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State Troopers make more than 100 drug busts so far in 2017

OSHP 2017 drug busts

The Ohio State Highway Patrol released its drug-related arrest totals for the first half of 2017, and they are up from last year.  According to OSP, troopers seized more than 860,000 grams of marijuana and 26,000 grams of heroin through traffic stops so far this year.  Troopers are trained to look deeper than the initial traffic violation and to search for indicators of criminal activity, the patrol said.   This tactic has led to a 12% increase in drug arrests from 2016 to 2017.  OSP has made just under 8,400 drug arrests from January to June, and nearly 2,400 of those arrests were felony cases.  There have been 56 OSP felony drug cases in Trumbull County, 35 in Mahoning County and 24 in Columbiana County. 

7/12/17

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Wyoming Highway Patrol gives awards to deputy and his wife for their efforts in saving the life of a trooper

WHP honors deputy and wife for saving troopers life

Beltrami County Deputy Sheriff Jeff Roberts and his wife, Linda Roberts, were recently honored and presented awards from the Wyoming Highway Patrol Association during a ceremony held at the Beltrami County Law Enforcement Center.  The awards were presented by Minnesota State Patrol Captain Mike Wedin and Sheriff Phil Hodapp on behalf of the Wyoming Highway Patrol Association for the efforts of the Roberts’ to save the life of a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper involved in a motor vehicle collision on Sept. 22 while the Roberts were vacationing with their family in Wyoming, according to a press release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.  At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 22, deputy Roberts, his wife Linda and their two children were traveling near Sheridan, Wyo. on Interstate 90, following behind Wyoming State trooper David Motsick, who was following directly behind a Rapid City Fire Department Ambulance returning from a medical transport to Billings, Mont.  The ambulance and trooper were traveling in the left lane of Interstate 90, passing a semi-tractor trailer, when the ambulance took evasive action to avoid a head-on collision with a vehicle traveling the wrong direction on the interstate.  Trooper Motsick attempted to avoid the crash, but with little time to react, collided with the oncoming vehicle head on.  Motsick suffered multiple and significant life-threatening injuries.  Deputy Roberts and Linda, a North Memorial AirCare Flight Paramedic, stopped and rendered immediate aid to the trooper and the driver of the other vehicle.  Alongside the paramedics from the Rapid City Fire Department, flight medic Linda Roberts "was instrumental in lifesaving efforts,” the honor said.  Deputy Roberts assisted at the scene by immediately accessing the troopers radio and reported the collision and called for help.  He then assisted with retrieving supplies for the paramedics and made the scene safe by setting up and maintaining traffic control around the collision until other rescue personnel could arrive.  Jeff and Linda, along with the Rapid City Fire Department paramedics also attempted lifesaving efforts with the driver of the other vehicle, "however despite their earnest and best efforts, the subject unfortunately died due to the injuries suffered during the collision,” the release said.  For the injuries sustained during the performance of his duties, Trooper Motsick was awarded the Purple Heart and continues to rehabilitate from his injuries.  For the critical and urgent care rendered to Mostick, Linda and paramedics from the Rapid City Fire Department were awarded the Luke Schauland Medal of Life, and Deputy Jeff Roberts received the Meritorious Conduct Award.

7/12/17

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Tennessee state troopers find 691 pounds of pot in vehicle

THP Drug bust

On Sunday, July 2, 2017, the Tennessee Highway Patrol Interdiction Plus Team conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle that was towing another vehicle on a trailer.  The stop occurred on Interstate 40 in Dickson County.  The license plate on the vehicle was concealed with a license plate cover.  During the traffic stop, the troopers observed signs of nervousness and stress from the driver, Jorge Gusman.  While checking the vehicle VIN number, Gusman fled on foot.  After a short foot pursuit, troopers were able to apprehend the suspect, and arrest him for the traffic violation as well as fleeing from the scene.  Troopers were given verbal consent by the driver to search the vehicle.  During the search, troopers discovered 28 bales of marijuana (which weighed 691 pounds) covered by blankets.   The marijuana was seized along with the vehicles. Gusman remains in the Dickson County Jail on a $105,000 bond.  “Our Interdiction Plus team does excellent investigative work keeping drug dealers off our roadways,” Colonel Tracy Trott said.   “It is our duty to make sure our communities are safe and drug free.”

7/12/17

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New York State Police trooper killed in the line of duty

NYSP Trooper Davis line of duty death

Trooper Joel Davis was shot and killed in Theresa, New York, while responding to a domestic disturbance and shots fired call at 34371 Route 46.  At some point during the incident the male subject murdered his wife and wounded another woman who lived on the property. Trooper Davis was shot and killed after arriving at the scene.  The subject, an active duty Army member, surrendered as additional units arrived at the home.  Trooper Davis had served with the New York State Police for four years and had previously served with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.  He is survived by his wife and three children.

7/10/17

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Safety is personal for South Caroline Highway Patrol's first black commander

SCHP Commander

Recalling how a drunk driver took a life dear to him, new S.C. Highway Patrol Commander Christopher Williamson said highway safety will be his top issue.  “We want to make sure we save people’s lives on the highways,” said Williamson, the first African-American to lead South Carolina’s highway troopers.  Williamson’s promotion was announced last Friday.  The State asked the Darlington County native about his nearly 30-year Highway Patrol career that led, last week, to him being placed in charge of policing S.C. highways and keeping travelers safe:

Q: What made you decide to join the Highway Patrol?

A: “I found my passion for law enforcement, wanting to be a law enforcement officer, at a young age of 12 years old.  My 9-year-old sister was killed by a drunk driver. ... I watched my parents go through that suffering and have to deal with it.  And my mentality then was that when I become of age, I would go to college, get a degree ... (and) take drunk drivers off the road and make a difference.  That’s what I’ve tried to do.”

Q: How do you feel about being the first African-American to lead the Highway Patrol?

A: “The fact that I’m African-American, I have no control over.  I just happen to be African-American, but I feel like I’m the colonel for all people regardless of the color of my skin.  I have the skill set, the ability, the education and the background to be able to do this job and save people’s lives and help accomplish the mission towards highway safety issues.”

Q: What have you learned about South Carolina as a highway patrolman?

A: “I’ve learned that if you work hard and treat people fair, do the right thing and show people your skill set and ability, that anything in this state is possible – that you can accomplish your dreams and goals and you can definitely be successful and move forward.”

Q: What challenges have you had to overcome on the Highway Patrol?

A: “(L)earning the laws of this state, learning what it takes to try to have to deal with people from all walks of life when you’re out there making traffic stops and trying to keep our highways safe.  You run into people from all walks of life, from all nationalities, from all parts of the world that travel through our roadways.  “And you may meet people with different personalities, and you’ve got to be a person in law enforcement that wears different hats.  People you stop – everybody’s not the same.  That can be a challenge if you are not a person that has those interpersonal skills and are able to converse with people on any level. ... I was able to learn that early on and it has really paid off for me.”

7/7/17

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Trooper trapped under car saved by citizen using incredible strength to lift the vehicle

FHP Trooper saved by citizen

Many people think that lifting a car up is no problem, but attempt it and you won’t budge the thing. However, hero citizen Kenny Franklin had no issue getting a car lifted off of Florida State Trooper Jack Hypes, who was pinned under a vehicle according to Fox News. Franklin was taking an Uber to work on Thursday morning when his driver apparently suffered a seizure, on I-4 near I-275. The drivers foot was on the gas pedal during his episode, according to Franklin, and he felt as if he was going to die.   From the backseat of the car, he was somehow able to get the vehicle on the side of the road and that is when the Uber driver came out of his seizure. Franklin said that the driver “didn’t know where he was at, so he tried to put the car into a gear, and so he’s fumbling with the car.” Taking the opportunity to get out of the car, Kenny jumped out and saw Trooper Jack Hypes walking toward him. Franklin said, “He starts walking up towards me, to assist and assess the situation.  As he did that, the driver mistakenly puts the car in reverse and hits the officer, who is then pinned underneath the car.” With adrenaline racing through him, all he could think about was ‘that this needed to end well’. Using his adrenaline he was able to lift car off of Trooper Jack Hypes. It should be noted that Kenny Franklin is also a very big man. Luckily the trooper suffered non-life threatening injuries, but had some minor ones. The Florida Highway Patrol said that ‘all three men will be okay.’ They commended Franklin, who said he was in the right place at the right time.

7/6/17

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State Police bust multimillion dollar drug operation

New Jersey state patch

New Jersey State Police detectives and local authorities busted an alleged drug operation, seized millions of dollars in suspected drugs and arrested four suspects, police said.  Last Wednesday, officers from the State Police and North Bergen arrested three of the suspects and seized 40 kilograms of heroin, a statement from the State Police said, after intercepting an alleged drug deal in the parking lot of a business in North Bergen.  Then Thursday, officers from the State Police and Willingboro raided an address at 78 Berkshire Lane in Willingboro, the statement said.   Authorities seized 80 kilograms of heroin, 3 kilograms of methamphetamine, 50,000 Percocet tablets, 3 kilograms of suspected fentanyl, and paraphernalia consistent with distribution, the statement said.  The total value of the heroin seized was $9.6 million.  “There’s no question that multiple lives were saved by this record-level seizure of heroin and fentanyl,” said Attorney General Christopher Porrino in a statement. “ The 120 kilos of heroin seized by this team over the past two days would have been cut into millions upon millions of individual doses of heroin, made even deadlier if laced with the lethal fentanyl that was also seized."

7/6/17

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110 lbs of marijuana seized

Missouri SP 110 lbs of marijuana seized

The Missouri Highway Patrol posted a photo to Twitter Friday night that showed someone’s weekend plans had gone up in smoke.  “110lbs of marijuana seized from a traffic stop!” the patrol wrote via Twitter.  The attached photo shows dozens of bags of marijuana.  Sgt. Collin Stosberg of the patrol told The Star that the bust occurred in Platte County.  A trooper detected the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, and a probable cause search revealed the stash in a hidden factory compartment.  “#JustSayNo #MakeSmartChoices,” the patrol wrote on Twitter.

7/5/17

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South Carolina Highway Patrol gets first African-American commander

SCHP New Commander

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety announced Friday that Director Leroy Smith has named a new Highway Patrol commander.  Christopher Williamson, a 29-year HP veteran, was chosen to succeed Col. Michael Oliver, who is retiring after 35 years with the patrol.  Williamson makes history as the first African-American commander to lead the S.C. Highway Patrol.  Oliver was promoted to lead the Highway Patrol in 2011, and Williamson was named as the deputy commander of the division where he has served since.  Marc Wright, a 35-year veteran, has been named deputy commander of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.  He has been serving in the role of major since 2012.  He has extensive experience in administration, field operations and resource management.  “This is both an exciting and bittersweet day,” SCDPS Director Leroy Smith said.  “We welcome an enthusiastic and visionary leader in Col. Williamson. But we will miss Col. Oliver who has led the Highway Patrol with strength and integrity – often through difficult seasons for law enforcement in our state and nation,” Smith said.  Williamson worked alongside Oliver during critical times such as the 1,000-year flood, Hurricane Matthew and events following the Emanuel Nine shootings.  He has been instrumental in important infrastructure and technological advances within the Highway Patrol.  Williamson, a Darlington native, joined the Highway Patrol in 1988. He was promoted to captain in Troop Seven/Orangeburg in 2003 and transferred to Troop Six/Charleston as captain in 2009.  Williamson began his career in Berkeley County and has spent his career with the patrol in the Orangeburg/Charleston region until joining headquarters in 2011.  As lieutenant colonel, Williamson managed the day-to-day operations of the Highway Patrol, which has statewide jurisdiction.  Williamson oversaw the administrative, operational and support functions of the patrol associated with enforcement and public safety.  He has also overseen traffic/specialized enforcement and safety outreach for 11 Troops.  Williamson is married to Deloris Williamson and has two daughters, Krissy and Daysha, and two granddaughters, Kristina and Kailyn.  “With this new role comes great responsibility to the citizens and visitors of this state and to the troopers and civilian personnel of the Highway Patrol,” Williamson said.  “My primary goals are to continue creative enforcement and safety education efforts to reduce highway fatalities and collisions; to work diligently to ensure our men and women are recruited, retained and compensated fairly for the dangerous and difficult job they do; and to continue to enhance our relationships with the communities we serve.”

7/5/17

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South Carolina Highway Patrol graduates 33 new troopers

SCHP Graduates 33 new troopers

The South Carolina Highway Patrol announces the graduation of 33 troopers from Highway Patrol Basic Class 92 on Friday.  Gov. Nikki Haley spoke to the graduates about the sacrifices of law enforcement and the importance of character as they go out to represent their communities around the state.  The governor has spoken at the last four Highway Patrol graduation ceremonies.  “You have proven yourself to be able to wear this uniform but now there is something else you have to prove,” Gov. Haley told graduates.  “You have brothers and sisters who have come before you and wearing that badge and wearing that uniform means something,” Haley said.  “So, when you are out in the community, you have a responsibility.  When you are not in uniform they still expect you to have the same integrity, the same demeanor as when you are wearing a uniform.”  Basic 92 will bring the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 762.  The troopers began training in January and have been trained by the Highway Patrol and Criminal Justice Academy over the past 21 weeks in all areas of law enforcement including DUI detection, traffic laws, collision investigation and the use of firearms as well as three weeks of field training.  Director Leroy Smith said, “Being a public servant isn’t just what we do, it’s who we are.  You have to have a passion to help one another and I know that passion resides in each and every one of you. Law enforcement is a calling.  It is more than just a paycheck.  It is more than just a pension.  You are now in the lifesaving business.  That’s what we do and we do it well.”  SCHP Col. Mike Oliver said, “You have now earned the privilege to wear the grey uniform and campaign hat of a South Carolina state trooper.  Your training has been long and difficult, the vocation you have taken as a public servant is likewise a difficult journey, your time away from home, however, has been to serve a greater good.”

 7/5/17

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Illinois State Police trooper killed in crash

Illinois State Police trooper Albin 1

Trooper Ryan Albin was killed yesterday in a vehicle crash on I-74, near milepost 155, in the area of Farmer City at approximately 3:10 pm.  His patrol car collided with a box truck as the vehicles reduced speed for slow moving traffic in a construction zone.  He was flown to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.  Trooper Albin's canine was transported to a veterinary hospital with minor injuries.  Trooper Albin had served with the Illinois State Police for 11-1/2 years and was assigned as a canine handler in District 6.

6/30/17

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State Police seize cache of high-power weaspons

RISP Weapons Cache

 

State Police seized a cache of loaded weapons, including high-powered pistols and rifles and a sawed-off shotgun, as well as a large quantity of illegal drugs, during a traffic stop on Interstate 95 in West Greenwich last week.  The driver, a North Carolina resident, was arrested on numerous weapons and drug charges.  Troopers also seized ammunition, smoke grenades, assorted camouflage gear, night vision goggles and a Taser, according to Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety.  The driver of the car, identified as Anthony Mondrez Thompson, 39, of Charlotte, N.C., was ordered held without bail following his arraignment Monday at Rhode Island Hospital, where he was being treated for injuries he suffered while attempting to flee from the troopers.  Assumpico said the case involves one of the largest seizures of weapons during a traffic stop in recent memory.  She credited the troopers who made the arrest, saying they clearly prevented these dangerous high-powered weapons from reaching the streets of Rhode Island and Southeastern New England.  “These lethal weapons posed a tremendous threat to everyone living, working or vacationing in Rhode Island,” Assumpico said in a prepared statement.  “We are extremely grateful to have these dangerous weapons off the streets, and we will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these and other weapons cases.”  With this seizure, Rhode Island State Police have seized 78 weapons since Jan. 1, most as the result of arrests on unrelated charges.  Thompson’s arrest stemmed from a traffic stop on Interstate 95 North in West Greenwich about 7:55 p.m. on Thursday.  While handing over his license and car registration Thompson denied to the trooper that he had ever been convicted of a crime, and he further denied that his vehicle contained firearms or illicit drugs.  During a check of Thompson’s license, registration and criminal background, the trooper determined that Mondrez had a lengthy criminal record, including multiple convictions for firearm and drug trafficking crimes.  The trooper ordered Thompson to exit the vehicle, which he did.  However, during further questioning by troopers, Thompson allegedly shoved one of the troopers into the roadway, where the trooper was in danger of being struck by oncoming traffic, and he took off on foot, running across the highway, toward the oncoming traffic in the high-speed lane of Interstate 95.  After failing to respond to repeated commands to stop running, one of the troopers deployed a Taser, causing Thompson to fall to the pavement.  Thompson was transported by rescue to Kent County Hospital and later transferred to Rhode Island Hospital, where he remains under guard.  A subsequent search of Thompson’s vehicle resulted in the seizure of eight high-powered pistols, a revolver, two AR-15 assault rifles, a sawed-off shotgun, numerous high-capacity rifle and pistol magazines, boxes of ammunition, military-issued smoke grenades, holsters, camouflage gear and masks, night vision goggles and a Taser. Troopers also seized about 15 ounces of amphetamines (MDMA with the street names Molly and Ecstasy) with a street value of about $3,400.

6/30/17

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State Police stepping up DUI enforcement over holiday weekend

CSP DUI checks

Connecticut State Troopers will be conducting D.U.I. enforcement over the July 4th holiday weekend.  Connecticut State Police Troop A wants to ensure a safe July 4th Holiday Weekend for all.  Troopers will be concentrating their enforcement on intoxicated motorists, aggressive driving and distracted driving throughout the July 4th Holiday Weekend period.  Troop A will have additional troopers on duty for motor vehicle enforcement using unmarked traditional and non-traditional vehicles.  This enforcement campaign is part of the Connecticut State Police’s expanded D.U.I enforcement program funded through a grant from the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation D.U.I. Enforcement Program.  This enforcement campaign will occur in the following locations and on the listed dates:  Roving Enforcement: Greater Danbury and Waterbury area on Interstate 84, Routes 7 and 8 in the Troop A patrol area.  Date/Time: June 30, July 1, 2, 3 and 4, 2017 between 7pm to 3am.

 6/28/17

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Idaho State Troopers and citizens honored for saving man's life

Idaho state troopers save mans life

On April 4, 68-year-old Rick Records' heart stopped beating.  Now, he is alive and recovering thanks to the efforts of two Idaho State Police troopers.  "It's exciting to be a part of something of this magnitude.  Of something this special," said Senior Trooper LaLande.  Loved ones surprised troopers Jason Lalande and Kirill Fomin at Idaho State Police headquarters in Jerome as they were honored by the department.  Lalande was given the ISP Life Saving Award while Fomin was given a letter of commendation.  "I was surprised that my family was here.  They were actually telling us that we were going to be doing something completely different," Fomin said.  Back in April, the two were involved in saving the life of Washington state resident Rick Records.  "It feels good.  I'm glad that he's going to be OK," Fomin said.  The 68-year-old was at producers livestock in Jerome when his heart stopped.  Lalonde and Fomin responded.  "It could have been tragedy," Lalonde said.  But both gave credit to two Producers employees for starting CPR before they could get to the scene.  "Starting resuscitation efforts immediately, they basically gave this gentleman back to his family," Lalonde said.  For their efforts, Levi Robertson of Meridian and Todd Rice of Jerome received citizen awards from the department.  "I played my role the same as everybody else did, but I think the two of them should be held in the highest esteem because they gave everybody else something to work with," Lalonde said.  But neither man said they felt like a hero.  "You can put the hero stamp on it, or whatever you want to do, but it's probably bigger than we can all really imagine it to be," Robertson said.  They said they feel like the troopers, happy to have been there to help.  "You just kind of do what needs done and then you think about it later and we're just grateful he made it," Rice said.  The Records family weren't able to be there Monday, they're back in Washington while Rick recovers, but they sent a letter thanking the men who helped save their husband, father and grandfather.

6/28/17

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Highway Patrol graduates 27 new troopers

MHP 104th Graduation Class

The Missouri Highway Patrol's 27 newest troopers were reminded Friday their new lives will be much different from their old ones.  "In the past 26 weeks, recruits, you have undergone grueling training, endured exhausting hours and endured vast amounts of information," Attorney General Josh Hawley noted.  "You have endured, and now you have the honor of being part of this prestigious company.  "But today represents an end to something more, recruits — it represents an end to your life as a private citizen."  As servants of the public, Hawley added, "the men and women of our state will depend on you, look to you, trust you to uphold one of the most precious inheritances we have as Americans — the rule of law."  Superintendent Sandra Karsten, who joined the patrol in 1985 as part of the 57th Recruit Class, told the graduates of the 104th class: "Today, you're making a promise not only to represent yourself, but every trooper in the entire Missouri State Highway Patrol.  "You are representing the people of the state of Missouri.  "In and out of uniform, know that you've worked hard to wear it and that you hold the public trust and that you're held to a higher standard."  The attorney general explained the difference: "A career is pursued for the good of the person who performs it.  A vocation is work that benefits the good of all (and) is a calling, a summons to serve — to use one's talents and skills and effort to make better the lives of those with whom you live, and to make better the place that you call home."  In his nearly seven-minute keynote address, Hawley referred several times to the importance of the rule of law as the basis of American society — and reminded the new troopers they will play an important role in keeping the rule of law working.  "Your calling is to ensure that fear and terror do not rule the day, but that peace and security, afforded by our laws, is available to people indiscriminately.  Your calling is to protect the weak, the vulnerable, the oppressed among us."  But, while upholding the law, Hawley reminded the new troopers life won't always be easy.  "(Your calling) includes those who use the liberties granted by your protection, to treat you with scorn, to treat you with contempt — even hatred sometimes," the attorney general said.  "It's no secret that we live in a moment in our nation's history when the rule of law and those who uphold it have become targets, subject to intense scrutiny, subject to intense back lash, even derision.  And I'm afraid to say, you will most likely not be exempt from this trend."  Cadet Commander Evan Macomber, of Lebanon, reminded his classmates "we are defined by the public's perception" of previous Highway Patrol troopers they've met, and the bar has been set high for the new class as they head into their new jobs.  Brant Masek, of Fulton, was the only Mid-Missourian in the class.  He's being assigned to work in Franklin County, which is part of Troop C.  None of the 27 new troopers were assigned to Jefferson City-based Troop F.  Karsten reminded the graduates to rely on all the points of their training, including: "Never stop learning, never stop training (and) never stop planning for the what-if situations you may encounter."  She urged the new troopers to remember the basics, such as watching the hands of the people they deal with in traffic stops and other situations, "never assume anything, never turn your back on traffic — and always be ladies and gentlemen who enforce the law."  And, she said: "Remember what makes a trooper is not the Glock or the Taser on your gun belt.  It's not the uniform or the campaign hat — but a cause worthy of sacrifice.  Our mission of service and protection gives each of us something worth sacrificing for."

       6/27/17

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