Virginia State Police graduates 37 new troopers

VSP March 2020 graduation 

Virginia State Police graduated 37 members of the 131st Basic Session on March 17, ahead of the agency's original graduation date. The members graduated on Tuesday instead of Friday because of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's directives related to COVID-19. “This is the first time in decades that state police has had to postpone an Academy graduation ceremony,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “However, this in no way diminishes the Department’s pride in or appreciation of these new Troopers and Special Agent Accountant joining our ranks. We look forward to bringing these men and women and their families to our campus at a later date in order to properly celebrate their accomplishments of completing the Virginia State Police Academy.” According to Virginia State Police, the class has received more than 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, survival Spanish, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival, cultural diversity and crisis management. The class became the 29-week journey at the Virginia State Police Academy last August. The new troopers will report to their assignments across Virginia next week.



Washington State Patrol trooper killed in line-of-duty

WSP Justin Schaffer killed March 2020

Trooper Justin Schaffer was struck and killed by a fleeing vehicle while attempting to deploy stop sticks during a vehicle pursuit along I-5 in Chehalis.  The suspect driving the vehicle had stolen an item from a convenience store in Lacey the previous day.  The man had threatened the clerk with a stun gun and threatened to run him over.  Thurston County deputies spotted the truck the following day and attempted to stop it in Maytown.  The vehicle fled into Lewis County with deputies pursuing it.  Trooper Schaffer was struck by the subject as he attempted to deploy stop sticks near mile marker 79.  The man continued to flee until stopping and barricading himself inside his vehicle several miles later.  He was taken into custody by Thurston County deputies.  Trooper Schaffer had served with the Washington State Patrol for six years.  He is survived by his wife, parents, and brother.



A Massachusetts State Police trooper pulls driver from burning vehicle

MDSP Pull man from burning car

A state trooper pulled an alleged drunken driver from his burning, crashed SUV early Thursday morning, possibly saving the driver’s life, police said.  Trooper Zachary Camara of the Foxboro barracks pulled the 28-year-old Brighton man through the windshield of the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse before it went up in flames in woods off Interstate 95, Trooper Dustin Finch, a state police spokesman, said.  The man, who was not identified, was the only occupant of the SUV.  The single-vehicle accident occurred about 2:20 a.m. on I-95 North just before the I-495 interchange.  Finch did not know further details of the rescue but said, based on information he was given, the trooper potentially saved the man’s life.  The victim suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Mansfield Fire Chief Justin Desrosiers said. “The fire started in the engine compartment and then spread,” Desrosiers said.  The plastic gas tank melted from the heat of the blaze, releasing gas that helped fuel the flames and spread them on the ground.  The vehicle was destroyed in the incident, Desrosiers said.



Washington State Patrol welcomes 42 new troopers

Washington State Patrol March 2020 graduation

Friday, March 13, 42 new Washington State Patrol troopers were sworn in by Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Debra Stephens in a ceremony held at the Washington State Patrol Academy in Olympia.  “The 42 cadets graduating today endured a rigorous application process, extensive background investigation, and received the best training, unmatched anywhere else in the nation,” said Chief John Batiste.  “Today, they will join the ranks of Washington’s finest, as troopers of the Washington State Patrol, a tradition that began 99 years ago on June 21, 1921, when six brave men kick-started their Indian motorcycles, strapped on an armband and started a proud tradition known today as the Washington State Patrol.”  It was the 112th Trooper Basic Training Class at the WSP Academy. Graduates have more than 1,000 hours if training, according to a state patrol press release.  The academy produces approximately three cadet classes each biennium, which accounts for about 100 to 120 new troopers.  Historically, only about four to six percent of the total number of applicants makes the grade to become WSP troopers, according to the state patrol.



Delaware State Police welcomes 25 new troopers

Delaware State Police graduation March 2020

The Delaware State Police Superintendent Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr. announced the graduation ceremonies for the 93rd Delaware State Police and 89th Municipal Recruit Class.  The ceremonies celebrated and recognized the successful completion of Law Enforcement training of 25 Delaware State Troopers and 24 Law Enforcement Officers representing the Delaware River & Bay Authority, Dover Police Department, Georgetown Police Department, Newark Police Department, University of Delaware Police Department, Seaford Police Department, Smyrna Police Department, and South Bethany Police Department.  “On Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 the strength of the Delaware Law Enforcement Community grew beyond measure with the addition of 25 State Troopers and 24 Municipal Officers representing eight agencies from across the State.  These graduates represent the top 2.5% of the over 2,000 women and men who pursued positions in this Academy Class and their performance over the past few months reinforced that they were the best of the best!  After receiving two and a half times the minimum training hours required by the Council on Police Training these women and men stand ready to serve the citizens of Delaware with the requisite confidence, passion, and humility to make all Delawareans safe and proud of their Law Enforcement protectors,” said, Captain Jason Sapp, Director of Training for the Delaware State Police.




2 New Jersey State Police troopers rescue trucker before rig explodes

 NJSP pull man from rig before it explodes

Two New Jersey State Troopers pulled a man out of a burning tractor-trailer on Interstate 287 in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County just seconds before it exploded.  On Monday, March 2, at approximately 3:35 p.m., Trooper Robert Tarleton was speaking with a driver on a motor vehicle stop northbound on I-287 at milepost 20 when a nearby tractor trailer ran off the right side of the road in the express lanes, striking the guardrail and bridge abutment before becoming engulfed in flames.  When Trooper Tarleton heard the impact and observed the crash, he immediately returned the driver’s credentials and ran back to his troop car to request for fire and emergency medical services personnel to respond to the crash.  As he drove to the scene, Trooper Tarleton calmly provided an update to dispatch before exiting his vehicle and sprinting to the burning tractor-trailer.  As he approached the truck, State Police Lieutenant Edward Ryer, who was on his way home from work when he witnessed the crash, was out of his vehicle attempting to rescue the driver from the cab.  Trooper Tarleton and Lieutenant Ryer then worked together to pull the driver from the burning cab, dragging him to safety, seconds before it exploded.  The driver sustained minor injuries in the crash and was transported to Morristown Medical Center for evaluation.  The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper buys woman 2 new tires after she suffers blown out tire

Okla Trooper buys tires

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper worked tirelessly to help a driver who had a flat last week as she was traveling to work.  He did it by buying her two new tires.  The Highway Patrol posted the work done by trooper Chris Hanover last week on Facebook.  Andrea Derksen, who sent a note to troopers, said Hanover stopped to help her after her tire blew out.  Hanover looked at Derksen’s spare tire and told her it was in poor condition.  What Hanover did next surprised Derksen, who was driving to work when she experienced the flat tire.  “He took me to a local tire shop and not only helped me get my blown tire fixed, but he also bought 2 other tires that I desperately needed,” Derksen said.  “He turned what was starting to be a tough day into a blessing."



A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper reunites puppy with owners after crash

WSP Trooper rescues puppy

A dog ejected from a vehicle during a crash in central Wisconsin has been reunited with its owners. The Wisconsin State Patrol posted the story and photos on Facebook.  The crash happened Feb. 29 on I-90/94 west near Portage. The State Patrol says a reckless driver hit a pickup truck, lost control and then hit another vehicle. The third vehicle went into a ditch and rolled three times before coming to rest on a tree. Two occupants were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A small puppy was ejected from the vehicle. A Wisconsin State trooper, Columbia County deputies and the Portage Fire Department searched the area and found the puppy. It was not hurt. A trooper reunited the puppy with its owners at the hospital.



Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper honored for saving a life

Miss HP MSgt receives award

Mississippi Highway Patrol Master Sgt. David Blackwell is known as a hardworking man who doesn't know how to slow down.  "The one thing I can say about him is he works too much," MHP Lt. Steven Crawford said.  Crawford, who is with the highway patrol's special operations group, and Blackwell, who works out of Troop M, headquartered in Brookhaven, have worked together for about 12 years, but have known each other much longer, having grown up in the same area and played ball together, and against each other, in school.  "He's got a good work ethic," Crawford said.  "He's worked his way up through the ranks (at MHP)."  Blackwell also spends time with his son, 6-year-old Kiptyn Blackwell, and 2-year-old daughter, Aubrey Blackwell.  He plans to marry fiancee Victoria Putfark in May.  In addition to working for the highway patrol, Blackwell officiates at various sporting events - a job he's done for 20 years.  It was at one of the football games last year that Blackwell's training came into play, and it helped him save a friend's life.  Blackwell was officiating a West Jones vs. George County game alongside friend and fellow official David Bullock when Bullock collapsed on the field in the fourth quarter.  Blackwell used some of the skills he had that week learned as a trooper during his participation in the National Association of Underwater Instructors' Public Safety Diving course at the University of Southern Mississippi to save his friend's life.   "He was able to jump in and call the shots," said Bill Powe, Aquatics and Outdoor Adventures coordinator at Southern Miss.  Blackwell was able to get Bullock resuscitated and oversaw his care until an ambulance arrived to take over.  Powe, who also oversees the scuba program at Southern Miss, said Blackwell was able to take control of the situation and get someone to bring the automated external defibrillator to where he was providing aid to Bullock, who had suffered a heart attack on the field.  "He learned there is a value behind having an AED there and using it — that’s what saved his friend's life," Powe said.  Powe said Blackwell and other troopers had been participating in a monthlong training program at Southern Miss that helped the MHP certify officers for its special ops dive team.  The class the troopers had just finished was the American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding course, which included CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and First Aid.  "He told me he had done CPR several times, but because of the training he went through in the program - that’s what saved friend’s life," Powe said.  Because of his efforts, Blackwell, 38, of the Dexter community, was honored for his efforts with an American Red Cross Certificate of Merit, a National Lifesaving Award




Virginia State trooper and tow truck driver injured after a car crashed into a working accident

VSP trooper hit

A Virginia State Trooper, a tow truck driver and occupants of the truck were all injured after a car crashed into a working accident in Christiansburg.  According to Virginia State Police, the trooper was working with the tow truck driver on a previous accident.  A car failed to move over and struck both vehicles.  The trooper has since been released from the hospital.  The tow truck driver has non-life threatening injuries but will remain in the hospital.  The driver and three juveniles in the SUV that struck the cars were both transported for injuries.  Virginia State Police want drivers to be aware of the move over law.  The law requires drivers to move over when you see an emergency vehicle of any kind and if you can’t, slow down.



Montana Highway Patrol welcomes 9 new members

Montana HP graduation February 2020

The Montana Highway Patrol commissioned nine new members on Thursday, from their 67th Advanced Academy.  The patrolmen who graduated will be heading to numerous locations around Montana.  Chief Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion addressed the graduates at the ceremony, which was at the Delta Marriott Hotel in Helena.  Bennion reminded the graduates of how integral good character and commitment are when serving the public.  “The importance of the work that lies ahead of you cannot be overstated.  So, set your direction with a positive attitude and strong spirit.  Remember that each of you is now a person of influence simply by virtue of the badge on your chest and the trust the public will place in you.  Montana’s law enforcement professionals are her true heroes,” Bennion said.



Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper injured in crash

Wyoming trooper injured in crash

A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper was injured in a crash with a commercial truck on US 212 west of Colony last Monday.  The trooper was stopped on the shoulder of the road, working on a previous crash.  An oncoming truck jackknifed and the trailer slammed into the back of the patrol cruiser.  The trooper, who was in the driver’s seat, was knocked unconscious. A passing motorist stopped and called for assistance using the trooper’s radio.  According to a release from the WHP, the trooper was taken to Monument Health in Spearfish. We do not have details on the trooper’s injuries but the K-9 partner who was also in the cruiser was not injured. The truck driver was not injured.



Florida Highway Patrol trooper recovering after cruiser struck

FHP Trooper injured when car hit

A local state trooper is recovering from serious injuries after the Florida Highway Patrol said he was hit Sunday night on Interstate 95 north near Golfair Boulevard.  “A. Jordan” was sitting in his patrol car working a construction site when FHP said he was struck by a driver.  Jordan and the other driver, Aaron Klausman, were taken to a hospital with serious injuries.  Jordan has since been released.  In Florida, there are two options when an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road -- either move over or slow to 20 miles under the posted speed limit if moving over isn’t possible.  According to FHP, in 2018 there were 17,319 move-over citations. In 2019, the number went up to 20,201.



New Jersey State Police Lieutenant awarded 2019 Trooper of the Year

 NJSP 2019 Trooper of the Year

New Jersey's state police colonel and the state attorney general recognized a trooper Friday for his effective work battling the opioid crisis. Lt. Lawrence Williams was awarded the 2019 Trooper of the Year Award at State Police Headquarters in Mercer County.  He created the Opioid Enforcement Task Force.  In a one-year period, the task force successfully conducted 27 criminal investigations, resulting in 53 arrests.  Task force investigations led to the dismantling of six and disruption of four more narcotics-processing mills, and seized nearly $3 million worth of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine, according to authorities.  Lt. Williams has served as a New Jersey state trooper for 24 years.



Maryland State Police has a new Superintendent

Maryland State Police new Colonel February 2020

Maryland Transportation Authority Chief of Police Woodrow W. “Jerry” Jones III was appointed Tuesday as Gov. Larry Hogan's appointee for superintendent of the Maryland State Police. J ones will succeed Col. William M. Pallozzi, who is retiring after more than 30 years of service with the Maryland State Police.  “With a distinguished career in law enforcement spanning more than three decades, Colonel Jones has both the experience and the character to lead what I believe is truly the best state police organization in the nation,” Hogans said.  “I want to sincerely thank Colonel Jones for taking on this post at such a critical time.  I want to commend Colonel Pallozzi for his steadfast leadership of the Maryland State Police, and for his decades of dedicated service to the State of Maryland.”  “I am incredibly grateful to Gov. Hogan for the opportunity to lead the Maryland State Police," said Jones.  “As someone who has dedicated my entire law enforcement career to serving the people of Maryland, this is the highest honor.  I have great respect and admiration for Colonel Pallozzi, and I will strive to lead the force with the same commitment to integrity and professionalism.”  “The core values of the Maryland State Police are integrity, fairness and service, and I have seen each of these qualities every day in the men and women I have had the privilege to lead,” said Pallozzi.  “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Governor Hogan, and to be the first to applaud his choice of Colonel Jones to take the helm.”  Jones was appointed Chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police in November 2015, the seventh-largest law enforcement agency in the state.  As the MDTA's Chief Law Enforcement Officer, Jones leads more than 600 sworn and civilian police professionals who serve and protect millions of people using Maryland's toll roads, tunnels and bridges, as well as BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and the Port of Baltimore, while securing these critical infrastructure assets.  As part of the MDTA's Executive Team, his expertise is key to the strategic decisions and policies that guide the agency's operations, services and 1,700 employees.  During his tenure as MDTA police chief, Jones has launched an aggressive leadership development program for his officers and for the MDTA as a whole.  Jones began his law enforcement career in 1988 as a Maryland State Police cadet. During his 27-year tenure with the Maryland State Police, he spent equal time in both patrol and investigative roles and served in every command position within the Field Operations Bureau.  He retired as lieutenant colonel/field operations bureau chief, a key member of the command staff responsible for leading a patrol force of nearly 1,000 sworn and civilian personnel assigned to 22 barracks.  Jones holds a bachelors and masters degree in management from Johns Hopkins University and is a graduate of its Police Executive Leadership Program. He chairs the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association's Traffic Safety Committee and serves on the Executive Committee for Maryland's Strategic Highway Safety.