Highway Patrol graduates largest class in 43 years
South Dakota drivers will soon see new faces patrolling the roads. The South Dakota Highway Patrol is welcoming its largest group of new troopers in more than four decades - and the most women to ever graduate in one class - to the department this week. The 20 new troopers, who graduated Friday in Pierre, was the largest class since 1974, when 25 recruits were hired to patrol the state. The typical size the last years has been around 10 to 13. This year's class also has the largest number of women graduating at once in agency history. Five of the 20 new troopers are women. Why the increase in overall numbers and women recruits? Better, more personal marketing of law enforcement as a community service, says Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the Highway Patrol. "There are a lot of people out there who have an interest in helping their community," Price said. The Highway Patrol did do a few extra recruiting efforts to try and interest more women in the department, Price said, but said the main focus was finding "the most qualified people." Recruits went through basic law enforcement training, the South Dakota Highway Patrol Recruit Academy and field training. The entire process takes about one year. Recruits go through a 13-week basic law enforcement training with other agency recruits before moving on to highway patrol-specific training. They spend an additional five months in classroom training and another three in the field. "It's intense. These folks go through extreme training," Price said. "It's critically important for families and our (troopers) that they know what they're doing." The graduation ceremony was held Friday morning in Pierre and many of the troopers will be on duty the next day.
Hundreds pay last respects to fallen state police trooper
Hundreds of state police personnel filled Latrobe on Tuesday to pay respects to a local trooper killed in a two-vehicle crash while on duty Friday. Trooper Michael P. Stewart, 26, of Latrobe died in the crash between his police cruiser and a McInchok Sanitation truck on state Route 711 near Route 271 in Ligonier Township around 2:20 a.m. July 14. Stewart's partner, Trooper Travis November, walked into the funeral Mass at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church on crutches, bandages visible on his face. November suffered a concussion and other injuries in the accident, state police said. Stewart's funeral was also attended by police officers from at least 20 states – including California, Maine, Michigan, Colorado, Texas and New York – along with Gov. Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Col. Tyree Blocker. The church was filled to its capacity of 1,100, said Trooper Stephen Limani, public information officer. Some attendees were forced to sit outside and listen to the service through speakers. "The turnout was absolutely amazing," he said. "Our department is still reeling from Trooper Stewart's passing and we appreciate the outpouring of support from the people in the community," Limani said. "They've been nothing but spectacular." The Rev. Robert Byrnes, chaplain for the state police barracks in Greensburg, where Stewart was stationed, described meeting 14-year-old Stewart who was a participant in Camp Cadet. "If God has state troopers patrolling the highways of heaven, I'm sure you'll be one of the very best," Byrnes said. Johnstown Police Department Chief Robert Johnson, Capt. Jeff Janciga and two other Johnstown officers attended the funeral. Johnson, who was patrol section commander at the Greensburg barracks, said he knew Stewart. "He was a great guy," Johnson said. "It's a loss for the entire community." Cambria County Sheriff Bob Kolar, a retired state policeman, was at the state sheriff's conference when the news of Stewart's passing circulated. Numerous Pennsylvania sheriffs are retired from the state police, Kolar said, and described the mood at the conference as "somber," before a moment of silence was observed in Stewart's memory. "It hit home with a lot of us," Kolar said. "You don't expect things like this to happen. Anything can happen at any time." Dan Zakraysek, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Flood City Lodge No. 86, said he was shocked to hear the news of Stewart's passing. "It's just one of those freak accidents that happened," he said. Zakraysek, a former Upper Yoder Township police chief, said his thoughts are also with November, who will have to cope with the loss of his partner. "A real bond develops there between those guys," he said. Stewart's sudden death is a reminder to officers that coming home from work isn't always a guarantee, Zakraysek added. "Every day you go out, you don't think about it, but it's in the deep back of your mind that this could happen," he said. Johnson said state police and law enforcement as a whole are a community that will assist Stewart's family and friends through the loss. "It's a family like no other," he said. "The support doesn't stop after the funeral." During a press conference Friday, state police said Stewart and his patrol partner, November, were on routine patrol during the overnight shift, traveling southbound on Route 711, when the garbage truck driven by 26-year-old John Hissem made a left-hand turn out of a parking lot to head north. That's when Stewart's cruiser collided with the front end of the garbage truck, Limani said, with the majority of the impact hitting where Stewart was sitting. Westmoreland County Coroner Kenneth Bacha ruled Stewart's death as accidental and listed blunt force trauma to the head as the cause. Stewart died on scene at 3:10 a.m., according to a release from Bacha's office. The crash remains under investigation as state police try to determine what caused the crash and if anyone is at fault. Stewart enlisted in the Pennsylvania State Police in January 2014 and was a member of the 138th cadet class of graduates before being assigned to the patrol unit in Troop A, Greensburg, in August 2015. He had previously been assigned to Troop H in Chambersburg, Franklin County. Stewart is the 98th member of the Pennsylvania State Police to be killed in the line of duty and the eighth from Troop A in Greensburg.
Law enforcement from across the country come to pay their final respects for Trooper Joel R. Davis
Large crowds of people gathered in downtown Watertown to pay their final respects to slain state police Trooper Joel R. Davis. Trooper Davis was one of two killed on Sunday during a shooting incident on County Route 46,Theresa. Also killed was Nichole Walters, wife of alleged shooter Justin D. Walters. “I thought it would be the right thing to do to pay my respects,” said Stephen M. Washer II, while waiting on Public Square. Mr. Washer said Trooper Davis’s brother Joshua is a “really well respected man in the Watertown Police Department” and wished to show respect and support to the family. The procession traveled around the north side of Public Square before heading up Washington Street to Brookside Cemetery. Earlier, a crowd of hundreds of law enforcement officers and community members attended a funeral at Fort Drum’s Magrath Sports Complex. Pastor Shane Ryan, Watertown City Police officer, said Trooper Davis was a family man who protected his brother Joshua, loved his children Trenton, Caden, and Jaila and cared for his wife Suzanne. “He always knew what to do when she had a rough day, or she was stressed out,” Pastor Ryan said. He said Trooper Davis loved dancing with his children to songs from Notorious B.I.G., and playing them in mini golf. “He was the champ at that,” Pastor Ryan said. The pastor said Trooper Davis loved to have fun, recalling games of 2-on-2 football in the parking lot of a Tim Hortons. He said being there at the hospital on Sunday for the Davis family as they learned what happened “was one of the worst experiences you can imagine.” However, it reminded him that Trooper Davis, his family and grieving law enforcement were with each other in their time of sorrow. “You realize you never walk alone,” he said. State police Superintendent George P. Beach II said Trooper Davis was loved by the community, and was someone who took pride in his work. “Joel knew this was a place he could make a difference, and he was good at it,” he said. The superintendent said that Trooper Davis was dedicated to his family, at one point resigning from the state police academy to return home. “He was willing to give up his dream to be with his loved ones,” he said. Trooper Davis later returned to the academy and graduated on time with his class. Superintendent Beach praised Trooper Davis’s heroism in response to the shooting on County Route 46, Theresa, that resulted in the loss of his life. “He ran toward gunfire to protect the innocent and prevent further bloodshed,” he said. “That is a trooper. That is a hero. That is bravery.” The ceremony began with a performance of “Amazing Grace,” followed by readings from Psalm 23, the poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis and Matthew 5:1-12. Trooper Davis’s uniform, handcuffs, patch and badge are being displayed in shadow boxes on each side of his casket, sharing space with his hats representing his time as a state trooper and Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy. A series of photos of the trooper on duty have been displayed along the wall, along with a large American flag. Prior to the ceremony, law enforcement officials spoke to media about the fallen trooper. Philip T. Rougeux, state police Troop D commander, said Trooper Davis was a hero. “He definitely saved three lives that day,” he told media assembled before the funeral. Superintendent Beach told media that he spoke to Trooper Davis’s father Friday, and added that the Davis family has appreciated the community’s support this week. He noted the trooper who arrested Walters on Sunday night had been trained by Trooper Davis. Jefferson County Sheriff Colleen M. O’Neill called Saturday a “sad day,” and said her office and Watertown city police are comforted seeing representatives at the funeral from departments across the United States and Canada. Law enforcement have come to the department from as far away as California, Utah and North Carolina. Also in attendance are representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Law enforcement in attendance gathered in formation prior to entering the gym for the funeral. Among those in attendance was Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Texters beware: Highway Patrol is rolling out new tools to catch you
Three Utah Highway Patrol troopers looked out the windows of a black 15-passenger van, searching for drivers focused on their cellphones instead of the road. Almost immediately, one trooper spotted a driver using a cellphone and alerted one of seven nearby troopers, who moved in to make a traffic stop. The van — an experiment UHP rolled out last month — headed north on Interstate 15 at 2:45 p.m. Thursday with an entourage of reporters for a four-hour effort to catch distracted drivers. While the van isn't exactly unmarked — "stop the texts, end the wrecks" is printed on its sides — it blends into traffic better than a trooper's car. And its passengers have an elevated advantage, such as seeing into cars better than troopers in vehicles lower to the ground. In general, troopers are trained to keep their heads on a near-constant swivel while they drive. And although they continue to actively look for violations, having spotters relieves some of the pressure to catch all distracted drivers. Depending on how well the experiment goes, the van may be used more regularly. By 7 p.m., seven troopers had pulled over 40 drivers. Some 26 drivers received warnings, seven others received tickets, according to public relations director Marissa Villansenor Cote. One driver heading north near Parrish Lane was pulled over without a tip from the van. "Like right there," Trooper Derek Shelby said to a Salt Lake Tribune reporter who was riding in the passenger seat. "On his cellphone." Shelby saw the man looking at his phone, holding it chest-level. The man saw Shelby, too. He and his passenger seemed caught off guard, despite driving right next to a marked UHP car. The man admitted to looking at his phone; he was expecting a text from a family member, he said, and was checking to see if he had gotten it. "I explained to him that pretty much any time you have your phone in your hand, it's a hazard," Shelby said after issuing the man a ticket. Shelby doesn't stop every seemingly distracted driver. Unless he can see the phone, he waits to decide whether they aren't paying enough attention to the road. For example, a man who glanced down multiple times while driving near Bountiful. "Like him, he just looked down. He's looking down again. Looking down again. Looks down again," Shelby said, deciding whether to make a traffic stop. He decided against it, because "there are certain things you can do with your phone." For example, GPS. Shelby hesitates to stop people when he can't see their phones, in case their glances are just to check directions. Not everyone who uses their phone gets pulled over; troopers want to make sure "without a doubt" people are breaking the law first, said Lt. Cory Nye, one of the spotters in the van. Utah Code prohibits using a "handheld wireless communication," such as a cellphone, to "write, send, or read text or data" while driving. Law enforcement can't pull someone over for just talking on the phone or use GPS while driving, though it can be a secondary offense, but texting alone could land drivers a class C misdemeanor and a fine. In 2016, troopers pulled over 369 drivers for texting while driving during operations in which officers specifically targeted distracted drivers, according to an annual UHP report. Statistics on total distracted-driving citations for 2016 were not immediately available. "But we all know, driving down the road every day, we can see people on their phones, distracted as they're driving," said Lt. Beau Mason. As rush hour began on Thursday, traffic picked up and drivers slowed down and more phones came out. "The beginning of rush hour. The fun begins," Nye said. Ten seconds later: "There's a guy right there." Drivers to the right and left of the van had phones pulled out; one driver looking at his phone had two children buckled in the back seat. Another driver put his phone on the dashboard when he noticed he'd caught a trooper's attention. Some drivers didn't notice the big black van at all. At least twice before 4:45 p.m., the van pulled to the side of the road to wait, as all seven troopers were occupied with distracted drivers. "See, when speeds slow down, people start figuring they can do other things other than driving," Nye said, as he pointed out a woman looking through her purse while she drove. One trooper pulled over a semi driver who had a fold-out map stretched across his lap. It's the second day UHP has taken the spotter van out. UHP tried the van out for the first time last month in Utah County. And officials intend to continue to use it when they can. The troopers will analyze how Thursday's operation went and decide when they can schedule another spotting event. "We'd like to see it keep going," Nye said. But that will depend on resources, such as time, money and available troopers. Anecdotally, Nye said he has seen an increase in distracted driving in his 19 years on the force. A lot of the distractions he sees are phones, but he sees people applying makeup and eating cereal, as well. Not everyone gets a ticket; it's up to the trooper's discretion. "Most troopers are going to watch and see [if they] are a hazard to others, and they address accordingly," Mason said.
State: Police out in force July 17-23 to prevent traffic fatalities
Law enforcement across Alabama and the Southeast will be out in July 17-23 as part of a special traffic campaign to reduce the number of crashes by enforcing basic highway safety laws. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is teaming up with authorities for Operation Southern Shield — a joint effort between five Southern states— to crack down on motorists who ignore the major factors in automobile crashes and deaths – speeding, impaired and distracted driving and not wearing a seat belt, according to an Alabama State Trooper press release. The campaign is sandwiched between other major highway safety campaigns and is being conducted in response to the high volume of traffic with summer traveling and vacations. The campaign’s goal is to achieve a period of zero fatalities. “Summer is a time when families come together for fun, not funerals, and Gov. Ivey’s goal is to increase safety on Alabama’s highways,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell. “Gov. Ivey and ADECA wholeheartedly endorse this effort and urge drivers to at all times to slow down, wear your seat belts and pay attention to the road.” ADECA’s Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division is working with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and police and sheriffs’ departments throughout the state to step up efforts to provide high-visibility of law enforcement and take unsafe drivers off the road. ADECA administers grant funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that pays overtime for officers to conduct extra patrols during special campaigns like Operation Southern Shield at hotspots where traffic crashes often occur. The safety campaign is also being conducted in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee, which along with Alabama, make up the NHTSA’s Southeast enforcement region. Speed is the number one cause of driving fatalities in Alabama. In 2015, speed was determined to be a factor in 28 percent of the fatal crashes; 63 percent of the victims were not wearing seat belts, and 43 percent of the drivers had been drinking.
Pennsylvania State Police trooper killed in line-of-duty
Trooper Michael Stewart was killed in a vehicle crash on Route 711, at the Route 271 split, in Ligonier Township, Westmoreland County, at approximately 2:20 am. His patrol SUV was traveling southbound when a garbage truck attempted to turn left onto the roadway in front of it, causing a collision. Trooper Stewart suffered fatal injuries in the crash and his partner suffered minor injuries. Trooper Stewart had served with the Pennsylvania State Police for three years.
Convoy honors slain state police trooper
The slain state trooper killed in the line of duty on Sunday night will be laid to rest on Saturday afternoon following a funeral at Fort Drum. Services for trooper Joel R. Davis were announced Tuesday afternoon by state police. The funeral will be held at McGrath Gymnasium, 10050 Tigris River Valley Road, at 1 p.m. Saturday. Calling hours also will be held at the Fort Drum gymnasium, on Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the public and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. for law enforcement officials. Trooper Davis was killed Sunday night in a shooting in Theresa. Also killed was Nichole Walters, wife of alleged shooter Justin Walters. Walters, charged with first- and second-degree murder, is currently being held without bail. Trooper Davis, from Evans Mills, was highly regarded by his fellow law enforcement officers and first responders, according to those who spoke to the Times on Monday. Tuesday, fire department, police and EMS personnel in Jefferson County had a chance to honor him when his body was brought back home from Syracuse, escorted by a motorcade of state troopers and other law enforcement vehicles. The motorcade ended at the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home on 632 State St., where the family met their loved one’s body. Although he worked all night, city firefighter Andrew Denney knew that he needed to honor the slain state trooper. He had hoped to join his colleagues with the city’s fire department at Arsenal and Massey streets to honor the trooper killed in the line of duty while his body was returned to Watertown. But Mr. Denney ended up with a contingent of town of Watertown firefighters, EMS personnel and Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies who were perched at the Massey Street overpass on Monday morning to see a procession of state police and other law enforcement vehicles that escorted the trooper’s body back home. A Cape Vincent firefighter was in his full dress uniform. The convoy of vehicles was met by similar scenes all the way from Syracuse, where the trooper’s trip began earlier in the morning. It didn’t matter that Mr. Denney was not with his colleagues. What mattered was that he was honoring the trooper killed Sunday night while responding to a domestic incident in the town of Theresa, Mr. Denney stressed. “It means a lot to the family,” he added. He was there with his two 8-year-old sons, Reegan and Mason, and wife Danielle, a paramedic with the Watertown Ambulance Service, “to show respect” to Trooper Davis, Mr. Denney said. Watertown Fire Chief Charles Dillon got word Monday about the showing of respect and organized about a dozen of his firefighters to go to the Massey Street overpass to view the procession as it went by. A large American flag hung from two ladder trucks and the group stood at attention when the trooper’s body and the vehicles passed underneath, “To honor a law enforcement officer is the least we can do,” he said. Thomas Horning, his daughter Keira L. Morgia Horning and her sister Cora R. Morgia were returning from a doctor’s appointment when they came upon the memorial. Knowing it was for the slain trooper, they stood at the start of the bridge as they watched the procession go by. “It’s not every day you get to see something like this,” Mr. Horning said. Dozens of people lined up while the motorcade went through downtown Watertown. City Fire Capt. Christopher Hayman was part of a group of firefighters that helped with traffic control while the motorcade came through Arsenal and Massey streets, where county employees from the Jefferson County Office Building paid respects. “It was a somber event,” he said.
To watch footage of the convoy, visit http://wdt.me/TrooperDavisProcession.
State Police trooper rescues man from submerged vehicle
An Indiana State Police trooper helped rescue a Roann man after his vehicle became trapped in rushing water. The Indiana State Police said emergency responders responded to Wabash County Road 600 West near County Road 500 North just before midnight Friday. When they arrived, they found a Chevrolet Cobalt off the west side of the road. Only the passenger side of the vehicle was visible. The driver, Daniel Winters, 60 of Roann, was trapped inside. A State Police trooper, Dustin Rutledge, entered the rushing water armed with a lifejacket for himself and Winters. He was attached to a safety line to a Roann fire truck. When he got to the car, the department said he saw Winters was cold and his dexterity was poor. The trooper put the life jacket on the man and secured him to the line. While the trooper was pulling Winters from the vehicle, the department said the safety line attached to him broke. The man was unable to stand so Rutledge had to drag him to dry land. The man was treated and released at the scene. The department said while the incident remains under investigation, there was heavy downpours throughout the day. Police believe overflow from nearby Paw Paw Creek contributed to the rushing water and flooding. This area is low compared to surrounding areas, which might be the cause for the collection and flow of the water.
State Troopers make more than 100 drug busts so far in 2017
The Ohio State Highway Patrol released its drug-related arrest totals for the first half of 2017, and they are up from last year. According to OSP, troopers seized more than 860,000 grams of marijuana and 26,000 grams of heroin through traffic stops so far this year. Troopers are trained to look deeper than the initial traffic violation and to search for indicators of criminal activity, the patrol said. This tactic has led to a 12% increase in drug arrests from 2016 to 2017. OSP has made just under 8,400 drug arrests from January to June, and nearly 2,400 of those arrests were felony cases. There have been 56 OSP felony drug cases in Trumbull County, 35 in Mahoning County and 24 in Columbiana County.
Wyoming Highway Patrol gives awards to deputy and his wife for their efforts in saving the life of a trooper
Beltrami County Deputy Sheriff Jeff Roberts and his wife, Linda Roberts, were recently honored and presented awards from the Wyoming Highway Patrol Association during a ceremony held at the Beltrami County Law Enforcement Center. The awards were presented by Minnesota State Patrol Captain Mike Wedin and Sheriff Phil Hodapp on behalf of the Wyoming Highway Patrol Association for the efforts of the Roberts’ to save the life of a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper involved in a motor vehicle collision on Sept. 22 while the Roberts were vacationing with their family in Wyoming, according to a press release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office. At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 22, deputy Roberts, his wife Linda and their two children were traveling near Sheridan, Wyo. on Interstate 90, following behind Wyoming State trooper David Motsick, who was following directly behind a Rapid City Fire Department Ambulance returning from a medical transport to Billings, Mont. The ambulance and trooper were traveling in the left lane of Interstate 90, passing a semi-tractor trailer, when the ambulance took evasive action to avoid a head-on collision with a vehicle traveling the wrong direction on the interstate. Trooper Motsick attempted to avoid the crash, but with little time to react, collided with the oncoming vehicle head on. Motsick suffered multiple and significant life-threatening injuries. Deputy Roberts and Linda, a North Memorial AirCare Flight Paramedic, stopped and rendered immediate aid to the trooper and the driver of the other vehicle. Alongside the paramedics from the Rapid City Fire Department, flight medic Linda Roberts "was instrumental in lifesaving efforts,” the honor said. Deputy Roberts assisted at the scene by immediately accessing the troopers radio and reported the collision and called for help. He then assisted with retrieving supplies for the paramedics and made the scene safe by setting up and maintaining traffic control around the collision until other rescue personnel could arrive. Jeff and Linda, along with the Rapid City Fire Department paramedics also attempted lifesaving efforts with the driver of the other vehicle, "however despite their earnest and best efforts, the subject unfortunately died due to the injuries suffered during the collision,” the release said. For the injuries sustained during the performance of his duties, Trooper Motsick was awarded the Purple Heart and continues to rehabilitate from his injuries. For the critical and urgent care rendered to Mostick, Linda and paramedics from the Rapid City Fire Department were awarded the Luke Schauland Medal of Life, and Deputy Jeff Roberts received the Meritorious Conduct Award.
Tennessee state troopers find 691 pounds of pot in vehicle
On Sunday, July 2, 2017, the Tennessee Highway Patrol Interdiction Plus Team conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle that was towing another vehicle on a trailer. The stop occurred on Interstate 40 in Dickson County. The license plate on the vehicle was concealed with a license plate cover. During the traffic stop, the troopers observed signs of nervousness and stress from the driver, Jorge Gusman. While checking the vehicle VIN number, Gusman fled on foot. After a short foot pursuit, troopers were able to apprehend the suspect, and arrest him for the traffic violation as well as fleeing from the scene. Troopers were given verbal consent by the driver to search the vehicle. During the search, troopers discovered 28 bales of marijuana (which weighed 691 pounds) covered by blankets. The marijuana was seized along with the vehicles. Gusman remains in the Dickson County Jail on a $105,000 bond. “Our Interdiction Plus team does excellent investigative work keeping drug dealers off our roadways,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “It is our duty to make sure our communities are safe and drug free.”
New York State Police trooper killed in the line of duty
Trooper Joel Davis was shot and killed in Theresa, New York, while responding to a domestic disturbance and shots fired call at 34371 Route 46. At some point during the incident the male subject murdered his wife and wounded another woman who lived on the property. Trooper Davis was shot and killed after arriving at the scene. The subject, an active duty Army member, surrendered as additional units arrived at the home. Trooper Davis had served with the New York State Police for four years and had previously served with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Safety is personal for South Caroline Highway Patrol's first black commander
Recalling how a drunk driver took a life dear to him, new S.C. Highway Patrol Commander Christopher Williamson said highway safety will be his top issue. “We want to make sure we save people’s lives on the highways,” said Williamson, the first African-American to lead South Carolina’s highway troopers. Williamson’s promotion was announced last Friday. The State asked the Darlington County native about his nearly 30-year Highway Patrol career that led, last week, to him being placed in charge of policing S.C. highways and keeping travelers safe:
Q: What made you decide to join the Highway Patrol?
A: “I found my passion for law enforcement, wanting to be a law enforcement officer, at a young age of 12 years old. My 9-year-old sister was killed by a drunk driver. ... I watched my parents go through that suffering and have to deal with it. And my mentality then was that when I become of age, I would go to college, get a degree ... (and) take drunk drivers off the road and make a difference. That’s what I’ve tried to do.”
Q: How do you feel about being the first African-American to lead the Highway Patrol?
A: “The fact that I’m African-American, I have no control over. I just happen to be African-American, but I feel like I’m the colonel for all people regardless of the color of my skin. I have the skill set, the ability, the education and the background to be able to do this job and save people’s lives and help accomplish the mission towards highway safety issues.”
Q: What have you learned about South Carolina as a highway patrolman?
A: “I’ve learned that if you work hard and treat people fair, do the right thing and show people your skill set and ability, that anything in this state is possible – that you can accomplish your dreams and goals and you can definitely be successful and move forward.”
Q: What challenges have you had to overcome on the Highway Patrol?
A: “(L)earning the laws of this state, learning what it takes to try to have to deal with people from all walks of life when you’re out there making traffic stops and trying to keep our highways safe. You run into people from all walks of life, from all nationalities, from all parts of the world that travel through our roadways. “And you may meet people with different personalities, and you’ve got to be a person in law enforcement that wears different hats. People you stop – everybody’s not the same. That can be a challenge if you are not a person that has those interpersonal skills and are able to converse with people on any level. ... I was able to learn that early on and it has really paid off for me.”
Trooper trapped under car saved by citizen using incredible strength to lift the vehicle
Many people think that lifting a car up is no problem, but attempt it and you won’t budge the thing. However, hero citizen Kenny Franklin had no issue getting a car lifted off of Florida State Trooper Jack Hypes, who was pinned under a vehicle according to Fox News. Franklin was taking an Uber to work on Thursday morning when his driver apparently suffered a seizure, on I-4 near I-275. The drivers foot was on the gas pedal during his episode, according to Franklin, and he felt as if he was going to die. From the backseat of the car, he was somehow able to get the vehicle on the side of the road and that is when the Uber driver came out of his seizure. Franklin said that the driver “didn’t know where he was at, so he tried to put the car into a gear, and so he’s fumbling with the car.” Taking the opportunity to get out of the car, Kenny jumped out and saw Trooper Jack Hypes walking toward him. Franklin said, “He starts walking up towards me, to assist and assess the situation. As he did that, the driver mistakenly puts the car in reverse and hits the officer, who is then pinned underneath the car.” With adrenaline racing through him, all he could think about was ‘that this needed to end well’. Using his adrenaline he was able to lift car off of Trooper Jack Hypes. It should be noted that Kenny Franklin is also a very big man. Luckily the trooper suffered non-life threatening injuries, but had some minor ones. The Florida Highway Patrol said that ‘all three men will be okay.’ They commended Franklin, who said he was in the right place at the right time.
State Police bust multimillion dollar drug operation
New Jersey State Police detectives and local authorities busted an alleged drug operation, seized millions of dollars in suspected drugs and arrested four suspects, police said. Last Wednesday, officers from the State Police and North Bergen arrested three of the suspects and seized 40 kilograms of heroin, a statement from the State Police said, after intercepting an alleged drug deal in the parking lot of a business in North Bergen. Then Thursday, officers from the State Police and Willingboro raided an address at 78 Berkshire Lane in Willingboro, the statement said. Authorities seized 80 kilograms of heroin, 3 kilograms of methamphetamine, 50,000 Percocet tablets, 3 kilograms of suspected fentanyl, and paraphernalia consistent with distribution, the statement said. The total value of the heroin seized was $9.6 million. “There’s no question that multiple lives were saved by this record-level seizure of heroin and fentanyl,” said Attorney General Christopher Porrino in a statement. “ The 120 kilos of heroin seized by this team over the past two days would have been cut into millions upon millions of individual doses of heroin, made even deadlier if laced with the lethal fentanyl that was also seized."