Highway Patrol to ramp up efforts for Memorial Day
The Mississippi Highway Patrol plans to kick off its 2017 Memorial Day Travel Enforcement Period with a safety awareness initiative titled, “Drive to Survive.” The enforcement period will start Friday, May 26, at 6 p.m. and end Monday, May 29, at midnight. Motorists are encouraged to drive safely, along with making responsible decisions. With traffic expected to see a boost, all available troopers will be assigned saturation patrols in an effort to maximize visibility and reduce traffic crashes. Safety checkpoints will also be set up to prevent impaired driving and promote seatbelt usage. In 2016, MHP investigation 132 crashes with two fatalities and made 164 DUI arrests on state and federal highway systems throughout the period.
State troopers face shortage due to layoffs
At a time when troopers are in short supply, the state announced several layoffs within the police agency Tuesday. Four lieutenants, two sergeants, five troopers and the incoming class of 79 cadets were notified that due to budget cuts, they were being laid off, Fox 61 reported. Connecticut State Police Union President Andrew Matthews told the news station that 169 members are eligible for retirement. Almost 70 officers could be eligible in the next six months. The police union said a total of 86 officers, including the incoming cadet class, have been laid off. According to WTNH, the police force has dropped by more than 250 officers since 2009. “If we don’t get another class in it will affect not only the capabilities of the state police but public safety in general throughout the state,” Matthews said. Matthews said they offered the governor multiple alternatives to layoffs, including discontinuing the use of temporary workers. “The state of Connecticut actually has retired troopers that work for the agency who collect a pension and they’re allowed to work up to 960 hours a year,” he told Fox 61. “They do investigative work and they make about 34-dollars an hour so that’s roughly about 32-thousand dollars a year.” This is the first time command staff has been laid off in budget cuts, WTNH reported. The lieutenants who were cut have served with the state police for 12 to 18 years. “Some of these individuals that are gonna be getting laid off have families, have children and now they need to go home tonight and tell their spouse and their children in four weeks they’re not gonna have a job,” Captain Michael Thomas said.
New class starts state trooper training
63 law enforcement officers from Kentucky began training classes Sunday at the Kentucky State Police Academy in Frankfort, Kentucky. According to a release, the intensive training program is designed for any current officers who want to become Kentucky State Troopers. The course, Cadet Class 95, is a condensed 12-week course for the current officers with two years of Kentucky Police Officer Professional Standards law enforcement experience. Officers also take a variety of physical fitness tests and running exercises within the first day of class. Officials say 41 of the 63 officers in the class are from different Kentucky police departments, 17 come from county sheriff's offices or departments, three are KSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers, and two come from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Combined, the 63 officers represent 28 different Kentucky police departments, 12 sheriff's offices, and two state agencies.
State Troopers give kids new bike helmets, footballs, basketballs
New Jersey State Police handed out bike helmets, footballs, basketballs, and car sets to area residents over the weekend, dispensing safety information along with hot dogs and cold drinks for the station’s annual “bike helmet giveaway.” The annual event, aimed primarily at kids and getting them to wear bike helmets, has turned into a community get-together – a chance for troopers and area folks to get to know one another. “We’re just trying to bless the community and get the message out about bike safety,” said Lt. Doug Pearson, Woodbine Station commander. “This is also a way to build a relationship between state police and the community.” Pearson and the troopers at the barracks pulled the event together with the help of sponsors, including Gentilini Ford, Acme Markets in Seaville, and Sea Isle Ice. This year, troopers were able to give away two new bicycles in a free raffle to the kids, as well as several large boxes of footballs, basketballs and soccer balls. Winning the two bicycles were Joseph Young and Nahjaye Wright. Wayne Shelton, a retired state trooper, and Sheriff’s Officer Erica Franco attended the event to help people correctly install the car seats that were also freely given to parents and caregivers. More than 50 people visited the station Saturday, May 20, choosing from a like number of helmets, as well as picking up sports equipment for their children. Pearson took the names and addresses of those who didn’t get a ball to drop one off at a later date for the young ones. On the lawn spreading out in front of the station, kids played with the footballs and rode their bikes on the wide sidewalk, while their parents had hot dogs and sodas with the state police. Two young women who had volunteered to help with the event are sisters, and both have backgrounds in education. Nicole Continisio is a counselor at Woodbine Elementary School. Her sister, Allie Baumgartner, teaches in Pleasantville. “This is a good way to bring the community together,” Pearson said.
135th Class graduates from Florida Highway Patrol Academy
Last Friday, 63 new state troopers graduated from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Training Academy. The graduates join the more than 1,900 troopers who patrol the state’s roads and communities each day to protect and assist Florida residents and visitors. “These new troopers selflessly chose to take the oath to protect our state and put the safety and well-being of others above all else,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “I am grateful for their decision to serve, and am confident they will continue FHP’s 78-year legacy of courtesy, service and protection.” Members of the 135th basic recruit class went through 28 weeks of intense physical and classroom training covering topics such as law, firearms, defensive tactics, vehicle operations, human relations 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. “This graduating class represents the future of this agency. I commend them for their dedication and commitment, and I wish them well in their career with the patrol,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “We are proud of our history, and we are pleased to have new troopers to carry on FHP’s commitment toward a safer Florida.” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, an ardent supporter of the FHP, delivered the keynote address during the graduation ceremony. “Thousands of people applied to be a part of the Florida Highway Patrol’s 135th Basic Recruit Class, but just 63 brave men and women made it through to graduation,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I want to congratulate these new troopers and thank them for their willingness to serve and sacrifice to keep us safe.” 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 FTOs for up to 12 weeks prior to being released to solo duty.
Oregon State Trooper named AAST Trooper of the Year
Senior Trooper Nic Cederberg, a 7-year veteran of the Oregon State Police, has been recognized nationally for his heroic efforts that helped stop a murderer from taking more lives. The American Association of State Troopers recognized Cederberg’s heroic actions by naming him the 2017 Trooper of the Year for risking his life and assisting in the apprehension of a murderer. On December 25, 2016, Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Nic Cederberg's heroic efforts helped stop a murderer from taking more lives. At approximately 10:30 p.m., a male suspect met his estranged wife, Kate Armand, at his mother's residence in King City, OR to exchange their eleven month old daughter for visitation. After carrying their daughter into his mother's house, the suspect returned to Kate's vehicle and shot her eight times, killing her as she attempted to escape. Trooper Cederberg was taking a Christmas evening break with his family at his residence. He monitored the ATL on the suspect’s movements and having grown up in the area he knew the suspect would have to go one of two directions to avoid police detection. As Trooper Cederberg patrolled towards King City he found the suspect’s car backed into a driveway. Trooper Cederberg was in an unmarked patrol car, the suspect drove off and a pursuit ensued. During the chase the suspect shot at Trooper Cederberg’s vehicle repeatedly. While under fire, Trooper Cederberg continuously radioed position update to other responding officers in an effort to expedite their response. The suspect eventually turned down a dead end road. Trooper Cederberg stopped his patrol car short of the end of the road to set up for the suspect’s return. He watched as the suspect did a U-turn and accelerated toward him, and although responding officers were still several minutes away, Trooper Cederberg knew the suspect needed to be stopped. It was clear the suspect intended to ram Cederberg’s patrol car so the trooper began firing to stop the threat. After ramming Trooper Cederberg’s patrol car the suspect immediately started shooting at the trooper through his passenger window, striking Trooper Cederberg in the right hip knocking him to the ground. The gunshot rendered Trooper Cederberg’s legs useless and it is believed that this is the bullet that is still currently lodged against his spine. Although wounded in the exchange, the suspect got out of his car and moved around the back of his vehicle looking for the trooper. Unable to get up, Trooper Cederberg was able to reload and return fire as the gunfight continued. The trooper attempted a second reload as suspect charged him firing indiscriminately, his last shot fired a few feet from Trooper Cederberg. The trooper continued to move and fight on the ground; he was struck a total of eleven more times. Five rounds were absorbed by his ballistic vest, but seven rounds struck his body. The suspect disengaged from the gunfight when he heard the sound of approaching sirens and ran into a nearby wooded area to set up an ambush. The suspect’s ambush was unsuccessful, he died at the scene after a brief but intense exchange of gunfire with other officers. Officers began treating Trooper Cederberg’s injuries immediately, he was taken to the hospital where he endured numerous surgeries and a lengthy stay in the ICU. His injuries include a collapsed lung, two broken arms, and a bullet lodged against his spine. The bullet near his spine is too dangerous to remove and could be a part of him for the rest of his life. Trooper Cederberg is still recovering and requiring intense medical treatment. He continues his fight to get better and return to a normal life. Trooper Cederberg has kept an amazing and optimistic attitude. He’s told his friends and family, “I was just doing my job.” His actions helped stop a crazed murderer from injuring or killing more innocent people. A presentation ceremony will be held in Salem, Oregon on July 12, 2017.
Wife accepts posthumous Rutgers degree for State Police trooper killed in crash
State Police Trooper Frankie Williams was just a few credits shy of completing his master’s degree in criminal justice when his life was cut short. On Wednesday, Williams’ wife, Kimberly, accepted the degree for him posthumously and could enjoy the bittersweet moment as her husband would have done, she said. “I kind of imagined him being here and what that would have been like,” Williams, 30, of Egg Harbor Township, said at the Rutgers University-Camden graduate school commencement. “I know that Frankie would be extremely excited and would feel so honored that this is being done on his behalf.” Frankie Williams, 31, died Dec. 5 in a head-on crash while responding to a call about an erratic driver on Route 55 in Millville, Cumberland County. He graduated in the 156th New Jersey State Police academy class in January 2016, finally completing his dream to become a trooper. But Frankie was also always big on education, said his wife, whom he married in September. Before becoming a state trooper, he graduated from Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing in 2009 and from Rutgers University in Camden in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He was finishing his master’s degree at the time of the crash. Before conferring degrees to the graduates and calling them individually up on stage Wednesday, Kriste Lindenmeyer, the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences & the Graduate School at Rutgers–Camden, called Williams up to the stage. “Some of today’s graduates and our faculty knew Frankie Williams,” Lindenmeyer said. “They know he was an engaging and talented student, as well as a leader among his peers.” Lindenmeyer invited Williams to walk up to the stage and accept his degree, while the arena roared in applause while she walked back to show the diploma to her father and some cousins. It was a great way to honor him and keep his memory alive, she said. This was his next step in making his family proud. “He was always looking to be challenged and always setting goals and meeting those goals,” she said. Williams just returned this week from National Police Week in Washington, D.C., where her husband was honored in a vigil. She said accepting his master’s degree Wednesday was just another great way to pay tribute to him as a person. Kimberly said she remembers watching him graduate with his bachelor’s degree in 2012 at that same arena, but this time, she was on stage at the BB&T Pavilion for him. “I’m trying to enjoy the moment as he would if he were accepting his degree,” he said.
State Police checking for seat belt scofflaws
Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend and busy summer travel season, Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will partner with municipal police departments statewide during the national “Click it or Ticket” seat-belt enforcement mobilization through June 4. As part of the enforcement, state police and local departments will join agencies across the eastern half of the United States for a border-to-border initiative beginning Monday to provide increased seat-belt enforcement at state borders, reinforcing the states’ focus on safety. Additionally, to help ensure the safety of infants and children in cars, troopers certified as child passenger safety technicians will offer no-cost car seat fittings and inspections at various locations throughout the state. “We encourage anyone who drives with children in the car to take advantage of this resource, whether they have a new baby in the family or need a quick refresher on the proper installation of a safety seat,” said Maj. Edward Hoke, director of the state police Bureau of Patrol. “The consistent use of seat belts and child passenger safety seats is the first step toward keeping your family safe on the road.” According to PennDOT data, unrestrained fatalities decreased from 413 in 2015 to 408 in 2016. The statewide number of crashes in which people were not wearing seat belts increased to 14,992, compared to 13,534 in 2015. Motorists are reminded that Pennsylvania’s primary seat-belt law requires drivers and passengers under 18 years old to buckle up when riding anywhere in a vehicle. After the age of 18, drivers and passengers must wear a seat belt when behind the wheel or in the front passenger seat. As of last August, Pennsylvania law requires that children under 2 must be secured in a rear-facing car seat. Children under the age of 4 must be restrained in an approved child safety seat. A booster seat is required for children until their eighth birthday. “Working together with our law enforcement partners, PennDOT aims to educate the public on resources available, but also send a united message to motorists,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “Adults must provide a positive example to children by wearing their seat belts and properly securing passengers.”
Minnesota State Patrol graduates 42 troopers
"You have what it takes to wear this badge. You have what it takes to represent the State Patrol." That was the message from Col. Matt Langer to 42 cadets who graduated and officially became troopers and part of the State Patrol family. The cadets just completed a 17-week training academy at Camp Ripley. They will now spend 12 weeks training alongside a seasoned trooper.
Congratulations to the Florida Highway Patrol Honor Guard
Congratulations to the Florida Highway Patrol Honor Guard for placing first among state law enforcement agencies and second overall in the nation at the recent National Honor Guard Competition in Washington D.C.! Additionally, they were one of only two teams invited to attend a special ceremony at the Pentagon transporting the United States Honor Flag. The members of the team worked diligently to prepare for this special event and came through in GREAT fashion. More importantly, they represented the Florida Highway Patrol in a truly professional manner to honor the sacrifices of our fallen troopers and law enforcement officers nationwide. Thanks for the commitment to excellence!
To watch video, go to: https://youtu.be/eEeEKD2ijfg
Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper's close call with erratic driver
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is showing just how dangerous the highways can be for its' troopers. Video released on the department's Facebook page Sunday shows a trooper stopped on the side of I-35 last Friday in Carter County. That's when a SUV swerved to miss the car in front of them before nearly hitting the parked cruiser. OHP officials say the SUV sped off and troopers were unable to catch up with that driver. Police say while that trooper is alright, it's a reminder to drivers to be cautious and slow down. OHP officials say the safety of its troopers largely depends on individual drivers.
To view video, go to: https://youtu.be/9YnPRuUdsfs
Ohio State troopers seize $1.06 million worth of drugs during traffic stop
A traffic stop on the Summit County portion of the Ohio Turnpike led Ohio State troopers to over a million dollars worth of drugs. On May 8, troopers stopped Pierce J. Roberts, 30, of Ottaway Hills, for a lane violation near mile marker 175 on the turnpike. During the stop, a drug-sniffing canine officer alerted and officers saw other "criminal indicators" that led them to search the car. They seized 71 pounds of marijuana, 26 pounds of solid hashish and 8 pounds of liquid hash oil, valued at approximately $1.06 million. Roberts was taken to the Summit County jail and charged with possession and trafficking of marijuana, hashish and liquid hash. If he is convicted, he could face up to 48 years in prison and up to a $90 thousand fine.
Amid officer remembrances, respect is urged for move-over law
Monday, May 15 is not only National Peace Officers Memorial Day, according to the Ohio Turnpike Commission, it is also the 17th anniversary of the death of Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Robert Perez from a turnpike accident. Perez died three days after his cruiser was struck from behind by a minivan while he was writing a citation on the Ohio Turnpike in Erie County near the US 250 exit on May 12, 2000. The driver who struck the trooper's cruiser was high on amphetamines, according to state officials, and was doing 83 miles per hour. Perez was 24 years old and lived in Lorain. The Ohio Turnpike Commission and the Ohio State Highway Patrol are asking motorists to help keep their fellow drivers and law enforcement officers safe by following Ohio's Move Over law. From 2012-2016, OSHP cruisers were involved in 73 crashes that appear to be related to the move over law, according to the patrol. These crashes resulted in the deaths of two civilians, 24 injured officers and 32 injured civilians. "By moving over, motorists are helping to protect the lives of everyone who works on or uses our roadways," said Lt. Richard Reeder of the OSHP's Milan Post. "It's not just the law -- it's the right thing to do to prevent the type of tragedy that befell the Perez family." Trooper Kenneth Velez was killed on Interstate 90 in Cleveland last September when he was hit by a car. The suspect, charged with driving under the influence and two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, is set for trial in July in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Cleveland police officer David Fahey was killed under similar circumstances in January. The driver accused of causing Fahey's death faces pretrial on similar charges May 16 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. The deaths have led two Ohio legislators to call for stiffer penaltiesfor drivers who fail to heed Ohio's move over law. National Peace Officers Memorial Day on Monday coincides with the 32nd annual Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society commemoration, May 13-21, and National Police Week.
LCSO, FHP conduct operation to crack down on pedestrian injures, fatalities
Reflective vests, wristbands and educational flyers were a few of the items troopers were handing out to pedestrians on Thursday. The effort, conducted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol, was to decrease the amount of pedestrian injuries and deaths on roadways. The operation, took place along Palm Beach Boulevard. “If you’re riding your bike you’re out here to do so for exercise or for leisure or what have you and you shouldn’t be exposed to injury or death at that point,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Gregory Bueno said. Over 270 pedestrian and bicycle crashes in Lee County last year involved injuries, and 19 of those crashes were fatal, troopers said. Most of the collisions took place near U.S. 41., Bayshore Road, Palm Beach Boulevard, Lee Boulevard and Estero Boulevard. Troopers provided the following safety tips for pedestrians:
- Use designated walking areas whenever possible walk on sidewalks and in crosswalks whenever possible.
- Pay attention to walk signals and keep a safe distance when standing on street corners.
- Be sure to be seen be careful of blind spots when walking near or around a vehicle.
- Assume the driver does not see you.
- Proceed with caution when crossing intersections and streets.
- Stand out wear bright or reflective clothing, especially when walking in the dark. Carry a flashlight, too, for added protection.
New Hampshire officers rescue cub too weak to keep up with mother bear
According to state police, someone reported that a mother bear and four cubs were on the road near Bretton Woods Ski resort. Trooper Thomas Owens responded with Carroll police to make sure the cubs were safe. Officials said three of the cubs were strong and could run with the mother, but one was very small and weak. State police, along with New Hampshire Fish and Game officers, decided to remove the small cub to bring it to a rehabilitation center in Lyme. Carroll police said the mother bear had another one of her cubs picked up by officers on Wednesday. Officials said the cubs will be released into the wild when they grow strong enough. State police reminded the public to keep bears wild by avoiding feeding them human food (even if they are adorable). Anyone who runs into a wildlife issue is asked to contact local police or New Hampshire Fish and Game.