Wyoming Highway Patrol gets slick new look

Wyoming slick top

On Feb. 21 Wyoming Highway Patrol introduced a new active pilot program featuring “slick top” cars to increase highway and road safety.  Slick top patrol cars differ from standard patrol cars in the absence of a light bar on the roof.  “These new patrol cars allow police officers to see and observe a whole lot more than officers in normal patrol cars ever will,” Wyoming Highway Patrol Lieutenant David Wagener said.  Wagener said slick top patrol vehicles are less likely to be recognized right away, preventing a distracted driver from correcting their behavior only before driving near or past a police officer.  Colonel Kebin Haller said in a press release that the highway patrol had been discussing a program like this for the past year.  “Slick top enforcement patrol vehicles are not new to law enforcement or other highway patrol agencies throughout the country,” Haller said Slick top patrol cars could provide several benefits for the state of Wyoming’s highways and safety efforts.  “In my personal vehicle I have seen so many distracted drivers, people will pull up to a stoplight and be using their phone,” Wagner said.  “Where as if they see a cop they are more likely to put their phone away and pay attention, but return to whatever they were doing as soon as they go their separate way from the police officer.”  State troopers assigned to slick top patrol vehicles will see and observe a great deal more, and recognize distracted drivers much more easily, Wagener said.  It may also support efforts to stop human and contraband trafficking.  “One example of how this would work is if I was heading east-bound on I-80 to Cheyenne, and a driver behind me was going 100mph in a 75mph zone.” Wagner said.  “Without the identification of a light bar on the roof, the driver is less likely to slow down because of the presence of a state patrolman.”  There are students on UW’s campus that agree and disagree with the move.  UW Freshman Haley Dollerschell, a speech pathology major, said, “I think the new patrol cars are a good idea because in the long run it will hopefully prevent more accidents that are the result of distracted driving.”  UW Freshman Kyle Sager, A secondary education major, disagrees.  “I think it’s probably best to keep them on top of the car since that’s what people are used to and it seems to have no problems as far as I can see, so why would you change it?” Sager said.  Only five new slick tops vehicles will be used across the state of Wyoming until effects of the initiative are determined.  If the results are positive, entire fleets could be considered for upgrades to slick tops.  Each of Wyoming’s five highway patrol districts will receive one slick top vehicle, Wagener said.

3/1/17

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Michigan State Police crack down on left-lane drivers

MSP Left lane drivers

Driving in the left lane in Michigan is illegal, unless to pass someone and Michigan State Police are about to crack down on left-lane drivers.  Beginning Wednesday, March 1 through the end of April, troopers will be pulling over people who use the left lane for anything other than passing a vehicle.  Lieutenant Chris McIntire commands the Rockford Post and says road rage is a big problem with left-lane hogs.  "They over take them on the right and cause an accident or ride them on their bumper which causes the person in front to get mad. It causes a whole bunch of issues for us."  The main focus in West Michigan will be U.S. 131 in Kent and Montcalm counties. 

3/2/17

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Trooper's video about this 'often forgotten, incredible safety feature' is a hit

 

An Indiana state trooper's hilarious turn signal PSA has gone viral in less than 48 hours, gaining more than 6.6 million views.  "What if I told you there's a feature on every car that's standard, that not only will help prevent crashes, but also will help prevent road rage a little bit," Sergeant John Perrine says in a Facebook video on Friday.  Perrine calls the turn signal "incredible" and marvels at its usefulness, warning drivers to put down their coffee cups of cell phones while turning.  "It's not only against the law not to use it, but it's the courteous thing to do," Perrine says.

3/1/17

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State Trooper thrown from vehicle in crash

LSP trooper thrown from vehicle

A Louisiana State Trooper was ejected from his marked patrol vehicle when a chain reaction sent another vehicle plowing into his on I-59 yesterday.  Trooper Dustin Dwight said the unnamed Trooper sustained minor injuries and received treatment at Ochsner Medical Center.  Several Troopers were working a previous accident on I-59 just north of I-10 when a Nissan Sentra driven by 22-year-old Dlane Michael Harris slammed into a Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by 22-year-old Ronald Dwayne Tillery.  The impact pushed the PT Cruiser into the Trooper’s vehicle, which was parked with the emergency lights flashing, according to Dwight.  The Trooper, who was working on paperwork at the time with his door open, was thrown onto the neutral ground.  Harris was cited for careless operation and no seatbelt, while Tillery was cited for driving with a suspended license and no insurance, Dwight said.  There were no other injuries in the crash.  “Friday night’s crash represents the third crash this year where a Trooper in the Troop L area was hit and injured by a vehicle during the course of his duties,” Dwight said.  “In all three crashes, carelessness or impairment were contributing factors.  Thankfully, all three Troopers survived the crashes, but the results could have easily been much more tragic for the Troopers and their families.  If you find yourself passing a police officer, first responder, or any other vehicle stopped on the shoulder, please slow down, move over, and pay attention to your surroundings.  Aside from being the law, it is the right thing to do.”

2/28/17

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The Texas Department of Public Safety graduates 134 new highway patrol troopers

Texas DPS graduation February 2017

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw, Texas Public Safety Commission Chair Cynthia Leon, and members of the Public Safety Commission (PSC) today were joined by Texas Rep. Tony Dale as the department commissioned 134 men and women as the state’s newest Highway Patrol Troopers during the recruit graduation ceremony.  Rep. Dale was the keynote speaker during the ceremony, which was held Friday in Austin.  “The men and women here today have selflessly pledged their lives to protect the people of Texas by joining law enforcement – a noble profession that requires immense courage and sacrifice,” said Rep. Dale.  “The state is profoundly grateful for your dedication to becoming our newest Texas Highway Patrol Troopers.”  The D-2016 class, which is the department’s 158th training class and the largest since August 2000, includes 16 women, 16 former peace officers and 58 military veterans.  The oldest graduate is 51-years-old and the youngest is 21-years-old.  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.  “I know each of you has worked tremendously hard in order to get where you are today, and your perseverance and achievements have been nothing less than remarkable,” said Chair Leon.  “We are honored to welcome you to the DPS family, and I know you will make us all proud as you walk out these doors to begin your new career serving and protecting your communities.”  The Troopers began the 24-week training academy in September of last year.  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.  “These 134 men and women have risen to the challenge of DPS’ months-long training to prove their proficiency and dedication, and the department is honored to add them to our law enforcement ranks,” said Director McCraw.   “From this day forward, you will serve on the front lines protecting our communities from the full gamut of public safety threats, and Texas will be a safer place because of your commitment to duty.”  As part of the recruits’ community service project, the class raised funds for several causes, including $6,866 for the Green Beret Foundation; and $1,150 for the Louisiana State Troopers Association (to assist Troopers affected by flooding in Louisiana).  In addition, the class established the “158th Fund,” which will provide future recruits with financial assistance for miscellaneous medical expenses.  Members of the class also volunteered to be tested as potential donors for a national bone marrow registry.

2/27/17

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