First, one package fell onto the interstate in Nebraska. Bags of marijuana followed.
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
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.
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Louisiana State Police trooper hands out stickers to kids at lunch
LSP Trooper Carl Holiday spent his Sunday lunch giving back to some kids in the community. State police shared a photo sent to them by a viewer of Trooper Holiday visiting with her grandchildren during lunch in Baton Rouge. The post says that Holiday spent a few minutes talking with the two young kids, and handed out some junior trooper badge stickers. "Troopers always enjoy spending time visiting with children in our community!" the post read.
Texas Department of Public Safety graduates three new canine teams
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today graduated three Troopers and three canines from an eight-week training program. These canine teams will join 42 other DPS teams stationed throughout Texas, including six explosive-detection teams stationed in Austin. “DPS canine teams are an integral part of the department’s efforts to detect and disrupt drug trafficking and other criminal activity that threaten the safety of our communities,” said Director Steven McCraw. “We are proud that these canine officers are officially joining our ranks, and we are confident that these expertly-trained teams will work together, following their instincts, to help make Texas a safer place.” Two of the dogs were obtained from the U.S. Department of Defense and one was donated – including a yellow Labrador Retriever, a German Shepherd and a Malaherd. The newly-trained canines will be used for drug detection. The new dogs and their duty stations are as follows (pictured left to right above): Netti (Dumas); Kelsey (San Antonio); and Loko (San Angelo). Three additional canines who also recently completed their training will replace retiring dogs in the DPS canine program.
Nebraska state troopers find 41 pounds of 'club drug' in car on I-80
Nebraska State Patrol troopers arrested a man after they found a variety of controlled substances in his car following a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Kearney. The patrol said they spotted a westbound 2017 Nissan Altima speeding on I-80 about 5 p.m. Tuesday. The trooper determined that the 40-year-old driver’s license had been suspended, and the man was arrested. A search of the car uncovered 617 vials of ketamine, an anesthestic, which weighed 41 pounds. The estimated street value of the ketamine was $617,000, the patrol said. Troopers also found 3.5 grams of marijuana, one gram of methamphetamine, a gram of what they think was cocaine and unmarked tablets. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, ketamine is used as a “club drug” by young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts and parties.
20 troopers join the Nevada Highway Patrol
Twenty graduates from the Nevada Highway Patrol Advanced Academy 78 received the title of trooper at their graduation ceremony on Jan. 5 at the Nevada State Capitol. The NHP Advanced Academy is designed to enhance and build upon skills developed in the 16-week Department of Public Safety Basic Peace Officer Academy. It also targets specialized training to prepare new officers for their careers as Nevada State Troopers. The approximately nine weeks, 350 hours of advanced instruction included crash investigation, patrol procedures, tactical firearms, patrol rifle training, Advanced Roadside Impairment Detection and Enforcement, Fusion Liaison Officer training, emergency vehicle operations, Traffic Incident Management, and courtroom training. Following graduation, troopers begin 14 weeks of field training with multiple training officers in the Public Safety Training Officer program. The 20 new troopers are assigned to duty stations statewide, with nine in Las Vegas, five in Reno, two in Fernley, and one each in Winnemucca, Moapa/Glendale, Fallon, and Hawthorne.
Missouri State Highway Patrol celebrates 25 years of accreditation
The Missouri State Highway Patrol celebrates 25 consecutive years of accreditation. The Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement congratulated the Missouri Highway Patrol on its 25 year streak. They also expressed appreciation for the agency's voluntary support of their commission and its accreditation program. The anniversary is a high honor for the department. "We believe we're doing the right thing on a daily basis. We believe we're doing a really good job serving the state of Missouri but when that accreditation firm comes in and they validate that, that just gives us, you know, that pride that we are doing what we say we're doing,” says Sgt. John Lueckenhoff with the MO State Highway Patrol. In 1992, the state patrol became just the tenth state police or patrol agency to be accredited in the nation. Since then, it has been accredited eight times and it believes that it remains one of the nation's premiere law enforcement agencies.
Ohio Highway Patrol names Trooper of the Year from Chardon Post
When Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Evan Mace graduated from high school in 2004 and was trying to decide what to do next, being named the OHP Chardon Post Trooper of the Year hadn’t crossed his mind, even though a career in law enforcement had. “I wanted to go into law enforcement right out of high school and I wanted to go into the military right out of high school,” Mace said. “I didn’t know what path I was going to take and I ended up going to college first,” After graduating from Mount Union College, where he majored in psychology with a double minor in legal studies and criminal justice, he went into the Army, where he became an intelligence officer. After serving 5 1/2 years in the Army, Mace joined the OHP, where he has been for the past five years. “All of those options were always going to be there, it’s not like they were ever going to go away,” he said. “There is always going to be the need for law enforcement; there is always going to be the U.S. military; so I kind of chose that path to give myself some time to sort some things out and figure out what I was going to do after high school.” Mace’s decision to choose OHP as the law enforcement organization to work with was influenced by his grandfather. “I had two grandfathers who were in the military, and my one grandfather who is still living ... has always had a deep respect for the patrol,” Mace said. He described how his grandfather is a very traditional guy who always watched the news and had seen interviews with troopers and with police officers and the way OHP supervisors and leadership talked when they spoke with the media impressed him. “There was just such an air of respect he saw,” Mace said of his grandfather. “He told me if you are going to go into law enforcement, that is the organization that you want to go into. So, that made an impression on me when I was younger, so it was the patrol after the military and the rest is kind of history.” Mace, who has been with the Chardon Post since he started with OHP in 2012, enjoys the work he does. “I like the fact that it is something different every day and that it is what I make it,” he said. “If I want to go out and work traffic enforcement and just sit on the interstate and write speeding tickets and slow people down, I can do that. If I want to go down into the city and target narcotics and get drugs off the street, I can do that. If I want to work midnight shift and focus on removing impaired drivers from the roadway and arresting OVIs (operating a vehicle impaired), I can do that. I can tailor my job to what I like to do within it and I can do something different every day if I want to.” Mace feels that the ability to do different things is what keeps him interested in his work every day. He is currently serving with the criminal patrol team, which is a part of the drug interdiction unit that he describes as a group that watches for large shipments of narcotics in an attempt to take drugs off the street before they reach the cities and get distributed. “We are trying to get it at the source,” he said. “We have had some success but, there is obviously stuff that we are missing. We are not getting all of it and that is the goal, to get it all.” Mace feels he was nominated for Trooper of the Year because he worked really hard this year and thinks he has had a successful year as far as statistics and numbers go. “I just kind of buckled down and did what I was supposed to do and stuck to the goals of the division, and I think that my peers and my supervisors saw that I worked really hard and they rewarded me by nominating me for the Trooper of the Year,” he said. He sees the nomination as a great honor because it came from those with whom he works directly. “They recognized that I was working hard and doing my job and hopefully that I was helping them out and making their lives and their jobs easier through my hard work.” OHP Chardon Post Commander Lt. Charles Gullett said in a new release that the selection of Trooper Mace was in recognition of his outstanding service at the Chardon Patrol Post during 2017. “Fellow officers stationed at the Chardon Post chose Trooper Mace based on leadership abilities, professional ethics, courteous treatment of others, enthusiastic work attitude, and cooperation with supervisors, peers and the public,” Gullett said.
Louisiana State Police welcomes 27 new troopers to the force
On Friday morning, Louisiana State Police announced the graduation of its 96th Cadet Class. Twenty-seven people graduated the course. The graduation ceremonies were held at the Louisiana State Police Training Academy and the BREC Independence Park Theatre and Cultural Center in Baton Rouge. The cadets began their 20-week training on August 20, 2017. During their training, cadets learned about crash investigation, emergency vehicle operations, impaired driving detection, traffic incident management, and leadership. Cadets also went through a rigorous physical training program. The 27 new troopers received their gold boot badge Friday morning. The newly graduated troopers will be deployed across the state and will participate in a 10 to 14-week field training program while supervised by a senior trooper.
50 cadets graduate from Tennessee Highway Patrol academy
50 cadets earned their badges officially becoming the newest members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP). Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally served as the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church. The 50 new state troopers, also known as Cadet Class 118, took their oaths of office after completing 19 weeks of intense, physical and classroom training. This graduating class will be an asset to the department. The cadets bring with them various backgrounds including previous law enforcement, experience, military and college experience. “Congratulations to the trooper cadets graduating today,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “In 2016, the Tennessee Highway Patrol was named the top state police agency in the nation by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). This honor exemplifies the dedication and daily work performed by the men and women of the THP. As I have done with previous classes, I challenge this class to continue the outstanding service the citizens of Tennessee deserve.” “Each graduate has earned this incredible honor of being chosen to serve as a Tennessee State Trooper,” Commissioner David W. Purkey said. “As a former trooper, I know the commitment that is expected of our new troopers who are serving our citizens. I congratulate Cadet Class 118 on this great accomplishment.” Trooper Daniel Howard was named the top cadet and presented the “Calvin Jenks Memorial Award for Excellence” for his leadership, work ethic and academics. The award was named in honor of the late Trooper Calvin Jenks who was killed in the line of duty in January 2007. Trooper Lael Justice received a $5,000 scholarship from Bethel University. As part of their community service project, Cadet Class 118 participated in a blood drive with the American Red Cross, a can food drive for Second Harvest Foodbank and a toy drive for Toys for Tots. Cadet Class 118’s motto is “Endure, Persevere and Overcome.” The new graduates begin a field training period lasting 10 weeks.
Maryland State trooper gets top honor from State Police Aviation Command
In just two years, Trooper John “Jack” Wildman has already distinguished himself in the way he conducts himself during rescues and law and traffic enforcement. The 24-year-old has been named Trooper of the Year by the Maryland State Police Aviation Command. Wildman is part of the team that operates the Trooper 3 helicopter out of Frederick. “Wildman received the honor due to his outstanding performance, leadership and a personal desire to help others in the community through his position in Maryland State Police Aviation Command,” according to a state police news release. “Wildman is an active trooper who successfully blends his experience as a paramedic with his passion for law enforcement.” Wildman was humble about the honor and emphasized that his role is only one of many important jobs involved in state police operations. “At the end of the day, I’m a very small member of a very big team,” Wildman said at the hangar Wednesday night. “I’m lucky to be recognized for the rescues that I’ve done, but the only reason I’m able to do them is because we’ve got crews all over the state, who are there 24/7 ... who are ready to go.” Wildman, who is originally from Cincinnati, joined the Maryland State Police and specifically the Frederick Barrack because the organization’s mission was exciting to him. “I wanted a job where I could help somebody, and I wanted a job where every day is different,” Wildman said. “Maryland State Police offered me that opportunity. I’m really grateful.” In August 2017, Wildman was with the crew that rescued a person from drowning near Prettyboy Dam in Baltimore County. Wildman was lowered from the aircraft with a stretcher and a mechanical CPR device to treat the person, who had been resuscitated by the Baltimore County Fire Department. The team rescued the person while the device supplied continuous mechanical compressions during the hoisting operation. It was the first extraction of its kind in the state, according to Maryland State Police. Wildman was able to contribute “critical post-mission evaluations to improve the system and service provided in this area,” according to the agency statement.
California Highway Patrol cadet proposes to girlfriend after run to honor fallen heroes
She said yes. After a stampede of 108 California Highway Patrol cadets ran five miles Wednesday morning in a long-standing, pre-graduation tradition, one cadet decided to make it an extra special event. Cadet Stephen Torres got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend, Mikayla Wagner, in front of the State Capitol. Torres’ fellow cadets shined their flashlights as they looked on. A CHP cadet who finished the 5-mile pre-graduation run to the State Capitol tradition this morning decided to pop the question. Wagner and Torres are from Modesto. They have been dating for five years and have known each other since 6th grade. Family and friends at the CHP Academy in West Sacramento were all in on the proposal. The morning run is said to be a way for the cadets to recognize the ultimate sacrifice of law enforcement heroes, reality that much more apparent after the death of CHP Officer Andrew Camilleri this past Christmas Eve.
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Connecticut State Police: New Year's weekend crashes up by 80 percent
Slippery conditions from a Saturday snowfall helped cause a big increase in the number of accidents investigated by State Police during the long New Year’s holiday weekend. From 12:01 a.m. on Friday to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, troopers responded to 494 accidents. That number is a nearly 80 percent increase from the 276 accidents investigated in the 2016 New Year’s weekend. Troopers also reported that 54 people were injured in those accidents, 20 more than the 2016 figure. Two of those accidents were fatalities.
California Highway Patrol worried about possible increase in crashes due to marijuana legalization
Recreational marijuana will become legal in California at the start of 2018. As more people have access to cannabis, the California Highway Patrol warns there is an increased risk of pot-impaired drivers on the road. "You can look at the states that have legalized it and they've seen an uptick in collisions and fatal collisions, so it's definitely a concern for us," said CHP Officer Jonathan Sloat. Despite that evidence, a new poll shows just 40 percent of Americans believe pot contributes to more crashes. Officer Sloat said public perception has to change because the effects of marijuana are obvious. "What we see behind the wheel is the same thing we see with alcohol. We see an inability to maintain your lane, maintain a consistent speed. Slow reaction time," added Officer Sloat. With alcohol, a 0.08 blood alcohol content is the legal basis to presume someone is intoxicated. However, there is not a clear legal standard for impairment with marijuana yet. Instead of passing a Breathalizer, the CHP will look for a driver's ability to pass field sobriety tests. Officer Sloat suggests one simple rule: "If you're going to be smoking, don't jump behind the wheel, give it some time." Or, arrange a different ride home.
State police receives over $1 million in grant funding to combat meth, heroin
Virginia State Police is one of six law enforcement agencies to be awarded grant funding from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) for their efforts in combating the meth and heroin epidemic. The department is heading into 2018 with $1,169,546 in grant funding from COPS, which is the second largest amount of grant funding of the six agencies. Also, the COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP) awarded more than $5 million to six state law enforcement agencies. "These state agencies have demonstrated numerous seizures of precursor chemicals, finished methamphetamine, laboratories, and laboratory dump seizures. State agencies will be awarded two years of funding through CAMP to support the investigation of illicit activities related to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine," according to COPS. The grant money will be used at the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s (BCI) field offices across Virginia. The department participated in 776 meth-related investigations in 2016 through its drug task forces statewide. During those investigations, 37,744 grams of methamphetamine were seized, which had a street value of $4.5 million. Also in 2016, state police took down 293 meth labs across the state. This is the seventh COPS grant Virginia State Police received since 2004.