2017 AAST Trooper of the Year receives nations highest honor
Trooper Nic Cederberg received the National Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor presented by the President of the United States. This is the highest national award for valor a public safety officer can receive. Nic was awarded this honor for his bravery shown on December 25, 2016, Christmas Day. Trooper Cederberg, on patrol alone and without cover, attempted to arrest a craven and desperate murder suspect. The suspect engaged Nic in a close quarters gun battle, with our OSP family member sustaining a dozen gunshot wounds and left clinging to life. That Christmas morning, Nic provided us all with the greatest gift imaginable, his determination and will to survive in the face of impossible odds. Nic, who was a US Army veteran and who is seven year veteran of the Oregon State Police at the time, has not yet been able to return to work due to the injuries inflicted. Nic initially spent 48 long days in the hospital, and continues to fight for a full recovery. “The greatest gift the Oregon State Police has received is Nic’s pure determination to survive. Trooper Cederberg typifies the grit and perseverance of an OSP Trooper, humbly serving with distinction in the face of difficult circumstances. Nic, we love you and honor your service. All of Oregon celebrates your award of the Medal of Valor and the personal story it symbolizes.”- Superintendent Travis Hampton. “I am proud to have our Oregon State Police represented at the White House today by Trooper Cederberg. On Christmas Day 2016, he showed enormous courage in the most difficult of circumstances, and exemplified the kind of service and bravery the Medal of Valor represents. His life and community will be forever impacted by that night, and his experience is part of why I feel strongly that we need more troopers on Oregon’s highways. I wish Nic the best on his continued recovery and congratulate him for this distinguished recognition.” - Governor Kate Brown.
Every day, public safety officers risk their lives to protect America’s citizens and communities. To honor that commitment, Congress passed The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001 (https://www.bja.gov/programs/medalofvalor/valor.html), which created the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer. The medal is awarded annually to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.
For those that would like to watch, the ceremony at the The White House is accessible at the provided links below:
Colorado State Patrol troopers recover more than 170 pounds of marijuana
State troopers recovered more than 170 pounds of marijuana during a routine traffic stop near the town of Eagle earlier in the month. After pulling over the vehicle on the night of May 9, the trooper noticed it reeked of pot. Spotting several large boxes in the back of the van, the trooper questioned the driver, who allegedly said she was driving the boxes from Colorado to Las Vegas, Nevada. Other troopers were called to the scene to search the van and recovered 173 pounds of pot and 3,800 grams of what appeared to be concentrated marijuana oil. State Patrol says the driver was arrested on felony charges for possessing more than 50 pounds of marijuana, as well as careless driving.
Florida Highway Patrol trooper scales wall to avoid hydroplaning car
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper had to leap onto a concrete barrier wall on I-95 in Boynton Beach on Monday to avoid a car that was hydroplaning in rainy weather. The trooper, Jeremy Medastin, was treated for an apparent broken ankle and released from an area hospital, FHP spokesman Lt. Alvaro told reporters. Medastin’s dashboard video camera caught the incident on the southbound lane of I-95. Medastin was preparing to fill out paperwork for an earlier crash on inside shoulder of the highway. As he walked back to his patrol car, a vehicle in the right lane hydroplaned, crossed several lanes of traffic before hitting the 7-foot wall, the Sun-Sentinel reported. The car hit Medastin’s leg as he scrambled up the wall. The vehicle also hit the car that had been involved in the previous crash. The investigation is ongoing.
To watch video, go to: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article230388774.html
South Dakota Highway Patrol names new Superintendent
Maj. Rick Miller of Pierre has been named as the next superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Miller is currently an assistant superintendent for the Highway Patrol in charge of administrative services and special operations. He will replace Col. Craig Price who was named to the position of Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Public Safety by Gov. Kristi Noem. It was Secretary Price, then as Highway Patrol superintendent, who promoted Miller to Major in 2013. Miller is a Watertown native and served almost seven years in the U.S. Marines Corps. He has been with the Highway Patrol for almost 18 years, serving as both a trooper and as a police service dog handler. “I’m grateful for the confidence that Secretary Price and Governor Noem have in me,” Miller said. “My goal as superintendent is simple – give our motor carrier inspectors and our troopers the support, training, and resources needed so they can best serve the public and return home safely each night to their own families.” An official transfer of command ceremony will be held at a later date. Miller, who will be promoted to the rank of Colonel at that time, will become the 14th Superintendent in the history of the Highway Patrol, which was established in 1937. The Highway Patrol currently has 193 state troopers and 85 civilian staff.
Florida Highway Patrol graduates 54 new troopers
As the summer travel season approaches, there are more than four dozen new pairs of eyes making sure you are not speeding on Florida roadways. The Florida Highway Patrol graduated 54 new troopers Friday, as part of its 141st class. The graduation ceremony was held in Tallahassee, but the new officers are joining troops from the Panhandle to the Florida Keys. The cadets trained for 29 weeks to earn their badges. Governor Ron DeSantis congratulated the graduating class, reminding them that they will likely face stressful situations in the coming years. “It’s been a busy couple of years for the state of Florida, with the things we have had to contend with," said DeSantis. "You very well may be called into action after a hurricane or after some type of emergency situation.” Statewide, there are more than 1,700 sworn FHP officers, which is now in its 80th year of existence.
Minnesota State Patrol puts current, classic cars on display for agency's 90 anniversary
Minnesota State Patrol squads today and yesteryear were on display on the State Capitol grounds on Thursday as the agency celebrated its 90th anniversary.
The vehicles included a:
- 1930 Harley Davidson motorcycle
- 1930 Ford Model A
- 1954 Ford
- 1979 Dodge
- 2017 Ford Explorer
- 2019 Dodge Charger
- 2019 Ford Taurus Interceptor
The Minnesota State Legislature created the Minnesota Highway Patrol in 1929 in response to an automobile boom. The initial force was comprised of nine men. Nearly 600 troopers now enforce traffic safety laws, educate Minnesotans about the importance of traffic safety, investigate and reconstruct serious crashes, conduct flight patrols and search-and-rescue missions, and assist other law enforcement agencies.
Photo shows total destruction of two Delaware State Police vehicles
The Delaware State Police were on on scene of a crash that occurred at approximately 4:15 a.m., Wednesday, May 8, 2019, on southbound State Route 1 at the crest of the Roth Bridge. The initial investigation has determined that two Delaware State Troopers, who were operating separate vehicles, were stopped in the southbound right lane on the bridge, assisting a disabled motorist. One Trooper was seated in his vehicle and a second Trooper was outside the vehicles making contact with the motorist, who was also out of his vehicle. A tractor-trailer traveling southbound in the right lane, struck the rear of the first unoccupied DSP vehicle, causing a chain reaction crash. As a result of the crash both Troopers were transported to the Christiana Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The tractor-trailer driver and other motorist were not injured.
Texas State Trooper named American Association of State Troopers 2019 Trooper of the Year
Corporal Joshua Moer, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, has been recognized nationally for his quick and decisive actions when rescuing a kidnapping victim who was also being stabbed repeatedly.
The American Association of State Troopers recognized Corporal Moers’ heroic actions by naming him the 2019 Trooper of the Year for, saving the life of a severely injured kidnapping victim and apprehending the violent assailant as well as keeping the citizens of Wichita County, Texas safe.
On April 26, 2018, Anthony L. Carter kidnapped Kaylea Renee Butts in Norman, Oklahoma. The pair traveled to Wichita County, Texas where a vehicle pursuit involving several law enforcement agencies ensued for approximately 35 miles, and reached speeds up to 150 miles per hour. Near the conclusion of the pursuit Corporal Moer was the lead unit. After assisting officers successfully deployed spike strips Carter’s car came to a complete stop, Ms. Butts exited the vehicle and was chased and tackled by Carter. Carter was on top of Ms. Butts and was violently stabbing her with a large knife. Realizing that minutes mattered, Corporal Moer discharged his pistol at Carter from approximately 40 yards away to stop Carter’s violent assault on Ms. Butts. Corporal Moer’s shot hit Carter, thus briefly delaying the assault. Trooper Aaron Clopton arrived at the scene, exited his vehicle with his patrol rifle. Corporal Moer and Trooper Clopton quickly advanced towards Carter and Ms. Butts. Corporal Moer gave verbal commands for Carter to stop, however, he refused to comply and continued to stab Ms. Butts. Both Corporal Moer and Trooper Clopton discharged their weapons at Carter to stop the aggravated assault. Carter eventually fell off Ms. Butts and died, ending the attack. Corporal Moer had discharged his pistol 11 times striking Carter with each round. After determining that Carter was no longer a threat, Corporal Moer returned to Ms. Butts and started to provide first aid along with other first responders until EMS arrived and transported Ms. Butts to the hospital. Ms. Butts received approximately 13 stab wounds and lost approximately 5 pints of blood. Due to the quick actions of Corporal Moer to stop Carter’s assault on Ms. Butts and the immediate first aid provided to her by Moer and others, Ms. Butts not only survived the aggravated assault, but she made a substantial recovery from her wounds and significant blood loss.
In this highly stressful situation, Corporal Moer displayed leadership and courage that saved the life of Ms. Butts. Corporal Moer maintained his composure and relied on his training while using sound judgement. After the event, Corporal Moer showed compassion, but knew he had based his actions and decision on a deep reverence for human life. A presentation ceremony will be held on August 8, 2019 in Austin, Texas at the Public Safety Commission August meeting.
(Warning: This video contains graphic images). Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNkMmfJ01hE
AAST would like to acknowledge and congratulate the other trooper nominations for the 2019 AAST Trooper of the Year.
Joshua McDonnell & Rigoberto Diaz Arizona DPS Highway Patrol
Rockey Rapert Arkansas State Police
Chris Goodman Arkansas State Police
Korey Reynolds California Highway Patrol
Christopher Solda Delaware State Police
Cantrell Cooley Georgia Department of Public Safety
John Oreskovich Illinois State Police
Nicole R. Maenza Indiana State Police
Cody King Michigan State Police
Richard B. Latham Mississippi Highway Patrol
Steven B. Johnson Missouri State Highway Patrol
Joseph Dellabella Nevada Highway Patrol
Keith Ashley New Jersey State Police
Nicholas Clark New York State Police
Jeremy Wheeland Ohio State Highway Patrol
Christopher Jester Ohio State Highway Patrol
Paul Wilkins South Carolina Highway Patrol
James Holland TX Ranger Texas DPS
Austin Albright Virginia State Police
Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers dies in line-of-duty
Trooper Matthew Gatti was killed when his patrol car was struck by a tractor-trailer on I-40 near mile marker 74 in Madison County. The incident occurred at approximately 3:45 pm as Trooper Gatti was responding to a call.
Mississippi Highway Patrol adds 44 new state troopers to their raks
It was a dignified procession of 44 new Mississippi State Troopers filing from the Clyde Muse Center following graduation where they received their badges, hats and diplomas. Proud family and friends looked on as they took the oath to uphold the constitution and protect the citizens of the state. “We must also be caring and gentle, as well as strong and confident,” Governor Phil Bryant told the graduating class. Cadet Class 63 makes history in the Mississippi Highway Patrol with four women graduating.
Illinois State Police help deliver baby during routine traffic stop
Illinois State Police helped deliver a baby during a traffic stop on I-57 northbound near 111th Street. Sunday, April 28, Trooper Valdez De Leon and Trooper Vodicka were on a traffic stop on I-57 northbound near 111th Street approximately around 11:56 p.m. when another vehicle pulled in front of Trooper De Leon’s police car. Out jumped Roland Watkins, who told Trooper De Leon that his sister, Stacey Watkins, was in active labor. About 10 minutes later Trooper Valdez and Trooper Vodicka successfully delivered baby Smothers. The mother and baby were transported to a local area hospital by ambulance. Monday afternoon, April 29, Trooper Valdez De Leon was able to visit the family at the hospital. “I never thought I would get the opportunity to deliver a baby on the side of the road so early in my career with the Illinois State Police,” stated Trooper Valdez De Leon. “It was a high-stress situation, but because of the First Responder training I received at the Illinois State Police Academy, I was confident enough to use the training I received and put it to good use, which led to a successful outcome.” Trooper Valdez De Leon is a one year veteran with the Illinois State Police. Trooper Valdez De Leon is a current Sergeant in the United States Army Reserves. He is also a 16-year veteran of the United States Army and United States Marine Corps. Trooper Vodicka is an 8 1/2 year veteran with the Illinois State Police.
Meet Luna, Massachusetts State Police first comfort dog
Massachusetts State Police showed off their very first comfort dog in an official introduction Thursday at State Police General Headquarters in Framingham, police said. Luna, a 4-month-old English black Labrador was bred to be a comfort dog and donated to work in “post-traumatic stress decompression,” State Police said in a statement. Luna responded to her first assignment last week with her handler, Trooper Chad Tata, to help Springfield officers following a shooting, said David Procopio, spokesman for the State Police. “She will eventually receive certification that will also allow him to take her out of state to assist at mass casualty incidents as needed,” Procopio said.
Indiana State Police issued 309 citations or warnings during 'Move Over Law' patrols
Indiana State Police issued 115 tickets and 194 warnings during a statewide special patrol April 14 through April 20 in which troopers looked for drivers who failed to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles. The most common violation was failure to change lanes for emergency vehicle on a four- lane highway, for which troopers issued 83 tickets and 137 warnings. Indiana 'Move Over Law' effort was in conjunction with police agencies from five other states: Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. State police said that with an increase in construction zones, this was an opportune time to use special patrols not only to find those drivers who violate the law, but to educate the public on the importance of slowing down and moving over for emergency vehicles. Troopers concentrated efforts on all emergency vehicles, including construction vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, police vehicles, maintenance crews, and roadside service crews. In neighboring Illinois, three state troopers have been struck and killed since the beginning of 2019. In 1999 Indiana was the first State in the nation to pass such a law requiring motorists to move to an adjacent traffic lane, or reduce speed by 10 mph below the posted speed limit if unable to change lanes safely when driving by a stationary police, fire or ambulance emergency vehicle stopped along the side of the road. Over the years Indiana's law has expanded to include stationary recovery, utility service, solid waste haulers, road, street highway maintenance vehicles, as well as a stationary survey or construction vehicles when displaying alternately flashing amber lights. Indiana’s law was originally crafted and passed the result of the death of ISP Tpr. Andrew Winzenread who was killed in April of 1997 while assisting a stranded motorist on I-74 in Decatur County.
North Carolina Highway Patrol unveils 2 new helicopters
The North Carolina Highway Patrol has unveiled two new law enforcement helicopters. The patrol says in a news release that the Bell helicopters will significantly boost the organization’s ability to promote public safety and complete live-saving missions. They will be used in addition to the patrol’s current aircraft. Officials say 80-85 percent of their missions are for local agencies that need help in finding missing persons to include the search for missing children. The two new units are completely operational and ready to begin serving the people of North Carolina.
North Carolina Highway Patrol unveils glow-in-the-dark 'Ghost Cruiser'
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has debuted a new "ghost cruiser" on its social media pages. The cruiser features markings that are more discreet and glow at night. Vance County trooper J. A. Thomas was awarded the first ghost vehicle for leading the state in DWI enforcement and arrests, the NCSHP said. "I love it. It's a nice ride," Thomas said. "Just knowing, like, this car is a reward, and if I save one life it's a greater reward." The NCSHP said it plans to deploy one of the ghost cruisers in each of its eight troops. 'A ghost patrol car has the exact same markings of our traditional marked patrol car but they just have a low profile and they glow in the dark at night," said Colonel G.M. McNeill Jr.