232 new troopers join New York State Police

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December 21, 2023

232 New York State Troopers graduated from the 213th session of the basic school of the New York State Police Academy.

The ceremony was held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany, NY. Thursday’s graduation increases the state police ranks to 4,781 sworn members. For the next 10 weeks, the new troopers will be evaluated under a training program supervised by senior field training officers.

“Today marks another significant moment in the proud history of the New York State Police,” New York State Police Acting Superintendent Dominick L. Chiumento added. “The graduation ceremony is one of our finest traditions and introduces a new generation of highly trained Troopers, who will serve the citizens of the State of New York with honor and integrity.

“They have endured months of intense training both within and outside the classroom and have earned their place in our ranks. I am proud to welcome these graduates to the most prestigious and well-respected law enforcement agency in the nation.”

The new Troopers will report for field duty on Dec. 27. For the following 10 weeks, the new Troopers will be evaluated under a field-training program supervised by senior Field Training Officers.

In addition to honoring all graduates from the 213th Session of Basic School, Acting Superintendent Chiumento presented the following awards:

Academic Achievement Award

As a special incentive for all students attending the State Police Academy Basic School, the Superintendent sponsors the awarding of a firearm for the attainment of the highest level of academic performance during Academy training. The winner of the Academic Achievement Award is Trooper Mark J. Novello, a 24-year-old resident of Astoria, New York.

He is a graduate of Adelphi University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Prior to joining the New York State Police as a Trooper, he was a Police Officer with the New York City Police Department for 2 years. Throughout the Academy training program, he achieved an outstanding overall academic average of 97.23 percent. He will be assigned to Troop K.

Firearms Proficiency Award

The New York State Trooper Foundation has sponsored the awarding of a firearm for the attainment of the highest level of performance in all phases of firearms training.

The winner of the Superintendent’s Firearms Proficiency Award is Trooper David A. Heath, age 25, of Central Square, New York. Prior to joining the New York State Police, he was a Deputy with the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office for 4 years. During firearms training, he fired an average score of 250 out of a possible 250. He will be assigned to Troop D.

Investigator Joseph T. Aversa Physical Fitness Award

The New York State Police Investigators Association has sponsored the awarding of a firearm for the attainment of the highest degree of physical fitness during the Physical Training Program at the Academy.

This award will be presented in memory of deceased Investigator Joseph Aversa. Investigator Aversa made the ultimate sacrifice in New York City on March 5, 1990, during a narcotics investigation while serving as a member of the Joint Drug Enforcement Task Force. Investigator Aversa was a six-year State Police veteran who believed that physical conditioning was an integral part of being a Trooper.

The recipient of this Award is Trooper Paul R. Tripi, who resides in Cheektowaga, New York. He is a graduate of Wheeling University with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. During the physical agility testing, he achieved the highest score of all 232 members of the 213th Session, a tribute to his superb physical conditioning.  He will be assigned to Troop A.

Student Representative

The New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association (PBA) has sponsored the awarding of a firearm to the member of the class who is selected by his or her peers to represent them during these exercises. The PBA presents the award in memory of Trooper John J. McKenna IV, who was killed in action in 2006, while serving his country as a Marine in Iraq.

The recipient of this Award is Trooper Kevin J. Knightes, age 32, who resides in Schenectady, New York. He is a graduate of Fordham University with a bachelor’s degree in Middle East Studies. Prior to joining the New York State Police, he worked at Rotterdam Police Department for 4 years and served in the United States military for 12 years. He will be assigned to Troop G.Line

Good girl! Michigan State Police Officer enlists a Michigan man's dog to help rescue him from an icy lake

Good girl Michigan State Police Officer enlists a Michigan mans dog to help rescue him from an icy lake pic1 Good girl Michigan State Police Officer enlists a Michigan mans dog to help rescue him from an icy lake pic2

Jan. 20, 2024

A Michigan man who fell into an icy lake was rescued when a quick-thinking Michigan State Police officer enlisted the man’s dog to help.

On Jan. 18, the 65-year-old fell through the thin ice covering Arbutus Lake in Grand Traverse, Michigan, prompting bystanders to call 911, according to state police.

The man was trapped in the cold waters, with just his head and shoulders protruding above the ice, his loyal pooch standing beside him.

Michigan State Police Officer Kammeron Bennetts, who couldn’t reach the distressed man due to the precarious conditions, first attempted to throw a rope connected to a rescue dish out to him.

When that failed, the officer decided to call upon the man’s furry companion for assistance.

“Send your pup here. Will she come to me?” he yelled to the man, who told him his canine’s name was Ruby.

“Ruby come here! Come here, Ruby!” Bennetts shouts in a video of the rescue captured by his body cam.

Bennetts can then be heard whistling to the animal, which proceeds to run to him, arriving with his tail wagging.

The officer ties the rescue disc to Ruby’s collar and asks the man to call his four-legged friend back to him.

When she returns to her owner, Bennetts orders the man to remove the disc.

“Bring your feet up to the surface by kicking your feet!” the officer orders.

Bennetts then can be seen pulling the man onto the surface of the lake and dragging him onto the ice.

Bennett and a Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department firefighter were then able to grab the man’s arms, with Ruby still attached to the rope.

The man was taken to a hospital via ambulance for treatment and later released.

Click on link below for video.

https://youtu.be/k0dztB6aEo4Line

Florida Highway Patrol Graduates 21 Troopers From Its 152nd Basic Recruiting Class

Florida Highway Patrol Graduates 21 Troopers From Its 152nd Basic Recruiting Class pic

December 15, 2023

Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) proudly celebrated the graduation of 21 troopers from the 152nd Basic Recruit Class today.

Graduates completed 29 weeks of training, equivalent to 770 hours, beginning on June 5, 2023. Training included high liability classes, defensive tactics, firearms, vehicle operations, and first aid.

The 152nd class included five military veterans representing the Army, Air Force, and the United States Marine Corps. Five graduates came from proud law enforcement families.

State Troopers, known as Florida’s finest, are motivated, hard-working law enforcement officers specializing in traffic safety and enforcement, traffic crash investigation, narcotic interdiction, detection, and apprehension of impaired drivers, and searching for missing, wanted, trafficked and undocumented individuals. The women and men patrol Florida using state–of–the–art training, equipment, technology, and resources to enhance their abilities.

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.Line

Indiana Trooper helping driver with flat tire hit by car, seriously injured

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January 22, 2024

An Indiana State Police trooper was hospitalized in serious condition after police say he was hit by an SUV after helping a stranded driver change a flat tire.

The incident happened Saturday night just after 22-year-old Trooper Azariah Keith finished changing a stranded driver’s tire on Interstate 65 in Indianapolis. Police say another trooper was blocking the left lane to give Keith a safe place to work.

As Keith was loading his equipment back into his car around 9:20 p.m., police say a 2018 Chevrolet Equinox swerved around the trooper blocking the lane. The driver allegedly lost control and crashed into a concrete median barrier before hitting Keith and his police car. Keith suffered critical injuries and was taken to the hospital, where he was listed in serious but stable condition. ISP Sgt. John Perrine said Keith was awake and alert and speaking with his family. He is expected to recover.

*Please remember to Move Over and/or Slow Down when seeing an emergency vehicle.Line

Minnesota State Troopers escort heart for transplant

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January 17, 2024

In an emergency, the clock is ticking. Working fast to save a life is all in a day's work for our Minnesota State Patrol troopers. However, for this team of troopers it was a new challenge,

working with Mayo Clinic Health System to get a donor heart from the Twin Cities Metro Area to Rochester in time to save a man's life.

Last October, at the Rochester MN. Mayo Clinic surgical director of the Heart and Lung Transplant Program, Dr. Mauricio Villavicencio had a patient who needed a heart transplant.

Unfortunately, the heart was more than an hour away from his hospital and the road between the heart and the hospital was under construction.

Realizing there was an issue with transportation of the heart, Dr. Villavicencio jumped into problem solving mode.  

Construction and heavy traffic on the highway that connected the location of the donated heart to the hospital put doctors in a time-pressed scenario.

“Heart transplantation is the most time-sensitive solid organ transplant," Villavicencio said. “Due to construction on (Highway) 52 and traffic, the heart transplant outcome was at risk."

Villavicencio said he had heard stories in the hospital about doctors contacting the Minnesota State Patrol for assistance in the past.

With help from the Mayo Clinic's communication team, Villavicencio was able to get in touch with Minnesota State Patrol.

Villavicencio and his team asked the State Patrol if troopers would be willing to escort the heart with lights and sirens. It's far from a typical request for our troopers.

“Our troopers never know what their next call will be, but they are ready and willing to respond to whatever is needed," said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the State Patrol.

“One call to dispatch was all it took fo​r the State Patrol team to create an excellent plan and execute it safely. It really goes to show how our troopers go above and beyond

to help community members across Minnesota."

Lt. Mitch Elzen was working as the on-call supervisor that night when he received a phone call from the State Patrol dispatch:

While troopers have delivered blood donations to facilities across Minnesota, Elzen has never been asked to deliver an organ while time is ticking.​

Elzen immediately wanted to help but knew it would be difficult for troopers to keep another vehicle safe while getting the organ to its destination as quickly as possible.

Instead, he came up with a better idea: The medical staff could just jump in the back of a squad vehicle, and the troopers could do the driving.

Trooper Mike Pevear was just a mile or two away from where the medical staff had the donor heart in the metro area. Elzen had Pevear meet the staff at the nearest exit ramp.

They hopped in, and Pevear turned on his lights and sirens to get the heart to the patient as quickly as possible. Pevear met Trooper Quintin O'Reilly in Cannon Falls,

who completed the race against time and drove the medical staff and the heart to Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Thanks to Elzen's quick thinking and the team's driving, the heart made it to the patient in time.

“The troopers helped minimize the ischemic time — the length of time the heart does not receive blood flow — resulting in an outstanding outcome for this sick patient who was in a

stabilized cardiogenic shock at the Mayo Clinic," Villavicencio said. “His recovery was phenomenal."

Elzen, Pevear and O'Reilly met the patient Jan. 2 after he had recovered from his heart transplant. It was an amazing day for the troopers.

“We do a lot of stuff with the patrol and never see the real outcome at the end," Elzen said. “It was awesome just to see his face and see him smiling.

We were just a small portion of that, but to help out was great."​​​​Line