South Carolina Highway Patrol want to equip troopers with new rifles
A South Carolina law enforcement agency is seeking to purchase and arm personnel with semi-automatic weapons in the upcoming year. Recent shootings in Las Vegas and Texas have prompted this initiative, said Col. Chris Williamson of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. The need for an upgrade in weaponry has been overlooked in past years, he said. But as state legislators are expected to review its annual budget in January, Williamson said, he hopes they consider approving more than a half-million dollars to buy more than 600 semi-automatic rifles. “From the highway patrol standpoint, we’ve already decided that this is a necessity,” he said. “We’re just hoping that the budget request is honored.” Currently, 600 of 800 troopers are armed with shotguns. Williamson said the budget approval will allow remaining personnel to upgrade to semi-automatic rifles, which provide longer range as well as coverage of a larger area, should an active shooting situation arise. “With recent active shooting situations, all suspects were armed with long rifles that took out people from a larger area and distance, so in the modern age now, we’re looking to equip all of our law enforcement with these patrol rifles as we transition from a shotgun,” Williamson said. The budget request has been submitted for the upcoming legislative session. Williamson said troopers are already trained to use semi-automatic rifles, but if the request is approved, the agency will enhance the training. “We’ve been training all of our individuals with the rifle and the rifles will do a whole lot better than the shotguns,” he said. “This is a requirement to protect our citizens. It won’t do us any good to have faster response and when we get there we don’t have the possible tools to react to a threat.”
Deputy accidentally shoot Oregon state trooper with Taser, apologizes with cake
An Oregon state trooper received a cake as an apology after an Umatilla County deputy accidentally shot him with a Taser while they both responded to a domestic violence call. A state police Facebook post Monday shows Trooper Mitchell Goldman smiling while holding the white frosting cake brought to him by the unidentified deputy who shocked the trooper and a suspect at the same time last week. On the top: "Sorry you got tased" written in blue icing. Goldman arrived at the scene first and encountered a man who "became belligerent" after the trooper tried to pat him down to check if he had any weapons, according to state police. The two got into a scuffle, which was still going on when the deputy arrived. The deputy fired his Taser. One prong hit the suspect. The other hit Goldman. "Since they were in contact with each other, they both took the tase," police said in the post. It's not clear what happened to the man or Goldman after that. State police and Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan didn't immediately respond to requests for further details. The deputy brought the cake for Goldman out of guilt, the post said. On Dec. 4, Goldman shared the photo of himself and the cake on his Facebook page.
Florida Highway Patrol trooper hit by car in crash involving suspected drunken driver
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was seriously injured early Sunday in a crash involving a drunken driver, authorities said. Trooper Daniel Cruz was working the scene of an earlier crash about 1 a.m. on Okeechobee Road near the Palmetto Expressway when he was hit, FHP Trooper Joe Sanchez said. According to the arrest report, John Bencosme, 26, of Miami, was driving a blue Hyundai Velastar south on Okeechobee Road when he slammed into one of the cars from the earlier crash. The impact sent a Hyundai Elantra spinning into Cruz, throwing him several feet into the air, the report said. After the crash, troopers said they conducted field sobriety tests after smelling alcohol on Bencosme's breath. Troopers said Bencosme's blood alcohol level was .201 -- more than double the legal limit. Bencosme faces multiple charges, including driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury. "It's the greatest fear that we face," Sanchez said. "Our roads have gotten to the point where troopers are more scared to be hit by a car than to be shot out there while they are performing their duties." Sanchez said Cruz was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where he was listed in critical but stable condition. Troopers said Cruz seriously injured ligaments in his legs and he broke a small bone in his back. "He is alert. He is going to be out for about six months," Sanchez said. "He did sustain some, you know, injuries that are critical. ... But thank God he is alive." The Palmetto Expressway southbound exit ramp to Okeechobee Road was shut down for several hours as authorities investigated the scene.
North Carolina Highway Patrol welcome 17 new troopers
The State Highway Patrol proudly welcomed 17 new troopers at a graduation ceremony for the 143rd Basic Highway Patrol School. The celebration ended 15 weeks of extensive academic and physical training. The ceremony was held at the Colonial Baptist Church in Cary at 10 a.m. The oath of office was administered by Justice Robin E. Hudson, Supreme Court of North Carolina. Colonel G. M. McNeill Jr., the 27th Commander of the State Highway Patrol provided remarks to those in attendance. "Today you are becoming an ambassador for this great state, not only to North Carolinians but to those who visit from other states and other countries,” said Colonel Glenn M. McNeill Jr. “As ambassadors, you must serve with loyalty, integrity and professionalism; the patrol’s core values that should be reflected in every action made.” The cadets will report to their respective duty stations on Wednesday, December 27th to begin a rigorous field training program.