MSP 'Trooper 5' now in 40th year of operation

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The Maryland State Police Cumberland Aviation Section will celebrate its 40th year of service to the citizens of Western Maryland in 2022. Overall, the Maryland State Police Aviation Command has celebrated 50 years of service to the state of Maryland.

The helicopter section known as Trooper 5 was the fifth aviation base to be placed into service by the Maryland State Police and is one of seven bases operated within the state.

Since being placed into service in 1982, the base has moved into a larger more suitable hangar and was host to three different helicopter platforms. The section, which is based at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport, serves Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties in Maryland. It is also called upon to assist neighboring counties within Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The Cumberland Aviation Section is staffed and ready for service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The section has a roster of 18 people, which includes civilian pilots, sworn trooper paramedics and aircraft maintenance personnel.

The pilots at Trooper 5 are some of the most skilled and experienced in the business. A few started in the private sector and others were assigned to military units with multiple overseas deployments. One of the pilots previously flew the presidential helicopter known as Marine One and two are currently still serving in the National Guard. The trooper clinicians are sworn state troopers who are nationally certified as paramedics.

Together, they fly the Leonardo AW-139 helicopter, which is configured to serve as a fully functioning advanced life support air ambulance. The advanced skills and training of the aircrew are an asset when dealing with the long distances that Trooper 5 frequently travels due to the unique rural landscape of the area.

Unlike the other helicopter bases, Trooper 5 is the only base stationed outside of Maryland and is the only State Police helicopter that routinely operates over rugged and mountainous terrain.

Because of this, one of the challenges faced by Trooper 5 is operating within the dynamic weather patterns that routinely affect Western Maryland. The local mountain ridges are often impassable by helicopter due to weather systems or clouds.

The local airport, the scene location and the hospital must all be free of low-lying weather or fog in order for a medevac flight to occur. In some instances of poor visibility, the aircraft can take off and land at local airports that support ground-based radar systems that guide the pilots to the ground, referred to as “IFR” flight, or instrument flight rules.

Local EMS providers will sometimes transport patients directly to a local airport during low visibility conditions so the helicopter could land and complete the mission when not able to make a “scene” landing somewhere off site.

The Cumberland Aviation Section flew 144 emergency missions in 2021, to include 110 medevacs, 21 search and rescue and 13 law enforcement missions. This does not include the many training and outreach missions that are routinely conducted

The typical medevac mission is usually for a patient suffering injuries sustained from a vehicle collision or other traumatic-type incident, however the helicopter is routinely called upon to transport patients in rural areas who are suffering medical related incidents, including heart attacks and strokes.

The most appropriate hospital is always chosen based on the patient’s needs. Trooper 5 typically transports patients to UPMC Western Maryland in Cumberland, University of Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore, J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, and Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

During 2021, the section also transported patients to facilities in Pittsburgh, Charlottesville, Virginia, Fairfax, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

The section completed 21 search and rescue missions during 2021. These missions assisted local emergency services personnel with searching for critically missing persons, typically in rural and remote areas.

In January, the crew was called to help a logger suffering traumatic injuries from a falling tree in a densely wooded and remote area. The crew successfully placed the helicopter in a hover 200 feet above the ground and hoisted the patient to safety.

In May, the crew located a missing 2-year-old child who was lost in the woods at night and suffering from hypothermia.

The crew performed the second hoist of 2021 in July when they hovered 285 feet above the fast moving water at Swallow Falls in Garrett County to rescue a person who fell on the rocks and sustained a head injury.

The crew was called upon 13 times to assist local and state law enforcement on various police missions, to include vehicle pursuits and tracking suspects on foot.

In January, the crew located a suspect hiding in the woods at night after a vehicle pursuit. In April, the crew located a suicidal person in a remote area and was able to guide ground resources to the subject. In May, after being called to assist after a homicide, the crew observed several suspects enter a vehicle and flee the area.

Local authorities were successful with conducting a traffic stop and apprehending several suspects when the crew was able to guide them to the moving vehicle. These incidents represent a small percentage of the successful missions completed by Trooper 5 during 2021. The crew of the Cumberland Aviation Section hosted several community based events in 2021 to include an open house in September, a Halloween “Trunk or Treat” in October and multiple outreach events throughout the year.


CHP Commissioner announces plan to hire 1,000 new officers

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Highway Patrol Commissioner Amanda Ray made history as the first Black woman to lead the largest law enforcement agency in the nation. She is now announcing a new push to tackle crime across the state and diversify the force.

Commissioner Ray was sworn into office in November 2020 at a time when race battles were being fought outside the state capitol.

“Our streets have been out of control downtown with these protesters,” said then Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn. “These groups like Proud Boys and Antifa get mixed into the crowd, and we have to have about 160 officers not counting highway patrol.”

From political unrest to dangerous and disruptive street racing and sideshows to international headline-grabbing smash and grabs, Commissioner Ray has had no shortage of challenges.

“We’re here to make sure that California is the safest place to live, work and travel,” said Commissioner Ray. “And that’s a tall order, especially during a pandemic.”

Commissioner Ray says she’s up to the challenge.

“I think if you’re a leader, it’s a great time to lead. It’s an opportunity to bridge those gaps that exist in the communities,” said Ray. “It’s an opportunity for me to go and let the public know we’re your CHP. We’re here to work with you. We’re here to do all we can to keep you safe.”

She’s promising to tackle several things as commissioner.

“Freeway violence. Highway violence. Sideshows. Street racing,” said Commissioner Ray who notes 30 people have died because of illegal street racing across California since 2015.

The commissioner says she has secured a grant from the state’s traffic safety office to help bring the issue to a screeching halt. The Communities Against Racing and Sideshows grant will provide $800,000 to target crimes — including undercover operations, proactive patrol operations, local high school presentations, and a public awareness campaign.

“This grant is going to allow us to do just that,” said Commissioner Ray. “It’s going to allow us to be a lot more proactive…to be able to go out there identify the locations where it’s happening and make sure that we bring these people to justice.”

Commissioner Ray says she has three top priorities.

“Number one it is going to be employee wellness. My biggest job is to make sure that the women and men behind these badges stay healthy,” said Ray. “Number two is just being true to our mission, which is providing the highest level of safety service and security.”

Lastly, the commissioner is launching an ambitious campaign to hire 1,000 new officers within two years.

“So, the third one would be having a workforce that is representative of the California that we love,” said Ray. “It’s recruitment. Recruitment and retention.”

She says that as a young girl from Oakland, who grew up loving to play basketball and the comradery that comes with being part of a team, she’s living proof that people from all walks of life can thrive with the CHP.

“If you have a heart of service then come on,” said Commissioner Ray. “We’ll show you how to do the job. That’s what this wonderful academy is for.”

Cadets earn more than $5,500 a month while training at the Academy. New officers can expect to earn more than $100,000 in their first year.


Nine South Dakota Highway Patrol recruits graduate

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FEBRUARY 18, 2022:

Nine South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper recruits officially graduate today (Feb. 18, 2022) during a ceremony in the State Capitol Rotunda.

“In South Dakota, we respect law enforcement for all that they do to keep us and our families safe,” said Noem. “These new graduates will join a long line of state troopers who put their lives on the line every day for communities across South Dakota.”

“These nine recruits have spent the last year training to be Highway Patrol troopers and this ceremony is a celebration of that accomplishment,” said Col. Rick Miller, superintendent of the Highway Patrol. “They all have shown a great desire to serve and protect the public.”

The recruits will receive their Highway Patrol vehicles today and report to their duty stations after the ceremony.

The Highway Patrol is an agency of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

Class 66 recruits and their duty stations are:

Rapid City - Matthew Cooke, Elyse Helkenn, Jeremy Schuelke and Kaleb Siferd.

Yankton - Matt Henry.

Chamberlain - Mitchell Lang.

Vermillion - Oswaldo Padron.

Sisseton - Michael Peterson.

Winner - Jacob Whitaker


Trooper hailed for rescue efforts

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A Columbus County based Highway Patrol trooper is being commended for his actions that gave a Chadbourn woman a fighting chance to make it after a medical event caused her to wreck on Friday.

According to 1st Sgt. A.M. Pait of the N.C. State Highway Patrol, at 7:56 a.m., Wendy Wilson of Chadbourn was driving with her two teenage children along Braswell Road near Princess Ann Road when she suffered a medical emergency. Pait said her vehicle crossed over the center line and wrecked in a ditch. The two teenagers were uninjured.

Pait explained that Trooper T.K. Bryan, who was on duty near the scene, was dispatched and arrived shortly after. Bryan got there as Wilson’s father was trying to get her out.

Bryan said the car was on the driver’s side, so he and the driver’s father couldn’t get her out safely by themselves. Pait said that Bryan then climbed in the vehicle and started CPR.

“When I found out what was going on, my training kicked in. I jumped in, did what I had to do,” Bryan said.

Bryan said it felt like he was performing CPR for a long time, but it was only a few minutes until Cerro Gordo EMS arrived.

Wilson was transported to Columbus Regional Healthcare System in Whiteville, then to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. As of Monday afternoon, she remains in a coma, but Bryan said doctors hope to wake her Monday night.

Pait commended Bryan’s actions.

“Trooper Bryan is well thought of here in the community and the county, he’s a great trooper and we appreciate his efforts,” Pait said. “I would expect all of our troopers to not hesitate and act in the same way he did.”

Bryan said God put him in the right place at the right time.

“I did what needed to be done. I did what any other trooper would have done,” Bryan said on Monday. “I wish I could have done more, but I did what I was comfortable doing. Any other trooper would have done the same thing.”


ALEA Senior Trooper Larry Young dies after sudden heart attack

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The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is deeply saddened and sincerely regrets having to share the passing of one of its Troopers assigned to the Motor Carrier Safety Unit within the Highway Patrol Division.

Senior Trooper Larry Young, 68, of Birmingham, passed away unexpectedly this evening, Friday, March 4, after a sudden heart attack. He leaves behind a multitude of family and friends, along with the ALEA family.

ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said, “I want to personally extend my deepest and sincerest condolences to Sr. Trooper Young’s entire family, as well as all of his loved ones. Sr. Trooper Young, who was a military veteran, retired firefighter, and a 13-year veteran with our Agency, truly exemplified the heart of a public servant. He excelled as an ALEA Trooper and was the epitome of courtesy and professionalism. The entire ALEA family is devastated at the news of his unexpected passing, and we mourn this tragic loss alongside family, friends, and many other loved ones. Sr. Trooper Young will truly be missed; however, his legacy will live on in the lives of those he impacted throughout his years of unwavering service to the citizens of Alabama.”

ALEA Department of Public Safety Director Colonel Jimmy Helms said, “It is never easy to lose one of your own. As we mourn the tragic and sudden loss of Sr. Trooper Young, we are truly honored to have been given the opportunity and privilege to have worked alongside such a dedicated military and law enforcement veteran, who continuously demonstrated his courage, sacrifice, and devotion by serving and protecting others. Sr. Trooper Young was loved by his local community and extremely well-respected by his fellow Troopers.”

Sr. Trooper Young, who joined the Agency in 2009, was initially assigned to ALEA’s Highway Patrol Division. While in Highway Patrol, he recently transferred to the Motor Carrier Safety Unit’s Central Weight Detail which enforces commercial vehicle weight restrictions within the areas of the Tuscaloosa-Selma Highway Patrol Posts in Troop C. Young was responsible for weighing and conducting inspections on commercial motor vehicles, ensuring they were safe to operate on Alabama’s roadways. In March of 2021, Sr. Trooper Young was presented with the Officer of the Year Award by the Tuscaloosa Exchange Club for his hard work in reducing crashes and fatalities and for the leadership and advice he provided to his peers. A fellow Trooper stated that “his work ethics and supervisory skills as a retired firefighter is still seen today as a State Trooper. He is truly an asset to ALEA, Troop C and the Tuscaloosa Post."Line

CHP officers heroically stop wrong-way driver on 10 Freeway

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CHP officers heroically stop wrong-way driver on 10 Freeway

California Highway Patrol officers placed themselves in harm's way early Thursday to prevent a potentially devastating crash.

The officers, concerned about the safety of other drivers, positioned their patrol SUV in the path of a wrong-way driver on the 10 Freeway west of downtown Los Angeles. The CHP received a report at about 2 a.m. of the wrong-way driver in a BMW heading east on the westbound freeway in Arlington Heights.

Officers conducted a traffic break using lights and sirens, but the driver did not stop.

“They attempted to stop the driver just by the presence,” said CHP Officer Richard Yebra. “The driver continued going eastbound and the officers had pretty much placed their patrol vehicle in the path of the wrong-way driver to prevent injuries to the public.”

The officers then placed their patrol vehicle in the BMW’s path on the freeway.

“Noticing the driver of the BMW was not reacting or slowing for the patrol vehicle’s emergency lights, and fearing for the safety of innocent civilian motorists behind them, the officers made the split-second decision to place their own lives in harm’s way danger by deliberately maneuvering the patrol vehicle directly into the path of the BMW,” the CHP said in a statement. “The officers braced for the violent impact, which successfully halted the wrong way vehicle’s momentum saving innocent lives from injury and potential death.”

Two officers in the SUV suffered minor injuries when the driver crashed into the patrol SUV. 

The BMW driver was hospitalized in critical condition. 


FHP: Trooper stood 'as the last line of defense,' used car to stop DUI driver, save runners

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Florida Highway Patrol troopers put their lives on the line to protect thousands of runners at the Skyway 10K when a car careened past roadblocks on the southern side of the bridge during the race Sunday morning. 

It happened around 8:45 while the race was well underway. Troopers say a Sarasota woman sped toward the road closure on Interstate 275 at U.S. 41, but instead of taking the detour, she smashed through traffic cones and around barricades, right past troopers guarding the toll plaza.

Meanwhile, FHP says troopers stationed at the south rest area were alerted to the oncoming vehicle and responded to try intercepting it. 

The troopers stopped on the roadway when they got close to the oncoming BMW, which FHP says was driven by 52-year-old Kristen Kay Watts.

She collided nearly head-on with one of the vehicles, a marked Chevy Tahoe driven by a 47-year-old female trooper.

The trooper and Watts were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. 

Watts has since been arrested and charged with DUI-serious injury. 

The Florida Highway Patrol on Monday afternoon credited the actions of Trooper Toni Schuck for acting "as the last line of defense" and putting "herself in harm's way to protect others" during a collision near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

A 26-year veteran of the agency, Schuck aimed her patrol vehicle into the path of an oncoming car that had veered around barricades and headed onto the Sunshine Skyway Bridge approach packed with runners Sunday.

Schuck was seriously injured in the ensuing collision and hospitalized Sunday. An FHP statement Monday afternoon said the agency "acknowledges and expresses our appreciation to the many that have expressed their gratitude for the Trooper’s selfless actions.

"Those wishing to contact Trooper Schuck, who continues to recover from her injuries with her family at home, may send their thoughts to her attention at Florida Highway Patrol, 11305 North McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612 or via our FLHSMV and FHP social media."Line

Massachusetts State Police trooper killed in Stoneham crash

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Massachusetts State Police trooper killed in Stoneham crash



Hundreds of people, Including a number of first responders, saluted a fallen Massachusetts State Police trooper during a procession Saturday afternoon.

The body of State Police Trooper Tamar Bucci was transported from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Boston to the Barile Funeral Home in Stoneham.

The 10-mile procession started at 3 p.m. at the Medical Examiner's Office, traveled up Interstate 93 north and finished at the funeral home.

Bucci, 34, died when her cruiser was struck by a tanker truck on I-93 north in Stoneham late Thursday night.

"She was beautiful. She was perfect. She was talented. She always wanted to be a cop," said family friend Kim Bowen.

"A very vibrant person. Somebody that was so full of life, to be taken so soon, it really hurts," Col. Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police department, said after speaking with Bucci's family. "To become a trooper was really a dream come true for her, and she was a person that really wanted the job for the right reasons. She wanted to be a change agent and she really wanted to help propel this agency into the future. So it's, again, a very big loss for us."

Late Friday night, dozens of Massachusetts police officers saluted a procession of cruisers that escorted Bucci's body to the Medical Examiner's Office from Massachusetts General Hospital.

5 Investigates has learned the tanker was in the right hand lane before the crash. Investigators believe the trooper's cruiser was struck on the passenger side as she was changing lanes to assist a disabled motorist. The cruiser then slammed into a rock cliff on the side of the highway.

"Late (Thursday) night, on a stretch of road she protected every night on the midnight shift, Trooper Bucci gave her life in the act of trying to help another person in distress. There is no greater act of sacrifice than to give one's life for another," Mason said Friday.

The force of the impact pushed the cruiser, which had its blue lights activated, off the roadway. The tanker was carrying approximately 10,000 gallons of gasoline.

Two good Samaritans pulled Bucci from the heavily-damaged cruiser, and a Stoneham Police officer who was in the area performed CPR before Bucci was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

"The department is devastated by our loss. We are eternally grateful for the attempts of everyone involved to assist Trooper Bucci and (try) to save her life," Mason said.

The driver of the tanker, which is owned by P.J. Murphy Transportation Co., was not injured and is cooperating with police, Mason said. The woman who was in the disabled vehicle was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

"The company is working with investigators and are deeply saddened about the loss of the Trooper. Our hearts go out to her family," Paul Murphy of PJ Murphy Transportation said in a statement.

Bucci was assigned to the Medford Barracks of the Massachusetts State Police Department. Prior to that, she was assigned to the Brookfield barracks after she graduated as a member of the 85th training troop in 2020.

"There is no greater sacrifice than giving your life in service of others. Trooper Tamar Bucci embodied the best of the Massachusetts State Police, and her loss is devastating to her loved ones, the commonwealth and her brothers and sisters in blue," Gov. Charlie Baker said.

Before joining the Massachusetts State Police, Bucci was employed as a security officer at the Encore Boston Harbor resort casino in Everett and had worked as a personal trainer at Assembly Sports Club.

“We knew when she went into public service she would be helping people just as she did here. And we took pride, having her included in our family,” said Pat Catino of Assembly Sports Club. “Too young, too young and so much to offer the world.”

Bucci is a graduate of Middlesex Community College and a 2006 graduate of Andover High School.

"Andover Public Schools offers our condolences to the family, friends, and her colleagues at the Massachusetts State Police as we mourn the loss of Trooper Tamar Bucci, who gave her life in the line of duty last evening when her cruiser was struck by another vehicle," the school said in a statement.

A moment of silence was held Friday night the Andover Girls’ Hockey and Girls’ Basketball games.

"We know she’s been a standup trooper for our community, a blessing to have someone like that doing that, and die for the state," Bill Martin, the Director of Athletics at Andover High School said.

She is survived by her parents, sisters, a step-brother and a step-sister, and the 2,000 members of the Massachusetts State Police.

"In her brief MSP career, she set an example for all of us to follow. Her life was cut too short, too soon," Mason said. "Her selfless act embodies the mission of the state police: to help those in need — a mission we will now carry on in her memory."

The investigation into the crash continues.

Bucci is the 22nd member of the Massachusetts State Police to die in the line of duty.

Baker has ordered that the United States of America flag and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag be lowered to half-staff at all state buildings in Bucci's honor.


Sgt. Kevin Briggs Stops Suicides on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge

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The California Highway Patrol officer has talked more than 200 would-be jumpers off the ledge

More than twice a month, on average, those who’ve lost all hope come to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, climb over the railing and, tragically, plunge 220 feet into the Pacific Ocean to end their pain.

That number would be higher, if not for California Highway Patrol Sgt. Kevin Briggs, nicknamed the “Guardian of the Golden Gate.” Since 1994, through sheer compassion and expert listening skills, Sgt. Briggs has helped convince more than 200 people on the precipice of death not to take their lives (so far, he’s only lost one).

“People who come to jump don’t necessarily want to die,” explains Briggs, 50, who calmly introduces himself just a few feet away to the despondent person, often standing for hours in bone-chilling wind or heavy fog.

“I try to find out what brought them to this point,” says Briggs, a cancer survivor and father of two boys. “If I can get them to break down, that’s a good sign, it shows they’re listening and thinking. If someone says they have no plan for tomorrow, I say, ‘OK, let’s make one.’ ”

“Sgt. Briggs not only saves lives, he inspires us all with his compassion and dedication,” says Robert Gebbia, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention director. “He’s a true American hero.”

In March 2005, Kevin Berthia, then 22, a former postal worker who’d battled lifelong depression and was overwhelmed as a new father, was about to jump when Briggs, who happened to be passing by, spotted him.

“I know you must be in tremendous pain,” Briggs told him. “If you want to talk, I’m here to listen.”

It was a life-changing moment for Berthia.

“Sgt. Briggs got me to open up about stuff I’d never dealt with before, like not knowing my real parents,” says Berthia, an adoptee, who now takes medication for depression. “He made me realize we’re all here for a purpose, and life is about finding just what that purpose is. I owe every bit of my second chance to him.”Line

Woman celebrates 10th year of sobriety with trooper who arrested her for drunk driving

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Trooper Kristie Sue Hathaway arrested Amy Martin and took her to jail; their encounter could have stopped there, but it didn't

Feb 14, 2022

By Sarah Calams 

DELANO, Minn. — Ten years ago, a trooper noticed a car that was weaving, speeding up and slowing down in the middle of the afternoon on a busy highway. After approaching the car, the trooper noticed the driver had watery, glassy eyes, as well as an open bottle of vodka in the center console of the vehicle. The driver's daughter – just two years old at the time – was in the backseat.  

Trooper Kristie Sue Hathaway arrested Amy Martin, the driver, and took her to jail. Their encounter could have stopped there, but it didn't.  

"I remember saying right before [Martin] got booked in, 'Please don't do this to your daughter. She needs a mom. I know because my mom left when I was 10,'" Hathaway, who shared that both of her parents struggled with alcohol, recalled.  

Martin's blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit, reported. It was her second DWI arrest. 

After Martin was booked into jail, she promised Hathaway one thing: she would visit the trooper in a year – sober. "I didn't think I'd hear from her," Hathaway admitted. 

However, exactly one year later, Martin surprised Hathaway at work – complete with her hard-earned one-year sobriety medallion. Now, every year, Martin delivers her new sobriety medallion to Hathaway. And, in return, Hathaway gives Martin the medallion from the previous year back.  

"There have been times when you kind of wonder like, 'Why am I in this job?' It reminds me of why. It gives me hope," Hathaway said.  

Over the years, Hathaway and Martin have continued to cheer each other on. Martin supported Hathaway as she ran the Twin Cities Marathon, they attended each other's weddings and Hathaway was invited to Martin's daughter's school to talk about her law enforcement career, according to the report.  

"If this wouldn't have happened, there is no question in my mind, I would not be here today," Martin said. "She saved my life." Line

I am brought to tears; Foundation pays off mortgage on Hanover home for family of state trooper killed in 2015

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A foundation dedicated to honoring and supporting first-responders, veterans and their families announced Friday that it has paid off the mortgage on the Hanover County home where Virginia State Police trooper Nathan-Michael Smith lived with his family before he was killed on duty while responding to a crash in Prince George County in 2015.

In observance of Independence Day, the Smith home is one of 19 owned by fallen first responder families across the country for which the Tunnel to Towers Foundation recently satisfied the mortgages on the houses.

A ceremony attended by state police and Tunnel to Towers representatives was held last week at the Smith family home to celebrate the occasion, which included a ribbon cutting and ceremonial key to the house.

“I am brought to tears thinking about our home being paid off by the Tunnels to Towers Foundation,” Smith’s widow, Jennifer, said in a prepared statement. “This was our first home together, a home we worked and prayed to get for years. When Nate passed it was devastating that he wouldn’t get to live in the dream house we worked so hard to purchase.”

“Being able to say I don’t have the burden of paying a monthly mortgage as a single parent is breathtaking,” she added.

Smith, 27, who left behind two children, was fatally injured in a crash on Sept. 21, 2015, while rushing to render aid in a fatal wreck that occurred minutes earlier in Dinwiddie County. Smith and other troopers scrambled to the earlier crash after hearing radio traffic that made them believe a trooper was in distress, in addition to the crash victim, state police said at the time.

Smith lost control of his Ford Taurus patrol car and ran off the left side of the Interstate 295 exit ramp to Interstate 95 in Prince George. His cruiser overturned onto its side and struck several trees before coming to a rest. He died later that day at VCU Medical Center.

Smith was the department’s 61st sworn employee to be killed in the line of duty.

Smith’s home is the third belonging to a Richmond-area first responder killed in the line of duty to be paid off by Tunnel to Towers in less than three years.

In early December, the foundation paid off the mortgage on the Powhatan County home where slain State Police special agent Michael Walter once lived with his wife and three children. Walter, 45, was shot on May 26, 2017, while patrolling in the Mosby Court public housing neighborhood with Richmond officer Chris Duane. He died the next day.Line

Twenty five new troopers graduate from Missouri State Highway Patrol Law Enforcement Academy

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Twenty-five troopers graduated from the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy on Wednesday, January 12, 2022. The ceremony took place in the Academy gymnasium, 1510 East Elm Street, Jefferson City, MO. The graduation ceremony was also live streamed on the Patrol’s Facebook page. The 112th Recruit Class reported to the Academy on August 2, 2021. The new troopers will report to duty in their assigned troops on Monday, January 31, 2022.

Governor Michael L. Parson provided the keynote address and Col. Olson also spoke to the class during the graduation. The Honorable Patricia Breckenridge, Supreme Court of Missouri, administered the Oath of Office to the new troopers. Provost Roger K. McMillian, vice president of College Affairs for Mineral Area College, conferred an associate of applied science degree to eight of the new troopers. The Troop F Color Guard presented the colors and Sergeant Andrew Henry (H) sang the national anthem. Pastor Dale D. Richey from Pisgah Baptist Church in Excelsior Springs, MO, provided the invocation and benediction.

Four class awards were presented during the graduation ceremony. The recruits accumulated points toward graduation in the categories of physical fitness, firearms, and academics throughout their 25 weeks at the Academy. The person with the highest number of points in each category earned the respective award. Trooper Brandon T. Dorff accepted the Physical Fitness Award. Trooper Mathew D. Easton accepted the Academics Award. Trooper Nicholas I. Kucsik accepted the Firearms Award. Trooper Nathan W. Downs accepted the Superintendent’s Award, which is presented to the person with the most points overall.

The names (hometowns) and first assignments of members of the 112th Recruit Class are listed below:

Troop A
Isaac L. Kimball (Columbia, MO), Zone 5, Ray & Carroll Counties
Joshua W. Eickhoff (Alma, MO), Zone 8, Lafayette County
Gregory A. Stineman (Cole Camp, MO), Zone 11, Cass County
William M. Henderson (Edwards, MO), Zone 15, Henry County

Troop C
Markus G. Burns (Greenridge, MO), Zone 7, Warren County
Lane C. Coleman (Ozark, MO), Zone 8, St. Charles County
Brandon T. Dorff (Collinsville, CT), Zone 10, Franklin County
Nathan W. Downs (Troy, MO), Zone 9, St. Charles County
Brent W. Katzing (Sedalia, MO), Zone 9, St. Charles County
Maurice Lang Jr. (Raymore, MO), Zone 2, N. St. Louis County
Patrick B. Martin (Jacksonville, IL), Zone 10, Franklin County
Tyson O. Murphy (Imperial, MO), Zone 1, N. St. Louis County
Collin J. Nichols (Troy, MO), Zone 7, Warren County
Joshua T. Parrott (Smithville, MO), Zone 8, St. Charles County

Troop D

Marissa L. Harris (Montgomery City, MO), Zone 15, Stone & Taney Counties
Christopher T. Schmidt (Rogersville, MO), Zone 4, Stone & Taney Counties
Scott J. Walden (Holt, MO), Zone 14, Barry County

Troop E
Kyle L. Hogan (Gainesville, MO), Zone 4, Bollinger/Cape Girardeau/Scott Counties
Nathaniel V. Bishop (Willow Springs, MO), Zone 9, New Madrid & Pemiscot Counties
Tyler S. Reinke (Lincoln, MO), Zone 10, Dunklin County
Richard W. Wylie (Wheaton, MO), Zone 11, Stoddard County

Troop F
Matthew M. Guinnip (Hallsville, MO), Zone 16, Camden & Miller Counties
Matthew D. Easton (Hannibal, MO), Zone 17, Camden & Miller Counties

Troop I

Nicholas I. Kucsik (Bonnots Mill, MO), Zone 3, Crawford County
Elijah D. LeBlanc (Anderson, MO), Zone 2, Phelps & Maries County


Massachusetts State Trooper rescues resident from fire in Middleboro home for veterans

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Massachusetts State Trooper rescues resident from fire in Middleboro home for veterans

A Massachusetts State Police trooper saved the life of a resident from an inferno that destroyed part of a building that includes a home for veterans in Middleboro early Tuesday morning.

Trooper John Hagerty was on patrol in the predawn hours when he saw that Acorn Hill Home, at 285 West Grove St. in Middleboro, was on fire, the state police tweeted. There, he saw a man trapped on the third floor and used a ladder he found on the ground to help the man escape to safety.

Hagerty declined a request for an interview through a state police spokesman.

The cause of the fire was confirmed Saturday afternoon to be from an unattended candle in the second-floor living room, according to a statement from the state Department of Fire Services. In an unrelated incident, a Kingston woman died in a Saturday fire after dropping a candle that engulfed her clothing on fire.

“Upon arrival, first responders found heavy fire conditions showing from the upper two stories of the home,” the Middleboro Fire Department said in a statement, adding that responders were dispatched at 1:12 a.m.

“Fire crews mounted an aggressive exterior fire attack, then went inside to complete extinguishing the fire. The fire was under control within 45 minutes of crews’ arrival.”

Middleboro Fire Chief Lance Benjamino told the Herald that the man saved was not one of the veterans and that only the main house, and not the extension for veterans, is a total loss.

Benjamino added that there is “a lot of water damage” to the veteran’s extension but that firefighters are working with electricians and others to get the veterans, who are currently being assisted by the Red Cross, back into their residences.

“Given the early hour, we’re very lucky more people weren’t injured or worse,” Benjamino said in a later statement. “Always exercise caution with candles, and never leave a burning candle unattended.”

Both the unidentified man who was trapped on the third story and Trooper Hagerty were transported by ambulance to an area hospital, the fire department said in the statement. Hagerty was treated for smoke inhalation and the resident “suffered serious injuries,” according to state police.

The other 12 residents of the home, two of whom had minor burns, Benjamino said, exited the structure on their own and were assessed on the scene before declining further treatment at a hospital, according to the fire department.


California couple rescued after being stranded in remote cabin for 2 months

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California couple rescued after being stranded in remote cabin for 2 months

A California couple has been rescued by a helicopter team after spending almost two months trapped inside their cabin by downed trees and heavy snow.

The California Highway Patrol Valley Division Air Operations (CHP) shared in a Facebook post Wednesday that they had been called in to help rescue the couple, who became stranded in the remote Northern California cabin after a Dec. 6, 2021 snowstorm.

The couple, along with their dog, were running out of supplies and the roads were impassable.

The CHP sent in a helicopter rescue team, sharing footage of their descent into the thick forest. In the video, the front of the cabin can be seen blocked by snow.

According to CBS News, the area where the cabin is located saw historic amounts of snow in December, with over 17 feet falling in Lake Tahoe.

The patrol agency said the helicopter was able to land near the cabin, despite strong winds.

The couple and their dog were taken to a landing zone and transported to a safe location by Sierra County deputies.

The identity of the couple has not been shared.


Virginia State Police Welcome 58 New Troopers

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Virginia State Police Welcome 58 New Troopers

On Jan. 21, the commonwealth graduated its 135th generation of Virginia State Troopers. Fifty-eight new troopers received their diplomas during commencement exercises at the State Police Training Academy in North Chesterfield County. Gov. Glenn Youngkin spoke at the graduation ceremony.

“Completing the training here at the Virginia State Police Training Academy is no easy feat, and when you add the challenges COVID has brought, the bar is raised even higher,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent. “These 58 trooper–trainees have put their heart and soul into becoming the very best troopers they can be. I am impressed with their resiliency and dedication during the last 27 weeks.”

The new troopers have received more than 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including de-escalation techniques, strategies to assist people in mental health crisis, ethics and leadership, fair and impartial policing, constitutional law, emergency medical trauma care, and public and community relations. The members of the 135th Basic Session began their 27 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the academy July 6, 2021.

Upon graduation, the new troopers reported to their individual duty assignments across Virginia. For their final phase of training, each trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired up with a field training officer, learning his or her new patrol area.