Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper shot at during traffic stop

Tennessee trooper shot at while conducting a traffic stop

A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper was shot at in Loudon after conducting a traffic stop on I-75 North at mile marker 75, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.  Officials said a passing vehicle shot "what appears to be two rounds" from the car while the trooper was conducting a traffic stop.  "The trooper nor the occupants in the traffic stop vehicle were injured.  The trooper returned to his patrol vehicle and pursued the vehicle a short distance," said Randall Marting, a THP spokesperson.  Other units were able to assist the trooper in his pursuit. The suspect was pulled over at the 77-mile marker and a felony stop was conducted.  The suspects were taken into custody without incident, one male, one female, and a firearm were recovered from the vehicle, according to officials.

2/12/20

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Certification of Appreciation presented to Wright and Associates

AAST Presentation

Mr. Felton Wright of Wright and Associates receives a certificate of appreciation from AAST President Keith Barbier at its recent Executive Board Meeting.  Mr. Wright has been the Associations financial advisor for several years and has guided the Association directors in making wise fiduciary decisions.  The solvency of the Association has allowed us to offer generous support to our membership.

2/12/20

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New Hampshire State Police Colonel retiring next month

NHSP Colonel retiring

The colonel of the New Hampshire State Police plans to retire early next month to spend more time with his family.  Col. Christopher Wagner has served as colonel of the state police for a little more than three years, with nearly 25 years in law enforcement.  His retirement is effective March 2.  “I have loved every minute being a New Hampshire Trooper and am honored to have had the opportunity to serve,” Wagner wrote in a letter to Gov. Chris Sununu announcing his retirement.  “It is, however, after careful consideration towards committing additional years of service and in consultation with my family we have decided that it is time for me to retire from law enforcement and the tremendous family sacrifice that comes along.”  Wagner went on to say the decision was a difficult one to make.  “Nearly 25 years ago I took an oath to protect and serve the citizens of New Hampshire and in doing so I have conducted myself with the highest moral and ethical standards ensuring my personal and professional integrity,” said Wagner in his letter.  “The decision was difficult, however I am looking forward to spending more quality time with my wife and children and together exploring future opportunities.”  Wagner, a Litchfield resident, was nominated to the position of colonel by former governor and current U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan.  Prior to being sworn in as colonel in October 2016, Wagner served as the Support Services Bureau Commander for the New Hampshire State Police, and was responsible for overseeing and coordinating the support structure and logistical needs of various units across the state.  Prior to that he served as Field Area Commander, as well as the Troop Commander and Assistant Troop Commander for Troop B, and began his career in law enforcement with the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport upon graduating from the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council Police Academy in 1995.  Col. Wagner received an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.  He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.  “We are grateful to Colonel Wagner for his 25 years of service to law enforcement and wish him well in his retirement,” said Gov. Chris Sununu in a statement.  In a statement, the Department of Safety said it appreciated Wagner’s years of service and will begin the process of identifying qualified candidates to serve as the next director and colonel of New Hampshire state police.

2/10/20

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Florida Highway Patrol trooper killed in the line-of-duty

FHP Trooper Joseph Bullock

Trooper Joseph Bullock was shot and killed when he encountered on I-95 just north of the interstate rest area in Martin County.  He stopped to assist what he believed to be a disabled motorist at about 10:15 am.  One of the occupants of the vehicle fatally shot him as he approached.  A Riviera Beach police officer who happened to be driving past the scene shot and killed the subject.  Trooper Bullock was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served with the Florida Highway Patrol for 19 years.  He is survived by his parents and two sisters.

1/6/20

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Vermont State Police welcomes new K-9, Loki, to the Team

Vermont SP New Hound Dog

The newest member of the Vermont State Police is 9 weeks old; has long, floppy ears; likes to frolic with coworkers; and has a powerful nose for public safety.  Meet Loki, a Plott Hound who will specialize in tracking missing people and fugitives from the law.  She is the state police’s first hound dog in more than 30 years.  She arrived in her new home in the Green Mountains this past weekend accompanied by her handler, Detective Trooper Chris Hunt, who traveled to Houston, Texas, to pick up Loki from the breeder.  Loki joins a K-9 Unit composed of 16 patrol dogs, four bomb-detection dogs and one arson dog.  The patrol dogs are Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds and Dutch Shepherds, and the others are Labrador Retrievers.  Adding a hound dog to the team will help keep the public safe, says Capt. Mike Manley, Vermont State Police special operations commander.  “We are always looking to enhance our capabilities and the service that we provide Vermonters,” Manley says. “The biggest advantage to having a Plott Hound is that they can track old scents.  These hounds can track scents that can be nearly a day old. For us this is all about tracking, having the best resource available to track lost and missing persons.  You can’t get any better than a hound for tracking.”  Eventually Loki might also learn the specialized skill of locating deceased individuals, but at first, tracking will be her “bread and butter” and help round out the capabilities of the K-9 unit, Manley says.  “Patrol dogs can do all types — apprehension, tracking, drug work — and our other specialized canines identify explosives and accelerants.  Hounds really specialize in tracking. Patrol dogs at best can track scents that are a few hours old.  Having Loki as part of the K-9 Unit is sure to increase public safety by giving VSP the best capability to locate missing persons and fugitives.”  For Loki, named after the god in Norse mythology, her next few weeks will be spent acclimating to her new surroundings.  She will begin 15 weeks of training in early March with the New Hampshire State Police, an agency that currently has two Plott Hounds on its K-9 detail.  Her training will include obedience, tracking based on scents on the ground, evidence recovery, and searching wide areas using scents in the air.  Once training is complete, Loki will be based at the St. Albans Barracks, where Hunt is assigned.  They will be available to respond statewide.  If all goes well, Loki might have some company in the future as the state police considers adding more hounds to the K-9 Unit.

2/5/20

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Missouri State Highway Patrol uses aerial technology to increase safety for the public

MO SP Helicopter

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports a success rate of more than 90 percent for its Aircraft Division.  Since July 2016, the Patrol says the Aircraft Division has helped law enforcement agencies with 114 pursuits and has tracked 103 successfully.  It was at that time the Division started using an infrared camera and map overlay system on a Bell 407 helicopter.  The main purpose of the equipment was to perform search and rescue missions for lost or wanted subjects.  When the equipment is not being used for these purposes, the Patrol uses the camera and mapping systems to help law enforcement agencies across the state capture fleeing suspects, increasing the safety to the motoring public, the officers, and the suspects.  According to the Patrol, applying this technology during an active pursuit allows ground units to discontinue active pursuit, slow down, and follow at a safe distance out of sight of the suspect.  The aircraft tracks the fleeing vehicle, day or night, and provides accurate turn-by-turn information to the ground units while recording the incident for purposes of evidence.  The map overlay provides the flight crew with street names, points of interests, and addresses.  They say the suspect nearly always slows to a safer, more reasonable speed.  Once the suspect comes to a stop, the air crew informs ground units who make contact with the occupants of the vehicle and make an arrest.  The MSHP gave the following examples of successful searches by Aircraft Division personnel:  On an evening in December 2019, members of the Aircraft Division located a suicidal subject that had taken a large number of pills and fled into a wooded area.  The subject was located by the air crew who then directed officers to their location.  The subject received the medical attention needed and has recovered.  In spring 2019, members of the Aircraft Division located a male subject armed with a knife who was wanted for a domestic dispute.  The man was taken into custody.  On an evening in November 2019, the Aircraft Division’s air crew located a subject wanted for a shooting during a domestic dispute.  In 2018, the air crew located a subject armed with a rifle who had fled into the woods near a school.  The subject was located and taken into custody.

2/5/20

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Alabama Law Enforcement Agency reminder for drivers to Move Over

Alabama car hit by truck

A state trooper is lucky to be unharmed after a truck slammed into his vehicle while answering a call in the Opelika area.  The Move Over Law has been in effect for a couple of years and fines were even increased last August.  The law requires motorist to move one lane away from wrecker service, law enforcement or emergency services with lights flashing on the side of the road.  But it seems some are still not adhering to the law.  ALEA posted the picture on their twitter page showing the state trooper vehicle damaged from a big box truck.  “He is very fortunate he wasn’t near the vehicle when it was hit," said Alabama State Trooper Chuck Daniel.  Mary Smith is a school bus driver.  Smith says she has seen people not obeying the law.  “They flying by.  They don’t even recognize if you are on the side of the road to handle a wreck or something.  It’s just terrible.  People drive just terrible,” she said.  Last year fines increased to $100 on the first offense, $150 on the second and $200 on the third. Trooper Daniel says distracted drivers are still a problem and this only adds to putting others are risk.  When you see any sort of flashing lights pull over and slow down.  If it’s just a two lane road slow down to 15 miles below the speed the limit.

2/3/20

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Certificate of Appreciation Presented to Holloway, Sanders & Ryan

AAST Appreciation January 2020

 

Mark Ryan, partner in the accounting firm of Sanders, Holloway and Ryan receives a certificate of appreciation from AAST President Keith Barbier.  The firm has been the accounting firm for the Association for 15 years.  Their expertise and guidance to the Association has been invaluable.  In addition to being the accounting firm for AAST, they have also supported the AAST Foundation as a Gold level sponsor. 

1/30/20

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Missouri State Highway Patrol amending its uniform policy to allow for tattoos

Missouri SHP uniform policy

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is amending its uniform policy to allow for tattoos, a move the agency hopes will allow it to tap into a new talent pool.  In a news release, highway patrol officials said the new policy excludes certain types of tattoos and tattoo locations.  “If you have a tattoo or body art that’s meaningful to you, then you can wear our long-sleeve uniform year round,” Lt. Collin Stosberg said.  “This includes all troopers, uniformed civilians, commercial vehicle officers, motor vehicle inspectors and commutation operators.”  Troopers still aren’t allowed to have tattoos on their head, neck, hands, wrists or other areas of the body where they would be visible while on duty.   Stosberg said the new policy isn’t aimed at a certain talent pool, though it’s likely to open up more opportunities for ex-military members and applicants with prior law enforcement experience.  According to a FOX News poll, 36% of U.S. service members have a tattoo.  “The tattoos or brands cannot depict criminal behavior, drug usage, nudity, profanity, promiscuity or bigotry,” Stosberg said.  “This essentially gives a segment of the population the opportunity to become troopers who otherwise couldn’t have.”

1/29/20

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Massachusetts State Police trooper pays for boy's birthday donuts

Mass trooper pays for boys donuts

The family of a 4-year-old boy is praising a Massachusetts State Police trooper for a random act of kindness on his birthday, according to WBZ. State Police shared a message from the family of Logan, who was at Colonial Donuts in Taunton picking out a dozen donuts to celebrate his fourth birthday. “Anyone who knows Logan knows there are 2 things he loves, Spider-Man and Donuts,” his father wrote to police. A state trooper happened to be in line behind Logan. He wished the boy a happy birthday and paid for the donuts Logan had picked out. “Logan gets shy when he gets very excited and didn’t know how to react at the time, but let me tell you it was a highlight of his birthday,” the boy’s father wrote to police. “He told everyone he saw today how awesome this experience was for him! I just want to say a big thank you to the State Trooper who made my 4-year old’s birthday even better! (so sorry we didn’t get your name or a picture with you but we hope you see this and how happy he was!)” State Police said they don’t know who the trooper was but “we’re glad he was there for you Logan!”

1/27/20

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Governor Hogan attends 24th Annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge

Maryland Polar Bear Plunge

Governor Larry Hogan today joined hundreds of law enforcement officers for the 24th annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park, where he presented Special Olympian Nicholas Meade with the Jimmy Myrick Jr. Governor’s Courage Award.  “I want to sincerely thank the hundreds of dedicated and hardworking police officers, military, and first responders from across Maryland who are participating in this year’s Polar Bear Plunge,” said Governor Hogan.  “Thank you for your commitment to this great cause and for your service each and every day on behalf of the people of Maryland.”  The Jimmy Myrick Jr. Governor’s Courage Award honors the memory of Jimmy Myrick, Jr., a Special Olympian who befriended Governor Hogan as the two underwent chemotherapy treatments at the University of Maryland Medical Center.  This year’s honoree, Nicholas Meade, has participated in Special Olympics since the age of seven, and competes in a wide range of sports, including softball, soccer, kayaking and golf.  Over the last 19 months, he has demonstrated exceptional courage as he supported and encouraged his father, who sadly passed away on January 8, during his battle with cancer.  Maryland State Police has partnered with Special Olympics to host the Polar Bear Plunge since 1997.  The annual event benefits Special Olympics Maryland, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

1/27/20

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50 New Jersey State Police troopers headed to Puerto Rico to aid in earthquake recovery

NJSP headed to PR

Dozens of New Jersey State Police troopers are headed to Puerto Rico this weekend to help as residents of the commonwealth work to recover from a devastating series of earthquakes over the past several weeks.  Fifty troopers will arrive from New Jersey on Sunday for a 15-day stay in which they’ll provide protection at seven base camps providing temporarily housing for between 2,000 and 5,000 residents in the Ponce region of Puerto Rico, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday morning.  Members of the State Police will also work traffic control in from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.  Troopers are going to Puerto Rico as part of Emergency Management Assistant Compact (EMAC), a mutual aid agreement allowing states and territories to share resources following natural and man-made disasters.  Ponce is one of several cities in the island’s southern region hit by the recent 6.4 magnitude earthquake that killed one person and caused more than an estimated $200 million in damage.  More than 7,000 people remain in shelters since the quake in a country still recovering from Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm that has killed more than 3,000 people since it struck in September 2017.  A seven-member State Police advance team flew to San Juan on Wednesday to collect supplies at FEMA headquarters in Caguas before continuing to Ponce where they will coordinate with local officials. “Before we departed from the last of our deployments to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, we made a promise to local officials and residents that should they ever need us again, we would be there,” Colonel Patrick Callahan of the State Police said in in a statement. "Today we are making good on that promise.  We are deploying a highly skilled contingent of troopers that will be able to immediately integrate into the recovery efforts already in place.”

1/24/20

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New Jersey's "Slow Down or Move Over" Act honoring deceased state trooper

NJ Move Over Act

This Monday, Governor Murphy signed the "Slow Down or More Over, It's the Law Act" sponsored by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey in effort to strengthen the protections provided by the "Move Over Law" for emergency workers on New Jersey roads.  The "Move Over Law" was created in response to the tragic death of Trooper Marc Castellano, who was struck and killed by a driver who failed to move over for Castellano's service vehicle.  Under the law, motorists must reduce speed and change lanes when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle, tow or highway maintenance truck, and emergency or sanitation service vehicle that has its flashing, blinking or alternating emergency lights on.  "Violators of the 'Move Over Law' are putting police officers and other emergency personnel at serious risk of injury or death," said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth).  "We've been humbled to fight for this bill alongside Trooper Castellano's mother, Donna Setaro. Donna fought hard to pass the original 'Move Over Law' in the wake of her son's death, and we hope that this legislation will help make sure that no other parent has to endure the same loss.  I'm grateful to all of the law enforcement officers and families who have supported our efforts to pass this legislation, and we're so proud to finally see it become law."  Under existing law, a driver who fails to slow down or move over for an emergency vehicle or maintenance truck that has its emergency lights on would be subject to a fine between $100 and $500.  Under the new law (A-3890), if a driver is convicted of this offense three or more times in a single year, they will incur two motor vehicle points on their driver's license.  Accumulating points may result in additional penalties, including surcharges and license suspension. Since Trooper Castellano's passing, four Manchester Township Police Officers were struck on State Highway 37, and a Brick Township Police Officer's patrol car was hit while an officer was inside the vehicle.  Both incidents were the result of drivers failing to move over.  "As the daughter of a retired State Trooper, I know the dangers that our state's law enforcement officers face every day," said Downey (D-Monmouth).  "Even something as simple as a traffic stop or standard emergency response can turn deadly if a driver is ignoring the laws or failing to pay attention.  That's why our bill gives the 'Move Over Law' new teeth, with a goal of preventing future tragedies and making clear that this is not an issue that New Jersey takes lightly."  "Too many drivers either don't know about the Move Over Law or simply don't adhere to it," said Senator Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth), a sponsor of the bill in the Senate.  "By increasing the penalty for violating this important traffic law, we hope to encourage drivers to slow down or move over when passing emergency or maintenance vehicles.  When drivers do so, they may be saving a life."  The law also calls for the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety to conduct a public awareness campaign to inform drivers of the increased penalty.  The law will take effect on September 1, 2020.

1/22/20

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New Leadership for Alaska State Troopers

Alaskas New Colonel February 2020

The Alaska State Troopers passed the division's leadership torch to newly promoted Colonel Bryan Barlow, Thursday, January 16.  Like preceding Director Colonel Barry Wilson – who hung up his Stetson yesterday after 30 years of service – Colonel Barlow is a longtime Alaska State Trooper and lifelong Alaskan who knows his way around the state.  "I am thankful for all of those who have come before us and worked tirelessly to bring us to where we are," Colonel Barlow said, thanking now retired Colonel Wilson for his dedicated service and urging the division to "continue forward with optimism, resolve, commitment, and thankfulness."  Colonel Barlow began his career with the Alaska State Troopers in 1999 and has patrolled in Fairbanks, Ninilchik, Ketchikan, and Girdwood, as well as Interior villages.  Over the years, he has supervised the Criminal Intelligence Unit, DPS Recruitment, Office of Professional Standards, and the DPS Aircraft Section.  He's also held the duties of Department Pilot, Special Emergency Reaction Team member, Firearms Instructor, Crisis Negotiator, and Ethics Instructor.  In October 2017, Colonel Barlow joined the Troopers' Director’s Office as a Major.

1/21/20

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Maine State Police Dash Cam Video shows Semi-Truck Crash

 Maine video of tractor trailer

In advance of an upcoming snow storm, Maine State Police urged caution to winter drivers with a dashcam video of a scary accident involving a wintry highway and a tractor trailer.  Amazingly, no one was hurt in the December 2019 accident that appears about :58 into the video that was shared on the Maine State Police Facebook page.  The tractor trailer was moving along with traffic when, all of a sudden, it veered across the interstate.  Trooper Jesse Duda was traveling a short distance behind the truck, on his way to help another motorist, that was off the road. Police remind drivers to use caution in wintery conditions.  Take it slow, be in control of your vehicle, avoid any distractions, and don't tailgate, giving yourself plenty of time to stop.  And, if staying off the roads is a possibility, enjoy a snow day at home.

To watch video, go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHM72c5Oolk&feature=youtu.be

1/17/20

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