49 new Virginia State Troopers graduate

VSP Graduation March 2017

The 125th generation of Virginia State Troopers graduated on Friday.  The 49 new troopers received their diplomas after more than 1,600 hours of classroom and field training.  They studied more than 100 subjects, including defensive tactics, ethics and leadership, and judicial procedures.  These new troopers will report to their assignments across the Commonwealth on Monday for their final phase of training.  The troopers are from across Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

3/13/17

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California Highway Patrol begins taking delivery of Dodge Charger Pursuits

CHP Dodger

Several months back you might remember hearing that the California Highway Patrol was looking to replace 580 of their aging vehicles with Dodge Charger Pursuits.  Well, the time has finally come and the Charger Pursuits are hitting the streets.  Equipped with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 making 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, the Charger Pursuit has plenty of power for everyday police. It is unclear whether or not CHP opted for the AWD version of the Charger Pursuit for the more snow-covered regions of California, but the V-6 version of the Charger Pursuit does come with the option of either RWD or AWD.  The 2017 Charger Pursuit is the first year where departments can utilize a 12.1 Uconnect mobile command center with a wireless keyboard.  This allows departments to relocate their computer to the rear of the vehicle and make more room for the officer.  It will be interesting to see how officers like the change in vehicles since CHP had recently switched over the Ford Intercepter Utility.  Coming to a highway near you!  The new California Highway Patrol Dodge Charger.

3/10/17

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Trooper outside car hit after driver falls asleep

 

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper was critically injured Monday after he was hit by his own car while standing on I-15 during a three-vehicle crash caused by a driver who fell asleep, investigators said.  Trooper Devin Gurney, 27, who has been with the highway patrol for three years, was taken to Utah Valley Hospital in critical condition, though his injuries are not considered to be life-threatening, according to UHP Sgt. Todd Royce.  "Our greatest concern every day is that our troopers will be safe.  I'm so grateful that injuries for all involved in this crash weren't worse," Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires said on Twitter Monday.  Gurney had pulled over another vehicle in the far left emergency lane of traffic about 11 a.m.  He was out of his vehicle to conduct the traffic stop when an SUV veered across multiple lanes and slammed into the rear of the trooper's car.  The UHP car was pushed forward during the collision and hit Gurney, said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

3/9/17

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Traffic stop leads to discovery of $1.75M worth of pot

Minnesota drug bust

What started as a traffic stop on Interstate 94 in west-central Minnesota last week resulted in the arrest of three St. Paul men for having nearly 600 pounds of high-grade marijuana in a truck.  According to a criminal complaint filed in Otter Tail County District Court, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper was watching eastbound traffic on I-94 in Fergus Falls on March 1 when he noticed a Ford truck with obstructed license plates.  The trooper pulled the truck over near mile marker 56 and asked two of the three men to wait outside while he spoke to the driver.  The driver said he and the two men, who were his brothers, had flown to California to pick up the truck from his in-laws and were driving back to Minnesota.  However, the driver’s timeline and explanation was contradictory and when the trooper spoke to the other two men, their stories did not match the driver’s timeline of the previous few days, the complaint said.  The truck was eventually towed and searched.  In the truck bed, investigators allegedly found about 18 large duffel bags, each holding about 25 shrink-wrapped packages of high-grade hydroponically grown marijuana.  Investigators estimated the 570 pounds of marijuana has a street value of about $1.75 million.

3/8/17

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CHP Officers find 2 calves crammed in abandoned car

CHP Calves saved 1

It was one of the more unusual calls the California Highway Patrol has received: Someone reported seeing a cow trying to climb out of a small car parked alongside an interstate.  Officers responding Saturday along a mountain pass in Southern California’s Riverside County discovered a calf trying to escape from a Honda Civic’s open trunk.  Another calf was crammed into the floor of the backseat.  Both calves’ hooves were tied.  Investigators say the driver was nowhere to be found.  The car is registered to an address in Tulare County, more than 250 miles away.  Authorities said Monday that the vehicle had not been reported stolen.  It’s been impounded as evidence.  The calves will be cared for at a ranch while officials try to determine who owns them.

3/8/17

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CHP officer pulls 'distraught' teen back from overcrossing

CHP Officer saves jumper

A California Highway Patrol officer pulled a "distraught" 14-year-old girl back from an over crossing over Highway 58 on Friday after it appeared she was going to jump.  Officer Marshall Miller, among several officers called to the scene at 12:05 p.m., saw the teen standing outside the railing of the Fairfax Road over crossing, looking down at the traffic below, officers said.  At 12:26 p.m., after several minutes of talking with the teen and watching her rock forward and peer down at the traffic lanes, Miller saw an opening, officers said.  He quickly lunged toward her, wrapped his arms around her and pulled her back over the railing.  The teen was released to the Kern County Mental Health Evaluation Team for treatment.

3/7/17

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Perfect timing: beer truck crash caught on cam

 

A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper’s dashcam captured an amazing coincidence of timing during a recent crash.  Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Travis Smaka had pulled over a driver for speeding.  “You guys have anything to drink tonight?”  Smaka asks the driver.  As the driver answers, squealing brakes can be heard.  Trooper Smaka and the driver are then pelted with beer bottles and cans.  “Well, over 1,000 pounds of beer shattering and a tidal wave of beer coming at me,” Smaka says.  A truck driver had lost control of his beer rig, spilling his load.

3/7/17

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California Highway Patrol graduates 126 new officers

Congratulations to the 126 newest California Highway Patrol officers that graduated the CHP Academy today. After a short break, they will transition to offices all across the state and begin their field training.

Watch the video at:  https://www.facebook.com/913062315456604/videos/1247567385339427/

3/6/17

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Crash pushed state police car into troopers conducting traffic stop

NJSP crash caused by dump truck

A dump truck struck a New Jersey State Police car on Interstate 80, pushing it into a traffic stop and injuring two troopers and a third driver.  The cause of the Thursday afternoon crash that tied up westbound traffic for hours in Warren County is still under investigation, state police announced on social media late Friday morning.  The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.  State police said the first trooper stopped a Honda Accord and was speaking to the driver outside the car at mile marker 5.3, about a mile east of the exit for Routes 94 and 46 in Knowlton Township and five miles from the Pennsylvania border at the Delaware Water Gap.  Another trooper was en route when their Chevrolet Caprice was struck in the rear by a Mack truck, pushing the police car onto the right shoulder and into the Accord, which in turn was pushed forward into the first trooper and the Accord's driver, state police said.  The troopers and the Accord's driver were flown to Morristown Memorial Hospital.  The truck's driver was not hurt, authorities said.  The highway was closed and detoured during the evening rush hour during the initial investigation. Some readers reported being stuck in standstill traffic for two hours or more.

3/6/17

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Michigan State Police troopers bust driver with 45 pounds of marijuana

MSP Marijuana bust

Michigan State Police troopers busted a 25-year-old man from West Bloomfield after discovering 45 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle.  Troopers assigned to the Hometown Security Team were conducting a traffic stop on southbound I-75 near Gibraltar Road in Brownstown Township on February 28.  After pulling the driver over, troopers detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the 2016 Dodge Dart.  Troopers located the marijuana in the trunk of the vehicle.  The driver told police he was driving to Toledo, Ohio with the marijuana.  The man was arrested and is in jail as prosecutors review the case.

3/3/17

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Wyoming Highway Patrol gets slick new look

Wyoming slick top

On Feb. 21 Wyoming Highway Patrol introduced a new active pilot program featuring “slick top” cars to increase highway and road safety.  Slick top patrol cars differ from standard patrol cars in the absence of a light bar on the roof.  “These new patrol cars allow police officers to see and observe a whole lot more than officers in normal patrol cars ever will,” Wyoming Highway Patrol Lieutenant David Wagener said.  Wagener said slick top patrol vehicles are less likely to be recognized right away, preventing a distracted driver from correcting their behavior only before driving near or past a police officer.  Colonel Kebin Haller said in a press release that the highway patrol had been discussing a program like this for the past year.  “Slick top enforcement patrol vehicles are not new to law enforcement or other highway patrol agencies throughout the country,” Haller said Slick top patrol cars could provide several benefits for the state of Wyoming’s highways and safety efforts.  “In my personal vehicle I have seen so many distracted drivers, people will pull up to a stoplight and be using their phone,” Wagner said.  “Where as if they see a cop they are more likely to put their phone away and pay attention, but return to whatever they were doing as soon as they go their separate way from the police officer.”  State troopers assigned to slick top patrol vehicles will see and observe a great deal more, and recognize distracted drivers much more easily, Wagener said.  It may also support efforts to stop human and contraband trafficking.  “One example of how this would work is if I was heading east-bound on I-80 to Cheyenne, and a driver behind me was going 100mph in a 75mph zone.” Wagner said.  “Without the identification of a light bar on the roof, the driver is less likely to slow down because of the presence of a state patrolman.”  There are students on UW’s campus that agree and disagree with the move.  UW Freshman Haley Dollerschell, a speech pathology major, said, “I think the new patrol cars are a good idea because in the long run it will hopefully prevent more accidents that are the result of distracted driving.”  UW Freshman Kyle Sager, A secondary education major, disagrees.  “I think it’s probably best to keep them on top of the car since that’s what people are used to and it seems to have no problems as far as I can see, so why would you change it?” Sager said.  Only five new slick tops vehicles will be used across the state of Wyoming until effects of the initiative are determined.  If the results are positive, entire fleets could be considered for upgrades to slick tops.  Each of Wyoming’s five highway patrol districts will receive one slick top vehicle, Wagener said.

3/1/17

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Michigan State Police crack down on left-lane drivers

MSP Left lane drivers

Driving in the left lane in Michigan is illegal, unless to pass someone and Michigan State Police are about to crack down on left-lane drivers.  Beginning Wednesday, March 1 through the end of April, troopers will be pulling over people who use the left lane for anything other than passing a vehicle.  Lieutenant Chris McIntire commands the Rockford Post and says road rage is a big problem with left-lane hogs.  "They over take them on the right and cause an accident or ride them on their bumper which causes the person in front to get mad. It causes a whole bunch of issues for us."  The main focus in West Michigan will be U.S. 131 in Kent and Montcalm counties. 

3/2/17

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Trooper's video about this 'often forgotten, incredible safety feature' is a hit

 

An Indiana state trooper's hilarious turn signal PSA has gone viral in less than 48 hours, gaining more than 6.6 million views.  "What if I told you there's a feature on every car that's standard, that not only will help prevent crashes, but also will help prevent road rage a little bit," Sergeant John Perrine says in a Facebook video on Friday.  Perrine calls the turn signal "incredible" and marvels at its usefulness, warning drivers to put down their coffee cups of cell phones while turning.  "It's not only against the law not to use it, but it's the courteous thing to do," Perrine says.

3/1/17

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State Trooper thrown from vehicle in crash

LSP trooper thrown from vehicle

A Louisiana State Trooper was ejected from his marked patrol vehicle when a chain reaction sent another vehicle plowing into his on I-59 yesterday.  Trooper Dustin Dwight said the unnamed Trooper sustained minor injuries and received treatment at Ochsner Medical Center.  Several Troopers were working a previous accident on I-59 just north of I-10 when a Nissan Sentra driven by 22-year-old Dlane Michael Harris slammed into a Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by 22-year-old Ronald Dwayne Tillery.  The impact pushed the PT Cruiser into the Trooper’s vehicle, which was parked with the emergency lights flashing, according to Dwight.  The Trooper, who was working on paperwork at the time with his door open, was thrown onto the neutral ground.  Harris was cited for careless operation and no seatbelt, while Tillery was cited for driving with a suspended license and no insurance, Dwight said.  There were no other injuries in the crash.  “Friday night’s crash represents the third crash this year where a Trooper in the Troop L area was hit and injured by a vehicle during the course of his duties,” Dwight said.  “In all three crashes, carelessness or impairment were contributing factors.  Thankfully, all three Troopers survived the crashes, but the results could have easily been much more tragic for the Troopers and their families.  If you find yourself passing a police officer, first responder, or any other vehicle stopped on the shoulder, please slow down, move over, and pay attention to your surroundings.  Aside from being the law, it is the right thing to do.”

2/28/17

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The Texas Department of Public Safety graduates 134 new highway patrol troopers

Texas DPS graduation February 2017

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw, Texas Public Safety Commission Chair Cynthia Leon, and members of the Public Safety Commission (PSC) today were joined by Texas Rep. Tony Dale as the department commissioned 134 men and women as the state’s newest Highway Patrol Troopers during the recruit graduation ceremony.  Rep. Dale was the keynote speaker during the ceremony, which was held Friday in Austin.  “The men and women here today have selflessly pledged their lives to protect the people of Texas by joining law enforcement – a noble profession that requires immense courage and sacrifice,” said Rep. Dale.  “The state is profoundly grateful for your dedication to becoming our newest Texas Highway Patrol Troopers.”  The D-2016 class, which is the department’s 158th training class and the largest since August 2000, includes 16 women, 16 former peace officers and 58 military veterans.  The oldest graduate is 51-years-old and the youngest is 21-years-old.  The new Troopers will report to duty stations across Texas in the coming weeks and spend the first six months in on-the-job training.  “I know each of you has worked tremendously hard in order to get where you are today, and your perseverance and achievements have been nothing less than remarkable,” said Chair Leon.  “We are honored to welcome you to the DPS family, and I know you will make us all proud as you walk out these doors to begin your new career serving and protecting your communities.”  The Troopers began the 24-week training academy in September of last year.  Instruction covered more than 100 subjects, including counterterrorism, traffic and criminal law, arrest and control procedures, accident reconstruction, first aid and Spanish.  They also received training in use of force, communication skills, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, cultural diversity and physical fitness.  “These 134 men and women have risen to the challenge of DPS’ months-long training to prove their proficiency and dedication, and the department is honored to add them to our law enforcement ranks,” said Director McCraw.   “From this day forward, you will serve on the front lines protecting our communities from the full gamut of public safety threats, and Texas will be a safer place because of your commitment to duty.”  As part of the recruits’ community service project, the class raised funds for several causes, including $6,866 for the Green Beret Foundation; and $1,150 for the Louisiana State Troopers Association (to assist Troopers affected by flooding in Louisiana).  In addition, the class established the “158th Fund,” which will provide future recruits with financial assistance for miscellaneous medical expenses.  Members of the class also volunteered to be tested as potential donors for a national bone marrow registry.

2/27/17

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