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Children's book comes to life for Black Rock students: State troopers and canine partners visit school

K 9 Conn

 

Black Rock School in Thomaston hosted some special canine guests in October, according to Principal Jon Kozlak.  On Wednesday, October 12, Connecticut State Trooper D.J. Chasse led a program for third graders to introduce them to his partner, Zeus, a German shepherd.  Trooper Chasse, the father of a BRS student, spoke about the important and unique role of a canine partner when fighting crime and what their duties are in their position.  “It was a really fun way to engage the students, especially since the whole third grade just finished reading ‘Officer Buckle and Gloria,’ which they also really enjoyed,” said Third Grade Teacher Paul Biron, who organized the day’s event.  “I would love to do this again in coming years. The children really enjoyed it and they were able to pet the dogs and meet them as well.  It was a unique experience for them.”  The children’s book, written by author Peggy Rathmann, is about an officer and his canine partner that visit a local school, giving safety tips and demonstrations.  Also on hand for demonstrations and questions was Trooper Ed Anuzewski and his canine partner, Tex, who just finished his official training.  Both Zeus and Tex are tracking dogs for the State of Connecticut.  “We are excited that Troopers Chasse and Anuzewski took the time to visit our third graders,” said Mr. Kozlak.  “Our students were engaged and ask thoughtful questions throughout the demonstration.  Programs like this are a great way for kids to connect their learning in the classroom to real-world settings.”  Students also learned what the difference between the two dogs were, since Zeus is a German shepherd and Tex is a bloodhound, the dogs have special abilities because of their breeds.  Students learned the benefits of using each breed to track, and how they were trained and are rewarded differently by their handling troopers.  Mr. Kozlak said that BRS typically offers an educational and entertaining program like this in the fall and again in the spring.  He hopes this program will return for future third grade classes.  “We appreciate the work of law enforcement.  This program was a terrific learning experience for our students.  We thank Troopers Chasse and Anuzewski for giving to our school,” said Mr. Kozlak.  “As always, I was proud of our students for being respectful to our guests and responsive to the program.”

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Two sisters take 60 mugs to the Mississippi Highway Patrol Office to give to state troopers

 

Paige and Kaley Wilson, 11 and 8, are using proceeds from their lemonade stand to give “a hug and a mug” to first responders.  They’ve raised $1,202 since July and bought Arctic insulated mugs to give to police, firefighters and other emergency personnel.  The girls, along with their dad, John Wilson, took 60 mugs to the Mississippi Highway Patrol Office on Wednesday to give to state troopers.  The girls call their fundraiser Delicious Divas’ Lemonade.  “I love seeing their reactions because it just makes me smile,” Paige said.  State Trooper Brodrick Nettles said he plans to use his mug for tea.  “I think it’s great,” he said.  State Trooper Cal Robertson agreed.  He said he plans to use his for water or coffee.  Paige and Kaley both attend North Woolmarket Elementary School.  The girls came up with the idea for a lemonade stand and said their father told them they should use the money they made to do something good.  “With all that’s going on this world, and the disrespect shown to police, I thought they could do something to make a difference for police and other first responders,” Wilson said.  The girls first set up shop in the driveway of their Woolmarket home and made $312, selling fresh-squeezed lemonade and their mother’s homemade cookies.  Their second time, they raised $890, but realized they couldn’t keep up with fresh-squeezed lemonade.  Wilson said he bought 150 insulated mugs.  He and the girls began driving around, and every time they saw a police car parked in front of a home, they would stop and give the officer a mug.  “One officer had a tear roll down his face,” Wilson said.  Next, they gave out mugs at their neighborhood fire station.  They’d given out 79 mugs before gave some to state troopers on Wednesday.  When not selling lemonade, Paige enjoys playing with friends and Kaley enjoys playing with the family’s dogs.  Kaley’s into art.  She said it’s her favorite thing about school.  Paige said her friends are what she likes most about school.  An officer’s wife made the girls T-shirts with their fundraiser’s name.  The girls will set up shop Saturday under a tent at the Veterans Day parade in D’Iberville.  They will announce future locations of lemonade sales on their Facebook page.  “They’re giving a mug and a hug one smile at a time,” Wilson said.  “I think I get even more out of it than they do.”

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FHP: Dementia one of leading causes of wrong-way driving

 

A wrong-way driver was stopped on the Turnpike in Lake County before a tragedy could happen, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said.  A report said the driver may have been suffering from dementia, which numbers show is one of the leading causes of wrong-way crashes.  The incident involving the 76-year-old man was caught on camera.  Early Friday evening, on the Turnpike in Lake County, troopers were in a mad dash to stop the driver.  “He’s at a high rate of speed going through the SunPass lane.  Far left lane, coming up the toll,” the trooper told a dispatcher.  A toll booth worker called troopers when she saw the driver get onto the Turnpike from an exit ramp in Howie-in-the-Hills.  It triggered an immediate response from troopers, who were nearby and managed to cut him off before he could crash into someone.  A trooper wrote in a report, “I noticed he didn’t really know what was going on,” and “I asked him if his wife lives in Florida and he had said she passed away, but his wife was actually alive and was in the middle of filling out a missing persons’ report with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.”  The trooper asked the driver for his keys and said he gave his shoe instead.  Troopers were told by a relative that the driver had been suffering from signs of dementia.  The driver was reunited with his wife at a Leesburg hospital.  An FHP sergeant said that since the agency began tracking wrong-way drivers two years ago, they received 452 reports in Central Florida.  Dementia is the second leading cause of wrong-way driving incidents behind drunk driving.  The next day, a trooper stopped a man, also with dementia, who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 4 in Volusia County.

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Oregon State Police Fallen Trooper Memorial Dedication

 

OSP Memorial picture 3

 

The finish line has finally been crossed.  The Oregon State Police Fallen Trooper Memorial is completed. The memorial is located in the Capital Mall State Park, directly across the street from the State Capitol.  It is a four foot high black basalt wall, quarried from an area near Madras.  It is made up of eight stones connected in a U shape.  The names of our fallen comrades are engraved on black granite plaques and highlighted with gold lettering.  In the center of the memorial is a gold granite facsimile of the State of Oregon, with a black star marking the location each of our fallen troopers made their ultimate sacrifice. The highlight of the memorial is the motto under which these fine troopers made their final stand: They shall neither shun responsibility, nor shrink from duty in the face of danger.  The dedication ceremony took place on October 1st at twilight.  The service was a simple candlelight vigil, with a member of the Oregon State Police Honor Guard reading the names of the fallen, then lighting a candle and placing a blue rose at the base of the memorial.  It was simple, dignified, and fitting.  The ceremony also included the singing of the National Anthem by our own Sgt. Yvette Sheppard, and the playing of Amazing Grace by the Portland Police Highland Guard.  The Ceremony was attended by a number of Oregon dignitaries. Governor Kate Brown and Senator Betsy Johnson both gave meaningful and sincere speeches.  The family of Trooper Scott Lyons also gave a moving tribute.  The ceremony was directed by Lt. Cari Boyd, President of the OSP Fallen Trooper Memorial Board.  The ceremony was attended by three former OSP Superintendents, and current Superintendent Travis Hampton who also gave a wonderfully thoughtful speech.  Several other organizations were represented including The Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, Washington State Patrol, and Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors.  One of our special guests was Trooper Robert Purdy of the Kentucky State Police and member of their Honor Guard.  Trooper Purdy is the grandson of our own Lt. Harold Berg, who was killed in the line of duty on May 19, 1975 during a search and rescue mission.  Trooper Purdy presented the candle and rose to the memorial when his grandfather’s name was read.  Trooper Kelli Howes of the Washington State Patrol Honor Guard participated in the dedication ceremony as wellAlso in attendance were many family members of those whose names are enshrined on the wall.  The process for this memorial was the brainchild of former OSP Superintendent Tim McLain.  He and Retired Deputy Superintendent Greg Willeford formed a committee to explore the possibility of erecting a memorial to honor those troopers that made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the citizens of Oregon.  This quickly became The Oregon State Police Fallen Trooper Memorial Foundation with tax-exempt status and the project was off.  A design and location were determined, and the approval process began.  It was decided from the beginning that local resources and labor would be used whenever possible.  The basalt was quarried from Madras, the granite for the roman column was quarried from Washington, and the artist, architect, and contractor are all from Oregon.  After permits and approvals were obtained, the process of fundraising began.  This memorial was built using 100% private donations.  The only public asset involved was the donation of the property the memorial sits on by the State Parks Department.  Fundraising was slow and difficult. Most funds were obtained through several dinner and auction events, 10K Memorial Fun Runs, and direct donations from the public and several charitable foundations, including the OSPOA.  OSP retirees were found to be very reliable sources of funds and help.  Donations from the membership was disappointingly low.  Total expenditures brought the cost of the memorial to about $250,000. This has all been paid for and the Foundation owns the memorial free and clear.  This is not the end of the road, however.  We are responsible for maintaining the memorial and are required by the Parks Department to keep an insurance policy on the memorial in case of damage.  We will be hosting another dinner and auction after the new year, and are actively seeking donations to keep the memorial beautiful for centuries to come.  This is where you can help.  The OSP Fallen Trooper Memorial Foundation needs your donations.  The process for doing this is very simple.  You can make a payroll deduction every month from your paycheck. Contact payroll or your local Honor Guard member. You fill out a one page form and indicate the amount and it is done automatically.  If every member of the OSP gave $5 a month, we would be in a position to always have the funds needed for maintenance, cleaning, and additions when necessary.  Please give this serious consideration.  The memorial was specifically designed to be simple, dignified, and timeless.  The symbolism of the broken roman column represents an unfinished mission.  The bench is provided so the public and family members have a comfortable, quiet place to contemplate and remember the people whose names are engraved in gold.  They were fathers, sons, grandfathers, husbands, brothers, sisters, and daughters.  They all left behind a legacy worth celebrating and commemorating.   A lot of people need to be thanked for their endless contribution of time and effort.  It was decided from the very beginning of this project, however, that this was about the names on the wall, not the people and organizations building it.  So a simple “thank you” to those of you that need to be thanked.  You know who you are.  If you have any questions regarding the memorial, or can make contributions in the form of money or goods and services, feel free to contact me and I will get you in touch with the right people.  This is now your memorial. Let’s take care of it together.

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Girl Scouts plant memorial tree for trooper killed in line of duty

 girl scouts

 

When Girl Scout Troop 50410 needed to plant a tree for the final portion of its tree badge, the scouts knew exactly where they wanted to plant it and why.  In a small ceremony, outside of the Elyria Post of the Highway Patrol, 3800 Cletus Drive, four members of the troop planted a magnolia tree and placed a commemorative marker in memory of fallen Trooper Kenny Velez on Nov. 7.  Katy Andrijowych, leader of the troop, said that planting the tree was the last part in the scouts receiving their tree badge.  The other requirements for the badge included learning the different types of trees, the different parts of trees and identifying trees.  The girls completed the previous portions of the requirements during a daylong visit to the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland.  The arboretum also supplied the magnolia tree that the girls would plant.  When the scouts were asked where they wanted to plant their tree, they decided within seconds, Andrijowych said.  “The final part of the tree badge is to plant a tree,” she said.  “The girls chose to put the tree here in memory of Trooper Velez. It took them about 30 seconds to decide; all on their own.”  Velez’ niece, Brooke Bratovich, was formerly a member of Troop 50410.  Morgan Bosworth, 12, of Amherst, holds the rank of Cadette with the scouts.  She said that the troop hoped that the tree would serve as a reminder to the community that Velez was loved and would be missed.  “Once we found out he died, we wanted to do something to show that we were sad that he died,” Morgan said.

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Retired New Jersey State Trooper surprises girlfriend with proposal at Eagles game

NJ Proposal

 

Even though the Eagles didn't win, it was still a celebration for all New Jersey State Police.  Retired Trooper Brian Malast surprised his girlfriend and proposed before Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium.  Malast was paralyzed from the neck down in a car accident while on the job in 2005.  Malast got a little help from his fellow troopers to pull off the surprise in front of their family and friends.  Even though the Eagles didn't win, it was still a celebration for all New Jersey State Police.  And his girlfriend said yes!  Congrats to the couple.

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Maryland State Police gain 46 new troopers from the 145th Trooper Candidate Class

MDSP graduation

The 46 candidates stood with their right hands in the air as they shouted their names. As a group they said the oath of office, and after an award presentation, they were pinned as new Maryland State Police troopers.  The 145th Trooper Candidate Class graduated at LifePoint Church in Reisterstown in front of friends, family members, other police officers and the Maryland governor.  After 26 weeks of training at the Maryland State Police Academy in Sykesville, the class members can now call themselves troopers.  Before they received their pins, the candidates heard speeches from Col. William Pallozzi, the Maryland State Police superintendent, Gov. Larry Hogan and one of their classmates.  Hogan and Pallozzi told the troopers that graduation was something that they will always cherish.  "I hope you realize the significance of this day and take in every moment," Pallozzi said.  "You'll remember this day forever."  They both pledged their support for the troopers, with Pallozzi thanking Hogan for his continued support of Maryland State Police.  After the graduation, Hogan told the Carroll County Times that he includes funds in his budget to allow for additional trooper classes.  This is the third graduation he's attended that was a result of that money, Hogan said.  "It's really important to me," he said.  During his speech, Hogan told the troopers that while the road to graduation was long, they had overcome the challenges that faced them.  The training that the troopers went through during the academy was a key point in Pallozzi's and their classmate's speeches as well.  Over the course of training, the troopers went through physical training as well as academic work, Trooper Timothy Kelly said during his speech.  Kelly's classmates elected him to be the class president.  Kelly was given three awards, including the Superintendent's Award and the award for overall achievement, before his father pinned his badge on.  Kelly's current assignment places him at the Frederick Barrack.  In his speech, Kelly said he's often asked whether he feels different going through the academy, and when he thought about it, he said he and his classmates have changed in many ways.  They are more alert, they have more self-discipline and they carry themselves with more confidence, he said.  Pallozzi told the graduating class that it is a privilege to wear a Maryland State Police badge, but it is one that they have all earned.  The training they received at the academy will allow them to help the public, he said.  "I urge you to come to work every day ready to make a difference," he said in his speech.  After the graduation, Pallozzi said that it is great to have more troopers on the road because it means they will be able to provide more services across the state.  "Any time you're getting new blood, new troopers, it's great for the organization," he said.  For the new troopers, he said, he hopes they will have safe careers.  That's a wish that Hogan shares.  Hogan said he appreciates what the troopers do each day and he respects them for putting their lives on the line.  "I couldn't be more proud of the men and women in this group," he said.

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58 Recruits joined the ranks as Michigan State Police troopers

Michigan graduates

 

A total of 58 recruits joined the ranks as Michigan State Police troopers Friday.  They are graduates of the 130th Trooper Recruit School.  After they are sworn in, they’ll be assigned to posts in different parts of the state.  Out of the 58 recruits, 14 of them will be assigned to 6 local posts: Caro, Flint, Lapeer, Mt. Pleasant, Tri Cities and West Branch.  Governor Snyder was the keynote speaker at the ceremony.

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44 new Virginia State Troopers graduate today

Virginia graduation

The Commonwealth will welcome 44 new Virginia State Troopers to the ranks Friday morning, marking the 124th generation to graduate from the State Police Training Academy.  The troopers completed 27 weeks of instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, police professionalism, cultural diversity and crisis management.  Beginning Nov. 7, the troopers will be paired up with field training officers in their new patrol areas to complete a final 6-week phase of training.  The new troopers will be presented their diplomas during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. at the State Police Training Academy, 7700 Midlothian Turnpike.

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Captain Ann Assumpico becomes the first woman to take command of the Rhode Island State Police

RI New Colonel

 

A state police captain will become the first woman to take command of the Rhode Island state law enforcement agency, Governor Raimondo's office announced Thursday morning.  Capt. Ann C. Assumpico, a 59-year-old Rhode Island native, has been chosen by Raimondo.  Assumpico will succeed Col. Steven O’Donnell, who retired in September.  The governor will introduce her to the public at 11:30 Thursday morning.  O'Donnell, who retired Sept. 23 and is now chief executive of the Greater Providence YMCA, declined comment Wednesday night prior to the governor's announcement of the appointment.  On Thursday, O'Donnell said that Assumpico has "decades of law enforcement experience with 25 years "in the boots and britches of the Rhode Island state police," and she'll have the "full faith, trust and confidence" of state troopers.  "I hold her in the highest regard as I'm the person that promoted her to captain," O'Donnell said.  O'Donnell said that the organization's readiness for leadership from a woman isn't a matter that's worthy of a lot of focus.  "We don't see gender," he said. "We see a state trooper."  It is expected that O'Donnell will be joined in the State room Thursday morning by former state police commanders Steven M. Pare and Brendan Doherty.  Assumpico's ascension to superintendent would move her past a number of state police leaders who hold higher ranking positions, including the agency's interim superintendent, Lt. Col. Kevin Barry.  Assumpico, a 24-year police veteran, is director of training for the state police, which puts her at No. 7 in the chain of command.   As the agency's training director, Assumpico has overseen daily operations of the Rhode Island State Police Training Academy and the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy, according to the state police website.  Prior to joining the state police, she served eight years as a corrections officer at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston.  She was a member of the ACI’s tactical team, holding the rank of assistant squad leader.  She also served seven years as a police officer in Coventry.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Roger Williams University and a master’s degree in justice administration from Salve Regina University.

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The Florida Highway Patrol needs new recruits

 

The State of Florida is in desperate need of more troopers.  The Florida Highway Patrol is facing a shortage because of retirements.  The department is scrambling to find new recruits.  “We have a lot of people that are getting ready to retire and so we want to combat that to make sure there is not a shortage.  We want to start hiring now,” FHP recruiter Kenn Watson said.  A shortage of troopers could mean a rise in crime and longer response times, which could put lives at risk, officials said.  Recruiters have their work cut out for them. Officials say recent uprisings in Dallas and Charlotte have shown law enforcement is battling a bad reputation.  “It has become more challenging simply because of all the events that have taken place over the last year,” Watson said.  Money is also an issue.  If you want to be a trooper in New York, your starting salary is $75,252.  Iowa pays a starting salary of $49,000.  As for Florida, well, it’s the lowest starting salary in the nation at $33,977.  “What people have to understand, is that when you get to law enforcement, you’re here to help people,” Watson said.  “If you want to help your community and you want to help solve these problems, you need to come join us.”  That’s what matters to Katryna Solley.  Solley is a former motocross racer who became a trooper four months ago.  “I wanted to do something that meant something,” she said.  There is room for advancement at the Florida Highway Patrol, and Solley has big dreams.  She wants to fight crime and capture drug kingpins.  “It’s not just getting on the road and being a road trooper the rest of your life; there’s a lot of different areas you can get into,” Solley said.  State troopers handle homicide cases, find drug traffickers, and handle cases of civil unrest, mobs and prison riots.  “I’m able to make a difference, help people, and then I’m not stuck in an office all day.  I get to get out and do things,” Solley said.  The Florida Highway Patrol will be holding a recruitment fair at the Bradenton Patrol office at 5023 53rd Ave. E.  It will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 2 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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Trooper Timothy Pratt remembered as "hero of heroes" at funeral

 

The long gray line of the New York State Police got a lot longer and a lot more colorful Monday morning.  New York State troopers were joined by their brethren from Canada, Massachusetts and even Texas.  They were all in South Glens Falls to honor Tim Pratt, a man who was all in for South Glens Falls.  A founding member of the South High Marathon Dance, he was born and raised here.  Raised his family here. And today his funeral was held here, his sons doing the readings and his daughter adding humor to a somber ceremony.  Sarah Pratt reminding the 800 people gathered inside, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, how much Tim Pratt loved to laugh out loud.
  "His laugh was more like a scream.  Unique, a sound I will yearn to hear for the rest of my life," she said.  Tim Pratt died Wednesday morning after being hit by a car while helping a lost trucker.  Whether at work or in the community, Pratt lived to help others.
He was honored in 2015 by the Marathon Dance for all his years of support.  His children and granddaughter presenting him with a plaque.  "Happy to be here and make sure everybody gets home safe."  The deep-voiced Pratt is heard saying to the enthusiastic young dancers.  Time and again, people talk about a man who was there for his family, his community and the public.  "How lucky we are to have known a man who was so dedicated to helping others," said New York State Police Superintendent George Beach.  "Tim Pratt reminds us, his life and death, about all that is good and noble in the profession to protect and serve," said Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard, who assisted in the service.  At the end of the nearly two hour ceremony, with police officers from across the country standing at attention, Trooper Pratt was carried to the hearse and his children were helped to their father's troop car for the ride to the cemetery.  Sarah Pratt reminding them all, "And he is inside each of you in my family and his family, and will always be."

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New York State Trooper helps elderly man bury his dog

 

Trooper helps bury dog

 

A trooper from the New Lebanon barracks helped a Columbia County man retrieve and bury his dog after it was killed on State Route 22, State Police said Monday.  A 92-year-old Austerlitz man called troopers about 6 p.m. Oct. 4 to say his golden retriever had wandered away from his home and been struck by a car.  Trooper Louis E. Godfroy IV (pictured on the left with State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico) returned the dog's body to the man's home and realized the owner would not able to properly bury his dog.  The next day, when Godfroy was off duty, he returned to the River Road home and buried the man's beloved dog.  According to the State Police, "Godfroy helped a member of our community with compassion, courtesy and professionalism by taking the initiative to help the elderly couple with the loss of their family pet."

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New Paws are Hitting the Road in Connecticut

Connecticut K 9 graduation

 

At 10:00 a.m. Friday morning, 12 K9 handlers and their dogs graduated from the CSP K9 Academy today after 8 weeks of training.  All of the dogs are Labradors from Guiding Eyes in New York.  The handlers from State Police are all assigned to the Emergency Services Unit.  These troopers and their K9s frequently assist with sweeping venues that host significant events and also respond to bomb threats.  Two of the troopers, Tfc. Brian Faughnan (CSP) and Trooper Steve Sicard (MSP), are second time K9 handlers.  Officer Morelli retired from the State Police as a K9 handler/unit instructor and continues to use his skills with Mohegan Tribal Police Department.

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New Paws are Hitting the Road in Connecticut

Connecticut K 9 graduation

 

At 10:00 a.m. Friday morning, 12 K9 handlers and their dogs graduated from the CSP K9 Academy today after 8 weeks of training.  All of the dogs are Labradors from Guiding Eyes in New York.  The handlers from State Police are all assigned to the Emergency Services Unit.  These troopers and their K9s frequently assist with sweeping venues that host significant events and also respond to bomb threats.  Two of the troopers, Tfc. Brian Faughnan (CSP) and Trooper Steve Sicard (MSP), are second time K9 handlers.  Officer Morelli retired from the State Police as a K9 handler/unit instructor and continues to use his skills with Mohegan Tribal Police Department.

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