Texas Department of Public Safety welcomes 97 new highway patrol troopers

Texas DPS December 2017 graduation

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw today was joined by members of the Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) as the department commissioned 97 men and women as the state’s newest Highway Patrol Troopers.  Major General John F. Nichols, the Adjutant General of Texas, was the keynote speaker during the recruit graduation ceremony held in Austin.  “This class of Texas State Troopers represents the best of our country: men and women of different backgrounds from Texas and beyond, all with a shared commitment to public service,” said Major General Nichols, who oversees the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard and Texas State Guard.  “Texans can rest easy knowing there are brave men and women like those graduating today who work to keep our communities safe every day. The Texas Military Department is fortunate to call the Department of Public Safety one of our closest partners, and I am proud to serve alongside today's graduates to protect and serve the people of Texas.”  “Each of you has worked tremendously hard to get where you are today, and your perseverance and accomplishments have been nothing less than remarkable,” said PSC Chairman Steven P. Mach.  “We are confident you will make us all proud as you walk out these doors to begin your new career serving and protecting our state as a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper.”  The D-2017 class, which is the department’s 162nd recruit school, included 18 women, 16 former peace officers and 36 military veterans.  The oldest graduate was 42-years-old and the youngest was 21-years-old.  The class suspended training for a week to assist disaster relief operations in downtown Houston during Hurricane Harvey.  They also raised money for school supplies for an Austin elementary school and law enforcement families who had a loved one killed or injured.  There were recruits who moved to Texas to join the Academy from 11 different states, and this is believed to be the highest number of women graduates in one class in the department’s history.  “You now represent DPS and the State of Texas in all that you say and do, so let the department’s core values – integrity, excellence, accountability and teamwork – always be your guide,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw.  “Thank you for answering the call to serve and protect your state.  Today you step into the important role as our state’s newest public protectors, and we are extremely proud of each of you.”  The new Troopers will report to duty stations across Texas in the coming weeks and spend the first six months in on-the-job training.  The Troopers began the 24-week training academy in July.  Instruction covered more than 100 subjects, including counterterrorism, traffic and criminal law, arrest and control procedures, accident reconstruction, first aid and Spanish.  They also received training in use of force, communication skills, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, cultural diversity and physical fitness.

12/28/17

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19 lateral candidates graduated from the Arizona Department of Public Safety State Trooper Academy

AZDPS December graduation

December 19th, 19 lateral candidates graduated from the AZDPS State Trooper Academy.  Four of the new troopers worked at law enforcement agencies out of state.  This is the first lateral-only AZDPS academy this year.   Lateral means the troopers are already sworn officers prior to joining the AZDPS State Trooper Academy.  Congratulations, troopers! 

12/27/17

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California trooper killed when his patrol car was struck by a drunk driver

CHP Camilleri EOW

Officer Andrew Camilleri was killed when his patrol car was struck by a drunk driver on I-880, near Route 92, in Hayward.  He and his partner were parked on the shoulder the freeway when the vehicle struck the rear of their patrol car at a high rate of speed shortly before midnight.  Officer Camilleri, who was in the passenger seat, suffered fatal injuries in the collision.  His partner was treated and released from a local hospital.  The driver who struck them was also injured and faces numerous charges pending his release from the hospital.  Officer Camilleri had served with the California Highway Patrol for 16 months.  He is survived by his wife, daughter, two sons, parents, brother, and sister.

12/27/17

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Indiana State Police seize more than 100 pounds of marijuana during traffic stop

Indiana State Police drug bust

Police arrested two people and confiscated more than 100 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop Tuesday morning in Greenfield, Indiana.   Police say it happened around 11 a.m. on Dec. 19.  That's when police say a trooper with the Indiana State Police Drug Enforcement Section stopped a Toyota minivan for speeding on I-70 eastbound at the 95.2 mile marker, just west of the Mount Comfort Road exit in Greenfield near Indianapolis.   During the traffic stop, the trooper became suspicious of the driver, 43-year-old Tong Pan from Elk Grove, California and his passenger, 52-year-old Liandi Zhang from Mechanicsville, Virginia.  The two men stated that they were on their way to Virginia from California.   While talking to the men, police say the trooper smelled "a strong odor of marijuana and fabric dryer sheets coming from the van."  Police searched the van and found several containers and bags filled with marijuana that had been shrink wrapped and individually packaged.  Police say they seized approximately 120 pounds of marijuana.  Pan and Zhang were arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail.  They're charged with dealing and possessing marijuana. 

12/20/17

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State Troopers awarded grant to continue DUI Task Force

GA DUI Grant

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety has awarded the Georgia Department of Public Safety a Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic grant to continue its Nighthawks DUI Task Force and Administrative License Suspension program.  The grant, which totals about $3.14 million, went into effect on Oct. 1 and will last through Sept. 30, 2018.  The primary goals of the H.E.A.T program are to combat crashes, injuries and fatalities caused by impaired driving and speeding; to increase seatbelt use; and to educate the motoring public on traffic safety and the dangers of driving under the influence.  "Unfortunately, law enforcement officers encounter impaired drivers far too often," said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark McDonough.  "DPS is committed to removing these drivers from our roads.  This grant is a benefit to both GOHS and DPS to achieve the common goal of deterring impaired driving on Georgia's roads."  The Nighthawks DUI task force is divided into three separate units.  The units are all comprised of Georgia State Patrol troopers who have undergone specialized training in impaired driving enforcement.  The North unit primarily focuses enforcement in Fulton, Cobb, Clayton, DeKalb, and Gwinnett counties, and the Athens-Clarke County area.  The Middle unit focuses on Dougherty, Muscogee and surrounding counties, in addition to the metropolitan areas of Albany and Columbus.  The South unit patrols the Savannah-Statesboro area.  The ALS program and the GSP Nighthawks DUI Task Force were created in 2004.  Through the ALS program, state troopers receive training, legal assistance, and in some cases, legal representation as they testify at ALS hearings for people charged with driving under the influence.  In Georgia, under certain circumstances, the state can administratively suspend the driver's license and the ALS hearing is held when the motorist contests the suspension.  Dee Brophy, a former prosecutor, is the ALS attorney who represents troopers at the ALS hearings.

12/20/17

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