26 graduate and join the ranks of the Rhode Island State Police
They are athletes, college graduates, some military and some former police officers. On Friday, they all had earned the same title — new Rhode Island state troopers. The 26 graduates, chosen out of more than 1,500 applicants, made it through a grueling 24-week academy. They are graduating into a climate of turmoil and tension between police and the community they serve, as their new boss, Col. Steven G. O'Donnell, and other graduation speakers noted at the ceremony at the Rhode Island Convention Center. The academy was designed to test them, in order to keep them safe, O'Donnell said. The black mourning bands they all wear on their uniforms symbolize the recent deaths of police officers in the line of duty, in Dallas, Baton Rouge and in San Diego, just Thursday night. "It's not an easy time to be a police officer, in some ways it's more difficult than it's ever been," said Gov. Gina Raimondo, as she congratulated them for "choosing to serve." For the new troopers and their loved ones, potential danger didn't overshadow the joy of graduating. As new trooper Andrew B. Pilling, an Army veteran, quoted in his speech for the class: "Only one kind of person makes it through, and that's the person who doesn't quit." Of the 26, there was one Hispanic male and only one woman. O'Donnell said last month that the training academy originally had minority recruits but they dropped out. The state police recently launched a Diversity Academy, in partnership with Providence College, to increase recruiting of minorities. New trooper Lauren E. Lanoie, the only woman to graduate, is also the first in her family to join law enforcement. "It's terrific," said her grandparents, Monica and Joseph A. Janton, of West Warwick. "It's a big honor. We're so proud of her." Lanoie, 24, said she joined the West Warwick police explorers when she was a teen, and "I just fell in love with it." She pursued a job with the state police after graduating from the University of Rhode Island. New trooper Jason R. DiFusco pushed to graduate with a finance degree in three years from Bryant University and put his ROTC program on hold to get through the academy. "He's dedicated, and he knew it was something he wanted to do from the beginning," said retired Lt. Col. Kevin Kugel, professor of military science, "to achieve his dream of being an Army officer and a Rhode Island state trooper." The new troopers are: Robert M. Bentsen, Thomas D. Bruso, Colby A. Clarke, Michael A. Colasante, Jason R. DiFusco, Travis G. Drappi, Michael J. Farais, Matthew D. Fox, Robert T. Fox, Jake A. Hesford, Corey A. Hopkins, Matthew A. House, Jeffrey S. Konieczny, Lauren E. Lanoie, Adam J. Lepre, Dean R. Marr, Zachary D. Mattera, Antonio J. Miguel Jr., Brendan T. Morgan, Andrew J. Phillips, Andrew B. Pilling, Scott T. Potter, Nicholas P. Ryan, Patrick T. Sarasin, Corey D. Sheehan, and Craig A. Stinson.
Speed Awareness Day in Illinois
Today is Speed Awareness Day in Illinois and the Illinois State Police (ISP) will be out in full force to promote safety on Illinois roads. ISP District 10 officers are teaming up with Illinois’ other districts to promote awareness about the dangers of speeding towards motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. ISP officials say in Illinois, speed was the reason for 32.4 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2014. District 10 Trooper Tracy Lillard says lives can be easily saved by being aware of speed and understanding the risks. “We are trying to raise awareness that we are looking out for speeders,” Lillard says. “The purpose is to reduce fatalities out on our roads. We’ve determined speed is one of the major contributors to causing fatal crashes and if we can reduce people’s speeds, hopefully we reduce the number of fatalities.” Lillard says District 10 is sending out extra officers today to monitor speed. They’ll be employing some advanced techniques to catch speeders including Air Speed, LIDAR details, and Radar Details. The Air Speed technique involves utilizing small planes and a machine that measures how quickly you travel between two white lines. LIDAR radar can detect speed from one mile or more away. ISP troopers will be patrolling State and U.S. Highways, county roads, city streets, and Interstates throughout District 10 including I-57, I-72, and I-74. Lillard says they aren’t necessarily looking to give out citations, but instead letting people know speeding can be dangerous. “Our goal is not to write tickets but to have compliance, and that’s what we are encouraging motorists to do,” she says. “If you can go the speed limit, it won’t be an issue and you won’t get pulled over.”
5 year old honorary Michigan State Trooper
“Am I allowed to go on a ride?” Aidyn’s day was to be filled with wonder. “You’re certainly allowed to go for a ride.” This is his special day. “Can I?” Almost more than a 5-year-old could hope for. “Yes.” Because this is Aidyn Sharrow’s Day. “We were contacted by the Rainbow Connection and the director asked for us, the Grants and Community Services Division, to put together what we’re calling Aidyn’s Day.” “How is your day going so far buddy?” “Good! Real fun!” answered the excited boy. “Aidyn was sworn in as honorary trooper with the Michigan State Police. He received a fitted uniform shirt,” said Aidyn’s father Kevin Sharrow. “We got to ride in the trooper car we’ve got to a whole bunch of stuff that I never thought we would get to do. And since he wants to be a police officer when grows up, this is very exciting. Aidyn is five years old he’s been diagnosed with leukemia and so he’s going through treatment at this point in time,” explains Michigan State Police First Lt. Troy Allen. “Makes us feel really privileged to be able to do something like this, very lucky that he gets to enjoy it even though he’s gone through such a rough experience. Aidyn had the opportunity to meet with the canine unit for a canine demonstration our Emergency Support Team to see what Aidyn refers to as the tank as well as the helicopter. Here’s an opportunity for us to be able to bring some happiness to a young man’s life and to his family and to let the public know that they are Michigan State Police are out here to protect them and to serve them with a true purpose.” And what’s the best part of the day for Aidyn? “Being a state trooper!” Eventually the day does come to an end. And for Aidyn Sharrow the adventure is just beginning. “See you when I come back!” And the troopers are looking forward to that day. “Okay, I’ll be waiting for ya.” With a happy “alright” Michigan’s youngest honorary State Trooper is on his way.
New Hampshire Family grateful for Vermont State Police
Suzanne Beaupre said she and her son couldn’t afford to get back to New Hampshire after their car had a flat tire, but the help and generosity of some state troopers and a tow truck driver in Vermont turned their luck around. Earlier this month, Beaupre picked up her son in Middlebury, Vermont, but they ran into car problems when her pickup truck got a flat tire and they couldn't dislodge the spare tire. “I wanted to be home, absolutely. I mean there's a lot of frustration. I was praying,” said Hayden Smith, Beaupre’s son. Beaupre couldn't afford a tow, and she didn't have many options. “We're going through some financial difficulties, (and) really at that point of night, a lot of stores are closed and stuff,” Beaupre said. That's when the Vermont State Police stepped in. “We didn't really want to leave them stranded there because it was about 1 (o'clock) in the morning and nothing's open,” Trooper Stacia Geno said. Troopers called a tow truck and offered to front the $75 charge to replace the tire. “The troopers themselves said they would split the bill and pay me,” tow truck driver Kyle Blakeman said. “I said, 'No way.' I was, like, so thankful. I just felt like crying,” Beaupre said. But then, the tow truck driver refused their money, changing the tire for free. “I would never come out and ask. So when he said that, it was a done deal. They had already done it. It just made me want to cry,” Beaupre said. Troopers then followed the family to the interstate, making sure they were safely on their way back to New Hampton. The generosity caught them by surprise, furthering their appreciation for police. The love and the care that they showed, it's amazing,” Beaupre said. The family said they'll never forget those three Vermont state troopers, who ended up spending about four hours with them.
Pennsylvania "Coffee with a Cop"
State police from the Reading station are inviting local residents to meet them for coffee. "Coffee with a Cop" is scheduled for Wednesday from 9 to 11 a.m. at Wyomissing Family Restaurant, 1245 Penn Ave. Capt. Kristal Turner-Childs, commander of Reading-based Troop L, will be on hand as will other local troopers to answer questions from residents and to hear their concerns. The theme of the program, which has been done in other areas, is "building community, one cup of coffee at a time," said Trooper David C. Beohm, Troop L spokesman "It's very informal and has been done in other places," Beohm said. "It's just an opportunity to be able to talk to a cop in a very stress-free environment."The hope is it will improve communication between police and the public, he said. Another Coffee with a Cop outing is being planned for northeastern Berks in the fall, Beohm said.
Bible Camp Honors Police Officers in Louisiana
Local law enforcement officers sang, hopped, danced, twirled and shook with nearly 150 children attending Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Opelousas on Friday for the camps closing ceremony and officer appreciation activities. Senior State Trooper Scott Simmons said he was honored to come see the children, especially in light of the recent stress added from the Baton Rouge officer shootings. "We're often times only seen in certain facets of the community and our job, normally, with a wreck or taking somebody to jail or writing tickets, and whenever we're asked to participate in civic organization events, it's refreshing," said Simmons. "It's good that people can see us in a different light and not always in an area that's expected." Simmons said he's been with the state police for over 14 years. "I love what I do," said Simmons. "I'm just doing it more cautiously these days." Tiffany Hebert, director of the week's camp, said the kids, who vary from first to sixth grade, also made cards for the policemen, as well as local firemen. Troop I of the State Police, St. Landry Parish Sheriff Department, Wildlife and Fisheries, Opelousas Police Department and members of the local fire department were invited to meet and be thanked by the kids, said Hebert.
Firearm fatalities for law enforcement officers jumped 72 percent
A new study states firearms fatalities against law enforcement jumped in the past year (Sinclair Broadcast Group)
At the National Police Officers Memorial in Washington DC, the wreaths keep arriving. “Unfortunately we are the only memorial here in the United States in our nation’s capital that has to add new names to that memorial each and every year,” said Craig Floyd, President & CEO National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. For Officer Brian McWilliams, with the Indianapolis Sheriff’s Department, it was a trip he hoped he wouldn’t have to make. “Got a few friends that I worked side by side with that passed away over the last few years,” said McWilliams who was visiting the memorial with his 8-year-old son, Brian Jr. He says his job has gotten much more difficult in the last two years and now every call that comes poses a risk. “You might go on the same call multiple times a day but you’re dealing with different personalities, different ethnic groups,” he said. Floyd echoed his sentiments. “Every assignment is potentially life-threatening and that could be the most mundane traffic stop that officers do over and over in their career,” he said. As of July 18, 2016, firearms fatalities for law enforcement officers had jumped 72 percent from the previous year – with 18 in 2015 and 31 in 2016, which includes the five officers targeted and killed in Dallas, TX on July 7 and the three in Baton Rouge, LA on July 17. Barbara Anne Cady, visiting the memorial from Mississippi, said there seems to be a new reality. “People just don’t feel safe, the people on the job or the public,” Cady said.
Indiana State Police Pay Ping Pong with Crowds at RNC
It's the fourth day of protests and heavy security in Cleveland, during the 2016 Republican National Convention, but police have been playful when they're not protecting the public. As temperatures spiked into the 90s, a handful of Indiana state troopers challenged crowds to friendly games of ping pong next to REBoL, a cafe in Cleveland's Public Square. Troopers and citizens took turns playing, though no winner was named. It was a sweet moment of comradery in a week full of heated protests and arrests in the city. Gabe Niardi of Columbus, Ohio played several rounds with one trooper, before walking off, grinning, "That was cool, man."The same Indiana troopers stopped to play Pokemon GO with a syracuse.com reporter earlier this week. This week is the first time Trooper Curtis Jones has visited Cleveland, and he said it's been a great experience. "Coming here, we were expecting the worst and hoping for the best," said Jones, of Indiana. "Everything's turned out far better than we could have imagined. Everybody in Cleveland has been kind. "All week, Curtis said citizens have been thanking him and his colleagues, and asking to take photographs with them. The Indiana state troopers are just one of the many out-of-state groups, called in to back up the Cleveland Police Department. The city prepared heavily for this week, if protests grew into dangerous riots. As part of its security plan, Cleveland organized a massive police force of 5,000 officers, recruiting from surrounding suburbs and nearby states to bolster its existing force of about 1,200. Cleveland.com reported the city intended to buy 2,000 sets of riot gear, including riot-control suits and collapsible batons. Cleveland received $50 million in federal money to pay for security during the RNC. Mayor Frank Jackson's administration planned to spend roughly $30 million of the grant on personnel and $20 million on equipment.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Finds Sweet note on Door after Shift
As the nation continues to be in turmoil over a series of attacks on law enforcement officers, several agencies in Oklahoma are thanking citizens for their support. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol posted a note that was left on a trooper’s door when he got home. “For my neighbor, while peering out my window, I saw my neighbor passing by. I felt compelled to stop and pray and let me tell you why. You see… he wears a uniform, a target he is now. God protect him from the evil, bring him home tonight somehow. His family needs and loves him, and his dog he does the same. As do his friends and neighbors who call him by his name.So Lord, protect him while he serves, keeping harm from everyone, bring him safely home again to rest when day is done,” the note read.
Nevada State Trooper Saves Bikini Clad Woman
The Nevada Highway Patrol released dash cam video of one of their troopers saving a woman’s life on a busy highway. It happened last month on Interstate 15, KNSV reported. Trooper Dave Becker was on patrol when he heard the call for a pedestrian on the highway. He saw a woman wearing nothing but a bikini on the left side of the busy roadway. The trooper got out of the car and tried to reason with her. But she took off running across the highway and he went after her. The video shows him pulling her from under a large red vehicle at the very last moment. “Even my sergeant asked me “why’d you go after her?” My job’s to keep her safe, she took off I took off, its what we do,” he told KNSV. The woman was taken to a hospital. The trooper went back to work.
Arizona State Trooper named national Trooper of the Year
Trooper Jeremy Barr, a 12-year veteran of the Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division, has been recognized nationally for his lifesaving actions. The American Association of State Troopers recognized Barr’s heroic actions by naming him the 2016 national Trooper of the Year for risking his life and preventing injury to innocent citizens traveling the Arizona roadways. Barr was presented the award on Monday, July 11, 2016, at a ceremony held during the 2016 National Law Enforcement Police Exploring Conference, Northern Arizona University Skydome, Flagstaff, Arizona. On August 22, 2015, during the early morning heavy traffic period Trooper Barr responded to the call of a wrong-way-vehicle north of Phoenix on Interstate 17 at milepost 244. The call indicated a vehicle was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of the two lane roadway at approximately 70 miles per hour. Interstate 17 at milepost 255 is located in a mountainous region between Phoenix and Flagstaff and there are only two lanes dedicated for southbound traffic. Due to the geographical location, the section of road has a blind curve with a rock berm bordering its western side, and a rock ledge bordering on the east side. The combined factors allow little room for maneuvering and avoiding hazards. As Trooper Barr approached milepost 255, he observed the wrong-way vehicle, a Ford F-150 pickup truck, still traveling northbound in the southbound lanes. Without hesitating, Trooper Barr continued toward the wrong-way driver with his lights and siren activated, knowingly placing himself between an active lethal threat and innocent motorists. Although his fully marked police vehicle was illuminated, the wrong-way driver continued to approach Trooper Barr. As the wrong-way vehicle came head-on toward him, Trooper Barr skillfully drove the left front corner of his Chevrolet Tahoe into the pickup trucks left front corner. The resulting impact effectively crippled both vehicles, and the velocity of the impact successfully pushed the truck into the rock ledge. Trooper Barr’s heroic actions came with a personal cost. He suffered extensive injuries including seven herniated discs in his back, fractured vertebrae, a broken neck, injuries to his shoulder and kidney. Trooper Barr’s injuries are so severe, he has not yet been able to return to active duty. Trooper Barr has not only loyally served the citizens of Arizona as a State Trooper, but also served with the Phoenix Police Department, and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Trooper Jeremy Barr risked his life to prevent injury or death to innocent citizens traveling on the Arizona roadway. For this reason, it is an honor of AAST to recognize him as the 2016 Trooper of the Year from a pool of nominations from across the country.
Post about Kindhearted North Carolina State Trooper goes Viral
A local state trooper is getting praise for going above the call of duty, leading to a viral post on Facebook. The post hasn’t even been on Facebook for a day and already has been shared more than 1,400 times. According to the post, the woman pictured travels monthly to New York for cancer treatments. On a recent trip back home, her car broke down near Wilmington, which is when Tpr. Jon Gurganus saved the night. Gurganus fixed the woman’s water pump and followed her 20 miles to make sure she was okay. He said it just worked out that he knew how to help with what she needed. “I haven’t done anything to deserve any more than any other law enforcement officer in this state or this country,” Gurganus said. “It’s just, it’s what we do. If anybody deserves more credit from this incident, it’s the lady that took the time to post it, to share the good that happened, and I really appreciate her doing that.” He also gave the woman a phone charger to keep her phone alive for the rest of the trip. Gurganus said he just hopes this lighthearted post will help heal some people today.
Virginia State Police Trooper rescues toddler...
Officials say an off-duty Virginia State Police trooper went "above and beyond the call of duty," after rescuing a toddler found wandering alone in traffic on Route 13 in Accomack County. The Daily Times Salisbury reports Senior Trooper Johnny Godwin was traveling on the highway Saturday when he saw the child, who was about 1 to 2 years old, standing in the middle of the southbound right lane near a curve in Temperanceville. Area Commander 1st Sgt. B. E. Jeff Jones says Godwin got out of his vehicle, which he used to block traffic, and grabbed the child out of the path of oncoming traffic. Godwin stayed with the child until someone from Child Protective Services arrived. The trooper has been with the Virginia State Police since 1997.
Move Over it's the Law
To raise awareness about motorists moving over for law enforcement officers working along our roadways, the Ohio State Highway Patrol posted a photo of a trooper holding his newborn daughter with an impactful message. One year later, the Patrol posted the same trooper with his daughter and his newborn son -- with a new impactful message. The two posts combined reached almost four million people on Facebook. The posts received over 261,000 shares and likes. The Patrol greatly appreciated the positive attention given to this important message on Facebook and by local media.All 50 States have "Move Over" laws to protect law enforcement officers and other first responders stopped on our Nation's roads. Yet only 71% of the public are aware of these laws, and traffic-related incidents continue to be the number one cause of death among on-duty law enforcement officers. We need to continue to get the word out to all drivers and maximize the safety potential of these laws. By raising public awareness of "Move Over" laws through earned and social media, you can make a difference and help to save lives.
Highway Patrol uses airplane to catch speeders
On a straight piece of highway, it's not easy for a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper to do traffic enforcement. But with the help of a plane flying 2,000 feet above, the highway patrol has another tool to keep the roadways safe. With 14 aircraft across the state of Missouri, the MSHP Aircraft Division's main job is traffic enforcement. In 2015, the Aircraft Division assisted with writing 15,072 citations or warnings. When the division does traffic enforcement, they use three sets of pre-painted "blocks" on the roadway that are measured at 660 feet, or 1/8th of a mile, apart. The pilot uses a stopwatch to time how fast a car crosses through those blocks. The stopwatch is calibrated to the 1/8 mile distance, and is able to give the pilot a speed. The pilot and a trooper on the ground always do a test to make sure the stopwatch and the ground trooper's speedometer are calibrated correctly. When a car crosses the first blocks, the pilot starts his stop watch. When he crosses the second set, he stops the first stopwatch and starts a second stop watch. When the car finally passes through the third set, the pilot stops the second stop watch. The pilot uses these two speeds to determine if the driver is speeding. If the pilot feels the driver is speeding, he will radio to a ground trooper waiting they have a violator. The pilot will tell the ground trooper the color and style of the car, which lane the car is in, and what cars are around the speeding car; any details to give the trooper a better indication of which car needs to be pulled over. Once the trooper gets behind the correct car, the pilot will tell him and the trooper will pull the speeding car off to the shoulder. Once the pilot sees both the trooper and the speeding car on the shoulder, he is able to end visual contact with the violator. The ground trooper will then write the ticket or warning for speeding as well as any other violations the ground trooper sees including if a seat belt was being used. Once that is complete, the ground trooper relays what citations or warnings he's written back to the pilot. In addition to traffic enforcement, the division also helps with search and rescues, manhunts, and pursuits. Using helicopters, the Aircraft Division can access otherwise inaccessible areas such as cliffs and bluffs, or conducting a water rescue when someone is stuck in a flooded home or car. They also assist in locating people, whether they are criminals or lost children. Being in the air, the pilots can see things that otherwise wouldn't be visible from a ground prospective. Being able to have a plane above a pursuit, the MSHP is able to take law enforcement on the ground out of a potentially dangerous situation. The pilot can safely follow the suspect and allow other officers to get in position ahead of the suspect.