Iowa State Patrol Colonel to retire

Iowa State Police Colonel retiring

The leader of the Iowa State Patrol is retiring after a 32-year career with the force. The service retirement of Col. Michael Van Berkum was approved Monday and will be effective in January.  He had been the patrol's chief since 2015.  In a statement to The Associated Press, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Roxann Ryan says Iowans should thank Van Berkum for his decades of service.  She says he embodies the best of the patrol - "leadership, integrity and dedicated service for the public good.  In announcing his retirement Ritzman said, “It has been the honor and privilege of my life to serve the men and women of the Iowa State Patrol as their colonel.  In my eyes, there is no finer group of troopers or people.”  "Ryan has not named a replacement for Van Berkum, but the department says more information will be released when he retires next week.



Florida Highway Patrol trooper struck by vehicle

FHP trooper struck by car

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was seriously injured after being struck and tossed in the air by a spinning, out-of-control car along a busy interstate Monday -- just seconds after the trooper pushed another man out of harm's way. The Florida Highway Patrol said Trooper Mithil Patel, 31, was standing on the side of Interstate 95 north of West Palm Beach as part of an accident investigation. As Patel was on the side of the road a truck ran into the back of a black Audi in a nearby lane, sending the vehicle spinning out of control towards the trooper. Video of the terrifying incident was captured by CBS12, which was covering the original accident. Patel then pushed another man to the side before Patel was struck by the vehicle. The man Patel pushed out of the way, Rony Bottex, told WPTV he hasn't stopped praying for the trooper who saved his life. "If he wasn't there, if the officer wasn't there, I'd be dead," Bottex told the television station. Patel was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach and was reported to be in good condition, according to CBS12. While authorities said the crash remains under investigation, they also stressed motorists should always remain cautious when first responders are tending to incidents on roadways.

To watch video, go to:  

WARNING: viewer discretion is advised.




Tennessee Highway Patrol donates supplies to Bay County in Florida


Two semi trucks full of donations rolled into the Bay County, Florida Highway Patrol headquarters Tuesday morning. The Tennessee Highway Patrol along with members of the Tennessee department of transportation, drove down plenty of needed items for individuals impacted by Hurricane Michael.  Items include food, water, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and blankets. Tennessee Highway Patrol Lieutenant, John Harmon, said after seeing the damage first hand, its unreal— and they're glad they can help. "We Knew you still needed help, and so we contacted our brother agency, The Florida Highway Patrol, to see if that need was still here. They said it was and we asked them if we could help them and they told us exactly what the communities needed," said Harmon.  FHP thanked them for their donation by presenting the Tennessee officers with a Florida flag signed by Florida officers. FHP said they plan to distribute these donations to local food banks and non-profit groups.



Texas Department of Public Safety welcomes 92 new highway patrol troopers

Texas DPS December 2018 graduation

The Texas Public Safety Commission welcomes 92 new highway patrol troopers Sunday. “Law enforcement officers have the opportunity and privilege to change people’s lives, and to serve as an inspiration and a positive influence to others — both on and off duty,” said PSC Chairman Steven P. Mach. “As you embark on your new career as a Trooper, you will no doubt make a difference in the lives of countless Texans as you protect and serve them.” This marks the 164th recruit school, which includes 11 women, 20 former law enforcement officers and 29 military veterans. The oldest graduate is 51-years-old and the youngest is 21-years-old. “Today you join an elite group of law enforcement professionals, and we are confident that you will uphold the traditions and values of both DPS and the Texas Highway Patrol,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “It takes extreme courage to risk your own safety in order to protect the safety of others. We thank you all for answering the call to serve and protect your fellow Texans, and we are proud to be welcoming each of you to the DPS family.” The state’s newest troopers will report to duty stations across Texas to spend the first sixth months in on-the-job training. The troopers underwent 26 weeks of training. Instruction included a variety of subjects including counterterrorism, criminal law and Spanish. They also received training in the use of force, firearms, and physical fitness.



North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper delivers baby

NCHP Trooper delivers baby girl

State Highway Patrol Trooper Sgt. Brian Maynard can add baby deliverer to his resume. After leaving his family’s home Saturday night, the on-duty officer saw a couple going roughly 85 mph past him on the highway. They were in labor, according to WTVD. “I just feel lucky and blessed. To have been at the right place at the right time,” Sgt. Maynard said. The highway patrolman’s dash cam video during the traffic stop Saturday night captured the scene off Highway 64 near exit 429 in Wake County. Parents Jimmy and Laura Baker could no longer make it to the hospital. The baby’s head was pushing through. “He said ‘hey my wife is having a baby,'” Sgt. Maynard said. “I said OK well we’re going to do this right here me and you. I contacted EMS. Got them on the way. Grabbed my gloves, blanket. It was interesting. It was scary. I just tried to do the best that I could do with things I’ve seen on TV and things I had heard. Relieved that everything went good.” The Bakers and Sgt. Maynard, who is a 15 year veteran officer, delivered a healthy baby girl. “For so many years, I’ve seen a lot of death,” Sgt. Maynard said. “To be a part of the process that actually brings a life into this world is absolutely amazing.”