Michigan State Police trooper credits body armor for saving him

MSP Vest

Michigan State Police Trooper Dan Thayer says he owes his life to the body armor he was wearing the day he and other State Police tried to serve a search warrant at the home of 62-year-old David Kidney in Branch County's Union Township last month. Thayer and another detective sergeant were shot during the incident at the residence on Francisco Road near Arborgast Road.  Kidney was a person of interest in the Duane Finney cold case murder investigation.  Authorities say Kidney came out of his home shooting.  Thayer told WOOD-TV that the vest he was wearing was heavier than the one he normally wears under his shirt.  It worked so well, Thayer wasn’t initially aware that a rifle slug hit him square in the chest.  Detective Sgt. Aaron Steensma was shot in the collarbone is reportedly recovering at home.  Kidney was killed by return fire from the troopers.



New Indiana State Police troopers receive patrol cars

INSP Troopers get new cars

Indiana will have more state troopers on the roads.  32 new Indiana State Police troopers received their patrol cars Tuesday.  The 77th Indiana State Police Recruit Academy class graduated from the academy in October and served three months of field training, where they worked alongside seasoned troopers.  State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said he’s proud of the class and feels a bit like a father to the recruits.  “I’m scared to death, actually, and yes, I do feel like a dad,” Carter said.  “I guess I haven’t thought about it until you said it, but I guess in essence, I do.  (It’s) probably the last time these guys and one gal are going to ever be together again because they’ll all be spread out all over Indiana and I wish them all well and the many blessings they deserve.”



Virginia State Police stop drunk man from attacking a panhandler, then buy victim food and bus ticket


A drunk man jumped out of a van and starting beating a teenage panhandler in Bristol, Virginia Monday afternoon, police said.  But alert Virginia State Police troopers stopped the attack and later purchased food and a bus ticket for the 18-year old who was being beaten.  "At about 12:35 p.m., Monday (Feb. 5), Virginia State Police Trooper Ben Davis was traveling on Old Airport Road when he pulled up to the intersection at Interstate 81’s Exit 7," said VSP spokesperson Corinne Geller.  "Trooper Davis looked over at the off-ramp from I-81 north to see a shirtless, male subject jump out from the passenger side of a Ford utility van stopped at the light."  Geller identified the shirtless man as Victor Allen Asher, 60, Abingdon, Virginia.  The Trooper said Asher had a baseball bat-sized stick and used it to beat an 18-year old man standing near the off-ramp at the intersection asking for money.  "Trooper Davis immediately ran to the 18-year-old’s aid," Geller said.  "It took Trooper Davis and several other troopers to take Asher into custody as he was extremely combative and refused to cooperate with the troopers’ commands."  Police took Asher to the Bristol, Va. Jail.   A VSP Trooper said Asher also assaulted a woman in the van.  The man who was attacked refused treatment, but police apparently were determined to help him.  "Virginia State Police Sgt. Tonya Atwell treated the teenager to a meal at a nearby restaurant," Geller said.  "A trooper then gave him a ride to the nearest bus station and purchased him a bus ticket so he could safely continue on his way."



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Mangled by texting driver, Florida Highway Patrol trooper slowly mends

Rosario on the mend

Eleven months after a texting driver smashed into him, Florida state trooper Carlos Rosario still sees double.  His disfigured mouth doesn’t close properly.  He can’t raise his right eyebrow.  His toes go numb, and he can’t drive.  “I’ve learned to be used to the pain,” he said.  “There’s always pain.”  Rosario, a trooper for 12 years, was left mangled when a 26-year-old driver, glancing down at his phone at 89 mph, lost control as Rosario clocked speeders along State Road 836 in Miami-Dade County.  Court records show that Hugo Olivares sent four texts and received six messages in the seven minutes leading up to the crash.  When Rosario tried to stop a car in front of him, Olivares couldn’t slow down, spun out of control and hit Rosario as he stood near the road.  The 41-year-old trooper suffered a broken back, two broken legs, a broken arm and a broken jaw.  His face was sliced and “opened like the predator,” a sci-fi character, he said.  Rosario has no memory of the day, March 17, 2017.  He lay unconscious for the next three weeks.  Relatives tell him he was responsive to their words and touch, but he doesn’t recall their bedside vigil.  With screws, rods and plates in his legs and jaw, Rosario is on the mend today, though he still faces more surgery and months of rigorous physical therapy.  Before three mon ths came up, I was already walking without a walker, through the glory of God,” he said. Now he is able to jog a mile, with a few walking breaks.  As remarkable as his recovery, though, are his feelings toward the young man who made it necessary.  Rosario said he immediately forgave Olivares upon learning he wasn’t a criminal and he was about the same age as his own two sons.  “I don’t want him to do any time at all,” Rosario said.  “I know the effects of a prison on a kid.  I didn’t want the kid to be influenced in any way — I did want him to learn from it.”  Olivares was charged with reckless driving with bodily injury.  He was sentenced in December to five years’ probation, lost his driver’s license for two years and was ordered to do community service, a punishment Rosario signed off on with prosecutors.  In an apology letter to the trooper, Olivares wrote: “If I could turn back time, I would not have used my phone while I was driving that day.  There is nothing so important that requires a text message in response while driving.”  In his letter, Olivares indicated that he wanted to bring media attention to distracted driving and become a “catalyst for change,” but Olivares and his attorney declined to comment for this story.  As a victim, Rosario supports efforts to make texting and driving a primary offense in Florida, meaning police could pull over drivers without needing another reason to stop them.  He also believes high school students should be given sobering lessons about distracted driving and its deadly consequences.  About four months before Rosario’s accident, the husband of his wife’s cousin was killed by a texting driver in California.  “My family got affected twice in the same year,” he said.  He had hoped to return to work by March 17, on the one-year anniversary of his crash.  But his body isn’t ready.  He is still intensively trying to strengthen his muscles and regain motion through physical therapy.  Small tasks that most people would take for granted are still challenging: standing up from sitting, pulling up a pair of shorts, pouring himself a cup of coffee.  Through the exercises — whether it’s performing mini-squats or tossing and catching a basketball — Rosario improves his lost capabilities little by little.  Some routines are tougher, more painful, but he grimaces through the aches and cramps and his limitations.  “I could have easily died.  I could have become a vegetable,” Rosario said.  “But, look, I’m here. There’s a reason.”



Louisiana State Police to get new patrol units

LSP New Cruiser

For the vast majority of people who travel Louisiana highways, State Police vehicles are easily recognizable.  Many people have grown accustomed to seeing our iconic white Ford Crown Victorias and Chevrolet Tahoes with blue Louisiana boot badges and red lettering.  Beginning in February 2018, motorists will begin to see Troopers patrolling our highways in Dodge Chargers.  Troopers will be using multiple variations of the new Dodge Charger patrol vehicles across the state to perform day to day duties.  The fully marked Dodge Charger equipped with the traditional Louisiana State Police logo and overhead light bar will serve alongside the Tahoes and Crown Victorias as our primary patrol vehicles.  New to our patrol fleet will be less visible, semi-marked and unmarked Dodge Chargers.  These vehicles will be used to help our Troopers combat aggressive, impaired, and distracted driving.  For years we have heard the concerns of the motoring public about increasingly dangerous driving behaviors on Louisiana highways.  Unfortunately, the highly visible and detectable patrol vehicles used by our Troopers have often hindered efforts in conducting enforcement related to dangerous driving behaviors.  These new less visible vehicles will allow our Troopers to blend in with traffic, and observe and stop drivers who choose to drive recklessly.  The semi-marked Dodge Charger will be outfitted with reflective silver lettering and Louisiana boot badge that will be less visible than our traditional red and blue graphics.  The vehicle will be equipped with low profile exterior and interior blue emergency lighting instead of the traditional overhead light bar.  The unmarked Dodge Chargers will be equipped with blue low profile exterior and interior mounted emergency lights, and will carry no identifiable exterior markings.  Despite the fact that the exterior look of some of our vehicles will be changing, the interior will remain the same.  Troopers conducting enforcement activities in our fully, semi, and unmarked vehicles will still be wearing the official and highly identifiable blue Louisiana State Police Uniform.  These new Dodge Charger patrol vehicles will help Louisiana State Police continue our mission of keeping our highways safe for our citizens and visitors.



208 troopers graduate from New York State Police Academy

NYSP January 2018 graduation

Another 200-plus troopers have joined the ranks of the New York State Police.  A graduation ceremony was held Wednesday at the Empire State Plaza in Albany for 208 new members of the state police.  It was the 206th class to graduate from the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy in Albany.  Democratic Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke at the graduation ceremony and state police Superintendent George P. Beach II welcomed the graduates to the ranks of the nearly 5,000 troopers already serving across New York state.  The Academic Achievement Award was bestowed on Trooper Sean Snellings, of Blasdell, near Buffalo.  The new troopers report for field duty Feb. 5 for 10 weeks of supervised training.



AAST presents Spirit of the Trooper Awards for Hurricane Harvey assistance

Keith Barbier6


AAST Presents Spirit of the Trooper Award to Buc-cee’s and Academy Sports & Outdoors for their assistance to the first responders during Hurricane Harvey 

President Barbier presented Mr. Joe Matthews, VP of Loss Prevention with Academy Sports & Outdoors, the AAST Spirit of the Trooper Award that recognizes those who go above and beyond to support state troopers and their families.  Academy provided shelter from the storm at their Corporate Headquarters, located in Katy, Texas to the troopers arriving from out of town.  Troopers coming from west and northwest Texas were cut off from going to the DPS Houston Regional Office due to the flooding of the highways.  Academy opened up their parking garage to allow troopers to park and sleep in their patrol cars the first night.  Academy also allowed the National Guard to set up their mobile command post operations and tents for the soldiers assigned to the area.  The command post was stationed at this location for 3 weeks.  In the early days after Hurricane Harvey the National Guard was refueling helicopters at the Academy headquarters facility until other arrangements could be made.

Buc-ee’s Katy, Texas store General Manager Brent Call and Manager Robert Clark were also presented with the AAST Spirit of the Trooper Award by President Barbier for their Hurricane Harvey assistance.  The Buc-ee’s Katy store had not opened to the public by the time Hurricane Harvey made land fall.  The Grand Opening had been scheduled and the store was stocked and ready to open.  The decision was made by Buc-ee’s to delay the grand opening and allow the Texas Highway Patrol and other first responders to come into the store for rest, food, and beverages at no charge.  Mr. Call and Mr. Clark managed this project.

Rick Muniz, Lt. and George Rhyne, Major both retired Troopers from Texas Department of Public Safety, AAST members volunteered to cook for the Texas Troopers and the DPS mobile command post supervisors who were assigned to Katy during the Harvey recovery period.  Muniz and Rhyne cooked and served over 3,000 meals to State and Federal Law Enforcement Officers and volunteers who were working to rescue and evacuate people from flooded areas of Houston.  They were also assisted by hundreds of volunteers who served and cleaned up the cooking area, and others who donated food and services, with some offering to wash clothes for the Troopers.  Muniz and Rhyne were also presented the AAST Spirit of the Trooper Award. 

To read the entire article, go to:  http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/katy/article/Hurricane-Harvey-responders-honored-by-American-12536595.php



Florida Highway Patrol trooper intentionally struck by driver on highway

FHP Trooper deliberately hit by car

As Florida Highway Patrol trooper Joseph Perri filled out paperwork on the shoulder of a highway, a speeding sedan slammed into his patrol car.  But what seemed like an accident was actually done on purpose, and the man behind the wheel is facing charges, according to FHP officials.  After ramming into Perri, the Daytona Beach driver got out of the car, approached the trooper and told him he “struck the patrol car on purpose,” said FHP spoksperson Sgt. Kim Montes.  “The allegations that someone would intentionally target a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper as they were working in the name of safety is absolutely horrific,” Terry L. Rhodes, executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, said in a statement that was posted on Twitter.  On Monday afternoon, Perri was parked on the eastbound shoulder of I-4 at mile marker 103 near Sanford when 38-year-old Ryan John Hithersay drove his 2005 Hyundai sedan into his car, FHP says.  The Hyundai ended up in a muddy ditch, according to Montez, and the patrol car had side and tire damage.  Perri, 42, was not badly injured but was taken to a nearby hospital.  Hithersay faces a charge of aggravated battery on a law-enforcement officer, Seminole County jail records show.  Early last year, trooper Carlos Rosario, a 12-year FHP veteran, was also hit by a speeding vehicle.  Rosario had just stopped his patrol car on the side of the Dolphin Expressway to clock speeders.  He was standing beside his car when Hugo Andre Olivares, who was texting, speeding and driving, lost control of his Chevrolet and hit Rosario and his Dodge Charger so violently that the parked patrol car lurched forward at about 35 mph, according to an arrest warrant.  Rosario suffered extensive injuries to his legs, spine, face and head.



Friendly elk refuses to leave road with Idaho state troopers

Idaho state trooper and elk

An Idaho state trooper was caught on video trying to chase off a friendly and fearless elk that just wanted to hang out on the highway.  Idaho State Police said they were called to Highway 53, near the intersection with Pleasant View Road in Hauser, where some elk had been reported running through traffic.  One particularly troublesome elk refused to leave the roadway and the state police tweeted a photo of the curious animal poking its head through the window of a patrol cruiser.  "Um, apparently there are ELK on HWY 53 near the WA ID boarder," the tweet said.  "This young gal poked her head in the window of Trooper Branch's cruiser while we were trying to move them off the road.  Use caution in the area."  Resident Michelle Janshen posted a Facebook video of a frustrated trooper attempting to scare the elk away by turning on the lights of his patrol cruiser and flapping his arms menacingly.  The spectacle succeeds only in capturing the animal's attention and it remains with the troopers at the side of the road for several more minutes.



Indiana State Police find 121 pounds of pot during traffic stop

Indiana SP Pot traffic stop

Indiana State Police officers found nearly 121 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop Thursday, resulting in the arrest of two New York residents.  Around 12:31 p.m., officers pulled over a gray Dodge Avenger after the driver, Howard Montogomery, 46, Rochester, New York, allegedly committed several traffic violations will driving eastbound on the Indiana Toll Road.  While police spoke to Montgomery and his passenger, Danielle Ruise, 32 of Rochester, New York, they became suspicious of criminal activity.  A free-air sniff, which allows a police dog to sniff the area around the car, was conducted and state police K-9, Axel, gave a positive indication. After conducting a search, police found about 121 pounds of suspected marijuana in the trunk of the Dodge.  Montgomery and Ruise were both arrested and face preliminary charges of felony dealing marijuana. Montgomery and Ruise were both transported to the Porter County Jail.  The state police were assisted by the Portage Police Department and Porter County Sheriff’s Department.



Massachusetts State Police welcomes 174 new troopers

MSP January 2018 graduation

The Massachusetts State Police expanded its ranks January 25th as 174 recruits were sworn in as troopers at the DCU Center.  After they took their oath, the State Police superintendent, Colonel Kerry Gilpin, reminded them of the responsibilities they face on the job.  “Each of you will have the opportunity to play an important role in the future of the Massachusetts State Police,” she said.  “You join the department at a critical time in our history.”  From the opioid epidemic to threats of terrorism, troopers today are dealing with new challenges, she said.  “This is the nature of policing in America in 2018,”said Gilpin.



NC Highway Patrol trooper's first-time sighting of marijuana baked goods - muffins seized

NC Trooper edible marijuana

N.C. State Highway Patrol Trooper M.D. Dodson has seen copious marijuana nuggets in his days pulling speeders to the shoulder.  But the patrolman had never beheld contraband baked into Fruity Pebbles Rice Krispies Treats before – that was, not until, 11:24 a.m. Jan. 14.  It was late on a Sunday morning, as Dodson watched Interstate 40 and I-85 traffic from a weigh station, near Mile Marker 157’s Buckhorn Road, when a white Hyundai sped past – doing 85 mph in a 65 mph zone.  Dodson hit the lights and sirens and gave chase.  The Hyundai headed east, in the fast lane, Dodson said.  It slowed to 35 mph, Dodson said, before pulling over in a pursuit that lasted seven-tenths of a mile.  Dodson approached the Hyundai on its passenger side.  He motioned for the driver to roll down the window.  “The smell was strong,” he said.  “Yes.  Very strong.”  After asking the driver, Brandon C. Dodd of Greensboro, to produce his license and registration, the trooper spotted a “white trash bag in the console, between the seats, that looked like” it’d been torn, Dodson said, “Do you have any drugs in the car?” he asked.  “He was very nervous and wouldn’t tell me nothing,” Dodson recalled.  The trooper said he could see a mason jar full of marijuana and a brownie wrapped in a clear plastic which Dodd, per instruction, placed on the passenger seat.  Dodson recalled asking Dodd, “‘Are there any weapons in the vehicle?’”  “At that point, he got really, really nervous,” Dodson said, Dodd began to inch his hand – slow as a snail – toward his Hyundai’s glove box.  Dodson did not move slowly, he said, but lunged for the glove box himself.  “There was a gun, cocked with one in the chamber” in the glove box, Dodson said.  The handgun was a “very old,” .9-caliber, Browning pistol which had been manufactured in Belgium, Dodson said, when Browning firearms were still manufactured in Belgium, around the midpoint of the 20th century.  He placed the gun in the grass beside the interstate.  He handcuffed Dodd later, transferred him to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.  Highway Patrol Trooper T. Hussey helped with the arrest and the transport of Dodd.  The lawmen seized the Browning pistol, $480, a digital scale and approximately 8 pounds of marijuana-filled baked good which included Rice Krispies Treats, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and muffins.  “I had never seen any edibles before,” Dodson said.  “That was the first time.”



First, one package fell onto the interstate in Nebraska. Bags of marijuana followed.

NSP Pot falling off truck

Nebraska state troopers may be trained to detect drug trafficking, but it’s really not too difficult to spot when bags of marijuana are “literally FALLING ONTO” the interstate, the troopers posted on Twitter.  The Nebraska State Patrol found 122 pounds of marijuana that were originally hidden in a trailer – but only after receiving a call from someone saying a package had fallen off a flatbed trailer while driving on I-80, according to a news release.  The trailer was being pulled by an eastbound Dodge Ram.  A trooper found the truck as another trooper found the fallen package at about 3 p.m. on Friday near Odessa.  The troopers found marijuana inside the package and then conducted a search of the trailer.  Troopers discovered a hidden compartment under the trailer with dozens of packages filled with marijuana.



Florida Highway Patrol troopers issued Narcan to save lives on Florida roads

FHP Cruisers

The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), a division of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), is now issuing Narcan to Troopers in an effort to save lives, a strategy by the agency to fight against the opioid epidemic. Naloxone, the life-saving drug commonly known by its brand name Narcan, can take just seconds to revive an overdose victim. “The FHP is part of a concerted, collaborative effort to combat the opioid crisis, which has a far-reaching impact,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Safety for our Troopers and those we serve has been and always will be the department’s number one priority, and it’s critical that our members can safely perform their jobs to help prevent any unnecessary injuries or deaths in our state.” This week, Troopers in Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties were the first members of FHP to be issued Narcan due to the increasing number of overdose deaths in those counties. Narcan will be issued to additional troopers throughout other areas of the state by the end of February. “FHP knows firsthand the seriousness of the opioid crisis and the department is taking the necessary steps to adapt our techniques and arm our Troopers with the tools that will ensure the safety of the public and FHP,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “With the rise of deaths associated with the use of Fentanyl and Carfentanil, it is important to have this antidote available to our troopers, who are often the first to arrive on scene on Florida roadways.” The Narcan units will assist FHP members when they encounter an overdose situation while on patrol and help protect first responders who may be accidentally exposed and overcome by the effects of dangerous opioids. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid and is 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Extremely small doses of these drugs have been determined to be fatal, and even exposure from minor skin contact has been known to cause severe medical issues including death.

To watch video, go to:  blob:https://www.wptv.com/9ddab50e-ed6e-481b-82de-ef2726c7223f