Michigan State Police officer is American Legion's top cop nationally
A Michigan State Police officer at the Tri-City Post has been selected as this year's sole winner of a national award honoring heroic acts and community service in law enforcement. Sgt. Joseph Rowley, a 17-year veteran of the department, was chosen for the American Legion's 2017 National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and will receive the award in August in Reno, Nevada. Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser said Rowley is a leader who often seeks out opportunities to help co-workers and their families. Rowley coordinated and planned the Michigan State Police Trooper Jeff Werda Memorial Baseball Tournament in Gladwin, Kaiser said. Werda was killed on duty in 2011 when he lost control of his vehicle during a car chase in Saginaw County's Chapin Township and was ejected from his patrol car. In his off time, Rowley volunteers for Camp Quality Michigan, which provides services and opportunities for children with cancer at no cost to their families, Kaiser said. On duty, Rowley is a firearms and defensive tactics instructor for the department as well as a field training officer at the Michigan State Police Tri-City Post, where he is based, Kaiser said. Rowley is an accomplished investigator, Kaiser said. Rowley was among five people in the running for the national award. "Each year, the American Legion honors an officer who has performed heroic acts, exceeded what's expected and demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service along with professional achievement," Kaiser said in a statement. He was first selected as the American Legion's Michigan Officer of the Year and then the Central Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. In 2000, Rowley enlisted with state police and graduated as a member of the 119th Trooper Recruit School, Kaiser said. Prior to being assigned to the Tri-City Post, he served at the Gaylord, Detroit, Metro North, Gladwin and West Branch posts.
Governor Cuomo Congratulates State Police on 100th Anniversary
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the start of the New York State Police Centennial Celebration with the dedication of an historical marker commemorating the Division’s 100th Anniversary at the Cavalry Club in Manlius, Onondaga County. Governor Cuomo also proclaimed April 11th as New York State Police Day. The Department of State Police was created on April 11, 1917, when Governor Charles S. Whitman signed the Wells-Mills Bill into law, establishing the State Police as a full-service police agency. The Cavalry Club is the site of Camp Newayo, where the first 232 Troopers received their training starting in June of 1917. "The New York State Police built a 100-year legacy of innovation and excellence in public service, giving it the well-deserved recognition as one of the most highly-respected law enforcement agencies in the nation,” Governor Cuomo said. "From Buffalo to Plattsburgh to New York City and everywhere in between, Troopers put their own safety on the line each day to protect all of us. I join the State Police in celebrating this important milestone, and on behalf of all New Yorkers, I congratulate and thank all Troopers for their outstanding service." Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, "Since the days when troopers protected our rural communities on horseback, they have been a force for law, order and justice. From highway patrols to the highest level investigations, our state police force is unmatched in its professionalism and dedication to duty that remains as strong today as it was 100 years ago. As we celebrate this milestone in the history of a truly great law enforcement agency, we offer our congratulations and deepest gratitude to the men and women whose willingness to serve and sacrifice touches the lives of every New Yorker." State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, "Since April 11, 1917, the State Police have been committed to helping New Yorkers by providing them with friendly, professional service. I am humbled and honored to serve as Superintendent as we celebrate our centennial, and I encourage everyone to join us and learn about the outstanding work our sworn and civilian members perform each and every day." As part of this year’s Centennial celebration, each State Police Troop will host an open house for the public, starting on April 29 with Troop D in Oneida and continuing with other Troops throughout the summer and into October. Each open house will feature a travelling exhibit showcasing State Police history. Information on the schedule of open houses, along with a timeline of historical events and photographs, can be found at the centennial website: centennial.troopers.ny.gov. The State Police will also unveil a brand new exhibit at the New York State Fair, which runs from August 23-September 4. The idea for a State Police force started in 1913, when a construction foreman named Sam Howell was murdered while delivering payroll to a jobsite in Westchester County. Before he died, Howell was able to identify his attackers as a group of men he recently released from the construction site, due to poor performance. Even with this information, the men were never apprehended. His employer, Miss Moyca Newell, and her friend, author Katherine Mayo, concerned by the state of rural law enforcement, started the movement to form a state police force to provide police protection in all of New York’s rural areas. In June of 1917, the first Recruit Troopers started their training in Manlius, NY at Camp Newayo, named for Newell and Mayo. When training ended that fall, the original 232 Troopers were sent to their first assignment to patrol the New York State Fair, then set out on horseback to start policing the State's rural areas. There are currently more than 5,600 sworn and civilian members in 11 Troops across the State, including Troop NYC based in New York City. The New York State Police is a full service police agency. In addition to the uniformed force, there are more than 1,000 members of the plainclothes Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which investigates felonies and major crimes, and is able to assist local law enforcement agencies that don’t have the resources to undertake major criminal investigations. The State Police also support the state Office of Counter Terrorism and manage the New York State Intelligence Center, which brings together federal, state and local agencies to analyze and share information on terrorism and related crimes. Other specialized details include the Aviation Unit, Special Operations Response Team, Canine Unit, Dive Team, the Community Narcotics Enforcement team, and the Bomb Disposal Unit.
Tennessee Highway Patrol launches distracted driving campaign
Shelby County Sheriff's Office deputy Sgt. Vernon Greer weaved through traffic on Germantown Parkway and pulled over a gray SUV Monday morning. The driver was attempting to make a phone call when Greer pulled over the vehicle. "The call itself is not against the law, it is the fact that the driver was not devoting full attention to the road," Greer said. "The driver was issued a citation for failing to devote full attention to the road." Local police joined the Tennessee Highway Safety Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol in Memphis Monday for the launch of the statewide distracted driving campaign. For the first time, the Highway Patrol brought in its distracted driving enforcement bus to crack down on distracted drivers on roadways, said Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Chris Richardson. "If they don't pay attention to a big old bus that says State Trooper on it, you know they are not paying attention to the roadway and the other motorists out there," Richardson said. "Anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off driving is a distraction. Whether it's using that cell phone, or people doing their hair and makeup and even reading the newspaper. We have seen all of that." Police issued a total of 22 tickets, including eight for texting in about 45 minutes Monday on roadways including Interstate 40, Germantown Parkway and Stage roads. Drivers face a $50 fine for distracted driving and, if the offense reoccurs, possible suspension of the drivers’ license, Richardson said. The statewide crackdown is part of the month long National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and also the state Safety Office's third annual "Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving" campaign. According to the NHTSA, nearly 3,500 people were killed and about 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015, the latest figures available. Paul Atchley, a psychology professor at the University of Kansas, who has done research on distracted drivers for the last 15 years, said distracted driving is a major factor on roadways. "All the research we have available says that someone using a phone while driving is equivalent to or maybe worse than a drunk driver, Atchley said. "There have been multiple studies that have looked at this. We have been doing research on phones in cars for 50 years. This is not a new research area. But when you compare a drunk driver to a distracted driver scenario, the drunk driver actually drives better." Atchley added that education and awareness campaigns need to be coupled with legislation and enforcement to make an impact on the issue. "The roads have been increasingly riskier over the last 10 years and distracted driving is one of the biggest causes," Atchley said.
Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper killed in crash
The Wisconsin State Patrol trooper killed early Tuesday morning when he lost control of his patrol car and crashed on I-90/94 near Wisconsin Dells has been identified as Anthony J. Borostowski of Tomah. The crash happened at about 4:30 a.m. on the eastbound side of the highway near marker 89, the Sauk County Sheriff's Office said. Borostowski was on duty at the time of the crash, but it wasn't known if he was in pursuit of a vehicle. The Sheriff's Office was asked by the State Patrol to conduct the investigation. The preliminary investigation showed the trooper lost control of his patrol car, with the car going off the road and into the roadside ditch, hitting a tree. The trooper was pronounced dead at the scene. Gov. Scott Walker issued a statement after learning of Borostowski's death. "Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of Anthony Borostowski, who passed away early this morning in the line of duty," Walker said. "I had the honor of meeting him in 2015, when he received the Wisconsin State Patrol's lifesaving award for saving a man's life by performing CPR," Walker said.