Memorial cross for Utah Highway Patrol trooper killed in line of duty unveiled
A memorial cross was unveiled in Southern Utah Friday in honor of a Utah Highway Patrol trooper who died last month after being struck by a vehicle while trying to alert motorists of a low-hanging power line. A 14-foot-tall cross memorializing Trooper Eric Ellsworth was erected along Interstate 15 among 14 other white metal crosses already standing. Each cross bears the name and badge number of a fallen Highway Patrol trooper killed in the line of duty, reminding the public of those troopers’ service and ultimate sacrifice. The crosses, placed on private property owned by DATS Trucking located at 321 N. Old Highway 91 in Hurricane, face northbound traffic and can be seen just north of I-15 Exit 16. Don Ipson, a state senator and president and CEO of DATS Trucking, said he erected the crosses in 2007, following a lawsuit that had been filed alleging the crosses – originally placed near the areas where the troopers had died – violated the U.S. Constitution. The suit argued that the placement of crosses on public land violates the principle of separation of church and state. The American Atheists Inc. and three of its Utah members sued the state over the crosses in 2005. They claimed the memorials suggested a state endorsement of Christianity. In 2010, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver agreed and ordered the crosses removed. State attorneys appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it declined to hear the case. The Utah Highway Patrol Association said it had constructed the memorials in the Latin-cross shape, not for the purpose of endorsing any religion but because, in this roadside context, the cross, unlike any other marker, communicates to motorists passing at highway speeds the simultaneous messages of “death, honor, remembrance and safety.” “Memorial crosses, in general, are secular symbols widely used to honor and respect the heroic acts and noble contributions of fallen public servants,” the Highway Patrol Association states on its website. “Roadside crosses, in particular, are secular symbols widely used to memorialize, and generally understood to represent, traffic-related and other roadside deaths.” When Ipson, an honorary colonel with the UHP, heard the crosses had to be taken down, he notified the Highway Patrol Association of his idea to put all 13 memorial crosses, at the time, on his business’ property and offered to pay for them. Ipson and his family have been “unbelievable supporters of the Utah Highway Patrol,” UHP Col. Michael Rapich said Friday after Ellsworth’s cross had been erected. “This is just one thing among hundreds of other things that they do.” “You’ve been our champion in so many ways – we appreciate it,” Rapich told Ipson, adding: “This fight goes back a long ways.” Ipson said supporting the Highway Patrol has been a life-long passion of his, adding that he personally knew two of the troopers whose names now appear on the crosses. Ipson recalled being 12 years old when UHP Trooper Armond “Monty” Luke died in 1959 during a vehicle pursuit just outside of Panguitch, where Ipson grew up. Years later, when Ipson’s son was 12 years old and his family returned to Panguitch, Ipson said Trooper Ray Lynn Pierson died of a gunshot wound within a few miles of where Trooper Luke had died. Families of the fallen troopers have been appreciative of the crosses, Ipson said, adding that some families stop by to visit the memorial site from time to time.
Video that shows the faces of the 139 police officers that died in the line of duty in 2016
This 74 second video shows the faces of each of the 139 law enforcement officers that died in the line of duty in 2016. I ask that you please take one minute out of your day to watch and remember all these heroes we as Americans lost this year. Honor these men and women by sharing this video. Show the world that police officers are human beings, just like everyone else. Music: "Never Let Go" by Bryan Adams.
Please watch this video at: https://www.facebook.com/Police1usa/videos/711052899064223/
Highway Patrol officer jumps into moving car to save toddler from impaired driver
Suffolk County Police today arrested a woman for driving while ability impaired by drugs with her baby in the vehicle after she refused to pull over on the Long Island Expressway in Manorville tonight. Maria Lagatta was driving approximately 20 miles per hour eastbound on the Long Island Expressway one mile west of exit 70 when Highway Patrol Officer Joseph Goss attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Lagatta refused to pull over. Officer Goss pulled alongside the vehicle and saw a baby in the rear passenger seat. Officer Goss was able to slow down incoming traffic so they would not get rear-ended. Lagatta then slowed down to approximately 5 miles per hour. Officer Goss sped past Lagatta, and parked his vehicle on the right shoulder. He then jumped into Lagatta’s car, through the passenger side window and was able to bring the vehicle to a stop. Lagatta and her 22-month-old daughter were not injured. The daughter was released to a family member. Child Protective Services were notified. Lagatta, 37, of Farmingville, was charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger 15 Years Old or Younger (Leandra’s Law) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Lagatta will be held at the Fourth Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on December 30. The vehicle was impounded for a safety check. Seventh Squad detectives are investigating.
Oregon State Trooper out of ICU following Christmas shooting
The family of a wounded Oregon State Police trooper says he has been moved out of the intensive care unit and into a hospital room just days after being shot several times on Christmas night. The brother of Trooper Nic Cederberg writes on an online fundraising page that the officer will undergo surgery Friday to fix a broken arm. The brother, Jeff Cederberg, says the procedure is his brother's last major surgery for the time being and he is "amazing the doctors and nurses with how his recovery is going." Authorities say the trooper was shot Sunday night by homicide suspect James Tylka following a car chase. Tylka was then killed by police. Officers pursued Tylka after finding his estranged wife dead outside his suburban Portland home.