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, KARE11.com 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.


Really grateful - Woman names son after Arizona DPS trooper who saved her life

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Really grateful': Woman names son after Arizona DPS trooper who saved her life

Fox 10 Phoenix

PHOENIXA woman and an Arizona Dept. of Public Safety trooper had a heartwarming reunion on Thursday after her life was saved during a bad crash five years ago.

Samantha Parada had been searching for the man who saved her life, but she had lost her memory after the collision and didn't have all the details. She went to DPS while she was in Phoenix for Christmas, and they found him. 

Dec. 29 was the first time they talked on the phone, and on Thursday, she finally met with Trooper Christian Casillas.

"It was all through the phone call that I found out, and I immediately started crying once I hung up the phone," Casillas said. "It was pretty touching."

The accident happened back in 2012 on the Loop 202 freeway and 32nd Street. Casillas says Parada's car fell off the ramp, landing on its roof and eventually catching on fire.

Luckily, the trooper was around the corner and got her to safety with the help of firefighters.

Parada suffered from memory loss, rib fractures and other injuries as a result, but she survived and attributes it all to Trooper Casillas.

"I am really grateful something like that happened, and I was able to make an impact in her life at the time," Casillas said. "Within [the] last years of my career, I never thought I would do that to somebody."

Because of this second chance, she was able to become a mom, and that's why she named her son after her savior. Young Christian was able to meet his namesake during their reunion.

"I wanted to tell him everything in person," said Parada. "I wanted to tell him how grateful I am, him saving my life, him giving me a second chance, giving me the opportunity to be a mom…it was a beautiful moment in my life."

DPS officials say this kind of event almost never happens, so it meant a lot to them to meet Samantha.

As for Samantha and Christian, they say they will be staying in touch.

"I owe him my life," Parada said. "I don't know how to thank him enough."


Tunnel to Towers Foundation has paid off the mortgage on the home of a fallen Massachusetts State Police trooper

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The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has paid off the mortgage on the home of a fallen Massachusetts State Police trooper.

Trooper Thomas Clardy, 44, died on March 16, 2016, when his cruiser was struck by an impaired driver on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton.

The impact of the crash killed the married father of six children.

Clardy was an 11-year veteran of the Massachusetts State Police and served in the United States Marine Corps and Army.

Clardy is survived by his wife, Reisa, and children, Tyler, Lily, Gabryella, Emma, Eva, and Noah.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation supports first responders, veterans and their families across the U.S.

The organization has paid the mortgages of nearly 450 homes of fallen service members and first responders.

Tunnel to Towers pays off mortgage for fallen Massachusetts State Police Trooper Thomas Clardy's family (wcvb.com)


AZDPS Looking for Troopers - Officers


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AZDPS Looking for Troopers – Officers

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is currently hiring Cadet and Lateral State Troopers for assignment throughout the State.  Lateral State Troopers have the opportunity to be stationed where they currently reside and motor officers can lateral into the Motor District upon successful completion of field training.  As a State Trooper, there are opportunities to work anywhere in the State in a variety of positions.  The Arizona Department of Public Safety not only patrols Arizona’s highways but also has specialty units such as Vehicle Theft Investigations, Gang Enforcement, Special Investigations, Governor's and Executive Security, Financial Crimes, ACTIC, SWAT, and EOD.

Cadet State Troopers *$56,041.44 - $64,118.08 

State Trooper *$65,382.72 - $91,601.12** 

*Eligible for the recruitment incentive program

**Salary includes 15% Critical Services Premium Pay effective through June 24, 2022

If you are looking for an exciting career with excellent benefits and pay, visit https://www.azdps.gov/careers/trooper/next.


Highway 55 renamed Sgt. David R. Gibbs Memorial Highway for fallen trooper

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Highway 55 renamed ‘Sgt. David R. Gibbs Memorial Highway’ for fallen trooper

By Steve Rogers

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet unveiled new signage renaming a portion of Kentucky Highway 55 in Taylor County in honor of KSP Sgt. David R. Gibbs, who was involved in a fatal crash in 2015, while on duty.

KSP was joined by Sergeant Gibbs’ family, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Deputy Secretary Ronnie Bastin and KYTC Chief District Engineer for the Department of Highways, Paul Sanders.

During the roadway dedication, KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr. thanked Sgt. Gibbs and his family for serving the commonwealth.

“Sgt. Gibbs spent most of his seventeen years of service at Post 15 Columbia, except for six months at Post 12 Frankfort when he promoted to sergeant in 2006. He loved being a trooper and he loved serving the people of this community on a daily basis.”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet facilitated the official renaming project and provided new signage on Kentucky Highway 55. Chief District Engineer Paul Sanders attended the ceremony and spoke on behalf of Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray, when he said the Cabinet is honored to recognize Sergeant Gibbs’ service and sacrifice with this signage.

“We hope this action today of naming Kentucky Highway 55 in his honor will leave a continuous reminder to his dedication to public safety in the community that he cared so much for,” said Sanders.

As a longtime law enforcement leader in Kentucky, Ronnie Bastin, Deputy Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, spoke at the ceremony stating that he understands first-hand that losing a colleague is never easy, and it is especially difficult when their life is taken while on duty.

“No job was taken lightly and Sgt. Gibbs was always determined to provide that selfless sacrifice that is engrained in so many law enforcement officers,” said Deputy Secretary Bastin. “Sgt. Gibbs, like many of his KSP colleagues, left home knowing he might not return but  his work would not be done in vain. The loss of Sgt. Gibbs has left a void in this state, community and agency.”

KSP Sergeant Adam Likins, one of Gibbs’ closest friends, spoke on behalf of the Gibbs family at the ceremony.

“Everyone who knew David, loved him,” said Likins. “His smile and his kindness were known by everyone. He loved his friends and his family but most of all he loved being a Kentucky State Police Trooper.”

The Gibbs family assisted officials with unveiling the official highway sign during the ceremony, which was held at Swan’s Landing in Campbellsville, Ky.


PA State Police graduates 59

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Pennsylvania State Police Welcomes 59 New Troopers

Harrisburg, PA – Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, announced today that 59 cadets graduated from the State Police Academy in Hershey and have been assigned to troops across the commonwealth. The men and women represent the 162nd graduating cadet class.

The ceremony returned to the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Harrisburg for the first time since December 2019 in front of a limited amount of family members. Cadet Matthew J. Condrad spoke on behalf of the graduating class. The ceremony was live streamed on the academy Facebook pageOpens In A New Window and YouTube channelOpens In A New Window.

"All of the men and women we celebrated today obtained the most important rank, the rank of Trooper," said Colonel Evanchick. "The long-standing tradition of providing the finest police services throughout the commonwealth is now bestowed upon them. May they all uphold the service, integrity, respect, trust, courage, and duty of the force."

Five cadets received special awards and recognition:

  • The American Legion Award, presented to the most outstanding cadet in recognition of all-around academic, physical, ethical, and moral qualifications: Matthew J. Condrad
  • The Colonel Ronald M. Sharpe Award, presented to the cadet who most exemplifies the qualities of leadership: Jeremy J. Seabridge
  • The Colonel John K. Schafer Award, presented to the cadet who achieved the highest combined score on a series of physical skills tests: Timothy J. Shields
  • The Commissioner Daniel F. Dunn Award, presented to the cadet who earned the highest level of academic achievement in the class: Melvin L. Eby III
  • The Colonel Paul J. Chylak Award, presented to the cadet who demonstrated the highest proficiency in driver safety training: Christopher A. Cashin
  • The Sergeant Charles B. Gesford Award, presented to the cadet who scored the highest on the department's pistol qualification course: Matthew J. Condrad

The graduates have been assigned to the following stations:

Troop A, Greensburg
Joseph V. Churner

Troop B, Belle Vernon
Jessica M. Bishop
Matthew V. Ferraro
Cody R. Stemrich
Jason M. Stover
Ally N. Wilson

Troop B, Uniontown
Brian F. Beauchemin
Shane T. Dorner
Gabriel B. Gresko
Christopher R. Keffer
Joshua Keiper
John W. Lance
Joshua E. Pavlosky
James A. Pierce II
Jacob D. Richards
Jeffrey J. Schlasta

Troop B, Pittsburgh
William O. Alua
Nathan D. Bartel

Troop B, Waynesburg
Chase W. Colucci
Cody H. Karaman

Troop C, Lewis Run
Brandon J. Long
Kevin M. Shaffer

Troop C, Punxsutawney
Alexis J. Stitt
Alexander S. Watters

Troop C, Ridgway
Brandt M. Beck

Troop D, Kittanning
Christian M. Kovach
Erica Nearhoof
Darryl G. Webb Jr.

Troop E, Corry
Dane S. Barker

Troop E, Erie
Matthew R. Wier

Troop E, Girard
Trevor J. Gallo
Ryan M. Northcott

Troop F, Coudersport
Melvin L. Eby III
Bryce A. Reichenbach

Troop F, Stonington
Jeffrey A. Brown

Troop H, Chambersburg
Shane E. Clark
Morgan E. Kaschak
Gregory J. Monaghan
Timothy J. Shields

Troop H, Harrisburg
Matthew J. Condrad
Michael T. Frick

Troop J, Avondale
Jeffrey F. Beach
Christopher A. Cashin

Troop J, Lancaster 
George F. Puma

Troop J, York
Alecia I. Rohrer

Troop K, Philadelphia
Nathanael Fre
Nicholas T. Fusco
Lucas P. Metzger
Anthony J. Pickens
Andrew Tsai

Troop K, Skippack
Rebecca L. Lengvarsky
Kole S. Rodrigues

Troop P, Laporte
Brad M. Kalinowski
Jeremy J. Seabridge

Troop P, Towanda
Brett M. Cohen
Alexander K. Gushka
Craig P. Kalinoski Jr.
Steven S. Marianelli
Matthew J. Mondak


UT State trooper rescues owl hit by truck on I-215


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UT State trooper rescues owl hit by truck on I-215


SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — A member of the Utah Highway Patrol is being credited for going above and beyond to help an owl that was hit by a truck on Interstate 215 over the weekend.

Authorities said UHP Cpl. Cole located the owl Saturday night after it had been hit by an F-250 that was driving in the area.

Cope rescued the owl, gave him a name — Owlpacino — and took care of him for the night.

The next day, Cope loaded the owl into his cruiser and made the trip to take Owlpacino to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden.

The center has treated over 31,000 animals since 2009, giving many a second chance at life in the wild.

“We hope Owlpacino makes a full recovery!” the UHP posted on Facebook.


42 cadets to graduate Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy

42 cadets to graduate Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy

42 cadets to graduate Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy
by: K. Querry-Thompson/KFOR

Posted: Dec 3, 2021 / 08:59 AM CST / Updated: Dec 3, 2021 / 08:59 AM CST
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is gaining 42 new cadets who are graduating from the 67th Academy on Friday.
The academy started with 65 potential cadets on July 28.
They underwent 18 weeks of intense training on traffic and criminal law, arrest procedures, accident reconstruction, first aid, and Spanish.
They also received training in use of force, communication skills and de-escalation tactics, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, and physical fitness.
“We are extremely proud of these forty-two cadets graduating from our Academy,” said Chief of the Patrol Patrick F. Mays. “After graduation, they enter their field training and will be dispersed throughout the state, ready to serve and protect our citizens.”
Officials say there are three legacies graduating from the academy who all have fathers who are retired troopers.
Following Friday’s graduation ceremony, cadets will enter the ‘break-in’ phase of their training. They will ride with another trooper for 13 weeks before going out on their own.


NY State Police release footage of trooper saving choking two-year-old

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NY State Police release footage of trooper saving choking two-year-old


A New York State Police trooper said he was in the “right place at the right time” after saving a choking toddler's life late last month.

Trooper David Draudt usually patrols out of the Binghamton barracks but on Nov. 29 he was assisting in the Endwell area when there was an emergency call for a 2-year-old boy who was choking, not breathing and unresponsive.

Patrolling nearby when the 11:45 a.m. call went out, Draudt was the first emergency responder to arrive at the scene.

With his body camera recording everything that happened, Draudt slipped into gloves while the toddler’s grandmother gestured from the front door window for him to come into the house.

Draudt was told by the 2-year-old's mother that he was new to dry foods. He was choking on a pancake and had stopped breathing.

Body camera footage shows Draudt remaining calm, even after his initial attempt to open an air passage for the child does not work.

“My first step was to try clearing the airway with my finger but his jaw was locked closed,” Draudt said in voice over to New York State Police body camera footage released on social media.

“So then I began giving the back blows until I could hear him start to breathe again. At least I knew what I was doing was working. After that, I was able to sweep whatever was left of the pancake in his mouth out of his mouth.”

The rescue has left a Broome County mother thankful that she has her son.

“The mother is very happy that (the child) is able to be home with them because of Trooper Draudt’s actions,” said New York State Police Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C public information officer.

Dembinska said it is not unusual for troopers to be the first on the scene of an emergency, making their training especially important.

A Western New York native, Draudt joined the State Police in September 2019.

“I am just happy I was at the right place at the right time and I was basically able to go in there and make it happen,” he said.


Foundation pays off mortgage for the families of five fallen officers, including Virginia State Police Trooper

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Foundation pays off mortgage for the families of five fallen officers, including Virginia State Police Trooper

VIRGINIA- According to reports, to honor the memory of the service members and civilians who were killed during the December 11, 1941 attacked on Pearl Harbor, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation paid off the mortgages on the homes of five fallen first responders who also served their country, including Virginia State Police Trooper Chad Dermyer. 

Dermyer was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2016 while speaking to a suspicious person inside a Richmond Greyhound bus terminal. Dermyer was also a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, serving his country for four years. Chad’s wife, Michelle Dermyer, said in a statement:

“It is hard to find the words to describe how blessed our family feels to have our mortgage paid off.

What an amazing way for the Siller family to honor Stephen and continue his legacy, by blessing so many first responders and Gold Star families. We will be forever grateful for this life-changing gift.”

Dermyer was fatally shot inside Richmond’s Greyhound bus terminal during an encounter with 34-year-old James Brown II of Aurora, Illinois, who pulled out a handgun and opened fired on Dermyer moments after the trooper approached him on March 31, 2016. 

Dermyer left behind his wife, Michelle and two children. Before his career in law enforcement, Dermyer served four years with the U.S. Marine Corps as a machine gunner.