Fundraising Effort Launched to Support MT Trooper Johnson

MT Trooper hit by car Johnson

The Western News 
|February 18, 2023 5:00 PM

The Montana Highway Patrol trooper who was grievously injured during an incident involving a four-time convicted felon in northern Lincoln County earlier this week has been identified and a fundraiser has been launched to support him and his family.

Trooper Lewis Johnson, who is stationed in Eureka, has been on the job with MHP for eight years. He was seriously injured on Thursday, Feb. 16, while trying to arrest 41-year-old Rexford resident Jason A. Miller after Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies sought him for absconding from parole following convictions for criminal possession of methamphetamine and two counts of theft.

"The Montana Highway Patrol family is united in the support of Trooper Lewis and his family. He remains in our prayers. We are thankful for the outpouring of support we've received from Montanans and the law enforcement community during this time," MHP Colonel Steve Lavin said.

According to the verified GoFundMe for Johnson's medical expenses,, his injuries include a punctured lung, damaged liver, head injury, broken ribs, broken arm, broken leg and severe spinal trauma.

"It's nothing Lewis and his family can't handle together with our love and support," Nina Stefani wrote on GoFundMe. "Please help us fundraise so they can devote their time and energy where it belongs, his health.”

A message on the GoFundMe page reported Lewis remained stable, resting and surrounded by family on Saturday night. It also provided some good news.

According to a message from Kate Johnson, "Miracles happened today! He was extubated at 2 p.m. He was groggy but followed every order given and the tube was removed quickly with little discomfort. He was able to speak softly immediately. By 4 p.m. he was eating ice chips and sipping on water. At 6 p.m. the deputy who was on the pursuit incident with Lewis came to visit. Those two chatted for an hour and Lewis remembered every little detail of the event. He's in great spirits and gives a strong handshake to everyone who visits. Nothing much for sensation below his waistline, some tingles on the upper right leg."

As of Monday morning, more than $147,000 had been raised.

“Due to the unwavering support and overwhelming generosity of our friends, families, community and strangers from around the world we have shattered our original goal of $50,000!” wrote Stefani.

Lewis’ wife Kate is also a state trooper working out of Eureka.

Lewis, a native of Chester, Montana, graduated from the state Law Enforcement Academy in 2014 with Kate. He is a Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) volunteer and an avid outdoorsman with a love for hunting and fishing, according to the GoFundMe page.

The current goal is $150,000 for Johnson's medical expenses.

“Considering the long term care that will be required for Trooper Johnson’s recovery, we have increased the fundraising goals,” Stefani wrote. “It is our hope, that we can completely relieve the burden of finances on the Johnson family, so they can solely focus on recovery.

“Thank you to those who have prayed, sent notes of encouragement, donated money and shared Trooper Johnson’s story.”



New recruiting vision for the South Carolina Highway Patrol

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South Carolina’s Department of Public Safety is hoping their new vision for South Carolina Highway Patrol Recruiting will help increase the number of applicants who want to join the Highway Patrol. SCDPS’s concept emphasizes and highlights the attributes and variety of careers offered with the Highway Patrol. The idea is to inspire and generate interest for Highway Patrol careers.

Heather Biance’s, the Public Affairs Director for the Department of Public Safety in South Carolina, objective is to bring a new approach will increase Trooper numbers and help any other States that are looking to stimulate interest in a career with the highway patrol or state police agencies.

Please click on the link view the recruitment video.


WY Highway Patrol Reminds to “Move Over” after Highway Patrol Trooper is Injured After being struck

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February 4, 2023

On February 3, 2023, at approximately 6:40 p.m., a Douglas Trooper was parked on Wyoming State Highway 59 at milepost 46.5 with emergency lights activated, assisting multiple motorists who had left the roadway due to weather and road conditions. 

A 53 ft. box trailer semi-truck was traveling northbound when the driver lost control of the commercial truck and collided with the back of the patrol vehicle.

The Trooper was inside the patrol vehicle at the time of the crash.

The commercial truck driver did not report any injuries at the time of the crash.

The Trooper was transported to Memorial Hospital of Converse County for non-life-threatening injuries he sustained in the crash.

The commercial truck driver was issued a citation for speeding too fast for road conditions.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol would like to remind motorists to “MOVE OVER” for emergency vehicles. Line

West Virginia State Police trooper dies.

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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - A West Virginia State Police trooper has died.

Sgt. Nathan Samples died on Thursday following a battle with cancer, according to a Facebook post by West Virginia Troopers Association.

West Virginia Troopers Association on Thursday February 9, 2023

We are saddened by the loss of Sergeant Samples. Sir, your courage, determination and heroism for your WVSP family and all residents of our state leaves behind a legacy that will touch all of our lives.

We are truly fortunate that we got an opportunity to work with a passionate police officer like him.

We ask that you take a moment. Pray for peace and strength for his family and for his family in green. Sir, may you rest in peace and know that we will take it from here.

Samples spent more than 20 years serving for the West Virginia State Police.Line

Elderly man rescued from ditch during winter storm and carried to safety by state trooper

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DEC, 2022

Early in the morning, Trooper Tyler Harrington was just beginning his shift when he learned that an 82-year-old man had vanished during a winter storm.

In the latter part of December, an ice storm caused Bernard Perry, an Alzheimer’s patient, to become lost and stray from his Vassalboro, Maine, home.

Just after five in the morning, his distraught wife called 911 to report her husband missing.

At that point, Trooper Harrington jumped in to offer assistance. He said, “Fortunately, Mr. Perry lives only four miles from my place.

Despite the fact that the roadways were coated in snow and ice, Trooper Tyler Harrington stopped a plow driver and asked him if he had seen an elderly guy strolling nearby.

“I had the plow truck driver show me where the last place he had seen him as I followed him over. The plow truck driver pointed in the general area. I was able to shine my flashlight and see Mr. Perry off the roadway in the ditch,” he said.

The old man was unable to speak and was experiencing severe hypothermia and frostbite by the time the trooper reached him. The elderly man was roughly a quarter of a mile from his home and had been in the ditch for around 90 minutes.

He said, “I don’t know how much longer he would have had.” 

Trooper Harrington said: “He was unable to walk. I had asked him if he could hear me. He made a groaning noise which led me to believe that I was going to have to carry him to safety.”

Bernard received a blanket while the officer brought him to his car. He was then brought to a hospital to recover.

Trooper Harrington downplayed the importance of his that night’s bravery.

“Ultimately being at the right place, at the right time. Any one of us, any law enforcement, any civilian would have done the exact same thing I did,” he said.

It is a miracle that Trooper Harrington was able to find this individual in the nick of time; else, the outcome could have been extremely different.Line

Trooper honored for helping Southwest Michigan migrant community

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Feb. 08, 2023

VAN BUREN COUNTY, MI – A Michigan State Police trooper was honored for her work helping the migrant community in Southwest Michigan.

Trooper Conner Mabie helped organize free laundry, a summer youth program and a car seat safety check through the MSP Paw Paw Post’s Migrant Outreach Initiative, a news release said. She was honored Feb. 8, with the Colonel Etue Community Impact Award for her work with residents.

Mabie created 11 community events in 2022, with the help of other people at the post, the release said. She was able to schedule Spanish-speaking troopers and sergeants to attend some events.

One thing she organized was migrant farmer laundry days with a $500 donation that provided free detergent and laundry to more than 300 migrant families.

The summer youth program for migrant children started in June, with Mabie and two other troopers spending Wednesdays at a local school, interacting with children. They developed relationships with children in the program who may not normally see police in a positive way, the release said.

Mabie also visited the Telamon Keeler Migrant Head Start in Hartford, where she read to the preschoolers. She also did a car seat safety check for parents, where 11 car seats were correctly installed, the release said.Line

Ohio State Highway Patrol’s 170th Academy Class Graduates 23 Troopers

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Jan 14, 2023

The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s 170th Academy Class graduation took place Friday after 32 weeks of intense training, according to an OSHP spokesperson.

Courses completed by the 170th class include crash investigation, criminal and traffic law, detection of impaired drivers, firearms, physical fitness, self-defense, and emergency vehicle operations.

Trooper Nathaniel F. E. Snyder, Chillicothe Post, was selected as a class speaker and thanked the Academy and cadet family members for being supportive during their training.

Two graduates received special honors for top performance in various fields of study at the Training Academy. The honorees were:

Overall performance – Trooper Tanner R. Collins, Georgetown Post

Top performance in academics – Trooper Bryce M. Imars, Milan Post

Top performance in driving – Trooper Tanner R. Collins, Georgetown Post

Top performance in firearms – Trooper Tanner R. Collins, Georgetown Post

Top performance in physical fitness – Trooper Tanner R. Collins, Georgetown Post

Below we have the complete list of graduates.

Abdullah S. Ahmed - Piqua District, Marysville Post

Kourtney M. Baker - Warren District, Ravenna Post

Aaron M. Causey - Jackson District, Athens Post

Tanner R.Collins - Wilmington District, Georgetown Post

Amanda M. Crowe - Columbus District, Delaware Post

Grant I. Gifford - Jackson District, Ironton Post

Alec P. Hacker - Piqua District, Dayton Post

Bryce M. Imars - Bucyrus District, Milan Post

Christopher B. Jackson Jr. - Cleveland District, Elyria Post

Matthew F. Lauofo - Columbus District, Delaware Post

Camron J. Martin - Findlay District, Toledo Post

Derek P. McCarty - Jackson District, Gallipolis Post

Juliana L.McEndree - Piqua District, Wapakoneta Post

Vance A. Norton - Cleveland District, Canton Post

Dominic L. O'Neill - Wilmington District, Hamilton Post

Anthony M. Pagan - Columbus District, Granville Post

Alexander W. Price - Piqua District, Dayton Post

Zachary T. Schmeltz - Findlay District, Swanton Post

Malachi J. Shelton - Piqua District, Springfield Post

Rebecca D. Snouffer - Cambridge District, Cambridge Post

Nathaniel F. E. Snyder - Jackson District, Chillicothe Post

Yoba Tamang - Warren District, Ravenna Post

Caleb C. Whitacre - Piqua District, Marysville Post

Graduates will begin to report to their posts on Sunday, January 15.

The graduates’ first 70 working days will be a field-training period under the guidance of a veteran officer.

The new graduates are assigned to 19 of the Patrol’s 59 posts.Line

Super Bowl LVII: Father and Daughter Trooper Duo team to keep visitors safe.

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February 7, 2023

PHOENIX - Super Bowl weekend means law enforcement is super busy not just around State Farm Stadium, but across the Valley and the state.

Officials with the Arizona Department of Public Safety say among the officers who will help keep Arizonans and visitors to the state safe are two troopers with a rather special bond.

Russ Dodge has been helping people in trouble for a long time in this state. For years, we have covered Dodge in the hairiest of scenarios, from water rescues to mountain rescues. Dodge's daughter, Lakin, watched this too as she grew up. She wasn't daunted. Rather, she was intrigued.

"At the age of eight, Lakin told me she was going to take my job some day," said Russ. "We found out we were expecting her while she was in the academy."

Lakin grew up enjoying many activities, but hanging it out with her dad at swift water rescue trainings, as well as getting to know her dad's co-workers and friends, left a big impression.            

"Just meeting all the people: the military, the PJs (pararescues), the Marine combat guys, the pilots, I was, like, 'man, this would be awesome!" said Lakin.

It was so awesome for Lakin, in fact, that in 2022, she enrolled in the DPS Academy, and became a trooper. Her proud father pinned her during the ceremony.

"We've both been assigned to work security events at the Super Bowl together, as partners," said Russ.Line

Michigan State Trooper, and DNR Officer Rescue Couple from Burning Home

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February 3, 2023

MASONVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - A Michigan State Police Trooper and a Michigan DNR Officer are being recognized for saving residents from a burning home in Delta County.

According to the DNR, five minutes after Delta Dispatch put out a call Monday reporting a structure fire along US-2 in Rapid River, DNR Conservation Officer Stephen Butzin and MSP Trooper Zane Weaver arrived at the scene.

The Masonville Township Fire Department and EMS personnel weren’t far behind, with the residents of the home — an unidentified husband and wife — reportedly still inside their burning house.

“I was informed that the wife left the house. When she returned, she opened the door and smoke began to pour out of the residence. She then called 911,” Butzin said.

The DNR said Butzin and Weaver ran up to the front door and found thick, brown smoke coming out of the residence, and they observed a woman standing outside.

“As I walked in the house, you could not see anything at standing height,” Butzin said. “I had to crouch to be able to see through the house as it was full of smoke.”

Trooper Weaver located the husband on the couch and yelled for him to exit the residence, but he would not comply with the order.

“Trooper Weaver and I had to physically grab ahold of the husband and carry him out of the residence,” Butzin said. “I believe he did not even know his house was on fire.”

Once they had the man outside, they determined the woman they’d seen standing in the yard was the man’s wife and that no one else was inside the house.

The officers placed the man in the couple’s vehicle and instructed the woman to drive to the end of her road to allow for arriving firefighters to access the home.

Smoke was still pouring out of the house when firefighters approached the front door. They were able to quickly get inside to find a mattress burning in a bedroom.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, removed the mattress from the house and aired out the house.

The home’s residents were treated at the scene by Masonville Township EMS personnel. Butzin said neither the husband or wife sought further medical treatment.

Alger Delta Electric and DTE Energy also assisted firefighters and responding officers.

Butzin has been with the DNR Law Enforcement Division since July 2017 and is assigned to patrol Delta County. He was previously presented with a DNR Law Enforcement Division Life Saving Award for his quick action, with another officer, that resulted in the survival of two people involved in a personal injury snowmobile accident in January 2018.

The DNR said the incident illustrates well how police, firefighters and other responders work together to overcome challenges in emergency situations, especially in rural communities.Line

AAST Presents Kentucky with the Best-Looking Cruiser Honor for the 3rd time


Pictured from left to right:  Major David F. Trimble, AAST KY Director Matt Scott, Commissioner Phillip J. Burnett, AAST Executive Director John Bagnardi, Lieutenant Colonel Michael C. Rogers, Major Darren S. Stapleton

On January 27, 2023, AAST Executive Director, John Bagnardi traveled to Kentucky State Polices academy in Frankfort to deliver the patrol’s award for winning AAST’s 2023 Best-Looking Cruiser Calendar contest. This is the 3rd time Kentucky has taken home the coveted spot of front page on the calendar.

Net proceeds of the calendar sales benefit the American Association of State Troopers Foundation that provides educational scholarship to dependents of AAST members.

The 2023 Calendars are still available for purchase at for $10, shipping included.

Let’s all congratulate Kentucky on their win and prepare to vote in the coming months for the next cruiser winner in 2024! Line

Virginia State Police graduates 34 new troopers

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January 2, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) — Virginia State Police has some new troopers on the force to begin the new year.

The 34 members of the 138th Basic Session began their eight weeks of academic, physical, and practical training at the Academy on Oct. 30 and were presented with their diplomas last Friday.

This is after they received more than 300 hours of classroom and field instruction in nearly 50 different subjects, including defensive tactics, cultural diversity, bias-free, and community relations, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival, and crisis management.

The Accelerated Lateral Entry Program only accepts pre-certified Virginia law enforcement officers. VSP said each candidate for trooper must have been in good standing with their former law enforcement employer(s) and underwent an extensive background investigative and testing process.

Collectively, the 138th Basic Session accounts for more than 200 years of prior law enforcement experience.

“You entered the Academy with the invaluable experience of already understanding what it takes to serve and protect. You understand that to be a truly effective law-enforcement professional, there are certain lessons and virtues that can only come from within - integrity and attitude. Every day the citizens of the Commonwealth will depend on you to always be at your best. Even when, and especially when, others are at their worst. Integrity, fortitude, and compassion are essential to safeguard those we have pledged to serve and protect," Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent remarked to the graduating class.

After graduation, the 138th will return to the Academy for three weeks of hands-on training before heading to their assigned area where each Trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired up with a Field Training Officer learning his or her new patrol area.


Shadrack Kwasi Arko, Prince William

Zachary Michael, Bishop Henrico

Boreika ShaRayn Burwell, Roanoke

Kelsie Amanda Cobb, Accomack

Christopher Michael Combs, Wythe

Stephen Troy Comer, Halifax

Robert Allen Dudley, Highland

Cristian Adolfo Durham, Stafford

Brittney Nicole Dye, Fairfax

Timothy Jarrell Fellows, Hampton

Jerry Shane Fuller, Bland

Samuel William Good, III, Rockingham

Norman Eugene Gray, Jr., Charles City

Andre Michael Johnson, Prince William

Joshua Louis Johnson, Henrico

Johnathan David Lackey, Bland

Jacob H. Logan, Franklin

Dalton Shayne Marshall, Wythe

Brian K. Misener, Accomack

Codee Lee Postell, Sussex

Greggory K. Reynolds, Giles

Kyle David Rose, Virginia Beach

Troy Malcolm Shelton, Orange

Christopher W. Shively, Roanoke

James Irwin Shutt, III, Prince George

Matthew Savino Spinosa, Prince William

Bryce Michael Steele, Southampton

Brandon Trevon Taylor, Clarke

Joey Barnett Throckmorton, Charlotte

Kevin Scot Tully, James City

Goran Vukovic, Botetourt

Trenzas D. Whitley, Henrico

Garrison Douglas Wright, Rockingham

James Robert Wright, BathLine

Maryland State Police troop commander takes on new challenge at 2023 Polar Bear Plunge

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January 23, 2023

WESTMINSTER, Maryland (WBAL) — The troop commander of the Maryland State Police Westminster barracks is taking on a new challenge at this year’s Polar Bear Plunge.

Before the main plunge on Feb. 4, the Super Plungers will go into the icy water of the Chesapeake Bay 24 times in 24 hours, all to raise money for Special Olympics Maryland athletes. This year, there are some new members of the team.

“(This is my) first time trying to do the Super Plunge,” Capt. Brian Smith said. “I have always thought, ‘Wow, that’s something I need to do before the end of my career.'”

Smith is no stranger to the bay. For more than two decades, the captain has participated in the Police Plunge and the Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraiser. His efforts earned him the Flame of Hope award for his unwavering support.

“I will treasure that forever. I feel like I won the Heisman,” Smith said. “The motto of the Special Olympics is, ‘Let me win, and if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.’ And, it’s truly what it’s all about, and the joy that they bring in.”

Smith, along with veteran Super Plunger Josh Smith, who are not related, are still trying to reach their $10,000 goals ahead of the Super Plunge, and they have an invitation now that a new governor is in office — a challenge before the main event.

“We have a new governor, now,” Josh Smith said.

“We need to get him in there, right?” Capt. Smith said.

“Yeah, that’s right,” Josh Smith said.

“It’s become such a huge event — the community-involved Corporate Plunge and the School Plunge,” Capt. Smith said. “To watch it grow after the past 27 years has been incredible.”Line

NJ state troopers help woman deliver baby inside Warren County police station

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January 22, 2023

HOPE TOWNSHIP, NJ (Warren County) – New Jersey state troopers helped deliver a baby Saturday morning inside their police station in Hope Township.

According to New Jersey State Police spokesperson Trooper Charles Marchan, on Jan. 21, at around 4:27 a.m., a husband drove his wife to the NJ State Police Hope Barracks, located on Route 521, for assistance because she was in labor.

The baby was born in the lobby area of the station, Marchan said.

The mother and baby were then transported to an area hospital, Marchan said.Line

Highway Patrol Welcomes New Troopers


Dec 26, 2022

Wyoming Highway Patrol Academy Class 103 received an early Christmas present on Friday as they completed their 20 week training academy and were commissioned from Academy Recruit to Wyoming State Trooper.

Trooper Chad Dollick / Badge #103/ Duty Station = Gillette

Trooper Clancy Gines / Badge #104 / Duty Station = Rock Springs

· Overall Fitness Award = Clancy Gines

· Firearms Proficiency Award = Chad Dollick

· Academic Award = Chad Dollick

· Colonel's Leadership Award = Chad Dollick

Although potentially the smallest WHP academy class ever commissioned, the quality of the class is as large as ever.

Please join us in congratulating WHP Academy Class 103 and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your Wyoming Highway Patrol!Line

AAST Memorial Scholarship Program

brierton memorial

The Florida Highway Patrol recently paid tribute to retired Colonel David H. Brierton, Jr. by dedicating American Flags to his wife and children in his honor. After a sudden illness, Colonel Brierton passed away on December 19, 2022, at the age of 63. Having served 32 years with honor and distinction as a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, his family decided to establish the David H. Brierton, Jr. memorial scholarship fund with the American Association of State Troopers. Through establishing a scholarship fund the Brierton’s were able to memorialize their loved one and help a young adult seeking to gain a higher education.

AAST would like to thank the Brierton family and the other families who have started scholarship funds in their loved ones names.

If you would like to start a scholarship fund or donate to Colonel Brierton’s or one of our other memorial scholarships, please contact Jamie Roufa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the office at (800)-765-5456, ext 202.      

                                                                                         Brierton flag presentation 2023                                      Brierton flag presentation 2. 2023