Illinois State Police help deliver baby during routine traffic stop
Illinois State Police helped deliver a baby during a traffic stop on I-57 northbound near 111th Street. Sunday, April 28, Trooper Valdez De Leon and Trooper Vodicka were on a traffic stop on I-57 northbound near 111th Street approximately around 11:56 p.m. when another vehicle pulled in front of Trooper De Leon’s police car. Out jumped Roland Watkins, who told Trooper De Leon that his sister, Stacey Watkins, was in active labor. About 10 minutes later Trooper Valdez and Trooper Vodicka successfully delivered baby Smothers. The mother and baby were transported to a local area hospital by ambulance. Monday afternoon, April 29, Trooper Valdez De Leon was able to visit the family at the hospital. “I never thought I would get the opportunity to deliver a baby on the side of the road so early in my career with the Illinois State Police,” stated Trooper Valdez De Leon. “It was a high-stress situation, but because of the First Responder training I received at the Illinois State Police Academy, I was confident enough to use the training I received and put it to good use, which led to a successful outcome.” Trooper Valdez De Leon is a one year veteran with the Illinois State Police. Trooper Valdez De Leon is a current Sergeant in the United States Army Reserves. He is also a 16-year veteran of the United States Army and United States Marine Corps. Trooper Vodicka is an 8 1/2 year veteran with the Illinois State Police.
Meet Luna, Massachusetts State Police first comfort dog
Massachusetts State Police showed off their very first comfort dog in an official introduction Thursday at State Police General Headquarters in Framingham, police said. Luna, a 4-month-old English black Labrador was bred to be a comfort dog and donated to work in “post-traumatic stress decompression,” State Police said in a statement. Luna responded to her first assignment last week with her handler, Trooper Chad Tata, to help Springfield officers following a shooting, said David Procopio, spokesman for the State Police. “She will eventually receive certification that will also allow him to take her out of state to assist at mass casualty incidents as needed,” Procopio said.
Indiana State Police issued 309 citations or warnings during 'Move Over Law' patrols
Indiana State Police issued 115 tickets and 194 warnings during a statewide special patrol April 14 through April 20 in which troopers looked for drivers who failed to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles. The most common violation was failure to change lanes for emergency vehicle on a four- lane highway, for which troopers issued 83 tickets and 137 warnings. Indiana 'Move Over Law' effort was in conjunction with police agencies from five other states: Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. State police said that with an increase in construction zones, this was an opportune time to use special patrols not only to find those drivers who violate the law, but to educate the public on the importance of slowing down and moving over for emergency vehicles. Troopers concentrated efforts on all emergency vehicles, including construction vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, police vehicles, maintenance crews, and roadside service crews. In neighboring Illinois, three state troopers have been struck and killed since the beginning of 2019. In 1999 Indiana was the first State in the nation to pass such a law requiring motorists to move to an adjacent traffic lane, or reduce speed by 10 mph below the posted speed limit if unable to change lanes safely when driving by a stationary police, fire or ambulance emergency vehicle stopped along the side of the road. Over the years Indiana's law has expanded to include stationary recovery, utility service, solid waste haulers, road, street highway maintenance vehicles, as well as a stationary survey or construction vehicles when displaying alternately flashing amber lights. Indiana’s law was originally crafted and passed the result of the death of ISP Tpr. Andrew Winzenread who was killed in April of 1997 while assisting a stranded motorist on I-74 in Decatur County.
North Carolina Highway Patrol unveils 2 new helicopters
The North Carolina Highway Patrol has unveiled two new law enforcement helicopters. The patrol says in a news release that the Bell helicopters will significantly boost the organization’s ability to promote public safety and complete live-saving missions. They will be used in addition to the patrol’s current aircraft. Officials say 80-85 percent of their missions are for local agencies that need help in finding missing persons to include the search for missing children. The two new units are completely operational and ready to begin serving the people of North Carolina.
North Carolina Highway Patrol unveils glow-in-the-dark 'Ghost Cruiser'
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has debuted a new "ghost cruiser" on its social media pages. The cruiser features markings that are more discreet and glow at night. Vance County trooper J. A. Thomas was awarded the first ghost vehicle for leading the state in DWI enforcement and arrests, the NCSHP said. "I love it. It's a nice ride," Thomas said. "Just knowing, like, this car is a reward, and if I save one life it's a greater reward." The NCSHP said it plans to deploy one of the ghost cruisers in each of its eight troops. 'A ghost patrol car has the exact same markings of our traditional marked patrol car but they just have a low profile and they glow in the dark at night," said Colonel G.M. McNeill Jr.
Nine new troopers for the South Dakota Highway Patrol
Nine new graduates officially become South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers on April 18. The public ceremony in the State Capitol rotunda in Pierre featured David Gilbertson, South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice, as guest speaker. The audience included family members, highway patrol field training officers, and many other guests. Also present were representatives from the American Legion, who co-sponsor the Youth Trooper Academy, where high school students experience for a week the same training as required for highway patrol recruits. This, the 61st class graduation of new highway patrol troopers, follows a full year of preparation. The process started with the recruits making their initial application to the highway patrol. After being selected, they completed eight months of training, which included basic law enforcement training, attending the South Dakota Highway Patrol Recruit Academy, and finally field training. Major Rick Miller addressed the audience, telling of the troopers being trained for split-second decisions, some of those decisions concerning the use of life-threatening force. “Honored families, these graduates need your support. Even if they say nothing, they need you to be there, to be there for them,” Miller said. He told the graduates, “Remember, you will be judged on every split-second decision you make; don’t second guess.” Gilbertson began by reciting the oath taken by the troopers, after they have gone through 33 weeks of intense training, which includes firearms, emotional intelligence, and defusing crisis situations. “Your job is not to fill the jails but to keep the peace. Be prepared to make mistakes, and to learn from them. You will unfortunately see people at their worst, which means you will have to be at your best,” Gilbertson said. “You troopers are on the front line. Have a long, great career, and a long and happy life.”
Maine State Police gain 14 new troopers
The Maine State Police welcomed 11 new troopers to the force following a graduation ceremony Friday, April 12, at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. The new troopers completed eight weeks of state police training and will patrol with a veteran trooper for the next few weeks.
California Highway Patrol releases video about officer efforts during camp fire
More than five months after the deadly Camp Fire in Paradise, personnel with the California Highway Patrol are giving their firsthand stories. California Highway Patrol Officer Joe Ortiz says while evacuating residents, the flames became so intense he didn’t know if he would make it out. A total of 86 people died in the wildfire, but thousands were saved thanks to the actions of the California Highway Patrol who risked their lives to evacuate the town. Officers say they were given little notice before entering the area to help get people out. They said once they entered the fire zone it turned pitch black from the smoke and conditions became extremely difficult to work through. Dispatchers say they got the call to evacuate the entire town for the first time ever and immediately started putting out calls. One trooper says he was ordered to direct traffic near his home and saw the fire destroy it. The Camp Fire in Butte County is the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.
To watch video, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSAHEhtlA-0
Customer pays it forward, sends nice note to Indiana State Police trooper in drive-thru line
A customer at an Indiana McDonald's pays it forward for one of Indiana's finest. State police say the driver of a red Chevrolet Suburban in front of a trooper in the drive-thru line paid for his lunch. The driver also left a note thanking the trooper for his service. It ended with "P.S. stay safe, God bless." The trooper said he appreciates the kind gesture and support.
WATCH: Gust of wind blows over Minnesota State Patrol trooper
One state trooper on duty Thursday in southern Minnesota got a first-hand taste of the high winds accompanying the blast of April winter weather that has hit the state this week. A tweet said the trooper was directing traffic around a jackknifed semi on Highway 86 and Interstate 90 in Jackson County Thursday morning when he was knocked to the ground by a strong gust of wind. The trooper was not injured, but the state patrol said it provided a reminder of the conditions caused by the storm. The incident was captured on video.
To watch video, go to: https://twitter.com/i/status/1116443502689255424
Second Colorado State Patrol trooper injured in collision during winter storm
According to a tweet from the Colorado State Police Public Affairs office, a state trooper was injured on Highway 160, mile marker 61, when their vehicle was hit by another car. The accident occurred in near Mancos in Montezuma County, which is currently experiencing a blast of winter weather. The driver of the vehicle involved in the wreck was also injured. Both were transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango. According to Wunderground, snow showers in Montezuma County near Mancos will continue into the night. As you’re driving on snowy roads around the state, exercise caution for the safety of yourself and those around you. Only drive if your car is winter ready and if essential. The Colorado Department of Transportation has warned people about getting on the roads. During a snowstorm in March, a state trooper was killed during duty in winter conditions.
Florida Highway Patrol swears in honorary trooper
On Tuesday April 9, 2019, The Florida Highway Patrol’s Troop B had a very special guest visit the Gainesville Station. Evan Procko, a resident of Branford, Florida is 15 years old and is battling Muscular Dystrophy. FHP Troopers along with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Gainesville Police Department showed Evan the ropes of a career in law enforcement. Florida Highway Patrol Captain Barry Tierney started off by showing Evan the FHP MRAP, explaining how it was used in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in recovery efforts. K-9 Trooper Corey Burk and Felony Officer Darin Morgan then put on a demonstration with K-9, Rogue. Gainesville Police Officer Al Moore showed Evan his Harley Davidson Police Motorcycle and Alachua County Deputy Mike Privette presented Evan with an Alachua County Sheriffs Office Medal of Valor pin for the bravery he has shown in his battle against his illness. Captain Tierney then bestowed the ultimate honor, swearing in Evan as an Honorary Florida Highway Patrol Trooper and presenting him with his Jr. Trooper badge and a certificate from Colonel Gene Spaulding. Once the day’s events concluded, Evan and his Dad traveled to his weekly treatment at Shands Hospital. Now as a Jr. Trooper!
Nevada Highway Patrol unveils new patrol car color
The Nevada Highway Patrol has unveiled the new look for its vehicle fleet. In social media posts, the NHP revealed that one of the new silver State Trooper SUVs is now on the road in Las Vegas. But eventually, you'll start to see the new vehicles on the highways statewide. Of course, until all the blue NHP vehicles are retired, you will continue to see those vehicles as well.
Motorist writes thank you post on facebook to Fallen Maine State Police Detective
The driver claiming to be assisted by Maine State Police Detective, Ben Campbell, on Interstate 95 in Hampden just minutes before Campbell's tragic death is going viral, after posting on Facebook. The alleged driver thanked 31-year-old Detective Campbell in the post. It states, “I vow for as long as I live, I will never forget your smile. I will never forget your kindness. I will never forget your sacrifice. I owe you a debt I don't think I can repay.” Maine State Police said the tragedy happened on Interstate 95 in Hampden, Wednesday, April 3rd. Maine State Police's Colonel, John Cote, said Campbell was on his way to training when he pulled over to help the driver who spun out on the Interstate. Campbell called another trooper for help lighting the scene. As Campbell waited, a loaded logging truck approached the scene. Police said two wheels came off the truck- one rolled into the median, the other struck Detective Campbell. Campbell was taken to a Bangor Hospital where he died.
Here is the full Facebook post written by the driver who claimed to be helped by Detective Campbell on Wednesday, April 3rd.
“Dear Detective Ben Campbell.
Today, I lost control of my car and did a 180 on I-95 South. I was shaken up, but otherwise fine. I called 911 and requested help in getting turned around on the busy highway.
You stopped to help me. You took my ID as per the standard. You came back to return it. You wore one of the warmest smiles I've ever seen. A smile that, without words, could give the world a moment of peace were it to look upon. I honestly felt safer in that moment as you stood by my drivers side window.
That changed. In a split second, I saw your smile turn to the briefest shade of concern as a logging semi came over the hill, before a tire came into my peripheral vision.
I blacked out. My first and only thought upon waking up was "I've died, haven't I?" I couldn't see anything but bright white light. Then my ears began ringing. I was able to open my eyes. My glasses partly crushed as I lifted my head before they fell off. My airbag had deployed. You weren't beside me anymore...
I stumbled out of my car, moving to the other side of the guard rail to avoid anything else hitting me.
That's when I saw you. Two tires had fallen off the truck. One struck my car, the other struck you.
Out of breath and still dizzy, I came to your side, pleeding for you to wake up. You responded with a sound so haunting, I don't dare describe it out of respect.
My mind raced. It had been years since I had any formal CPR training, and I was afraid that if I touched you without knowing just how bad you might be hurt, I'd just make it worse. I began waving and jumping up and down at oncoming traffic, desperately trying to get others to stop and help.
I leaned over you as another trooper and the driver of the semi came to help.
I looked into your eyes
You looked back
And then... You were gone...
The news reports you died in the hospital, but I knew in that moment, it was over...
I should have died twice today. I survived a high-speed spinout. When death came for me a second time, you were there. You traded your life for mine in the line of duty.
I vow for as long as I live, I will never forget your smile. I will never forget your kindness. I will never forget your sacrifice.
I owe you a debt I don't think I can repay.
Rest in peace. May your soul find tranquility.
New Mexico Governor appoints police veteran as next Chief
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham picked a veteran officer with the New Mexico State Police to lead the 650-officer force on Friday, saying he will work to boost recruitment of more women and be tasked with ensuring a professional work environment. The announcement of Tim Johnson as the state police chief comes more than three months after the governor took office. Lujan Grisham and Johnson said there would be no tolerance under their leadership for inappropriate behavior. "We want a standard of professionalism, and you will be held accountable to that standard," Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said at a news conference. The governor said Johnson brings a diverse background of experience following a nearly 20-year state police career in which he has investigated DWIs, homicides, and white collar crime. He most recently was responsible for overseeing criminal investigations. Johnson outlined his plan for improving recruitment overall, but especially among women. A prong of the plan will include telling recruits early in the application process the city where they would be based if they graduate from the academy. State police officials for years have told recruits while they are completing training where they will be assigned, and Johnson indicated that has likely led to some making an early decision not to pursue that career. Lujan Grisham noted this approach can be especially tough for mothers and all parents who must make plans for their children's schooling. She said women make up 7% of New Mexico State Police officers compared to 13% nationwide.