Two drivers in Alabama are dead in a head-on collision, and what state troopers found when they responded is tragic

ALHP father and son fatal crash

Jeffrey Brasher and Austin Brasher, 50 and 22 respectively, are dead this morning. They are father and son, according to the report from AL.com.  Both men lived in Bankston, Ala.  They collided head-on around 4:10 a.m on Fayette County 49 near Winfield.  Alabama state troopers say alcohol is a factor in the accident and that neither man was wearing a seatbelt when the crash occurred.  State police are still investigating, but they say that Jeffrey Brasher’s pickup, a 2006 Ford, lost control and hit his son’s pickup, a 2004 Chevrolet.  Authorities responded to the scene and pronounced Jeffrey Brasher dead there.  Five hours later, Austin Brasher passed away at 9:18 a.m. at the University of Alabama hospital in Birmingham.  Alabama State Police continue to investigate the accident.

2/21/17

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Tennessee Highway Patrol arrests human trafficker smuggling 12 people

THP traffic stop trafficking

On February 8th, 2017, Trooper Jeremy Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Interdiction Plus Team (IPT) stopped a white Toyota Sienna on I-40 eastbound in Hickman County for a traffic violation.  Upon speaking to the driver, Trooper Miller asked for a driver license which the driver stated he did not have.  The driver identified himself as Bernado Mateo-Lucas.  Trooper Miller continued to question the driver asking how many people were in the van.  The driver stated there were four additional people in the vehicle.  Trooper Miller observed six people counting the driver with an additional person lying under a blanket in the floor behind the driver’s seat.  As the interview continued, Trooper Miller noticed more movement in the back cargo area.  He counted six additional people lying on the floor for a total of 13 people in the vehicle.   The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection Blue Lighting Operations Center (BLOC) was contacted and given the driver’s name and information.  Trooper Miller was later informed by BLOC that Mateo-Lucas had a history of several human smuggling incidents and that his passport was fraudulent.  Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) responded to the scene and took 13 people into custody (nine adults and four juveniles). All 13 people where undocumented aliens traveling from Texarkana, TX to Nashville, TN.  They were from Mexico and various Central American countries.  The driver is an admitted illegal alien smuggler with several records in BLOC’s systems.  Agents with the Nashville HSI Office responded to the scene. HSI arrested Mateo-Lucas who was referred for federal prosecution in Nashville.  Mateo-Lucas is an undocumented alien from Guatemala and was federally charged with alien smuggling.  The four children were placed in the care of the government.  This is an ongoing investigation.

2/20/17

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Montana Highway Patrol commissions 12 new troopers

Montana graduation February 2017

The Montana Highway Patrol commissioned twelve new troopers on Friday at the 61st Advanced Academy Graduation ceremony.  Montana Attorney General Tim Fox addressed the graduates at the event, which took place at the Radisson Colonial Hotel in Helena.  Fox emphasized the importance of integrity for those who serve the public.  “Integrity is one of the most important characteristics that any individual can possess.  You’ll face some of the greatest challenges of your life while wearing this uniform.  But no matter what life throws at you, face it with integrity, as that is a true sign of leadership,” he said.

2/20/17

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Louisiana State Police deploys 165 troopers for Carnival 2017 and NBA All-Star Game

LSP Madri Gras and NBA1

The 2017 Carnival season is unique this year with the addition of the NBA All-Star game. Both of these highly attended events will draw large crowds in the French Quarter and around the metro area.  This will increase traffic in our area, resulting in increased aggressive and impaired drivers on our roads.  In an effort to ensure safety in the French Quarter and on New Orleans metro area roadways, the Louisiana State Police is partnering with the New Orleans Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, DOTD, and the Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control throughout Carnival 2017 and the NBA All-Star game.  Governor John Bel Edwards has committed approximately 165 Louisiana State Police Troopers from across the state to supplement those Troopers already working in the city.  Troopers will be on assignment in the French Quarter and metro area, primarily focusing on proactive patrols, criminal investigations, crowd control and traffic control.  “Our commitment to public safety in New Orleans is ongoing,” said Gov. Edwards.  “Mardi Gras in itself is an exciting time to be in Louisiana, but adding in the return of the NBA All-Star Game makes it even better.  Col. Edmonson and the LSP are doing a tremendous job in assisting Mayor Landrieu and NOPD secure the city, but this added presence will help protect the people in around the City of New Orleans.  I am glad we are able to help, and I am looking forward to this exciting weekend in Louisiana.”  “Louisiana State Police is proud and excited to once again partner with our fellow law enforcement and the City of New Orleans for NBA and Carnival 2017,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent.  “Our primary focus during these events is protecting our citizens and tourists and ensuring that they have a memorable experience.  We cannot do this alone; we rely on the public to assist law enforcement by coming forward and expressing any concerns related to criminal activity or unsafe situations.  If you See Something that does not seem right, Say Something!”  Please remember to utilize the “See Something, Send Something” app to report activity to the appropriate investigators.  The app is found listed as See Send by My Mobile Witness, Inc. and is a nationwide suspicious activity reporting tool for citizens.  Both text and/or pictures may be submitted directly to public safety personnel.

2/17/17

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Texas State Troopers Rescued 76 Endangered Children Last Year

Texas Endangered Children

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced today that DPS Troopers – with the support of the DPS Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program, the Texas Rangers and DPS Special Agents – rescued 76 missing, exploited or at-risk children and initiated 42 related criminal investigations in 2016.  “Children who go missing, who are abused or at-risk of being abused don’t always make an outcry for help when they encounter an officer,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw.  “For this reason, the department’s IPC program is an indispensable tool; it has helped law enforcement across Texas, the nation and internationally to protect vulnerable victims, and ensure the criminals who target children face the full force of the law.”  The IPC program was implemented in 2009 to teach law enforcement officers how to recognize indicators of endangered children who do not actively seek out help or exhibit obvious signs of abuse.  As a result of receiving this specialized and targeted training, law enforcement officers can more readily identify and rescue children and arrest suspects.
As part of the 2016 totals, 19 children were rescued and 11 DPS IPC investigations were initiated in December alone.  Additionally, DPS Victim Services counselors also provided emotional support and referrals to other resources to 181 of the rescued children and family members last year.  The 42 criminal investigations initiated in 2016 focused on various alleged crimes, including:

  • 20 cases of sexual assault of a child;
  • 10 cases of possession of child pornography;
  • Two cases of human trafficking;
  • Two cases of indecency with a child; and
  • Three cases of potential registered sex offender non-compliance.

Since the program’s inception, DPS has initiated more than 100 criminal investigations, and rescued more than 250 children as a result of this training.  DPS partners with various law enforcement, victim services and Child Protective Services agencies to provide IPC training.  To date, DPS has provided IPC training to its own officers as well as more than 6,500 other law enforcement and child protective service professionals in Texas, across the country and internationally.  This training has also assisted other agencies in implementing similar programs within their own jurisdictions.

2/17/16

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More than 50 Indiana State Troopers are ready to go solo

ISP Patrol Cars

Tuesday was a big day for 54 probationary Indiana State troopers.  They headed to Indianapolis to pick up their very own patrol cars.  We're told they've been working hard for the last nine months. They spent six months in the academy, and the last three months training with other troopers.  Now the Indiana State Police say they are ready to serve and protect their community.   Sgt. Todd Ringle tells us it's a tremendous honor to be handed the keys to your first patrol car.   "It is a very rewarding feeling to be able to get in that car all by yourself and go to work and do something you dreamed about doing for a long time," says Ringle.  During the squad car ceremony, the State Police Chaplain said a safety prayer for each new trooper.  Wednesday, they started working solo as Indiana State Troopers.

2/16/17

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Florida Highway Patrol revives 'Arrive Alive' campaign but with a new twist

 arrivealive1

 

The Florida Highway Patrol-- along with local sheriffs and police chiefs-- is dusting off a decades-old 'Arrive Alive' program, but with a new twist. Data.  Analysts are combing through mountains of crash data in an effort to isolate areas in each county where there has been an uptick in fatal car crashes or serious injuries.  FHP Director, Colonel Gene Spaulding, says this doesn't just mean dusting off old signs.  “We’re identifying hot spots-- three to five hot spots in every county.  Where the biggest increase, the biggest number of fatal and serious bodily injury cases are occurring.  And believe it or not, you’d be amazed at how it overlays with the crime in the area too.  You look at the local crime data.  So disability, presence, awareness, education, and enforcement, if need be, is the key to this program,” says Colonel Spaulding.  The FHP director says one reason crime data mirrors crash data is because criminal elements include speeding, impaired driving, and driving recklessly.

2/15/17

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Dodge is giving its new police cruiser some very RoboCop upgrades

Dodge charger

The kinda dinky-looking 2017 Dodge Charger Pursuit is about to get a futuristic upgrade—if you think the dystopian vision of Detroit from 1986 cyberpunk thriller RoboCop is what our future will look like, that is.  Fiat Chrysler just announced a new feature for its police cruiser called the “Officer Protection Package.”  The free upgrade is “designed to prevent an officer from being ambushed from the rear while parked,” Jeff Komer, the company’s VP of sales in the United States, said in a press release.  By taking advantage of the car’s self-parking sensors, the Charger Pursuit will soon be able to detect if someone is approaching the police car from behind.  When it does, the cruiser’s doors will automatically lock, the siren will go bloop, the rear lights will flash, and the rear camera will show the officer what’s happening behind the car.  It almost feels like our police cars will soon be shouting, “your move, creep,” like the eponymous robotic cop.  The new feature does come at a time when police ambushes are happening at an alarming rate.  The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fundreported in November that ambush killings of officers is at a 10-year high.  This grim news came not long after a San Antonio officer was shot and killed after a man pulled up behind the cruiser, approached the window, and shot the officer while he was writing a traffic ticket.  That same day in St. Louis, another man pulled up next to a police sergeant and shot the unsuspecting officer in the face.  As odd as it sounds, it’s clear that some simple tweaks to existing technology could save the lives of policemen and women.  The new Fiat upgrade just plugs into the Charger Pursuit OBDII port and offers law enforcement a new line of defense against bad guys. And at the end of the day, cops need all the help they can get in the line of duty.

2/15/17

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Troopers rescue injured pelican from Skyway Bridge

FHP Pelican

Florida Highway Patrol troopers rescued an injured pelican from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on Friday.  According to troopers, they found the pelican at the foot of the Skyway Bridge showing signs of distress.  It turned out that the pelican was caught in fishing line and had fishing hooks impaled in its legs.  Troopers say the injured bird was trying to cross the interstate and posed a danger to itself and motorists.  That's when Corporal Timothy Sleyzak and Trooper Raymond Ada called in Fish and Wildlife Lieutenant Evan Ladkowski to help rescue the bird.   Lucky for the pelican, later nicknamed Sunshine, these law enforcement officials were able to get him off the road and out of harm's way.  Sunshine was then transferred to Owl's Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife where he is expected to make a full recovery.

2/14/17

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Tennessee Highway Patrol exploring body cameras

THP Body Camera

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is exploring equipping its troopers with body cameras, a move that would make it the first statewide law enforcement agency to do so.  The idea is included a document called a "Request For Information," something public agencies file when they are interested in receiving information about a possible purchase.  The document also asks for more information about new "pursuit vehicle video" equipment, the cameras included in cars that record incidents on the road.  Lt. Bill Miller, a spokesman for the THP, said the move was not an indication of a policy shift but rather a search for more cost-effective in-vehicle equipment.  "Our current system requires video to be downloaded and stored in a hard drive. The newer camera systems allow for cloud storage and many do come with body cameras.  We are exploring camera systems based on their cost efficiency to operate," Miller said.  However, the RFI itself indicates a broader purpose in pursuing the cameras.  "Body cameras are necessary for Trooper protection as well as accurate and complete documentation," the document states.  The RFI is no guarantee the THP will move forward with purchasing body cameras.  The document states the agency will conduct demonstrations on some equipment in April.  In theory, the agency would still need to solicit bids for any body camera contract before it would equip troopers with the devices.  Outcry in recent years over the deaths of people — most often young black men — at the hands of police officers around the country has spurred an ongoing national debate about whether body cameras should be necessary for all law enforcement. Supporters say the cameras provide more accountability and protection for law enforcement, offering evidence to show exactly what happens.  Opponents say there are privacy and financial concerns with cameras, opening the door to new expenses and questions of information that should or can be released.  In Tennessee, only a few agencies are using the cameras.  A Tennessean review in November 2015 found the Knox County Sheriff's Office and police departments in Gallatin, Millersville and Memphis among the entities using or testing the cameras.  The Franklin Police Department has discussed using the cameras but officers are not yet equipped.  Most notably, Memphis police have the cameras but the roll-out of the program has been marred by controversy.  According to The Commercial Appeal, there have been allegations a representative from the company that makes the cameras bribed a city official, that the equipping of the cameras has gone slowly and the department's policies on how and when to use the cameras don't stack up with national standards.  Officers at every precinct were slated to be equipped with the cameras by November.  Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has promised to include funding for body cameras when she releases her proposed budget later this spring.  During a December forum, Nashville District Attorney Glen Funk cautioned the cameras are not a cure-all.  "As a trial lawyer, as a prosecutor, I'm all in favor of having additional evidence in cases," he said.  "But we've got to be careful about rushing headlong into this thinking it's going to cure all ills, even an ill that hasn't happened in Nashville and I pray never happens in Nashville."  In past years, Democrat state lawmakers have proposed bills that would require all law enforcement agencies to wear the cameras. Those bills have never gained much traction in the Tennessee General Assembly, and no similar bill had been filed as of Monday morning.

2/14/17

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90 Mph wind gust tips truck onto Wyoming Highway Patrol Car

 

A dramatic moment was caught on camera as an 18-wheel tractor-trailer was seen tipping over onto a Wyoming Highway Patrol vehicle.  The video shows the truck driving in the right lane on a highway being blown over by what was recorded as a 90 mph gust of wind.  No one was in the police vehicle at the time, and no one was hurt in the incident.  The truck driver was issued a citation, police said.

2/14/17

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Wounded Oregon State Trooper leaves hospital after 48 days

Oregon injured trooper

An Oregon State Police trooper who was shot several times during a Christmas night shooting is out of the hospital.  Oregon State Police said in an email Sunday that Trooper Nic Cederberg has returned home. Cederberg is an Army veteran and seven-year veteran of the department.  Cederberg’s wife, Hayley Shelton, said in a Facebook post that they returned home Friday after 48 days in the hospital.  While they have a long road ahead, she says she is confident her husband will face the next recovery phase with determination, strength and a positive attitude.  Authorities say the trooper was shot Dec. 25 by homicide suspect James Tylka following a car chase.  Tylka was then killed by police.  Officers pursued Tylka after finding his estranged wife dead outside his suburban Portland home.

2/13/17

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Good Samaritan comes to Missouri Highway Patrol trooper's aid as suspect fought with him

 

Tuesday began like any other day for a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper, but things quickly escalated during a traffic stop.  The trooper stopped a driver along eastbound Interstate 70 near Higginsville.  What happened next has the driver facing assault charges and other related allegations.  “That guy was just fighting and screaming, fighting and screaming, he just kept resisting, kept resisting, kept resisting,” said Charles Barney, a good Samaritan who helped the Trooper Beau Ryun.  Trooper Ryun said his radio quit working as he fought to arrest the man he stopped, 22-year-old Johnathan Timmons.  The radio malfunction left him unable contact dispatchers at headquarters in Lee's Summit to let them know he needed help.  “One of the best feelings of my life was seeing them showing up to help me,” said Trooper Ryun.  That help came from 38-year-old Barney.  He said he was headed to a funeral Tuesday morning when he saw Trooper Ryun struggling with a man on the side of I-70  “Happened to see lights on the side of the road, and my fiancé told me that there was an officer fighting a guy on the ground,” Barney added.  Barney said he decided to stop and see if he could help.  “I noticed the cops arms were just shaking, so he needed to call for backup, so I got on the mic, and told them I was helping this officer, he needed help ASAP,” Barney said.  Trooper Ryun said he definitely needed help after stopping Timmons.  “He was overly nervous, and I smelled the odor of marijuana,” added Trooper Ryan.  Trooper Ryun said he asked Timmons to step outside and walk to his patrol car.  The trooper tried to pat Timmons down to see if he had any weapons and attempted to put him in handcuffs when he began resisting.  “We began fighting on the side of the interstate,” he said.  Trooper Ryun said he was hoping someone driving by would call 911.  Luckily, Barney and another woman stopped to help.  “I said, I`m a pedestrian, do you need some help?  And he was like, yes please, I need my handcuffs,” Barney said.  Barney said he did what he could.  “I finally just grabbed his arm and bent it back over his head, and I told him, I said man, if you don`t stop, I`ll break it,” added Barney.  Eventually officers started showing up, Timmons finally gave up, and Trooper Ryun and Barney got him handcuffed.  Trooper Ryun said he found out later that Higginsville police and the Lafayette County Sheriffs Department received several 911 calls reporting the fight.  “I`m just extremely grateful for them stopping, and all the people that called and reported the altercation because you were my lifeline to Troop A,” said Ryun.  Trooper Ryun said he plans to submit the names of the two people who stopped so they can be publicly recognized for helping him.  Timmons faces second degree assault, attempt to disarm a law enforcement officer, third degree assault, felony resisting, possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana, and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.  On Wednesday night he was behind bars in the Lafayette County Jail on a 24-hour hold.

2/10/17

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Mother's murder drives new Highway Patrol commander

NC New Commander

As Col. Glenn McNeill prepares to take the helm of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, he is confident he's not alone in his journey.  "She's with me right now," the 46-year-old McNeill said Wednesday of his mother, who was murdered in his hometown of Reidsville when he was 10 years old.  Her killer was never caught.  "As a result of that investigation, that's why I wanted to be a North Carolina state trooper," said McNeill, who will be sworn in Friday morning at the State Capitol as the patrol's latest commander.  He succeeds Col. William Grey, who retired last month after four years in charge.  "I'm never going to forget where I come from.  I don't think I'm worthy to be sitting in this position," McNeill said.  "I'm still a poor, black kid from Reidsville, North Carolina.  That's how I view and see myself.  My history with the patrol is going to be present with me and is going to inform all of the decisions I make as commander of the Highway Patrol."  A 24-year veteran of the patrol, he started out in Durham and gradually worked his way up the ranks, most recently serving as the agency's director of training.  Improved training remains a priority for him, as are better pay and new equipment for troopers and increased enforcement of motor carrier regulations and illegal drug trafficking.  "How do you put our troopers, who are doing a very dangerous job, in the position to be successful?" he asked. "That's through training.”  The patrol will undergo a complete policy and procedure assessment in hopes of restoring accreditation, he said.  "I'm going to hold them accountable because we are ambassadors for our state.  The bar's going to be set very, very high," he said.  He said he also wants to build trust with the public.  "We're up to the challenge, and we're going to do our very best to make sure that the relationship that we maintain in the community that we serve is a positive one," he said.  As McNeill takes on the challenge, he said his law enforcement dream never leaves him, nor does the mother he lost.  "This is all I've ever wanted to do is be a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper," he said.

2/9/17

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Mother reunites with New Jersey State Troopers who helped deliver her baby

NJSP deliver baby

A mother reunited with the state troopers who helped her deliver her newborn baby.  NBC10 was at the Port Norris State Police Barracks Tuesday as the troopers held Ka'Niah Williams."If it wasn't for them, I don't even know if she would be here," Ka'Niah's mother Deshyamma Dalton said. "I'm thankful. I'm really thankful."  On January 19, Deshyamma Dalton needed help. In labor with her baby girl, Dalton desperately pulled into the parking lot of the Port Norris State Police Barracks, a decision that may have saved her child.  Four state troopers rushed to her aid and helped deliver her daughter in the back of her van. The baby arrived just seconds after Dalton pulled into the parking lot.  On Tuesday Dalton returned to the same place Ka’Niah’s life began to give thanks to the troopers who came to the rescue. During the reunion, everyone was thankful the scene was much calmer.  “It was nice to see them again in a lot less stressful situation,” said State Trooper Andrew Abdill.  “We’re happy to have a successful ending and this was just icing on the cake," said Trooper Matthew Hanlin.  Dalton’s mother Katrina Govan says she is grateful for the officers’ quick response.  “So many people talk about the different things that the state troopers go through," Govan said.  “All the negative.  But a lot of people need to know the positive.”  The good deeds didn’t stop there- Ka’Niah went home with gifts from the troopers as Valentine’s Day is just one week away.  But like any good day, Dalton says they’ll be back next week to give the troopers a gift of their own.

Watch video at:  https://www.facebook.com/NewJerseyStatePolice/videos/1223755991012274/

2/8/17

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