A viral video trending on social media has millions of people realizing the horrific consequences of distracted driving just as local law enforcement agencies work to reduce distracted driving on Northern Nevada roads. Most people have been guilty of glancing down at their phones to check a text message or change a song including the people who are in a video that has now been viewed on Facebook over 6.4 million times in just under a week. It tells the tragic story of a woman who experienced the unthinkable because of a distracted driver. "An 18 wheeler swerved and hit my family's car. The resulting collision killed both of my parents. I spent two months in the hospital fighting for my own life,” said Jacy Good. She was permanently injured in a crash because of a distracted driver in Pennsylvania in 2008. The video is part of a YouTube reality show series sponsored by AT&T and their "It Can Wait" campaign. It's primarily aimed at young drivers who according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report the highest level of phone involvement in-crash or near-crash incidences. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office recently focused on distracted driver violations over a three week period and issued just under 200 cell phone citations during that time. This being indicative that distracted driving is an issue in Northern Nevada. "It only takes a moment and I mean only a brief moment of distraction to lead to a tragedy," said Bob Harmon, Public Information Officer for the Washoe County Sheriff's Office. AAA recommends drivers put their cell phone inside a compartment and on silent mode to lessen temptation to reach for it.
Florida Highway Patrol trooper receives hug from young boy
This little man approached a Trooper this weekend to give him a hug and thank him for being his superhero. Trooper Burnette, who carries extra stuffed animals for children who are looking for comfort in times of need, was greatly moved by the gesture, and let him pick his favorite. Before parting ways, Trooper Burnette made sure his little buddy knew he will always be his hero. #Troopersareheroes#FHP
Florida Highway Patrol Troopers patrolling Labor Day weekend
"We kept a close eye on anything to do with driving under the influence," said Sargent Eddie Elmore. He says he and his colleagues usually spend Labor Day weekend patrolling the highways to keep drivers safe. "Hurricane Hermine was coming into our district so we kind of changed focus for a couple days preparing for the hurricane to come in," said Sgt. Elmore. Despite Hermine many drivers still made their way to and from the beach - some of them impaired. "We've had several cases of driving under the influence over the weekend," explained Sgt. Elmore. Florida Highway Patrol has yet to tabulate just how many drivers were charged over the weekend, but they say it’s an unfortunate trend they see every year on busy roadways. "State Road A, which is I10, U.S. 231 which are all big major thoroughfares," said Sgt. Elmore, "you're gonna have those increase in fatality rates because there's just more people on the roads coming through this county." Sgt. Elmore says deputies want people to have a good time on holiday weekends, but also want them to be responsible. "If you're gonna drink," said Sgt. Elmore, "please just make sure you have a designated driver so that you don't become one of those statistics that we see every year."
Pennsylvania State Police Help Heart Attack
Troopers at Diner Help Heart Attack Victim. On May 30, at approximately 4:49 a.m., personnel from PSP Lancaster were at Lyndon Diner in Manheim Township. While at the diner, the cook, Luis Flores, suffered a heart attack and collapsed on the floor. The troopers rushed to provide first aid to Flores. Trooper First Class Fassnacht, Trooper Carpenter, Trooper Trunfio, and Trooper Schianvoni performed CPR until an AED from the patrol vehicle was brought to the scene. The AED was used and applied three separate shocks to Flores. Susquehanna Valley EMS Captain Marden arrived on scene and administered one additional shock. Mr. Flores was then transported to Lancaster General Hospital for treatment. Major Orlandi, Area IV Commander, Captain Tomlinson, Troop J Commander, the American Heart Association, and Susquehanna Valley EMS Captain Marden presented certificates of appreciation to all troopers involved on Aug. 30 at PSP Lancaster.
L-R: Captain Worth of Susquehanna Valley EMS , Trooper Carpenter, Trooper Trunfio, Luis Flores, Trooper Schiavoni, Trooper First Class Fassnacht and Captain Marden of Susquehanna Valley EMS.
Massachusetts State Police wives aim to cover the state in blue ribbons
Being married to a state trooper can bring a roller coaster of emotions, local resident Barbara Johnson knows. Mrs. Johnson couldn’t be prouder of her husband, state police Capt. Robert A. Johnson, who is stationed at the Holden barracks. But she said he’s been punched, shot at, almost stabbed as well as hit by a car and dragged down Route 146 against traffic. “Yet he continues to put on his uniform and could not imagine not showing up,” she wrote in an email. Mrs. Johnson and other wives of law enforcement officers are trying to spread a show of support for their spouses with events across the state to tie blue ribbons in prominent locations. They were in Northbridge Monday night, with about 75 Pop Warner football players and cheerleaders to do the hands-on work, to cover the town in blue. Recent attention to shootings and other tragedies involving law enforcement officers across the country was part of the catalyst for the movement to show support. “Media runs with the negatives,” Mrs. Johnson said. “The wives wanted to put out a positive message because that is more widespread than the negative you see.” Mrs. Johnson said she and other members of a Facebook group called MSP Wives wanted to let law enforcement officers know “they’re appreciated, respected and they have the community standing behind them.” She said, “Our hope is that as officers drive through town and see the ribbons, they’re reminded of the community support.” The MSP Wives’ Cover Our State in Blue Ribbons campaign is among some 26 states where the effort has gone viral. The MSP Wives group was started by Kimberly Watson of Townsend, whose husband is a state police captain in Framingham and a former local police officer in Townsend. She could not attend the event but spoke to a reporter by telephone afterward. Mrs. Watson said the group began in March, after Trooper Thomas L. Clardy, 44, of Hudson, died after his unmarked cruiser was struck in the breakdown lane of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton by a car driven by David Njuguna, 30, of Webster, while Trooper Clardy was conducting a traffic stop. “Everybody had this horrible feeling when the phone rang every day,” she said. The wives group, which includes at least one husband, was formed to support Trooper Clardy’s family as well as each other. With 158 new state troopers recently graduating from the academy, Mrs. Watson said there was a whole new group of spouses to take under their wing. “A lot of these wives had no clue what they’re walking into,” she said. “It’s not a normal lifestyle.” Mrs. Watson learned about a blue-ribbon effort in New York City and she jumped on board to cover all of Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns in blue. The wives contribute and make the materials themselves, raising money from selling homemade blue-on-black ribbons with blue roses to wear or keep. She said her group asks first to work on the blue ribbons with local police because “we’re all one big family.” “They were really, really supportive,” Mrs. Johnson said of the Northbridge selectmen’s reaction to the proposal for blue ribbons. “They were kind of dumbstruck. They didn’t know why it was not more widespread.” According to Mrs. Johnson, a few towns have turned down the MSP Wives’ request to tie blue ribbons around various public sites. At 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, the MSP Wives will be at the Auburn Police Department; on Wednesday they’ll be in South Deerfield; at 11 a.m. on Sunday they’ll be at the Sterling Police Department; and at 6 p.m. Sept. 7 they’ll be at the Ashburnham Police Department. Shaunna Wildman of Northbridge, whose husband Gregg Wildman is an Auburn police sergeant, was among those helping the young football players tie blue ribbons at Memorial Town Hall, along the bridge over the Mumford River and at the nonprofit human service agency Alternatives Inc. Sgt. Wildman and Framingham Police Chief Kenneth Ferguson, also a Northbridge resident, coach 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds on the Pop Warner Blackstone Valley Patriots. Mrs. Wildman said her husband worked with Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr., 42, who died in May after being shot by Jorge A. Zambrano during a traffic stop. “He worked with Ronnie, so this is really special,” she said. “I didn’t understand what the state police do when there’s a tragedy. They were right there.” Pop Warner President Kate Tracy said the coaches called off practice Monday so the players and cheerleaders could help tie the ribbons around town. “I thought what a wonderful way to give back,” Ms. Tracy said. “They need to understand what’s going on in our world.” Twelve-year-old Josh Malkasian was among those climbing up pillars and fences to deck the town in blue. “We’re trying to show our respect for the police,” he said. In addition to decorating the town, the MSP Wives and their helpers distributed to local police what Mrs. Johnson called survival kits filled with candies. Attached to each brown paper bag was a list of what law enforcement officers need to get through a day:
“Lifesaver – Because of how many times you’ve been one; Starburst – For that burst of energy you need; Kisses – To show our love for you; Gum – To help everyone stick together; Tootsie Roll – To help you roll with the punches; Peppermint Patty – To help you keep your cool; DumDum – Because you deal with a lot of them; Pay Day – Because you’re not doing it for the money; Snickers – To help you keep your sense of humor; Mounds – for the mounds of courage you show.”
Iowa mom recounts state trooper changing her tire
When Regina Majerus found herself stuck on Interstate 80 with a flat tire last week, she didn't know what to do. She called her insurance company, which asked her to wait for a tow-truck to drive from Carlisle, more than 30 miles away from where she had been driving from her Mingo home to Newton. Her 19-month-old son became impatient while waiting in the backseat, and she started crying, with cars speeding by her on the side of the road. "I was frightened, scared, worried," Majerus said. Then a state trooper stopped and offered to help her change her tire, bringing her a sense of relief. Majerus, 22, later shared the story on Facebook, garnering attention from hundreds of other Iowans, many of whom commented on the post to share similar experiences. "I did not expect this," she said of all of the attention the Facebook post has received. She shared her story online not only to thank the state trooper, but also to show an example of kindness, she said. "I just wanted to show some positivity," she said in a phone interview. Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Nathan Ludwig said state troopers change tires for people across Iowa probably once or twice a day. "Changing tires is nothing new to the State Patrol," he said. "We're not looking to get praised for this." But Ludwig added that support from Majerus and others who shared her story online is appreciated. Majerus said she's also grateful to Barney's in Newton, which quickly sent a tow truck out to help, free of charge. The trooper started changing the tire and a tow truck from Barney's showed up to help finish the job. And she was especially grateful that the state trooper noticed her young son was upset, she said. "I will always be thankful for that," she said.
Tennessee State Troopers find 100 pounds of marijuana inside motorhome
The driver of a motorhome was arrested after the Tennessee Highway Patrol says they found 100 pounds of marijuana inside his vehicle. The traffic stop happened on Interstate 24 East in Marion County as the driver, identified as 40-year-old Lester Beltran, was heading to Miami, Florida. According to the THP, a trooper conducted the traffic stop and “observed several indicators that indicated possible criminal activity.” More troopers were called to the scene to assist, and K-9 was deployed inside the motorhome. When questioned, Beltran allegedly said several empty duffel bags and moving boxes were full of household goods because he was moving. According to a press release, a trooper asked him to open a box and confirm the contents. At that time, Beltran reportedly stated, “It’s marijuana.” Troopers say they then found six cardboard boxes with 83 vacuum-sealed bags of high-grade marijuana totaling 100 pounds. The vehicle was seized and the suspect was arrested without incident. An investigation revealed Beltran was traveling from Colorado, where he stated he obtained the marijuana to take back to Miami, Florida. The motor home was registered to Beltran’s wife’s company out of Montana. “States like Tennessee, where marijuana is not legal, are beginning to see more of the drug which may have been grown legally in another state and then trafficked in to states like ours,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott.
Indiana State Troopers lip sync to Grease's "Summer Nights" on last day of state fair
With summer days driftin’ away, Indiana State Troopers decided to mark the last days of the State Fair with their rendition of “Summer Nights” from the hit movie “Grease.” The video starts with four officers riding in a golf cart — two are facing the camera and two are facing backwards. But they all eventually face the front as the song progresses. The only unfortunate part is that the lip sync is only 40 seconds long!The Indiana State Police know how to play hard while working hard during the 17-day event, suffering a 20 percent decrease in attendance compared to last year, WTHR reports.The rainfall and heat were of no help, with many vendors packing up early once the weather turned tumultuous. Despite the downturn, Sunday had the best attendance in the fair’s history with 83,000 people. Why, you ask? We may have an idea…golf cart karaoke!
Connecticut trooper successfully freed a man trappd inside a burning car
With the help of two bystanders, a Connecticut State Police trooper successfully freed a man trapped inside a burning car in Plainville . State police say 58-year-old David Bartlett was traveling east along state Route 72 when he lost control of his Pontiac Grand Prix and struck a metal guard rail before slamming into a bridge. The impact of the collision caused Bartlett’s car to burst into flames with him still inside. Working a construction detail nearby, Trooper Thomas Karanda responded immediately. Karanda smashed the driver’s side window of Bartlett’s vehicle, and he was able to pull him from the fiery wreck with help from a construction worker and a passing motorist. Bartlett was transported to Hartford Hospital for evaluation of his injuries.
West Virginia state troopers care for baby following DUI arrest
The photos are going viral after West Virginia State Troopers rescued a young child following a DUI arrest. Police said the child was covered in filth who was found in the backseat during a DUI arrest. T he one-year-old baby was found in a child safety seat covered in vomit when troopers pulled over the car less than a mile from the Princeton detachment. The driver was arrested, but the child was also brought back to the detachment. Troopers said the baby had apparently been sick for some time. They immediately sprang into action to make the child at home until child protective services could arrive. "As a father myself, I couldn't let it sit in its own urine and feces and vomit," said Senior Trooper D.C. Graham. "So I went ahead and drew a bath in the sink of the detachment and was able to clean him up a little bit and get him feeling a little bit better." The baby brought smiles to the troopers' faces. The driver is facing a charge of DUI with a minor. The child is in the custody of a legal guardian and under the supervision of CPS.
Texas Department of Public Safety graduates 95 new Texas State Troopers
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) [Friday] was joined by the Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) as the department commissioned 95 men and women as the state’s newest Highway Patrol Troopers. PSC Commissioner Manny Flores was the keynote speaker during the Class B-2016 recruit graduation ceremony, which was held [Friday] in Austin. “It takes an extraordinary individual to make the momentous commitment to taking on the responsibilities of a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper,” said Commissioner Flores. “DPS and all Texans are deeply thankful of your service, and our state can rest easy knowing all of you will be serving on the frontlines.” The new troopers will report to duty stations across Texas in the coming weeks and spend the first six months in on-the-job training. “This is a proud moment for Class B-2016, and I want to congratulate each one of you,” said PSC Chair Cynthia Leon. “You have inspired us all with your accomplishments during the many months of rigorous training, and this is a day you will never forget – the day you became a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper.” The troopers began the 23-week DPS Training Academy in March. Instruction covered more than 100 subjects, including counterterrorism, traffic and criminal law, arrest and control procedures, crash reconstruction, first aid and Spanish. They also received training in use of force, communication skills, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, cultural diversity and physical fitness. The B-2016 class includes: 11 former peace officers, including a former trooper with the Virginia State Police and a former trooper with the Georgia State Patrol; 28 military veterans, including a retired Navy SEAL, who is the class’s oldest recruit at 52; the youngest recruit is 21; and the first-ever married couple in DPS history to start and complete a recruit school together.“The department is pleased to welcome 95 new Troopers to our ranks – their specialized law enforcement training will be indispensable in fulfilling our mission to protect and serve Texas,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS and the state of Texas appreciate their willingness to commit their lives and career to serving others.” In 2015, the Texas Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott authorized 250 additional Trooper positions to be permanently stationed in the border area (DPS Regions 3 and 4) by August 2017, as well as additional DPS recruit schools to help fill that need and address vacancies across the state. A total of 51 troopers from Class B-2016 will be stationed in Regions 3 and 4 as part of this initiative, bringing the total number of positions filled thus far to 203. By the end of 2016, all 250 positions will be filled. DPS is currently accepting applications for recruit classes scheduled for 2017. The next application deadline is Sept. 21 for the class beginning March 12, 2017. To apply or for more information about joining the Texas Department of Public Safety, visit www.joindps.com. In addition, DPS schedules recruiting events throughout the year.
Widow of fallen New Jersey State Trooper gives birth to baby boy
It was a bittersweet moment for the widow of fallen New Jersey State Trooper Eli McCarson. She recently gave birth to their son. Local photographer Aleia Ward, of Aleia Monet Photography, captured a beautiful image of the new bundle of joy. She also photographed his widow, Jordan, in a maternity photo shoot. 30-year-old New Jersey State Trooper Trooper Eli McCarson was killed in December of 2015 while on duty when his vehicle went off the side of the road and struck an electric utility police.
South Carolina Highway Patrol speaks emoji through it's latest Sober, Slammed Campaign
Public safety officers kicked off their annual Sober or Slammer campaign on Tuesday and revealed the next phase of their new emoji campaign designed to reach drivers in a unique way. It's an Emoji public service announcement that will air on televisions throughout South Carolina. Troopers revealed the ad in connection with their sober or slammer efforts. If you haven't already seen the emojis, they appear on ice boxes, gas pumps, billboards, and box trucks. Sgt. Bob Beres, of the S.C. Highway Patrol, is the star of the promotional video released to highlight the dangers of drinking and driving as Labor Day approaches. "Trooper Emoji Bob, I think did a good job pushing this stuff out and getting a feel and knack for it - developed a following. We took it one step further and through social media, we created this commercial for a larger audience and across all platforms," said Col. Mike Oliver, of Highway Patrol. With the help of local law enforcement, increased enforcement on roadways will run through Sept. 5.
Nebraska State Patrol kickoff another season of "Friday Night Lights"
Fans attending high school football games across the state will once again be the focus of a special effort to raise awareness of the need to wear your seat belt every trip, every time. “Friday Night Lights” is designed to help reduce serious injury and fatality crashes involving teen drivers by providing them firsthand knowledge of what can happen when you don’t buckle up. Fans at select high school football games will have the opportunity to experience a ride in the NSP Seat Belt Convincer and/or view a presentation of the Rollover Simulator. “We all win when drivers and passengers buckle up,” said Colonel Brad Rice, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “Getting out among the community at events such as football games allows our troopers the opportunity to provide valuable safety information and encourage voluntary compliance with all traffic safety laws.” During breaks in football actions, troopers utilize T-shirt shooters to catapult shirts with a seat belt safety message to football fans. The shirts were purchased with the assistance of AAA Nebraska/Cornhusker Motor Club Foundation and the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety.
South Dakota Highway Patrol donates bicycle to teenager
A young man who walks eight miles to and from work every day now has a more efficient form of transportation. A few weeks ago, South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers in the Sioux Falls area received a call about someone walking on Interstate 229, the department posted on its Facebook page. Sgt. Scott Swenson responded to the call and met a young man named Tanner who told Swenson he spends about an hour and a half every day walking to and from work. "I had a squad meeting a few days later and we came up with an idea of getting him some better transportation," Swenson said Saturday. The squad received a refurbished bike from the penitentiary and met up with Tanner again to give him the bike. On Aug. 16, the Sioux Falls B Squad gave the teen a new bicycle. This isn't the only time the department has given out bicycles. Bikes refurbished in the penitentiary are often given to kids at events, Swenson said. "This is a good example of what law enforcement does, not just in South Dakota but all over the country," Swenson said.