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
North Carolina Highway Patrol graduates 47 new troopers
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
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
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.”
To watch video, go to: http://www.kmvt.com/content/news/State-troopers-honored-for-saving-womans-life-401798806.html
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.
Watch video at: https://www.facebook.com/KCRA3/videos/10154728231766514/
New Hampshire State Troopers Move Cows Away From Interstate
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
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
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.
Raising Money for State Trooper's Memorial
Wisconsin State Trooper Trevor Casper is being honored after being killed in a shootout with an armed robbery suspect in March of 2015. Trooper Casper lost his life not too far from a Pick-N-Save in Fond du Lac. Now the grocery is raising money for a memorial in place of a make shift one that has been constantly maintained nearby. Employees are raising funds to place a bench at the site along with a plaque and trooper Casper's name. The idea kicked off Saturday with customers making their donations at the cash register. Off duty state patrol officers have been helping out the cause by signing up for shifts to bag and carry groceries for customers. “It's really important for us to be able to interact with our community members, to see the positive support that we have. As a state patrol agency we don't often times get the opportunity to meet with our community members in this type of a fashion. So it really was a great experience,” says a state patrol officer. The fundraiser will go on through November 26th.
Georgia State Patrol graduates 24 Trooper Cadets in 98th Trooper School
On Monday, Dec. 5, 24 newly graduated troopers will report to their assigned posts throughout the state of Georgia. This is the 98th Trooper School for the Georgia State Patrol. The graduation took place on Veteran’s Day, Friday, Nov. 11, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, after 31 weeks of intense training. Brigadier General Joe Jarrard, Adjutant General of Georgia, was the keynote speaker. Additional remarks were given by Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Captain Scott Woodell, Director of Training. The Oath of Office was issued by Lt. Colonel Russell Powell, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. Trooper Cadets spend 18 weeks at the academy, 12 weeks in field training, and returned to the academy for one week of preparation for graduation. The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires that all peace officers receive a minimum of 400 hours of Basic Mandate Training. At the completion of Trooper School, these newly graduated trooper cadets received over 1,500 hours of training, including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other training which includes child passenger safety technician certification. During remarks to his fellow class members, Tpr. Dwayne R. Porter, class president, reflected on their camaraderie as individuals who became one class…one family. He closed his remarks with words which have become the motto for the 98th Class, “Stay Strong, Push Hard and Lead Well.” Each newly commissioned trooper was assigned to one of the 52 posts throughout the state.
Children's book comes to life for Black Rock students: State troopers and canine partners visit school
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.”
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.”
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.
Oregon State Police Fallen Trooper Memorial Dedication
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 well. Also 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.