New York State Police trooper escorts wandering elephant back home to animal sanctuary
A New York State Trooper received the biggest shock of his career Sunday night while on patrol -- an 8,000-pound surprise, to be exact. Sgt. Dave Scott was on duty when police received a call around 11:35 p.m. detailing an elephant that had somehow gotten loose in Westtown, New York State Police Public Information Officer for Troop F Steven Nevel told ABC News. Scott and another trooper responded to the field within 10 minutes, where the elephant was enjoying her freedom. Scott, who is familiar with the area, had an inkling that the elephant had escaped from the Sanctuary for Animals, a farm that houses all kinds of animals, across the street. Scott then went to the sanctuary and alerted the owners of the elephant's breakout, who came out and ordered the elephant to go back to where she belongs. "They came out and spoke to the elephant like someone would talk to their dog," Nevel said. "They told her to turn around and head back home, and she started heading back home." The 46-year-old Vietnamese elephant named Fripha, who arrived in the U.S. after she was burned by napalm during the Vietnam War, was able to stroll out of the sanctuary after a worker forgot to turn on an electric fence, Nevel said. Fripha was not fazed by the commotion and remained "nice" and "friendly" during the run-in, he added. While state police often get calls detailing wayward bears, dogs and deer, it was the first time Scott had ever had to escort an elephant home, describing the encounter as "the strangest thing," Nevel said. "I wish I could have seen the trooper's face when it came over the radio that we have a wandering elephant," Nevel said. "I can imagine that he would have said, 'Can you repeat that?'"
'You just don't think,' New Jersey state trooper says after rescuing unconscious man from burning car
New Jersey State Troopers dragged an unconscious man from a car on the side of a highway moments before it was consumed by fire. In video released by the New Jersey State Police on Thursday, State Troopers Thomas O'Connor and Christopher Warwick can be seen yelling at the man to get out of his Ford Fusion before realizing he was unconscious on State Highway 42 in Camden County, New Jersey, just east of Philadelphia. Police responded to the call at around 11:23 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. When they arrived on the scene, they found the unconscious man pressing on the gas pedal of the car and smoke coming out of the front wheel well, State Police said in a statement on their Facebook page. "Moments after their arrival, the front end of the vehicle became engulfed in flames," the statement said. O'Connor told ABC News that he and his colleagues had been trained for these kinds of situations. He said that in that moment, they did not have time to think about anything else but saving the man's life. "You just don't think," he said. "You just go in and you're focused on trying to save somebody's life." Although the man was trapped in the car, O'Connor said that he and Warwick were eventually able to get his legs loose from underneath the steering wheel and pull him out of the driver's side window. Even though the ordeal only lasted a few minutes, O'Connor said it felt like much longer. "I guess at that current moment, it feels like you've been there for an hour. But in reality, it's pretty quick," he said. The troopers dragged the man to safety where he regained consciousness, according to the statement. He did not suffer any injuries. The two troopers happened to be in the area when the call about the burning car came in, they said. Warwick said that there was a sense of pride in helping the man, but that fellow troopers would have done the same thing. The video speaks for itself, Warwick said, adding, "I think it was a quick reaction. Fortunately, it had a positive outcome."
Ohio State Highway Patrol seizes 510 pounds of marijuana
State Highway Patrol troopers seized 510 pounds of marijuana from a truck they stopped on the Ohio Turnpike in Olmsted Falls. Troopers found the drugs, valued at $1.3 million, in a 2018 Penske truck with Indiana license plates that they stopped for speeding and a marked lanes violation, the Highway Patrol said in a news release. Troopers became suspicious when they stopped the truck about 1:20 p.m. Monday. They called in a drug-sniffing canine, the news release says. They found the marijuana packed into U-Haul boxes in the back of the truck. The Highway Patrol released a photo Thursday that shows roughly two-dozen boxes in the truck.
"Buckle Up Every Trip, Every Time" is new safety campaign by Ohio State Highway Patrol
With the holidays approaching and the road getting busier, law enforcement agencies are taking extra precautions to keep you and your family safe. “Buckle Up Every Trip, Every Time” is the new campaign of the Ohio State Highway Patrol this holiday season. While the seat belt law in Ohio is a secondary violation, officers are operating under a “zero tolerance” policy for violators of seat belt laws. They say that the holidays will bring heavier traffic to the area and more drivers from out of town who are unfamiliar with the roads. “Even if you’re from the area and you know the roads very well, you could be in front of, behind, beside someone who doesn’t. And again, you can’t always control what they do so if they cause a crash, you always want to make sure you have that seat belt on,” stresses Sergeant Garic B. D. Warner. The Ohio State Highway Patrol also reminds us that tickets can be written if the seat belt is being warn improperly as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates over 400 lives in Ohio were saved because of seat belts in 2016.
Indiana State Police trooper seizes $5M in illegal drugs during truck inspection
An Indiana State Police trooper seized $5 million worth of drugs during a routine DOT inspection on Tuesday, October 30. Indiana State Police say the trooper stopped the semi at the scales around 10:30 a.m. and got suspicious while talking with the driver. After receiving consent, the trooper searched the trailer and found 220 pounds of suspected cocaine and 65 pounds of suspected methamphetamine. The drugs were found inside travel bags and have an estimated street value of roughly $5 million. The trailer was loaded with aluminum crates and was traveling from California to Ohio.
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seize nearly $70,000 worth of heroin
Two women are being held behind bars after a traffic stop uncovered heroin valued at $69,776 according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Thursday morning, October 25 around 2:44 a.m. troopers stopped a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan for a marked lanes violation on U.S. 68. According to a news release by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, troopers along with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office drug-sniffing canine were alerted to drugs in the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed the heroin.
Connecticut State Police awards Medal of Honor
Dozens of Connecticut state troopers, municipal police officers and civilians received awards Tuesday, October 23rd at the annual state police awards ceremony, including one trooper who received the rare Medal of Honor. Trooper First Class Marc O’Mara was working a construction detail on I-95 in October 2014 in the Norwalk area when a bus bound for the Mohegan Sun casino pulled up behind him. A man on the bus had stabbed several passengers and was threatening more. He was locked in a struggle with a passenger as they spilled out onto the side of the road, where the attacker kept trying to stab the passenger. The knife-wielding man began trying to attack O’Mara with the knife, and O’Mara shot and killed the attacker. On Tuesday, O’Mara received the Medal of Honor, given to officers who perform bravely by risking their own lives in combat with an armed and dangerous attacker. He said after the ceremony that officers need to be ready for any type of incident to unfold in front of them. He was assigned to a construction crew for a routine night, but ended up confronted with a deadly situation. “The adaptability of what we do out there on the road and being able to change gears and respond to an emergency like says it all about our training and about this department,” O’Mara said. “When you’re out there representing this department or any department, and you’re in uniform, you can be called on at any time.” The volume of dangerous, unexpected situations represented by awards Tuesday shows the bravery of police officers on a daily basis, said Col. George Battle, state police commander. Any day can start out as routine, but a tragedy can quickly and unexpectedly develop, he said. “You never know what’s going to happen from day to day or from shift to shift,” Battle said.
Hundreds mourn slain North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper at funeral
Hundreds of people, including law enforcement officers, paid their respects to Trooper Kevin K. Conner at an outdoor funeral at South Columbus High School on Sunday. Conner was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop early Wednesday in Columbus County near the South Carolina line, authorities said. Conner stopped a white GMC pickup that was speeding on U.S. Highway 701 south of Whiteville. The truck pulled over near the intersection with Sellers Town Road, and when Conner approached the vehicle, someone inside fired multiple shots, hitting Conner in the face and the torso, authorities said. The gunman, later identified as Raheem Cole Dashanell Davis, fled the scene. A Good Samaritan happened upon a wounded Conner and called 911, David said. An 11-year veteran of the Highway Patrol assigned to Columbus County and the father of two children, Conner was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. "He was a family man. He loved his wife and kids. He loved his community," said Mike Baker with the North Carolina Highway Patrol. Baker said Sunday's funeral was a somber moment to remember Conner's legacy. "We can do as many celebrations, we can do as many ceremonies as we possibly can to remember the legacy of Trooper Kevin Conner, it's not going to bring him back," Baker said. The bond between law enforcement was evident, as people from agencies in 22 different states attended the service. "It just shows we support each other in times of good and times of bad," Baker said. Conner's body was escorted to the funeral by the North Carolina Troopers Association Caisson Unit and Gov. Roy Cooper spoke during the service. The service was followed by a memorial outside the high school, which included a flyover. Jeff Tripp, president of the local nonprofit Blue Knights Motorcycle Club chapter said that even though some of their members didn't know Conner personally, they wanted to attend Sunday's funeral to show respect. "We want to show the Highway Patrol men that are here that we respect them. They're still out doing the job day in and day out," Tripp said. "It should tell you that we're all brothers in blue. We are the thin blue line." Tripp said the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club donated money to Conner's family from their officer down fund. Flags across the state were lowered to half-staff Thursday morning in memory of Trooper Kevin Conner, the 65th State Highway Patrol officer to be killed in the line of duty. In 2011, Conner was hailed a hero when he extinguished a car fire while saving a driver involved in a crash in Whiteville. Highway Patrol troopers and other law enforcement officers accompanied Conner's body in a procession along U.S. 701 Wednesday evening.
Pennsylvania State Police welcomes 99 new troopers
Acting Commissioner Robert Evanchick announced Friday, October 12, that 99 cadets graduated from the State Police Academy in Hershey and have been assigned to troops across the commonwealth. The men and women represent the 153rd graduating cadet class. The ceremony at Bishop McDevitt High School marked the culmination of 27 weeks of classroom and physical training. Cadet Nicholas Manganiello, from Luzerne County, spoke on behalf of the graduating class.
North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper killed in line of duty
Trooper Kevin Conner was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop on U.S. 701, near Sellers Town Road, in Columbus County at 12:15 am. The subject opened fire on Trooper Conner as he was approaching the stopped vehicle, after stopping him for speeding, fatally wounding him. The man fled but was located near Fair Bluff. He lead officers on a pursuit until his vehicle became disabled on railroad tracks in the town. He then fled on foot but was located and taken into custody at 4:00 am. A good samaritan happened upon Trooper Conner about an hour after he was shot and called 911. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. His dash cam and a nearby store camera showed he had been shot twice, once in the torso and once in the face. The 20-year-old suspect, who was driving a stolen truck, was on probation for firing a gun at an occupied car in Chadbourn in 2015. He is being held in the Columbus County jail without privlege of bond. Trooper Conner had served with the North Carolina Highway Patrol for 11 years. He is survived by his wife and two sons. In 2011 he saved a driver's life when he extinguished a fire in his car after being involved in an accident.
Connecticut State Police bloodhound "saves the day" for woman and child
Dogs can fight crime too! At 8:00am Friday morning, Oxford Police and state police responded to a home in Oxford for a reported burglary. When police arrived, the victim said she and her child were on the second floor of their home when she observed a stranger in her home. The woman said the man fled on foot after the she approached him. State Police said Trooper Anuszewski and his K-9 partner "Texas" were able to track the suspect's scent from the victims' home, to the home of the suspect. Several leads developed from Texas's track, and police were able to locate the suspect in Waterbury.
Maryland State Police welcomes new K-9 teams named after fallen troopers
After 26 weeks of intense training, five dual-purpose K-9 teams graduated on Friday to become part of the Maryland State Police Special Operations Division K-9 Unit. The class is made up of two current handlers, two new handlers from Maryland State Police and one patrol officer from the Easton Police Department. Of these five teams, three of the newly certified K-9s have each been named in honor of one of the Maryland State Police’s 43 fallen heroes. K-9 Plank, a German shepherd, is paired with Cpl. Dana Orndorff and was named in honor of Trooper First Class Edward Plank. TFC Plank, 28, was killed on October 17, 1995 when he was shot by a suspect after conducting a traffic stop on U.S. Route 13 in Princess Anne. K-9 Plank and Cpl. Orndorff will be assigned to the Berlin Barrack. K-9 Hunter, a Belgian malinois, is paired with Trooper First Class Shawn Brown and is named in honor of TFC Shaft Hunter. TFC Hunter, 39, who was also a member of the K-9 Unit, was killed on May 21, 2011 when his patrol car collided with the back of a tractor-trailer that was parked on the shoulder of I-95 in Howard County. It is believed that he was pursuing a speeding motorcycle when the collision occurred. K-9 Hunter and TFC Brown will be assigned to the Westminster Barrack. K-9 Wade, a German shepherd, is paired with Trooper First Class Kyle Morrison and is named in honor of Trooper Gary Wade. On Janurary 30, 1982, Trooper Wade, 25, was struck and killed by a motorist who ran off the roadway striking the trooper and his car. The incident occurred on the JFK Memorial Highway just outside of Havre de Grace. K-9 Wade and TFC Morrison are assigned to the North East Barrack, the same barrack where Trooper Wade served. The other graduates include K-9 Drake, a German shepherd, and Master Trooper James Layton, who are assigned to the Cumberland Barrack. K-9 Kato is heading to the Easton Police Department with PFC Stephen Tindall. The K-9 teams will be utilized for drug detection and patrol/utility work. The Maryland State Police K-9 unit has been in operation for over nearly 60 years and consists of 33 troopers and 41 K-9s.
Rhode Island State Police announce program to fight opioid epidemic
“We’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem.” It’s a saying familiar to those who dedicate their lives to combating drug addiction. Seeing the message on a screen in a roomful of law enforcement officers, though, was jarring for Tom Coderre, who battled drug addiction and is a senior adviser to Gov. Gina Raimondo. “I nearly fell over,” he said. But the new Heroin-Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) Initiative relies on law enforcement officers to work with clinicians and recovery coaches in identifying individuals at risk of overdosing and guiding them on a path toward treatment and recovery. Eighty officers from the Rhode Island State Police and municipal departments attended a daylong training Monday at the Roger Williams University’s Baypoint Conference Center for the program, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the country. Police will focus on patients being discharged from the hospital after suffering an overdose, inmates who received substance-abuse treatment in prison and are being released, and those who miss a court date for a drug charge, said Col. Ann Assumpico, the superintendent of the State Police. She called the 1,673 overdoses last year in Rhode Island, including 323 fatalities, “unacceptable,” especially for law enforcement officers whose mission it is to ensure the public’s health and safety. “We will get people help, which is what the HOPE Initiative is all about,” Assumpico said. The program will be coordinated by the State Police, which will partner with the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Prevention and Intervention; the Department of Health; the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals; and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, according to a State Police statement. State and federal grants will fund the program. Raimondo, who attended the announcement Monday, said of the many issues she confronts as governor, the opioid epidemic is “definitely one that keeps me up at night the most.” She noted that addiction afflicts people across all backgrounds — young and old, rich and poor — and is in “every neighborhood, every family.” Like many places across the country, Rhode Island has been ravaged by the opioid epidemic. According to statistics from the Department of Health, there was an initial spike in accidental drug overdose deaths from 2011, when there were eight, to 2012, with 183. The number of deaths climbed each of the next four years, reaching 336 in 2016 before dropping slightly last year. Through May of this year, there were 157 such deaths.
Florida Highway Patrol graduates 68 new troopers
September 28, the 139th basic recruit class of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) graduated from the FHP Training Academy. These 68 troopers join the more than 1,900 troopers who patrol Florida’s roads each day to provide safety and security to residents and visitors. “I am very proud to welcome the 139th Recruit Class to the Florida Highway Patrol and appreciate their commitment to serve the state of Florida,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “These new troopers selflessly chose to take the oath to put the safety and well-being of others above all else.” Members of the 139th basic recruit class went through 28 weeks of intense physical and classroom training covering topics including defensive tactics, law, vehicle operations, firearms and first aid. While at the FHP Training Academy, recruits also participated in several community service activities, including blood drives and volunteering to help those living with developmental disabilities. “It is a privilege to welcome our newest recruit class to the ranks of trooper,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “These men and women will carry on the Patrol’s dedication of Courtesy, Service and Protection for the residents and visitors of Florida.” Senator Bill Montford delivered the keynote address to FHP’s newest Troopers. “The members of the 139th Recruit Class are committed to the highest standard of service and mission of the Florida Highway Patrol,” said Senator Bill Montford. “Their dedication and their families sacrifice to keep Florida safe should be commended.” Upon reporting to their duty stations, the new Troopers will be placed with a certified Field Training Officer (FTO). Troopers will work in tandem with their FTO for 10 to 14 weeks prior to being released to solo duty.
North Carolina Highway Patrol graduates 31 new troopers
The State Highway Patrol welcomed 31 new troopers at a graduation ceremony for the 145th Basic Highway Patrol School. The ceremony ended 29 weeks of demanding training preparing them for a rewarding career of service to the state of North Carolina. The ceremony was held at the Colonial Baptist Church in Cary. The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Mark D. Martin, Supreme Court of North Carolina. Col. G. M. McNeill Jr., the 27th commander of the State Highway Patrol, provided remarks to those in attendance. “You have been called to be a part of something bigger than one’s self, an organization that is striving to reduce collisions and keeps the highways of North Carolina as safe as possible,” said McNeill. “Some people have a calling and never act on it. You were brave enough to take that important next step; you acted and answered that important call.” The cadets will report to their respective duty stations on Oct. 3 to begin a demanding field training program.