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.