110 lbs of marijuana seized
The Missouri Highway Patrol posted a photo to Twitter Friday night that showed someone’s weekend plans had gone up in smoke. “110lbs of marijuana seized from a traffic stop!” the patrol wrote via Twitter. The attached photo shows dozens of bags of marijuana. Sgt. Collin Stosberg of the patrol told The Star that the bust occurred in Platte County. A trooper detected the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, and a probable cause search revealed the stash in a hidden factory compartment. “#JustSayNo #MakeSmartChoices,” the patrol wrote on Twitter.
South Carolina Highway Patrol gets first African-American commander
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety announced Friday that Director Leroy Smith has named a new Highway Patrol commander. Christopher Williamson, a 29-year HP veteran, was chosen to succeed Col. Michael Oliver, who is retiring after 35 years with the patrol. Williamson makes history as the first African-American commander to lead the S.C. Highway Patrol. Oliver was promoted to lead the Highway Patrol in 2011, and Williamson was named as the deputy commander of the division where he has served since. Marc Wright, a 35-year veteran, has been named deputy commander of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. He has been serving in the role of major since 2012. He has extensive experience in administration, field operations and resource management. “This is both an exciting and bittersweet day,” SCDPS Director Leroy Smith said. “We welcome an enthusiastic and visionary leader in Col. Williamson. But we will miss Col. Oliver who has led the Highway Patrol with strength and integrity – often through difficult seasons for law enforcement in our state and nation,” Smith said. Williamson worked alongside Oliver during critical times such as the 1,000-year flood, Hurricane Matthew and events following the Emanuel Nine shootings. He has been instrumental in important infrastructure and technological advances within the Highway Patrol. Williamson, a Darlington native, joined the Highway Patrol in 1988. He was promoted to captain in Troop Seven/Orangeburg in 2003 and transferred to Troop Six/Charleston as captain in 2009. Williamson began his career in Berkeley County and has spent his career with the patrol in the Orangeburg/Charleston region until joining headquarters in 2011. As lieutenant colonel, Williamson managed the day-to-day operations of the Highway Patrol, which has statewide jurisdiction. Williamson oversaw the administrative, operational and support functions of the patrol associated with enforcement and public safety. He has also overseen traffic/specialized enforcement and safety outreach for 11 Troops. Williamson is married to Deloris Williamson and has two daughters, Krissy and Daysha, and two granddaughters, Kristina and Kailyn. “With this new role comes great responsibility to the citizens and visitors of this state and to the troopers and civilian personnel of the Highway Patrol,” Williamson said. “My primary goals are to continue creative enforcement and safety education efforts to reduce highway fatalities and collisions; to work diligently to ensure our men and women are recruited, retained and compensated fairly for the dangerous and difficult job they do; and to continue to enhance our relationships with the communities we serve.”
South Carolina Highway Patrol graduates 33 new troopers
The South Carolina Highway Patrol announces the graduation of 33 troopers from Highway Patrol Basic Class 92 on Friday. Gov. Nikki Haley spoke to the graduates about the sacrifices of law enforcement and the importance of character as they go out to represent their communities around the state. The governor has spoken at the last four Highway Patrol graduation ceremonies. “You have proven yourself to be able to wear this uniform but now there is something else you have to prove,” Gov. Haley told graduates. “You have brothers and sisters who have come before you and wearing that badge and wearing that uniform means something,” Haley said. “So, when you are out in the community, you have a responsibility. When you are not in uniform they still expect you to have the same integrity, the same demeanor as when you are wearing a uniform.” Basic 92 will bring the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 762. The troopers began training in January and have been trained by the Highway Patrol and Criminal Justice Academy over the past 21 weeks in all areas of law enforcement including DUI detection, traffic laws, collision investigation and the use of firearms as well as three weeks of field training. Director Leroy Smith said, “Being a public servant isn’t just what we do, it’s who we are. You have to have a passion to help one another and I know that passion resides in each and every one of you. Law enforcement is a calling. It is more than just a paycheck. It is more than just a pension. You are now in the lifesaving business. That’s what we do and we do it well.” SCHP Col. Mike Oliver said, “You have now earned the privilege to wear the grey uniform and campaign hat of a South Carolina state trooper. Your training has been long and difficult, the vocation you have taken as a public servant is likewise a difficult journey, your time away from home, however, has been to serve a greater good.”
Illinois State Police trooper killed in crash
Trooper Ryan Albin was killed yesterday in a vehicle crash on I-74, near milepost 155, in the area of Farmer City at approximately 3:10 pm. His patrol car collided with a box truck as the vehicles reduced speed for slow moving traffic in a construction zone. He was flown to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Trooper Albin's canine was transported to a veterinary hospital with minor injuries. Trooper Albin had served with the Illinois State Police for 11-1/2 years and was assigned as a canine handler in District 6.
State Police seize cache of high-power weaspons
State Police seized a cache of loaded weapons, including high-powered pistols and rifles and a sawed-off shotgun, as well as a large quantity of illegal drugs, during a traffic stop on Interstate 95 in West Greenwich last week. The driver, a North Carolina resident, was arrested on numerous weapons and drug charges. Troopers also seized ammunition, smoke grenades, assorted camouflage gear, night vision goggles and a Taser, according to Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety. The driver of the car, identified as Anthony Mondrez Thompson, 39, of Charlotte, N.C., was ordered held without bail following his arraignment Monday at Rhode Island Hospital, where he was being treated for injuries he suffered while attempting to flee from the troopers. Assumpico said the case involves one of the largest seizures of weapons during a traffic stop in recent memory. She credited the troopers who made the arrest, saying they clearly prevented these dangerous high-powered weapons from reaching the streets of Rhode Island and Southeastern New England. “These lethal weapons posed a tremendous threat to everyone living, working or vacationing in Rhode Island,” Assumpico said in a prepared statement. “We are extremely grateful to have these dangerous weapons off the streets, and we will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these and other weapons cases.” With this seizure, Rhode Island State Police have seized 78 weapons since Jan. 1, most as the result of arrests on unrelated charges. Thompson’s arrest stemmed from a traffic stop on Interstate 95 North in West Greenwich about 7:55 p.m. on Thursday. While handing over his license and car registration Thompson denied to the trooper that he had ever been convicted of a crime, and he further denied that his vehicle contained firearms or illicit drugs. During a check of Thompson’s license, registration and criminal background, the trooper determined that Mondrez had a lengthy criminal record, including multiple convictions for firearm and drug trafficking crimes. The trooper ordered Thompson to exit the vehicle, which he did. However, during further questioning by troopers, Thompson allegedly shoved one of the troopers into the roadway, where the trooper was in danger of being struck by oncoming traffic, and he took off on foot, running across the highway, toward the oncoming traffic in the high-speed lane of Interstate 95. After failing to respond to repeated commands to stop running, one of the troopers deployed a Taser, causing Thompson to fall to the pavement. Thompson was transported by rescue to Kent County Hospital and later transferred to Rhode Island Hospital, where he remains under guard. A subsequent search of Thompson’s vehicle resulted in the seizure of eight high-powered pistols, a revolver, two AR-15 assault rifles, a sawed-off shotgun, numerous high-capacity rifle and pistol magazines, boxes of ammunition, military-issued smoke grenades, holsters, camouflage gear and masks, night vision goggles and a Taser. Troopers also seized about 15 ounces of amphetamines (MDMA with the street names Molly and Ecstasy) with a street value of about $3,400.
State Police stepping up DUI enforcement over holiday weekend
Connecticut State Troopers will be conducting D.U.I. enforcement over the July 4th holiday weekend. Connecticut State Police Troop A wants to ensure a safe July 4th Holiday Weekend for all. Troopers will be concentrating their enforcement on intoxicated motorists, aggressive driving and distracted driving throughout the July 4th Holiday Weekend period. Troop A will have additional troopers on duty for motor vehicle enforcement using unmarked traditional and non-traditional vehicles. This enforcement campaign is part of the Connecticut State Police’s expanded D.U.I enforcement program funded through a grant from the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation D.U.I. Enforcement Program. This enforcement campaign will occur in the following locations and on the listed dates: Roving Enforcement: Greater Danbury and Waterbury area on Interstate 84, Routes 7 and 8 in the Troop A patrol area. Date/Time: June 30, July 1, 2, 3 and 4, 2017 between 7pm to 3am.
Idaho State Troopers and citizens honored for saving man's life
On April 4, 68-year-old Rick Records' heart stopped beating. Now, he is alive and recovering thanks to the efforts of two Idaho State Police troopers. "It's exciting to be a part of something of this magnitude. Of something this special," said Senior Trooper LaLande. Loved ones surprised troopers Jason Lalande and Kirill Fomin at Idaho State Police headquarters in Jerome as they were honored by the department. Lalande was given the ISP Life Saving Award while Fomin was given a letter of commendation. "I was surprised that my family was here. They were actually telling us that we were going to be doing something completely different," Fomin said. Back in April, the two were involved in saving the life of Washington state resident Rick Records. "It feels good. I'm glad that he's going to be OK," Fomin said. The 68-year-old was at producers livestock in Jerome when his heart stopped. Lalonde and Fomin responded. "It could have been tragedy," Lalonde said. But both gave credit to two Producers employees for starting CPR before they could get to the scene. "Starting resuscitation efforts immediately, they basically gave this gentleman back to his family," Lalonde said. For their efforts, Levi Robertson of Meridian and Todd Rice of Jerome received citizen awards from the department. "I played my role the same as everybody else did, but I think the two of them should be held in the highest esteem because they gave everybody else something to work with," Lalonde said. But neither man said they felt like a hero. "You can put the hero stamp on it, or whatever you want to do, but it's probably bigger than we can all really imagine it to be," Robertson said. They said they feel like the troopers, happy to have been there to help. "You just kind of do what needs done and then you think about it later and we're just grateful he made it," Rice said. The Records family weren't able to be there Monday, they're back in Washington while Rick recovers, but they sent a letter thanking the men who helped save their husband, father and grandfather.
Highway Patrol graduates 27 new troopers
The Missouri Highway Patrol's 27 newest troopers were reminded Friday their new lives will be much different from their old ones. "In the past 26 weeks, recruits, you have undergone grueling training, endured exhausting hours and endured vast amounts of information," Attorney General Josh Hawley noted. "You have endured, and now you have the honor of being part of this prestigious company. "But today represents an end to something more, recruits — it represents an end to your life as a private citizen." As servants of the public, Hawley added, "the men and women of our state will depend on you, look to you, trust you to uphold one of the most precious inheritances we have as Americans — the rule of law." Superintendent Sandra Karsten, who joined the patrol in 1985 as part of the 57th Recruit Class, told the graduates of the 104th class: "Today, you're making a promise not only to represent yourself, but every trooper in the entire Missouri State Highway Patrol. "You are representing the people of the state of Missouri. "In and out of uniform, know that you've worked hard to wear it and that you hold the public trust and that you're held to a higher standard." The attorney general explained the difference: "A career is pursued for the good of the person who performs it. A vocation is work that benefits the good of all (and) is a calling, a summons to serve — to use one's talents and skills and effort to make better the lives of those with whom you live, and to make better the place that you call home." In his nearly seven-minute keynote address, Hawley referred several times to the importance of the rule of law as the basis of American society — and reminded the new troopers they will play an important role in keeping the rule of law working. "Your calling is to ensure that fear and terror do not rule the day, but that peace and security, afforded by our laws, is available to people indiscriminately. Your calling is to protect the weak, the vulnerable, the oppressed among us." But, while upholding the law, Hawley reminded the new troopers life won't always be easy. "(Your calling) includes those who use the liberties granted by your protection, to treat you with scorn, to treat you with contempt — even hatred sometimes," the attorney general said. "It's no secret that we live in a moment in our nation's history when the rule of law and those who uphold it have become targets, subject to intense scrutiny, subject to intense back lash, even derision. And I'm afraid to say, you will most likely not be exempt from this trend." Cadet Commander Evan Macomber, of Lebanon, reminded his classmates "we are defined by the public's perception" of previous Highway Patrol troopers they've met, and the bar has been set high for the new class as they head into their new jobs. Brant Masek, of Fulton, was the only Mid-Missourian in the class. He's being assigned to work in Franklin County, which is part of Troop C. None of the 27 new troopers were assigned to Jefferson City-based Troop F. Karsten reminded the graduates to rely on all the points of their training, including: "Never stop learning, never stop training (and) never stop planning for the what-if situations you may encounter." She urged the new troopers to remember the basics, such as watching the hands of the people they deal with in traffic stops and other situations, "never assume anything, never turn your back on traffic — and always be ladies and gentlemen who enforce the law." And, she said: "Remember what makes a trooper is not the Glock or the Taser on your gun belt. It's not the uniform or the campaign hat — but a cause worthy of sacrifice. Our mission of service and protection gives each of us something worth sacrificing for."
New Jersey State Police graduates 148 new troopers
Celebrating his commitment to maintaining the New Jersey State Police as one of the nation’s premier law enforcement agencies, Governor Chris Christie on June 23 commended New Jersey’s 148 newest state troopers during graduation ceremonies at the National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt. The 157th New Jersey State Police Class is the seventh new class trained since 2010. “These men and women will join the finest law enforcement agency in the country – the New Jersey State Police -- and continue the proud tradition that exemplifies leadership and service in protecting and safeguarding the residents of our state on the roads, in their communities, and in their homes,” said Governor Christie. “Having completed their rigorous training, they are now prepared to join the more than 2,600-trooper force that serves our state, conducting not only general policing duties and highway and traffic enforcement, but playing major roles in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from major emergencies and disasters and performing counter-terrorism duties.” Governor Christie has repeatedly supported the State Police and its mission, consistently allocating funding for new trooper training in his annual spending plans. The current fiscal year budget and proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget anticipate the recruitment and training of the 158th trooper class as well as money for recruiting the 159th class for 2019. Those classes are expected to increase the state trooper level to its highest since the beginning of this Administration. In addition, the FY 2018 budget provides for new forensic positions in response to the pretrial detention constitutional amendment for bail reform. The 157th New Jersey State Police Class graduated 145 men and three women troopers. Of this graduating class, more than 77 percent have a Bachelor's Degree or higher, 47 percent played college sports, and 18 percent have prior law enforcement experience. Also, among the class are 13 firefighters, 10 former military, nine Emergency Medical Technicians, eight personal trainers, seven teachers and six Eagle Scouts. The class completed 24 weeks of strenuous physical and academic training consisting of classroom lessons and practical training scenarios. The recruits participated in extensive training and role-playing exercises focused on motor vehicle stops, domestic violence situations, and cultural diversity. In the area of cultural diversity, the trooper recruits received detailed instruction from community and cultural organizations. The New Jersey State Police Training Academy is one of the few residential academies in the nation. Recruits report to the academy before dawn on Monday morning, and they do not return home until dismissal on Friday evening. Therefore, recruits are away from their families during significant life events. During this academy class, five recruits got engaged, one recruit got married, and four children were born. The probationary troopers have been assigned to stations throughout the state, and over the next few months, the new troopers will begin their careers under the watchful eye of their Trooper-Coaches and supervisors. "I commend the graduates of the 157th New Jersey State Police Class on joining an elite police force that is second to none across the nation,” said Attorney General Christopher Porrino. “It takes special courage and dedication to earn your badge as a state trooper. I wish you all long, safe and rewarding careers in this honorable profession." "Today, we welcome 148 men and women into the State Police family after completing one of the most intensive and difficult law enforcement training academies in the country," said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. "The investigative techniques and tactics that the troopers of the 157th Class learned over the last six months will remain with them throughout their careers and beyond, as will the bond between classmates.
State Police issue nearly 22,000 Tickets during June Speed Week
State Police issued nearly 22,000 tickets during the June “Speed Week” campaign. The special traffic enforcement period to crack down on speeding and aggressive drivers was held June 7 through the 13th. Troopers ticketed over 9,400 drivers for speeding, arrested 268 people for DWI and wrote 695 tickets for distracted driving. They also investigated 315 personal injury accidents, which resulted in 412 injuries. “Reckless driving can lead to tragedy and potential life altering consequences for drivers and passengers on New York’s roadways,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “I applaud the State Police and their partners in law enforcement for keeping dangerous drivers accountable and for their continued commitment to making our streets safer.”
Virginia State Police and seven additional state police and highway patrol agencies issued 3,017 summonses in 'Operation Border to Border'
State Police said they were among eight state police and highway patrol agencies that spend Friday, June 9 - Sunday, June 11 enforcing Operation Border to Border along 791 miles of U.S. Route 15 and 124 miles of U.S. Route 17 in an effort to prevent traffic crashes along the heavily-traveled corridor. State Police said the coordinated traffic safety enforcement initiative resulted in 3,017 total summonses and arrests among the seven states. There were also zero fatal traffic crashes along either highway corridor during the enforcement effort. State troopers from Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia worked together by conducting saturation patrols, sobriety checkpoints, commercial vehicle inspections and other enforcement initiatives to reduce traffic crashes and combat criminal behavior along the non-interstate highways. Virginia State Police said 835 of those summonses and arrests came from our state in the counties of Loudoun, Prince William, Warren, Culpeper, Madison, Orange, Louisa, Fluvanna, Buckingham, Prince Edward, Charlotte and Halifax. “Once again, the Virginia State Police was proud to partner with fellow state police and highway patrol agencies with the common goal of saving lives along the Route 15 and Route 17 corridors,” said 1st Sgt. A.D. Blankenship, Area Commander of the Virginia State Police in Loudoun County. “Taking 25 drunken drivers off the highway, slowing down almost 1,300 speeders and buckling up more than 470 children and adults translates into countless lives saved. And, that’s what this initiative is all about – getting the public to recognize the importance of driving to save lives through such proactive actions as buckling up, driving free of distractions, complying with posted speed limits and never driving impaired by alcohol or drugs.” Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.
State Troopers to begin patrolling St. Louis interstates, freeing up police for violent crime
Missouri Highway Patrol troopers will soon be patrolling interstates in St. Louis as part of a 90-day pilot program to free up city police officers to focus on violent crime. Between 20 and 30 troopers will be assigned to the special detail, which will focus on the stretches of Interstates 55 and 70 that fall within the city limits, said Missouri Highway Patrol Cpl. Juston Wheetley. About eight troopers will be on each shift. The troopers also will be available to back up city police officers if they’re ever in need of assistance, but their primary focus will be traffic enforcement, Wheetley said. “There’s a lot of violent crime in that area, and we will be aggressively enforcing all traffic and hazardous movement to free up city officers to focus on the violent crime in those areas,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to partnering with the city and assisting them in any role that we can.” Troopers were originally scheduled to begin patrolling the interstates this week, but the plan was postponed as leaders continue to “work out some details,” Wheetley said. Troopers are now set to begin patrolling in the city in early July, he said.
California Highway Patrol officer rescues baby deer
A California highway patrol officer came to the rescue of a baby deer stuck in a freeway drain during a thunderstorm. California Highway Patrol Sgt. Randy Fisher says he was driving on Interstate 80 near Truckee Monday when he spotted the fawn sticking its little head out of rushing water. Fisher says he freed the deer's left back leg from the drainage ditch, placed it on the side of the road and waited for its mother to show up. When the mother did not show, Fisher wrapped the fawn in his sergeant's jacket, put it in his patrol car and drove it to a veterinary. A veterinarian treated the deer for water in her lungs and hypothermia. Fisher says the deer, named "Star," is doing well and will be taken to an animal sanctuary in Lake Tahoe.
State Patrol to target left lane "campers"
Washington State Patrol announced (WSP) troopers will be conducting a “statewide focus of effort” to address left lane violators on multiple lane roadways between June 20th and 22nd. According to a recent announcement, this is in response to numerous requests WSP has received about left lane “campers” throughout Washington. RCW 46.61.100 requires all vehicles to keep right except when passing on multiple lane roadways. Left lane “campers” refers to drivers who remain in the passing lane (left lane) for long periods of time without passing. The WSP said in their announcement left lane camping can lead to road rage, aggressive driving, traffic congestion, and collisions. Getting caught camping in the left lane can result in a $136 ticket. Last year, the WSP reports they contacted 16,453 left lane violators.
State Patrol to set up OVI checkpoints
The Ohio State Highway Patrol will once again be cracking down on intoxicated drivers this summer by using checkpoints and having more troopers on the road. Lt. Brian Aller, commander of the state patrol’s Springfield Post, said his office is working on setting up OVI checkpoints over the summer and will also have troopers working overtime to stop dangerous drivers. “We are trying to keep people who are impaired off the roadway so they don’t kill people who hurt somebody,” Aller said. He said his office is committed to the safety of the roadways, and an intoxicated driver threatens everyone. “We will have an influx of units who work traffic on overtime, and they look for impaired drivers and other criminal activity,” he said. The Marysville post will be setting up OVI checkpoints soon, Lt. Molly Harris said. She said she notices an increase in impaired driving during the summer months. “I think if you think about your own cookouts and hanging out with friends most of those are usually held in the summer,” she said. “Bon fires and different functions.” She said in her area, Indian Lake is a popular attraction this time of year and can be good fun for all. But it is important that everyone acts responsibly when its time to go home. Checkpoints and increased patrols will hopefully remind drivers that putting their life and the lives of others at risk is not OK. “We want to make sure we are visible and people know we are out here,” she said. Wearing seat belts and being a cautious driver is also important safety tips that Ohioans should follow this summer, Harris said.