Virginia State Police Trooper rescues toddler...

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Officials say an off-duty Virginia State Police trooper went "above and beyond the call of duty," after rescuing a toddler found wandering alone in traffic on Route 13 in Accomack County. The Daily Times Salisbury reports Senior Trooper Johnny Godwin was traveling on the highway Saturday when he saw the child, who was about 1 to 2 years old, standing in the middle of the southbound right lane near a curve in Temperanceville. Area Commander 1st Sgt. B. E. Jeff Jones says Godwin got out of his vehicle, which he used to block traffic, and grabbed the child out of the path of oncoming traffic. Godwin stayed with the child until someone from Child Protective Services arrived. The trooper has been with the Virginia State Police since 1997.

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Move Over it's the Law

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To raise awareness about motorists moving over for law enforcement officers working along our roadways, the Ohio State Highway Patrol posted a photo of a trooper holding his newborn daughter with an impactful message. One year later, the Patrol posted the same trooper with his daughter and his newborn son -- with a new impactful message.   The two posts combined reached almost four million people on Facebook.  The posts received over 261,000 shares and likes.  The Patrol greatly appreciated the positive attention given to this important message on Facebook and by local media.All 50 States have "Move Over" laws to protect law enforcement officers and other first responders stopped on our Nation's roads. Yet only 71% of the public are aware of these laws, and traffic-related incidents continue to be the number one cause of death among on-duty law enforcement officers. We need to continue to get the word out to all drivers and maximize the safety potential of these laws. By raising public awareness of "Move Over" laws through earned and social media, you can make a difference and help to save lives.

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Highway Patrol uses airplane to catch speeders

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On a straight piece of highway, it's not easy for a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper to do traffic enforcement. But with the help of a plane flying 2,000 feet above, the highway patrol has another tool to keep the roadways safe. With 14 aircraft across the state of Missouri, the MSHP Aircraft Division's main job is traffic enforcement. In 2015, the Aircraft Division assisted with writing 15,072 citations or warnings. When the division does traffic enforcement, they use three sets of pre-painted "blocks" on the roadway that are measured at 660 feet, or 1/8th of a mile, apart. The pilot uses a stopwatch to time how fast a car crosses through those blocks. The stopwatch is calibrated to the 1/8 mile distance, and is able to give the pilot a speed. The pilot and a trooper on the ground always do a test to make sure the stopwatch and the ground trooper's speedometer are calibrated correctly. When a car crosses the first blocks, the pilot starts his stop watch. When he crosses the second set, he stops the first stopwatch and starts a second stop watch. When the car finally passes through the third set, the pilot stops the second stop watch. The pilot uses these two speeds to determine if the driver is speeding. If the pilot feels the driver is speeding, he will radio to a ground trooper waiting they have a violator. The pilot will tell the ground trooper the color and style of the car, which lane the car is in, and what cars are around the speeding car; any details to give the trooper a better indication of which car needs to be pulled over. Once the trooper gets behind the correct car, the pilot will tell him and the trooper will pull the speeding car off to the shoulder. Once the pilot sees both the trooper and the speeding car on the shoulder, he is able to end visual contact with the violator. The ground trooper will then write the ticket or warning for speeding as well as any other violations the ground trooper sees including if a seat belt was being used. Once that is complete, the ground trooper relays what citations or warnings he's written back to the pilot. In addition to traffic enforcement, the division also helps with search and rescues, manhunts, and pursuits. Using helicopters, the Aircraft Division can access otherwise inaccessible areas such as cliffs and bluffs, or conducting a water rescue when someone is stuck in a flooded home or car. They also assist in locating people, whether they are criminals or lost children. Being in the air, the pilots can see things that otherwise wouldn't be visible from a ground prospective. Being able to have a plane above a pursuit, the MSHP is able to take law enforcement on the ground out of a potentially dangerous situation. The pilot can safely follow the suspect and allow other officers to get in position ahead of the suspect. 

Source: abc17

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19-Year Old Dies after Playing Chicken with the California Highway Patrol

CAThe California Highway Patrol was monitoring a “swap meet” held in the parking lot of a local mall last Sunday. According to the authorities, around 80 trucks and off-road vehicles were participating the meeting, and some of the drivers were performing donuts. Naturally, the officers were watching the drivers while undercover in unmarked cars. At one point into the night, one of the drivers left the scene and was observed driving at speeds of up to 90 mph (145 km/h). The officers continued the pursuit in their unmarked vehicle, and they drove for approximately five miles, until the Chevrolet Silverado reached a dead-end street in Fullerton. At that point, the driver turned the truck around, and attempted a game of “chicken” with the police officers. In layman’s terms, the incredibly dangerous game of “chicken” consists of two vehicles driving directly into each other’s path, and the one that steers away first is considered the "loser." The officers did not want to let the suspect leave the scene and risk an accident with innocent civilians, so they opened fire on the vehicle. Pedro Villanueva, the 19-year-old driver of the red Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, died on the scene. His passenger was injured by a bullet that struck his upper torso, but he is expected to survive. Authorities are unaware whether Villanueva figured out if he was being pursued by a team of undercover police officers when he decided to drive towards them at speed. Villanueva’s family and friends mourn his death, and a GoFundMe page was opened to raise money for his relatives. According to the LaTimes, the page shows a photograph of the 19-year-old man as he is holding a guitar while sitting in the bed of his pick-up truck. We would like to remind you that street racing is dangerous, and getting pursued by the police in any country is a serious offense.

 

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State Trooper Honored for Alabama's First Texting while driving manslaughter conviction

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An Alabama State Trooper was recently awarded for his investigation into a crash two years ago that led to what a prosecutor believes is the first manslaughter conviction based on the state's texting and driving law. Trooper Bruce Irvin recently received the citation from Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Stan Stabler, according to the agency's Twitter and Facebook pages. Trooper Irvin is assigned to Highway Patrol's Mobile Post. Two years ago, USA student Miranda "Randi" Hamilton died in a crash that prosecutors blamed on another driver's cell phone use. On Wednesday, that man drew a potentially precedent-setting 10-year split sentence on his manslaughter conviction. Irvin was the traffic investigator for an April 14, 2014 crash on Lott Road, just west of Schillinger road that killed 24-year-old Miranda Hamilton of Mobile. A jury earlier this year found Jonathan Mikeal Raynes, 23, of Purvis, Miss., guilty of manslaughter in the wreck. Raynes was sentenced in April by Circuit Court Judge Robert Smith to a 10-year-split sentence with two years to serve in prison. Raynes is appealing his conviction and sentence to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Raynes, according to testimony at his trial, had told Irvin that it had not been his phone that distracted him, Irvin testified that he believed otherwise. Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich argued that Raynes was "fixated" on his phone at the time of the crash. Her case was built largely on the testimony of Paul Weathersby, an information technology specialist and digital forensic examiner for the FBI's Mobile division. Weathersby testified that Raynes had been using his cellphone in the hour before the crash mostly to send instant messages or look at profiles of women on dating sites. He used several social media apps, but returned repeatedly to a dating site called Badoo, which he apparently was using for the first time that morning. According to Weathersby testified Raynes last manipulated his phone at 8:57:36 a.m., or 32 seconds before the first 911 call about the wreck was logged. If the prosecution doesn't have a smoking gun in a manslaughter case based on Alabama's texting and driving law, will a warm one do? Based on the verdict in a Mobile case, the answer apparently is "yes.' No eyewitness testified that he was using his phone at the instant of the crash. Rich said earlier this year that she believes this is the first time Alabama's texting and driving statute has been applied in a manslaughter case. The state's texting and driving law went into effect in August 2012. Starting Wednesday in Alabama, car-driving texters, emailers, Facebookers and Twitterers will take on a new handle -- lawbreakers. That's when Alabama becomes the 38th state with a law banning texting and driving.Line