New Jersey State Police announces new Superintendent
The New Jersey State Police have announced that Lieutenant Colonel Patrick J. Callahan will succeed Colonel Rick Fuentes to become the Division’s 15th Superintendent. Lieutenant Colonel Callahan replaces Colonel Fuentes who has served as Superintendent since being appointed by Governor James McGreevey in 2003. Governor Chris Christie selected Lieutenant Colonel Callahan as Superintendent effective November 1. Lieutenant Colonel Callahan earned his Bachelor of Arts from Villanova University and a Master of Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He enlisted in the State Police in April 1995, as a member of the 115th Class. He was most recently the Deputy Superintendent of Operations, supervising and directing the operational activities of the 1,800 enlisted members assigned to Field Operations, as well as the operational duties and responsibilities of the Traffic and Public Safety Office, Victims Services Unit, Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, Highway Traffic Safety Unit, and the Criminal Investigations Offices within Field Operations. Callahan served as the Recovery Bureau Chief in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and worked with state and federal partners to develop and implement long term recovery effort strategies. He served as the commanding officer of the Emergency Management Section and Assistant State director of the Office of Emergency Management. He was the chairman of the Command and Control Subcommittee of the Emergency Management Section when New Jersey hosted Super Bowl XLVIII, working to develop and implement all operations undertaken by the Public Safety Compound. “I am truly privileged to have had the honor of leading one of the finest law enforcement organizations in the country. I attribute the agency’s accomplishments to the outstanding efforts and sacrifices of the civilian and enlisted men and women of the New Jersey State Police,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “I have the utmost confidence in the experience and leadership Lieutenant Colonel Callahan will bring to the Office of the Superintendent.” “I am truly humbled and honored that Governor Christie has the trust and confidence in me to afford me this opportunity and I look forward to the continued privilege of serving the citizens of New Jersey,” said Lieutenant Colonel Callahan. Callahan is the son of retired State Police Major Mick Callahan, who served as Chief of Staff for Colonel Clinton Pagano, the 9th Superintendent of State Police. Callahan and his wife Linda have two sons and two daughters.
Washington State Patrol emphasizing "Move Over" law this week during patrols
The Washington State Patrol is cracking down on drivers who fail to move over for emergency vehicles. Troopers are conducting statewide “Slow Down, Move Over” emphasis patrols from Wednesday through Friday “to help both troopers and citizens get home safe by bringing awareness to the ‘Move Over Law.’” In the last two years, 62 patrols cars have been hit and 24 troopers injured, an average of one trooper injured every month. Under state law, drivers are required to use caution, slow down and move over or change lanes when approaching an emergency. An emergency vehicle includes police, fire, medical, tow trucks and vehicles providing roadside assistance using warning lights. The ticket for failing to obey the law is $214 and cannot be waived or reduced. Last year, more than 4,100 drivers were contacted by state troopers for “move over” violations. “The inclement weather season is about to start and is when we see a rise in the number of patrol cars hit,” Sgt. James Prouty stated.
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Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant Sarah Krebs honored as a top cop under 40
Sarah Krebs has made a name for herself. The Michigan State Police announced that the Det. Sgt. Krebs was selected by the International Association of Chiefs of Police as one of 40 law enforcement professionals from around the world, under age 40, who demonstrated leadership and exemplified commitment to law enforcement. Krebs was chosen for the association's 40 Under 40 Award for her efforts to find and identify lost and missing persons. She will be honored at the association's annual conference in Philadelphia this week. “The MSP prides itself in providing service with a purpose,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Michigan State Police director. “(Krebs) lives our mission and is passionate about helping the families of missing persons find closure." She credited Krebs for development the Missing Persons Coordination Unit, which has led to the positive identification of more than 70 previously unidentified remains cases throughout the United States. Krebs is credited with founding “Missing in Michigan,” an annual event which brings family members and law enforcement together to help resolve missing persons cases, as well as “ID the Missing,” a DNA collection program that assists in identifying previously unidentified human remains. She is also an accomplished forensic artist whose composite sketches have led to the identification of numerous wanted persons in major cases around the state. “Many families go years without answers as to where their loved one is,” said Krebs. “Knowing I can help bring these families closure and peace of mind keeps me motivated. I view each day as another opportunity to provide relief to loved ones of the missing.” Krebs enlisted with the MSP in 2000, graduating as a member of the 119th Trooper Recruit School. Before being assigned to the missing unit in Lansing, she served at posts and task forces in the metro Detroit area.
South Carolina Highway Patrol shortens training to get troopers on road
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says it wants about 950 troopers on the roads to help keep community members and drivers safe. Currently, the division is short about 200 troopers. The shortage has led to changes in the agency’s recruitment and training policies. There are 759 troopers in the state, 37 are in training, but there are dozens more positions to fill and major changes are coming to make that happen. “More manpower. I think if you look everywhere in the state, we’re needing troopers,” says Cpl. Sonny Collins with the highway patrol. Troop five, which covers Horry, Georgetown, Marion, Florence, Darlington, Dillon, Williamsburg, and Marlboro counties currently has 132 troopers. In an effort to hire more people state-wide, Cpl. Collins says they’re changing to an immediate turnaround in their application process and cutting training hours. Prior to the changes, Cpl. Collins says a certified officer would still have to go through 12 weeks of training at the academy to become a trooper. “With the four weeks compressed for the certified officers, I feel like that’s going to be a good calling card for those already seasoned, trained officers to come to us because before, they would have to go through multiple weeks at the academy – up to twelve weeks,” explains Cpl. Collins. Now certified officers won’t have to go back to the academy, they’ll just have four weeks of advanced training, and training in their county. Uncertified officers will now spend 12 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks training with the highway patrol and the county they’ll patrol. “With the old process, it was taking so long to get people through the process and then the academy because of the weeks of training, we were only able to get classes two times a year, sometimes three,” says Cpl. Collins. “So, those numbers were just not growing as fast as we needed them to do by doing this new way. We feel like the numbers can come up much quicker and therefore reach our goal.” Cpl. Collins says because the training quality is the same, and continued education will be implemented, they’re not worried officers will be any less qualified. “We’re not lowering our standards by any means, but we’re just compressing the time that it takes to get these folks trained and on the road so we can have more visibility on our highways,” states Cpl. Collins. The South Carolina Highway Patrol has faced a shortage of troopers since the recession, Cpl. Collins says, and although they’ve advertised for the open positions on billboards, social media, and even increased pay, the division is hoping this change in training will lure new applicants to become troopers.