Good Samaritan helps Florida Trooper

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For the second time this month, a good Samaritan stopped to help a law enforcement officer who needed assistance on I-75. This week, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper pulled over a speeding car. Soon after, the men became hostile and resisted arrest. The trooper was outnumbered - until a passing retired police officer stopped to help. Jeffery Duclos, a veteran and former Rhode Island police officer, said when he saw the trooper wrestling a man on the ground - alone - his training and 30 years of law enforcement work kicked in. "I saw the trooper on the ground in a confrontation with the person," Duclos said. He didn't hesitate to stop his car on busy I-75 in Collier County. "I think more people ought to be prepared to help," he said. The trooper had pulled over Richard Lazo Torres and Isaac Ruiz Wilson because Lazo Torres was driving more than 100 mph. The trooper said when they got to the side of the road, Lazo Torres switched places with Wilson to try and hide the fact he was driving because he has a suspended license. "I think the kid saw me coming, so he basically surrendered," Duclos said. He knows it could have been worse, that the trooper may not have made it home to his family that night. "Other people are in the car. If they come out, he's got a major problem." It's the second time a passerby has helped a law enforcement officer on the interstate this month. Two weeks ago, an unidentified man shot and killed Edward Strother, who was attacking a Lee County sheriff's deputy. "This individual who had a carry permit was a true hero," Duclo said of that good Samaritan. "He got out of the car; he jeopardized his safety." The Lee County Sheriff's Office has not released that man's name because he wishes to be anonymous. Lazo Torres and Wilson were in a rental car that was overdue for return. Both were arrested for switching drivers and resisting arrest. Duclos, who used to train police officers, said the trooper he aided was a complete professional.Line


Minnesota State Patrol trooper locates missing teenager

Autistic teen


A trooper paying attention to his Facebook page helped locate a missing autistic teenager from Woodbury earlier this month.  The trooper saw a Facebook post about the teen at the beginning of his shift on Nov. 2.  That same trooper was dispatched a few hours later to a pedestrian call on Interstate 494 in Eagan.  Upon arrival, he immediately believed he found the teen.  After a few questions, the trooper confirmed his suspicions.  Through his friend who made the Facebook post, the trooper was able to get the teen’s address and take him home.


Massachusetts State Police honor a fallen trooper and his family


State Police honored a fallen trooper and his family Thursday before the Marlborough - Hudson Thanksgiving Day Game.  "It's still raw.  It's still something I'm struggling with,” said Trooper Luis DeJesus.  Trooper Thomas Clardy’s wife and six children, who all live in Hudson, stood together, as State Police troopers marched on the field to honor a man who impacted so many.  “It tells you something about someone when you have somebody that Tom had arrested and they come out to the barracks to pay their respects,” said DeJesus.  Trooper Clardy was killed last March when he was hit and killed on the Mass Pike during a traffic stop.   Thanksgiving was Clardy's favorite holiday, and his family says he always found a way to take the day off and be with them.  "I thought of my husband.  It was snowing so I thought that was maybe a sign he was looking down.  Wishing he was here to see the support from everybody,” said Reisa Clardy, Thomas Clardy’s wife.  Clardy's 4-year-old son Noah was in charge of the coin toss.  Lt. Jim Murphy came up with the idea to do the tribute and talked to both teams before Thursday’s game.  "We are one family and we go by that we will take care of each other during all times.  A tragic event like this they need us,” he said.  The Clardy family says the tribute is a great reminder that the community has not forgotten about them.


In memory of Colorado State Patrol Trooper Cody Donahue


Colorado fallen trooper collage


Trooper Cody Donahue was struck and killed by a commercial vehicle on northbound I-25, at Tomah Road, near Castle Rock.  He was investigating a minor traffic crash when the commercial vehicle struck him while he was outside of his patrol car with another trooper.  He was wearing a reflective vest at the time he was struck.  Trooper Donahue had served with the Colorado State Patrol for 11 years.  He is survived by his wife and two young children.



In memory of Utah State Trooper Eric Ellsworth


Utah Trooper Killed


Trooper Eric Ellsworth succumbed to injuries sustained when he was struck by a vehicle at approximately 9:45 pm on November 18th, 2016.  He had responded to reports of low hanging power lines on Route 13, near 13600 North, in Box Elder County.  He was waiting for the local power company to arrive at the scene to repair the line when he observed a semi approaching.  As he exited his patrol car to warn the driver of the obstruction he was struck by a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.  He was flown to Intermountain Medical Center in grave condition.  He succumbed to his injuries four days later.  Trooper Ellsworth had served with the Utah Highway Patrol for seven years.  He is survived by his wife, three young sons, and parents.  His father is a retired Utah Highway Patrol trooper.


Family of injured Utah Highway Patrol trooper thanks public for its support

Utah injured trooper


Family members of Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Ellsworth, who was critically injured in an on-duty accident, expressed their "immense gratitude" Tuesday for the support they have received from the public.  "Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of love and concern, and for the faith and prayers of family, friends, and the millions of you out there of all faiths and walks of life who are pulling for Eric," the trooper's brother-in-law, Jason Moyes, said in a statement on behalf of the family.  Moyes, speaking at a news conference at Intermountain Medical Center, where his brother-in-law is being treated, said Ellsworth remains in extremely critical condition.  "He has already defied the odds and continues to fight this very minute here in this hospital for his life," Moyes said.  Ellsworth was injured Friday while he was assisting at the scene of a downed power line near 13600 North on State Road 13 in Garland in Box Elder County.  The trooper was trying to alert the driver of a semitrailer truck around the power line when a southbound car driven by a teenage girl hit him just before 10 p.m., according to the Utah Highway Patrol.  The girl was not hurt and the cause of the incident remains under investigation.  Moyes said that the family knows "this was a tragic accident."  "Collectively as a family, we want this young lady to know of our love for her," he said.  "Our prayers have been there for you and your family."  Ellsworth, a seven-year UHP veteran, followed in his father's footsteps and is a second-generation trooper.  He lives in Brigham City with his wife, Janica, and their three young sons.  Moyes said Ellsworth is an Eagle Scout and served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints in the Canada Winnipeg mission.  He also said his brother-in-law loves his job.  "Eric loves the officers he works with and is dedicated to the responsibility of protecting and serving the members and visitors of this state," Moyes said.  The family has gotten inquiries from the public about how to help, Moyes said.  He said Janica Ellsworth has an online blog that allows her to stay home with her sons and that any purchases made by clicking through the links at will help the family.  In addition, he said, donations are being accepted at America First Credit Union under the name "Eric Ellsworth Family Charitable Account."


Florida Highway Patrol Expected in Full Force During Thanksgiving Holiday


If you're hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Florida Highway Patrol will be out in full force from Wednesday to Sunday.  They are asking you to buckle up, and not drink and drive.  Troopers say speed limits in Florida are no more than 70 miles per hour. T hey say gauge your speed when you see traffic congestion.  Overall, they have asked everyone to pay attention and not drive distracted.  "It's not only just texting on your phone or answering a phone call," said Captain Jeff Bissainthe.  "It's talking to your passengers in the vehicle.  It's adjusting your radio.  It's messing with the GPS.  We just want everyone to keep their minds on driving and their hands on the wheel and everyone to focus."  During the Thanksgiving holiday period last year, law enforcement agencies around the state worked more than 9,900 crashes.  Eighty-four people were killed with 17 of them not wearing seat belts.


California Highway Patrol graduates 138 new troopers

California graduation


Every badge pinned represents a sacrifice, a commitment, an honor.  138 new badges were pinned  November 18th.  138 new officers to serve the people of California.


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North Carolina Highway Patrol graduates 47 new troopers

North Carolina graduation


North Caroline Highway Patrol proudly welcomed 47 new troopers at a graduation ceremony for the 140th basic highway patrol school.  The celebration ended 15 weeks of extensive academic and physical training.  The ceremony was held at the Colonial Baptist Church in Cary at 10 a.m.  The oath of office was administered by Judge Harold T. Jarrell Jr., North Carolina District Courts.  Frank L. Perry, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and Colonel Bill Grey, commander of the State Highway Patrol provided remarks.  The cadets will report to their respective duty stations on Wednesday, December 7thto begin a rigorous field training program.



Illinois State Police promote first African-American woman to rank of Colonel

First black Colonel for Illinois State Police

When JoAnn Johnson joined the Illinois State Police 27 years ago, she didn’t set out to be the first African-American woman to reach the rank of colonel.  The Springfield resident was drawn to law enforcement by her father, who worked as a Chicago police officer.  They would watch police-themed TV shows like “Hill Street Blues” as she was growing up, and her father would let her know which parts were realistic and which parts were fantasy.  By the time Johnson enrolled at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, she knew she wanted to be a police officer so she could help people and investigate crime.  She was the only black woman in her academy class, but that didn’t deter her from completing the course.  “I took pride in doing a good job,” Johnson said.  “I’ve always set out to do 110 percent at everything I’ve done.  My father taught me that.  In doing that, I feel like my hard work has been rewarded along the way.”  Johnson, 48, was promoted to the rank of colonel on Nov. 1.  She works at ISP headquarters in downtown Springfield and is in charge of the division of internal investigation. The division investigates allegations against both sworn and civilian members of the state police, as well as employees at some other state agencies such as the Departments of Corrections and Transportation.  Johnson is one of four colonels in the state police, and there are only two people above her in the chain of command: First Deputy Director Chad Peterson and Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz.  Johnson’s done a lot of diverse jobs with the agency since she started on the midnight shift in Elgin as a patrol officer.  She worked in criminal investigations and also served as an undercover narcotics officer in a joint-jurisdictional drug task force in the early 1990s.  “I didn’t have any children at the time, which made it easier,” Johnson said of her undercover work.  “There were a lot of late nights working undercover, a lot of talking and some scary events.  I did learn a lot.”  In 2010, Johnson moved to Springfield to teach at the Illinois State Police Academy.  Three years later, she was promoted to lieutenant colonel and moved to the internal investigation division.  Investigating fellow employees isn’t easy, she acknowledged, but it’s important work.  “(People working in internal investigations) understand the sensitivity of potentially investigating one of your own.  We go to great lengths to work the cases thoroughly because we realize we may be proving that our officers did not engage in any misconduct.  We are finders of fact.  We leave no stone unturned, and the evidence falls where it falls,” Johnson said.  While Johnson has been able to climb the ladder at ISP, women are still a decided minority in the department.  There are about 1,500 men who are sworn officers compared to about 167 women.  Of those 167 women, 22 are African-American, Johnson said.  Johnson noted that the state police are trying to recruit more women and more minorities.  “State police are very active in recruiting in minority neighborhoods,” she said.  “We want to build those numbers up.  We want to get our female officers out at recruiting events, schools and other events in the community so people can see that I can do that, too.” While the work of a state trooper can be physically demanding, Johnson said women are very capable of learning the defense tactics that are needed to keep them safe.  She added that women are often able to avoid physical confrontations through communication skills.  “I’m trained and know how to defend myself against a 6-foot-2 inch, 200-pound man or woman, but I really don’t want to do that -- especially on a little strip of real estate called the shoulder of the highway,” Johnson said.  “We have learned to use our voices and our communicative skills and tactics to help us accomplish what we need to accomplish without having to go to fisticuffs or having to use hands-on.”  Johnson, who married Richard Johnson in 2013, has two daughters, ages 9 and 11.  Despite her demanding routine, she’s found a way to balance home life and work life.  “I’m a soccer mom and a softball mom.  I do all of the things moms do, and I am there for my family, yet I can still do this job.  I think women need to see that you can do all of this,” Johnson said.

Idaho State Troopers Honored for Saving Women's Life

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On July 27th two Idaho State Troopers were instrumental in helping to save a 35 year old woman’s life.  She had pulled over to the side of the road on the interstate and was having difficulty breathing. Thursday, they were honored for their efforts.  “You know that was probably the most emotional day I had as a trooper, you know running code to this call, I was probably about I think 7 miles away and on my way down there,” said Trooper Steve McClain.  “I remember yelling out in my patrol car, ‘woman stay alive!’  I didn't know who she was, I just yelled out lady just stay alive.”  The troopers were told to meet in the conference room today for a meeting where they were surprised by their family, friends and co-workers.  “I thought I was coming in for a meeting and next thing I know it,” said Michael Hausauer. “Saying let's go into the conference room and here we are rounding the corner and my wife is there.  To my surprise I’m like wait what is she doing here.  Put one and one together and figured out fairly quickly what I thought was going to be happening.”  “I was told I was to be here around 10 o' clock for a safety presentation on winter driving to help get the public aware of what to do when driving in the winter conditions,” said McClain.  “So I was not aware that this was going to happen.”  For these officers, they aren't a big fan of the attention.  It was all in a day's work.  “It's an honor to get to serve the people of Idaho,” said Hausauer.  “It's always the smallest things that bring the greatest joy.  Helping somebody change a tire, or somebody who’s out of gas.  In this case, somebody who’s in their own medical emergency or crisis, allowing them to get the next level of care necessary to save their life.”


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California cadet run to state Capitol honors the fallen



As dozens of California Highway Patrol junior cadets led a cacophony of yells early Wednesday morning, 138 cadets from the graduating class of the CHP Academy set off on a traditional run from West Sacramento to the California Peace Officers' Memorial near the state Capitol.  Traditional cadet run from CHP Academy in West Sacramento to state Capitol signifies the end of 28 weeks of training.  138 cadets will graduate later this week.  13 cadets are women.  "It's surreal," said Stephanie Combs, a cadet who is scheduled to graduate later this week.  This year's run comes days after a Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy was shot and killed while on duty.  Traditional CHP graduating class run to law enforcement memorial while junior cadets yell.  "It's certainly something you think about.  But, that'll wait until Monday or the next day or the day after that," Chianti Williams said as she waited to see her brother run past.  "Today is about celebrating their hard work."  The monument where the run will end is a tribute to the more than 1,600 California law enforcement officers who lost their lives while serving and protecting the public and "underscores the soon-to-be officers the dangers of the job upon which they are about to embark."  While at the monument, cadets and officers will honor the fallen officers with a moment of silence as a sign of respect for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the people of California.  The tradition is a long-standing right of passage for cadets as they complete their 28-week training at the CHP Academy.

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New Hampshire State Troopers Move Cows Away From Interstate

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Here’s one of the reasons that some of us say we’re from “Cow” Hampshire: The New Hampshire State Police had to deal with a potentially udderly dangerous situation on I-93 on Nov. 15, 2016, in Canterbury after eight cows were found running along the side of the highway.  The troopers were able to keep the cows from entering traffic by moo-ving them away from the Interstate.  The effort by troopers to keep the highway from becoming a butcher shop only caused minor delays to those traveling during rush hour traffic.  State police noted on Facebook that the owner of the cows arrived about 30 minutes later and they were returned safely to their farm.



Florida Highway Patrol Achieves Gold Standard CALEA Re-Accrediation

Calea seal


A team of assessors from the prestigious Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®), has completed an extensive review of the Florida Highway Patrol’s (FHP) policies, procedures and law enforcement practices and announced that FHP has achieved gold standard re-accreditation.  This is the first time FHP pursued and achieved the gold standard accreditation, which distinguishes FHP as a leading law enforcement agency in the nation.  “The FHP works tirelessly each and every day to ensure the safety of Floridians and visitors, and I am very proud of FHP’s continued professionalism,” said Terry L. Rhodes, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).  “FHP members have a very demanding job, and the gold standard accreditation recognizes the high standard in which they perform their duties.”  After a comprehensive evaluation of FHP’s records and an in-depth, onsite inspection, a review committee hearing was held on November 5 in Charleston, South Carolina.  The review committee recommended, and the full CALEA Commission unanimously agreed, that FHP is in compliance with all mandatory national law enforcement standards and subsequently awarded FHP the Meritorious, Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation.  With this seventh award, FHP has maintained its accredited status with CALEA continuously since 1996.  “FHP is one of only eight other Highway Patrol agencies nationally who have gained accreditation through CALEA,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol.  “In today’s challenging times, it is critical that we lead by example and perform our law enforcement duties in a professional and courteous manner.  FHP is committed to applying nationally-recognized best practices of law enforcement for the citizens and visitors of this great state.  I am extremely proud of all of the men and women of the FHP who worked diligently to ensure FHP is among the best in the nation.”  During the onsite assessment, assessors toured several FHP facilities throughout the state including Orlando, Jacksonville, Lake City, Fort Myers, Tampa, Ocala, Havana and Tallahassee where they interviewed a number of command staff members, line officers, civilian personnel and the general public.  The assessment team noted that professionalism, courtesy and respect are taken seriously among the FHP ranks, and the members of the FHP truly embrace the concept of public service.  The commission finalized their assessment report and determined that the FHP is an effective and professional law enforcement agency that provides quality service to a diverse service population during challenging economic times.  The commission also added that the FHP works hard and uses the resources available to achieve their objectives and remains focused on providing courteous and responsive services to the citizens through a broad range of functions.



Texas State Trooper catches trucker with 20 kilograms of cocaine

Texas trooper tracker trailer


Investigators arrested a trucker last week after finding 20 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the cab.  On Thursday, a state trooper stopped Alfredo Tait on U.S. 281 near San Manuel, according to the criminal complaint against him.  Tait was driving a red tractor-trailer with license plates that belonged to another vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.  "When asked about his travel itinerary, Tait also provided untruthful responses to Trooper Benavides," according to the criminal complaint.  "Tait subsequently admitted that he was lying about his travel itinerary and later stated that he drove the vehicle down specifically for hauling a load of drugs."  Agents with the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division escorted the tractor-trailer to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.  A K-9 at the bridge alerted to the tractor-trailer, according to the criminal complaint.  An X-ray also revealed an anomaly in the sleeper compartment.  Investigators found 19 bundles of cocaine hidden in two mattresses and another bundle inside an air vent, according to the criminal complaint.  Tair was charged with possession with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.  Court records don't list an attorney for Tait, who remains in federal custody.