From homeless to Highway Patrol officer
A former Sacramento homeless man is now a new CHP officer. Edwin Lopez, now 26, was 21 years old when he was homeless. He used to sleep on benches in North Laguna Creek Park where he spent many nights hoping, praying, and sleeping. "I was pretty new with my job and ended up getting cut at my job," Lopez said. He was working at a tire shop in Elk Grove in 2012. At first, he lost his apartment and then his car. He was able to get some money since he was in the reserves but it wasn't much. He used the money to buy some food and to pay for his phone bill so potential employers could still contact him. He said he didn't try to get help from the government and his family wasn't in a position to help him. "The thing is I got help here and there, but at the time I can't expect anyone to fully pay for an apartment and food and my car," said Lopez. Lopez said the seven to eight months he was homeless was a blur. "Honestly all those months blurred into one time," Lopez said. "I took it upon myself to do whatever I could to get out of the situation." He showered when he was able to sleep with friends and couch surf. As for food, he checked dumpsters near restaurants. He spent a majority of his time by the park and also near his old apartment. It was a place he was familiar and found comfort. He learned a lot during his time homeless not only about survival but how to budget wisely. "A lot of people complain about not having enough money based off their job but a lot of it is just how you spend your money," Lopez said. Today, he lives in Castro Valley getting adjusted to his new job and his soon to be new title as husband.
Watch video at: http://www.wfmynews2.com/news/features/former-sacramento-homeless-man-now-chp-officer/459361451
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lieutenant succumbs to injuries sustained while on duty
Lieutenant Heath Meyer succumbed to injuries sustained 10 days earlier when he was struck by a patrol car on I-35, near SW 27th Street, in Moore. He had deployed stop sticks on I-35 as other troopers pursued a vehicle on the interstate. Two of the patrol cars collided as they attempted to avoid the stop sticks. One of the patrol cars then struck Lieutenant Meyer. The vehicle being pursued continued to flee, however, the driver was taken into custody later in the night and charged in connection with the incident. Lieutenant Meyer was transported to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center, where he remained until succumbing to his injuries. Lieutenant Meyer had served with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol for 12 years. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
State Police vehicles get new look
On the road, the Pennsylvania State Police is going gray. Or, more precisely, “Sterling Metallic Gray,” said Ryan Tarkowski, a spokesman for the state police. Over the next three years, the black-and-white state police fleet will be gradually replaced with medium gray vehicles emblazoned with the word Trooper on the car doors in light gray, reflective letters a foot tall. A Pennsylvania flag is emblazoned on one side while the American flag is on the other side. The paint color, stock for Ford, matches the color of state trooper uniforms. “We’re looking to better define the image of the department,” Tarkowski said. The SUVs and sedans are being cycled into the fleet as the older models reach the end of their life spans which, Tarkowski said, means the color scheme is rolled out at no additional cost to the state. “The first batch went to recruiters across the state and now they’re being rolled out as needed as other vehicles age out,” he said. The gray state police vehicles are slowly appearing at each of the four stations which make up the Dunmore-based Troop R, which encompasses Lackawanna, Wayne, Susquehanna and Pike Counties, Trooper Mark Keyes, a spokesman for Troop R said. Approximately four are on the road in the troop, Capt. Chris Paris said. The state police had last changed their vehicle color scheme — to the now passé black and white — in 1991.
Highway Patrol graduates largest class in 43 years
South Dakota drivers will soon see new faces patrolling the roads. The South Dakota Highway Patrol is welcoming its largest group of new troopers in more than four decades - and the most women to ever graduate in one class - to the department this week. The 20 new troopers, who graduated Friday in Pierre, was the largest class since 1974, when 25 recruits were hired to patrol the state. The typical size the last years has been around 10 to 13. This year's class also has the largest number of women graduating at once in agency history. Five of the 20 new troopers are women. Why the increase in overall numbers and women recruits? Better, more personal marketing of law enforcement as a community service, says Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the Highway Patrol. "There are a lot of people out there who have an interest in helping their community," Price said. The Highway Patrol did do a few extra recruiting efforts to try and interest more women in the department, Price said, but said the main focus was finding "the most qualified people." Recruits went through basic law enforcement training, the South Dakota Highway Patrol Recruit Academy and field training. The entire process takes about one year. Recruits go through a 13-week basic law enforcement training with other agency recruits before moving on to highway patrol-specific training. They spend an additional five months in classroom training and another three in the field. "It's intense. These folks go through extreme training," Price said. "It's critically important for families and our (troopers) that they know what they're doing." The graduation ceremony was held Friday morning in Pierre and many of the troopers will be on duty the next day.