Brendan Kelly confirmed as Illinois State Police head

ISP Brendan Kelly

The newly confirmed director of the Illinois State Police said he needs more troopers.  The Illinois Senate voted two weeks ago to confirm Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s nomination for director of the Illinois State Police.  Brendan Kelly has served as acting director of the agency since January.  The Senate unanimously approved Kelly’s nomination.  In Kelly’s tenure as acting director, he has overseen the agency during one of the most difficult years in the almost 100-year history of the agency.  The state police have had a record number of officer deaths this year, plus a record number of troopers involved in traffic crashes that have resulted in injuries.  Kelly said he will serve as the chairman of the “Move Over Task Force,” which he said will be important to implement technology and recommendations to the General Assembly to improve the protection of first responders on state roadways. Looking forward, Kelly said he’s placing an emphasis on growing the ranks of the Illinois State Police.  The police agency employs around 1,700 sworn personnel.  “I’d like to see us get to over 2,000 sworn personnel, pretty soon,” Kelly said.  That's a top priority for Kelly.  "In order to meet the many missions that the public expects us to accomplish, we need the manpower to be able to do it," he said.  "We need people.  It’s not enough to have good ideas and good policies, you have to have the people to do the work."  Kelly recently spoke at the Illinois State Police cadet graduation, which added 57 new Illinois State Police troopers.  Kelly said having regular cadet classes is important.  “We would like to get on the steady stream of two cadet classes a year, and I think we may actually be able to get ahead of that,” he said.  The vision for the new director’s growth won’t just be on the roadways.  Kelly said he wants more people for the state police’s crime lab and other parts of the agency that provide services to local and county agencies across the state.  “I’m very glad to be able to get the governor to sign an executive order recreating the division of criminal investigations, so we can focus on violent crime, drugs and public integrity,” he said.  Kelly said the backlog of DNA testing must be a top priority.  “We have to get at the backlogs that have been epidemic across this country, not just in the state of Illinois,” he said.  He said the backlog in DNA testing for sexual assaults has come down about 10 percent since January.  The DNA backlogs are not the only testing delays Kelly has been focused on.  "But also the drug chemistry backlog," he said.  "Anytime there is a flood of one particular controlled substance like meth, or heroin or fentanyl into a community, there are more cases, there are more substances that we have to test, that can create a bubble."  Most recently, Kelly had served as the St. Clair County State’s Attorney.  He is the eighth director of the Illinois State Police, and he isn’t the first not have prior experience as a sworn officer.  When the director’s position was created in 1987, the first director of the Illinois State Police was Jeremy Margolis, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney.

11/12/19

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Vermont State Police take to the skies with drone capability

  VSP Drones

 

Vermont State Police recently launched a new squadron of 11 drones that they plan to use to assist them all over the state.  But what exactly are they using them for?  With a whine in the air, state police on Wednesday launched a new era of policing from the sky.  After just a few minutes in the air, troopers have a bird's-eye view of a mock crash scene.  "It's giving us a perspective we have never had before," said VSP Trooper Tom Howard. Officials say that over $100,000 in grants paid for the 11 drones and training for the 13 troopers to be certified as drone pilots by the Federal Aviation Administration.  "We are more learning to utilize the drones for accident and crash reconstruction and search and rescue missions," Lt. Cory Lozier said. This could mean less time for the crash reconstruction team with troopers safe and away from the scene, a technique already put to use at an accident last week in Rutland.  "This tool can map that same area that once would take three hours in seven minutes," Tpr. Tom Howard said.  And with tools like thermal imaging cameras, they say the drone could help save lives on rescue missions.  "We now have the ability that we have never had before to locate people once it goes dark," Lt. Lozier said.  VSP officials say the drones could also aid in criminal investigations. But with that view from above, could they invade the privacy of Vermont citizens?  Reporter Ike Bendavid: Will this be used for surveillance?  Lt. Cory Lozier. No, these drones will not be used for any warrantless searches, unless we apply for a warrant.  The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont agrees that drones can help protect police as long as they are following the law.  "What's important is any use of drones comply with Vermont law.  That does place significant restrictions on when law enforcement can use drones," said the group's Lia Earnst.  She says those restrictions include the use of facial recognition or surveillance of public protests.  VSP officials say they know the law and will follow it.  "We know what we can and cannot do with them -- we will abide by that," Lt. Lozier said.  Making the work of law enforcement quicker and safer -- from the sky.

To watch video, go to:  https://www.wcax.com/content/news/Vermont-State-Police-take-to-the-skies-with-drone-capability-564121241.html?jwsource=cl

11/12/19

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Massachusetts State Police trooper pinned with late mother's badge

MSP Trooper gets mothers badge

A new State Trooper received a special surprise on Monday when she was pinned with her official Massachusetts State Trooper badge — but it wasn't an ordinary badge, not to her.  Trooper Stephanie Devlin was pinned with her late mother's badge, number 776.  The badge was passed down as a tribute to Delvin's mother and to Delvin's future as a trooper.  Delvin graduated on Jan. 24, 2018 from the 83rd Recruit Training Troop, following in the footsteps of her mother and father.  Delvin's father, James Devlin, is Lieutenant of the MSP's Division of Homeland Security and her late mother worked in Crime Scene Services — Delvin is quite literally following her mothers path, working in the same division and now wearing her badge.  Donna Devlin passed away in 1991 when Stephanie was 16 months old.  The State Police published photos and a post about the tribute, saying "A touching tribute, and a legacy that Stephanie will be able to carry on in memory of her mother."

11/8/19

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Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper injured when patrol car struck by commercial vehicle

WHP vehicle struck by commercial truck

Thursday afternoon at 1:08 p.m., a Wyoming Highway Patrol vehicle was involved in a motor vehicle collision around milepost 66 on Interstate 25 south of Wheatland, Wyoming.  The WHP Trooper was stopped on the shoulder, assisting a stranded motorist when her patrol vehicle was struck by a passing commercial truck.  The trooper was inside her patrol vehicle with her seatbelt fastened at the time of the collision.  The crash caused the northbound lanes of Interstate 25 to be closed.   The trooper was transported to the Platte County Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the commercial vehicle did not sustain any apparent injuries and was not transported.  The WHP would like to remind motorists to slow down and move over when approaching an emergency vehicle.

11/6/19

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Bridge dedicated in honor of fallen Virginia State Police trooper Lucas B. Dowell

VSP Bridge names in honor of Trooper Dowell

It’s been nearly nine months now since a Virginia State Police Trooper paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Lucas Dowel was honored on Friday with a second bridge dedicated in his honor in his hometown.  Family, friends and the community packed the Chilhowie Christian Church, the very same place where Dowell was laid to rest in February.  Dowell was shot and killed while serving a warrant during a narcotics arrest operation in Cumberland County.  “Lucas was one of the best, and will forever be in the hearts and minds of those who grew up with him in Smyth County,” said Col. Gary Settle, the Virginia State Police Superintendent.  “This is a great day because we get another opportunity, another chance to recognize this gentleman for a bridge dedication.”  “He was there to protect people from evil and he was willingly and willfully laid down his life and he made an influence on more people than you and I, this whole crowd could ever make,” said Senator Charles Carrico.  This is now the second bridge in Dowell’s memory.  The first was dedicated in Amherst County in August.  “This is a monument to Lucas,” Carrico said.  “This is something that everyone’s going to see and they’re going to remember the name and they’re going to remember the sacrifice that was made.” Carrico said during the ceremony that this would be his last bridge dedication as a senator.  He said it was an honor to be back home for his final one, especially because he knew Dowell’s parents.  “We were blessed and I am honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of your family and to help through the grieving process,” Carrico said during the ceremony.  Dowell’s mother took time to speak at the podium.  “Lucas knew the risk, every first responder knows the risk yet they still choose to do this work every single day,” Becky Dowell said. “Without men and women willing to put their lives on the line every day as police officers, where would we be?  And what kind of world would we live in?”  She played a recording he had made of the pledge.  The family found it after their son passed.  “There’s no better way to explain how seriously Lucas took his work as a trooper than to hear it directly from him,” Dowell said.  “This is just a small recognition that we can pass along and back to the family, but it also resonates through the entire agency that we’re committed to making sure we do all the right things at our level to make sure their jobs are as safe as they can be,” Settle said.  At the ceremony, Dowell’s family and brothers that served with him were all given their own bridge signs and were presented with a memorial resolution.  The bridge in his honor is now located on I-81 over Whitetop Rd.

11/4/19

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Street renamed in honor of fallen Texas State Trooper Moises Sanchez

Texas Highway Patrol trooper dies August 2019

The memory of Texas State Trooper Moises Sanchez lives on as the community has come together to honor the fallen hero Wednesday morning. Six months ago, the intersection of 107 and 10th Street in Edinburg was a crime scene. Today, it was a tribute to the fallen hero. "His memory doesn't come to an end, every single time we put on our uniform, it isn't about us, it's about him and his family," said Sgt. Maria Montalvo with Texas Department of Public Safety. The city of Edinburg approved to rename the portion where Trooper Sanchez was shot in his honor. "As you can see our hearts are still very heavy," said Yvonne Sanchez, Trooper Sanchez's wife. His family isn't the only one still healing. "I remember getting the initial call and as I was making my way over there, dispatch aired out there was a trooper in a foot pursuit and I got closer I heard them say that there was an officer down," said the Edinburg Police Officer who was first on scene. In an exclusive interview with CBS 4 News, she spoke to recounting that night. "I ran to him and applied pressure to his wounds and I was shocked to see one of my brothers down." It is those same brothers that have made sure his memory is never lost. "He chose law enforcement as his career, he chose to sacrifice his own safety for the safety of everyone and we are so grateful for his bravery," said Richard Molina, Edinburg Mayor. For now, every time a car passes Trooper Moises Sanchez Boulevard, they will be reminded of a hero who paid the ultimate sacrifice. "I pray that not only do we remember our father, but we remember all of our brothers and sisters in blue every time we see this street, the time we banded together to support one of our fallen," said Zachary Sanchez, Trooper Sanchez's son. Local state and federal police were all in attendance.

To watch video, go to:   https://youtu.be/VQft2HLjOq0

10/31/19

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4-year-old dresses as Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper for Halloween

4 year old dresses as Oklahoma HP trooper for Halloween

4-year-old in McCurtain County has unofficially won the Oklahoma Highway Patrol costume contest with his homemade trooper uniform!  We might be a little biased - but isn't this the coolest Halloween costume ever!?  This is 4 year old Camden Stafford from Wright City in McCurtain County.  His dad, Jeffery, is in the process of applying for our next academy so Camden decided he wanted to be a trooper for Halloween!  Melissa Reich, wife of Trooper Jay Reich helped sew the costume.

10/29/19

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Wife of Illinois State Police trooper killed in crash helps officials unveil memorial sign

Illinois SP name toll after trooper killed in the line of duty

Truck and car horns sounded around mile marker 17 on Interstate 94 Monday morning near the Bradley Road overpass in Green Oaks, where two ladder trucks held aloft a giant American flag to honor Illinois State Trooper Gerald “Jerry” Ellis.  Ellis died March 30 after his squad car collided with a vehicle being driven in the wrong direction on that section of I-94 near Lambs Farm.  On Monday, two large signs naming a half-mile stretch of tollway in his honor were dedicated, with traffic shut down so his family could visit the site.  Acting State Police Director Brendan Kelly, speaking at a portion of the ceremony held inside a pavilion at Townline Community Park in Lake Forest, joked how Ellis might have played a part in Monday’s windy and rainy weather.  “I think Jerry is having fun with us,” he said as people laughed.

10/29/19

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Retired Oregon State Police Sergeant Alan Gilbert Fighting for his Life

Retired Oregon SP Sergeant needs help

Retired Sergeant with the Oregon State Police, Alan Gilbert has touched the lives of many in our community.  He has had a passion of coaching football at Thurston High School for many years.  For those that may not know, Alan currently has a very sick heart and kidney.  He and Shawna are at UC San Diego awaiting a heart and kidney transplant for him.  Unfortunately they do not know how long they will be in San Diego and with that comes a great deal of uncertainty in many areas.  The Gilbert Family could use lots of love and prayers sent their way.  Many of you have asked how you could help so we have created this fundraiser as a way for friends and family to help them.

For those wanting to follow their story on Caring Bridge, here is the link.
https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/alangilbert/journal/view/id/5dad030422336fa40b8b4784?fbclid=IwAR3wKoqVlA7iDBlsRhhNPXjZDGOwIdakkYYThOi90HMHpSnsMns-p0TqA-IWe will be sending a care package to Alan and Shawna as well showing some love from home.  We will be including blankets, magazines, various snacks, and gift cards.  The package will be sent on October 31st.  If you wish to contribute in any capacity please contact Tina DeHaven at 541.915.9295 or Carla Goss at 541.521.7727.  We greatly appreciate your support.  To alleviate any additional burden on Shawna please feel free to contact Carla or Tina for additional ways to help their family.

10/29/19

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Community gathers for funeral and burial of Indiana State Police trooper Peter Stephan

 

ISP Killed in line of duty Stephan

Surrounded by family, friends and law enforcement from Indiana and around the country, Indiana State Trooper Peter “Bo” Stephan was laid to rest. Friday was the funeral, procession and burial for Stephan, 27, who died Oct. 11, involved in a single-car crash while responding to a call for backup in Lafayette. Stephan was stationed with the Lafayette post of the Indiana State Police.  Stephan’s wife, Jessica Stephan, works for the Lafayette Police Department.  The couple has a five-month-old daughter, Harper Stephan.  At 10:25 p.m. Friday, Oct 11, Stephan was going north on Old Indiana 25, south of Stair Road, heading for Americus when his 2018 Dodge Charger police car went off the right side of the road at a curve, according to ISP Sgt. Rick Brown. Stephan’s car rolled at least once and then hit a utility pole.  Stephan’s injuries were fatal, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Brown’s report.  The cause of the crash is still under investigation as of Friday.  His funeral took place Friday morning at Crossroads Community Church, with a procession to the Russiaville Cemetery for his burial afterwards.  Almost 1,000 people attended Stephan funeral at the church, ISP 1st Sgt. Ron Galaviz said, including law enforcement from around Indiana and 19 states, including California, Utah, North Carolina and New Jersey.  Chris Duncan, the pastor of Crossroads Community Church led the service and introduced various people to give remarks on Stephan’s life, including Gov. Eric Holcomb, fellow ISP troopers and his wife, Jessica Stephan.  Holcomb said Stephan’s death was a “painful reminder” of the risk that police and law enforcement take every single day. “Hoosier hearts are still breaking,” Holcomb said.  “While I know too that words provide little comfort, at a time like this, on behalf of a grieving yet grateful state we all offer our deepest condolences.”  Four of his fellow ISP troopers, Devin Farmer, Kevin Jefferies, Steven Grayson and Jeremy Piers gave remarks, giving anecdotes that spoke to Stephan’s personality and love for his career.  Anyone who knew Stephan would say he was passionate about two things: his family and his career, the troopers said.  The love he had for his job stretched through their anecdotes, which featured stories about Stephan in the academy to the oddities that sometimes occurred while responding to calls on duty.  Russiaville resident Jodi Maddox and her grandson were among the people watching the procession pass.  She said Jessica Stephan lived three doors down from her sister and often saw the state trooper car, not thinking anything of it.  “This is a small town, and everybody knows everybody here,” Maddox said.  “I wanted to pay our respects to our local heroes. I thought it would be good for him to see the police officers and everyone coming out to help support the family.”  After the American flag was presented to Stephan’s family by ISP Superintendent Douglas Carter, an ISP helicopter flew overhead.  Then, as hundreds of family, friends and police looked on, his casket was lowered into the ground. Stephan’s wife said during the service that she was initially hesitant about Stephan joining the police, and waited anxiously every day for his “10-41” call, which would begin his tour of duty each shift, and his “10-42” call, which ended each shift.  On the night he died, Jessica Stephan heard him call “10-41,” only for him never to return home with the “10-42.”  Friday, Stephan’s final “10-42”’ call was repeated by Jessica Stephan on the police radio. His watch had officially ended.

To watch video featuring ISP Superintendent Doug Carter, go to:  https://youtu.be/xQUpcPpvE1s

10/28/19

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Indiana State Police trooper saves choking woman

ISP Trooper saves chocking woman

An Indiana State Trooper was in the right place at the right time on Tuesday, October 15, and saved a woman's life.  Senior Trooper Scott Keegan was eating lunch at Hacienda Vieja restaurant when a server got his attention and gestured to him that a 75-year-old woman was choking.  Keegan jumped up, hit the woman several times on the back, and performed the Heimlich maneuver.  Once the woman was able to catch her breath, she thanked Keegan for saving her life.  Keegan, an ISP Firearms Instructor, credits his yearly First Aid and medical training in helping to prepare him for situations like what happened on Tuesday.  "I'm glad that the staff knew who I was and knew that I could help," Keegan said.  "I'm thankful I could assist."

10/28/19

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Utah Highway Patrol trooper pulls a man from his car seconds before it was hit by a train

UHP trooper saves man from oncoming train

With only seconds to go before a train barreled through, a Utah state trooper pulled an unconscious driver from his car after it got stuck on the tracks. Trooper Ruben Correa, who has been with the Utah Highway Patrol for two years, was responding to a routine traffic stop when he got a call from dispatch about a car on train tracks not far from him, according to Sgt. Nick Street, the spokesman for the Utah Highway Patrol.  The driver of the car, a man in his 20s, was unconscious, and a medical issue contributed to him driving off the nearby highway and onto the tracks, said Street.  Correa left the traffic stop and began to drive down the freeway using his spotlight to search for the vehicle, Street told CNN.  He ended up arriving in the nick of time.  It took 35 seconds from when Correa got out of his patrol car to when the train hit the stranded vehicle, said Street.  The trooper and driver were still on the embankment when the train came through.  The Utah Highway Patrol called Correa's actions "incredible and heroic," but Correa said none of that was on his mind.  "At that point, I actually wasn't really thinking," Correa said.  "I was just doing my job."  After being rescued, the driver was checked out by medical personnel and his parents were able to come pick him up.  "He is doing well," Street said.

10/17/19

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Montana Highway Patrol unveils a new look for its anniversary

Montana HP new car

The year 2020 will mark the 85th anniversary of the Montana Highway Patrol, and to celebrate the, the MHP debuted a new car design on social media on Friday.  In contrast to the current black design, the new retro design is white with a 1985 MHP logo on the door.  Several of the new cars are already out on Montana roads, and around 50 of the anniversary cars are being deployed around the state.

10/17/19

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Off-duty New Jersey State trooper helped save a woman's life

NJSP Trooper off duty saves life

An off-duty New Jersey state trooper is being recognized for her quick reaction that helped to save a woman's life.  Cassandra Pugh was at the Hugh Jackman concert in Newark Sunday when she started hearing cries for help.  According to WPIX, Pugh ran towards the shouting and found 73-year-old Jean Jadro lying on a bathroom floor, unconscious and not breathing.  “We determined she didn’t have a pulse and we just sprung into action and started giving her chest compressions.” “We did CPR until EMTs arrived with an AED, it delivered two shocks,” she told WPIX.  Jadro started to breathe again and was taken to a local hospital. “I feel like it was meant to be and I was meant to be there,” Pugh said.  In 2017, Pugh and other law enforcement officers were honored for saving a woman from a knife-wielding man in Puerto Rico  "Trooper Pugh used her training and experience to deliver immediate care to the victim that undoubtedly helped save the woman's life," NJSP said.

10/16/19

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Indiana State Police trooper killed in line-of-duty

ISP Killed in line of duty Stephan

Trooper Peter Stephan was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Old State Road 25, near Stair Road, while responding to assist another deputy at the scene of a crash near Americus.  His patrol car left the roadway as he entered a curve and overturned before striking a utility pole.  He succumbed to his injuries at the scene.  Trooper Stephan had served with the Indiana State Police for four years.  He is survived by his wife and six-month-old daughter.

10/14/19

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