy. To the medical staff at Saint Louis University Hospital, thank you for your tireless care and comfort in our darkest hour. Thank you for creating the space for us to say goodbye and enabling Nick to live on through his gift of life to others. To the city of Waterloo, his church family at Life Community Church of Columbia, and surrounding areas, thank you for the outpouring of love, prayers, and support in honor of Nick. There are so many others we want to thank, including those names we never learned. Know that your kindness and support has not gone unnoticed, your actions are imprinted on our hearts forever."

- Hopkins Family

8/28/19

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Trooper dies months after being shot responding to car accident

Texas Trooper dies from injuries August 2019

Trooper Moises Sanchez succumbed to complications of gunshot wounds sustained on April 6th, 2019, in McAllen, Texas.  He had responded to a hit-and-run vehicle crash at the intersection of N 10th Street and W Freddy Gonzalez Drive.  He located the suspect approximately one block away, in the 1500 block of South Maltese Street, and attempted to take him into custody.  The subject shot him in the shoulder and head during the arrest.  Trooper Sanchez was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.  He succumbed to complications of his wounds on August 24th, 2019, following surgery.  The man was arrested following a manhunt.  He was charged with capital murder after Trooper Sanchez passed away.  Trooper Sanchez is survived by his wife and three children.

8/26/19

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Illinois State Police trooper shot and killed while serving a search warrant

Illinois trooper killed August 2019 post

 

Trooper Nicholas Hopkins was shot and killed while serving a search warrant at a home at 1426 North 42nd Street and Caseyville Avenue in East St. Louis, Illinois. He and other members of the Emergency Response Team were making entry into the home at 5:30 am when he was shot by an occupant during an exchange of gunfire. Trooper Hopkins had served with the Illinois State Police for 10 years. He is survived by his wife and children.

8/26/19

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Nevada Highway Patrol close call highlights dangers troopers face across country

NHP Trooper close call with drunk driver

It was a close call for a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper after a suspected drunk driver nearly slammed into his cruiser.  It happened in Fernley, Nevada last week.  A dash-cam video shows a speeding vehicle run through a stop sign almost slamming headfirst into his cruiser.  Trooper Travis Smaka, the spokesman for NHP, says this is a consistent danger that highway officers face.  "That's just the risk of being a state trooper.  We've had several officers this year whose vehicles have been struck," Smaka said.  NHP arrested the driver in the Fernley incident for drunk driving, and now this shocking video is sparking a conversation about the danger highway troopers face all over the nation.  "It is a genuine sense of sorrow for every officer across the country when you hear this," Smaka said.  "When they say they walk that line, we walk that line with them," said Kori Jaworski, who is part of the group Police Wives of Southern Nevada.  Her husband is now a police officer, but he was also an NHP state trooper for four years.  "There were plenty of times he would come home and he would say he was on a call and he would be jumping on top of cars because a car almost side-swiped him," she said.  Jaworski says she knows the risks her husband and every other law enforcement officer take, and she hopes drivers will be a part of the solution and not the problem.  "I want people to be more vigilant when they're driving because they're driving a weapon, and our husbands and spouses want to come home to their families," Jaworski said.  And remember, the state of Nevada does have a move over law.  If you see a trooper or any first responder on the side of the road, slow down and if it's safe to do so, move over a lane.

To watch video, go to:  https://news3lv.com/news/local/video-nhp-close-call-highlights-dangers-state-troopers-across-the-country-are-facing?jwsource=cl

 

8/23/19

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Oregon State Police has become the first law enforcement agency in the United States to embrace spirit of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Never Forget Garden

 

Oregon Memory Garden

 

Oregon - The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) has  announced that the Oregon State Police has become the first law enforcement agency in the United States to embrace spirit of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Never Forget Garden, and plant a garden in memory of the fallen officers who served the public from The Dalles Area Command.

Senior Trooper Gavin McIlvenna is a retired US Army Sergeant Major.  During his military career, he served as a Tomb Guard at Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Only about 800 men and women have held that prestigious duty in the history of our military.  As such, it’s a pretty tight knit community and their fraternal organization is one that Senior Trooper McIlvenna currently serves as the President of.

A project within their organization launched in April called the “Never Forget Garden.”  Essentially, the organization was advocating the planting of gardens to memorialize veterans.  Sr. Tpr. McIlvenna and Jennifer Albrecht, an administrative specialist in his office (The Dalles Area Command), seized upon this idea as an opportunity to plant a Never Forget Garden outside their office’s front door, honoring the troopers who were killed in the line of duty out of their Area Command.

From Sr. Tpr. McIlvenna, “The Never Forget Garden is a visual way to represent America’s unwavering commitment to our sacred duty to recognize, remember, and honor our veterans and their families now and for many years to come. I t is a simple, yet powerful tool that will help bring unity to our national identity in a unique way that will transcend our political, social, religious or regional differences.”  With this concept in mind, he is pushing this idea agency-wide within the Oregon State Police in an effort to memorialize all 33 OSP Troopers who have been killed in the line of duty, not just those who served at his office in the agency’s history.

In early May, The Dalles Area Command Administrative Specialist Jennifer Albrecht reached out to the Troopers assigned to the office regarding the open space by the front door of the office, asking for help in the annual planting of flowers that the public would see when walking by.  After viewing the Never Forget Garden project, Ms. Albrecht felt that the office could support this national initiative and plant a Never Forget Garden remembering those who fell in the line of duty from the area command.  Ms. Albrecht summed what planting the garden meant to her: "Our Troopers leave their families and put their lives on the line day in and day out to keep us safe. This Never Forget Garden is a small way to say thank you to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the safety of others".

TheTomb of the Unknown Soldier Never Forget Garden is a nationwide invitation to all Americans to plant gardens to express our profound love, sorrow, respect, and gratitude to those who have served and sacrificed on behalf of America and their families.  The Society feels that every flower, plant, or tree planted will be a symbol of love and act of unity.  In the timeless language of flowers, they will quietly trumpet the message that must never weaken: "We will never, ever, forget or forsake our veterans or the principles that define us as Americans."   Any time that we pause to remember our veterans could not be more serious.  On that day, in that place, is the time for reflection and remembrance.  A day when personal grief and love for country go hand in hand.

For more information on how you can participate, please contact Richard Azzaro, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Never Forget Garden Project Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.t or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..You can also download the project by visiting our website at:  https://tombguard.org/centennial/#garden.

8/21/19

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Texas Highway Patrol commissions 87 new troopers

Texas HP August 2019 graduation

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)  commissioned 87 new Texas Highway Patrol Troopers at a graduation ceremony in Austin on August 9. These new Troopers will join the ranks of thousands of commissioned DPS officers across the state. “These 87 new Troopers are now part of a legion of men and women who have been set on a path to be the guardians of the public they serve,” said Texas Public Safety Commission Chairman Steven P. Mach. “We are grateful for their willingness to dedicate their lives to protecting and serving Texans.” Class A-2019 was the department’s 165th recruit school. The recruits ranged in age from 21 to 52, with nine females, 33 military veterans, 10 individuals with prior law enforcement experience and 39 recruits with degrees in higher education. As part of their training, the recruits spent 28 weeks at the DPS Academy. This class was one of the first to be trained as instructors to teach courses to citizens on how to survive an active shooter event. “With today’s threat environment, protecting the people of Texas is the department’s top priority,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “The training our recruits have completed will help them do just that as they embark on their new careers as Highway Patrol Troopers. We congratulate and welcome each of them and their loved ones to the DPS family.”

8/20/19

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North Carolina trooper paralyzed in crash moved to Atlanta rehab center

NC Trooper transferred to rehab facility

North Carolina state troopers continue to show endless support for their colleague, paralyzed during a chase in Charlotte last month. Members of the Highway Patrol, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and medical staff lined the halls of Atrium Carolinas Medical Center on Thursday. They saluted Trooper Christopher Wooten as he left for Shepherd Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta and several members of the Highway Patrol’s Motor Unit escorted Wooten to the airport. Other SHP members joined the trooper and his family as they boarded the medically equipped plane required for the one-hour flight. When Wooten and his family arrived in Atlanta, members from the Georgia State Patrol’s Motor Unit were on site, waiting to escort the family to the hospital. On July 22, Wooten was injured when his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck at the intersection of Tuckaseegee Road and Edgewood Road. “The overwhelming amount of support offered by our law enforcement partners, medical staff, other first responders and the public is unmatched and truly expresses the appreciation for Chris’ law enforcement service,” said Col. Glenn McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. “I want to personally thank every person who has assisted the Wooten family thus far as I know they are extremely grateful.”

8/14/19

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California Highway Patrol officer shot and killed after traffic stop

CHP Officer killed August 2010

 

Officer Andre Moye was shot and killed after conducting a traffics top near the junction of I-215 and Eastridge Avenue in Riverside. As Officer Moye completed paperwork to impound the vehicle the driver retrieved a rifle from it and opened fire. Despite being mortally wounded, Officer Moye was able to radio for assistance. Officers from the California Highway Patrol, Riverside Police Department, and Riverside County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene and engaged the subject in a prolonged shootout. Two other officers were wounded and the subject was killed.  The subject who shot him had previously served 10 years in prison for attempted murder.  Officer Moye had served with the California Highway Patrol for 3-1/2 years and was assigned to the Riverside Area Office.  He is survived by his wife, mother, father, and siblings.

8/13/19

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Nebraska State Patrol trooper named Officer of the Year by the Motor Vehicle Criminal Interdiction Association

NSP honored MVCIA drug interdiction

Nebraska State Trooper Sam Mortensen was named the Officer of the Year by the Motor Vehicle Criminal Interdiction Association during its conference in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday, August 5. Mortensen has been with the State Patrol for 17 years and serves in the Carrier Enforcement Division. In April 2018 during a traffic stop in Buffalo County, Mortensen was responsible for a 118-pound seizure of fentanyl, believed to be the largest seizure of fentanyl in United States history until a seizure by Customs and Border Protection agents eclipsed the mark earlier this year. Mortensen also participated in an October 2018 event at the White House that sought to raise awareness for opioid abuse. During the event, President Donald Trump personally recognized Mortensen. "Trooper Mortensen is a great reflection of the training and dedication that it takes to remove these drugs from our communities," said NSP Superintendent John Bolduc in a news release. The Motor Vehicle Criminal Interdiction Association presents the Bob Thomasson Officer of the Year award annually to a law enforcement member who has distinguished him or herself in the area of criminal interdiction.

8/9/19

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Washington State Police trooper's dashcam captures small plane make an emergency landing in oncoming traffic

WSP trooper dashcam emergency landing of small plane

A pilot in Washington state had to make an emergency landing on a roadway last Thursday — and a state trooper caught the stunning sight on dashcam video.  According to Fox News, video released by Washington State Patrol shows vehicles braking and swerving to make room for a small plane low to the street in Parkland, a city in Pierce County.  The trooper quickly turns around and heads the direction the plane is headed on Pacific Avenue.  The dashcam footage shows the plane make a shaky landing on the street, eventually stopping in a lane near an intersection.  The trooper makes his way over to the pilot, and the two work together to move the plane off the road, according to the video.  The small plane was flying from Yelm to Boeing Field in Seattle, but had to make an emergency landing when the plane's fuel system malfunctioned.  The state trooper said he'd never experienced anything like this during his 21 years with the Washington State Patrol.  Neither damage nor injuries were reported following the incident.

To watch the video, go to: https://twitter.com/i/status/1157003358974042112

8/7/19

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