Florida Highway Patrol sending message with new 'ghost' squad cars
Drivers, here’s your warning: Florida Highway Patrol troopers have a new tool to stop aggressive, speeding, drunk and distracted drivers. You may not even see them, until it’s too late. “This is the FHP subdued patrol car,” says Trooper Nicholas Dolan. The new special squad cars have seemingly “disappearing” decals on the front, sides, and back of the Dodge Chargers. The reflective lettering can be tough to see, depending on the light at an angle of the car. “As the vehicle may be traveling by, you may not see it at first glance. Once the sunlight hits it, or the light hits it, you see “State Trooper” on the side,” says Dolan. When asked if troopers are trying to be sneaky, Dolan replies, “Absolutely not. It's for public safety. With something like this on the road, it's going to keep the public more safe.” By the time you realize you're caught in the act, like one speeding driver in Brooksville on Wednesday afternoon, Dolan has probably already seen you. “He said he did not see the car and didn't realize he was going that fast,” says Dolan. “I'm going to issue you a citation for your speed today,” he tells the driver. The stealth new ride is based in Brooksville, but will patrol around Tampa Bay. It's one of five special squads right now in the state. “In going to a subdued patrol car, we are able to tackle the aggressive drivers on the road, the distracted driving, and texting while driving. Everything that makes it more dangerous for the public driving on the roadways,” Dolan says. Some cars are equipped with bullet-resistant door panels and all have front and back cameras and radar. “I'll let people fly right up on the back of the car following too close, people know that as tailgating. There's usually a 15- to 20-second delay before they realize, well that might be a police car,” says Dolan. FHP says not only can the new cars help make the roads safer, they're actually cheaper. They cost taxpayers less money than the two-toned paint and large light bar on the roof of the other marked cruisers. “It's not meant to replace our standard fleet in the highway patrol,” Dolan says. 10News asked FHP why it doesn’t use completely unmarked cars. FHP says it’s to protect against drivers fearing that they’re being pulled over by a police imposter, and also tougher penalties. It's a felony to flee a marked police car, and the new subdued car is considered “marked”. It’s only a misdemeanor if a driver tries to make a getaway from a police car with no decals at all. Troopers say the new cars are a less-obvious took to crackdown on aggressive drivers. “Everyone wants to get home safe, that's our primary goal, not to be sneaky but to make sure everyone gets home safely,” says Dolan. Right now, FHP says there are also new subdued cars around Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Pensacola with more to come.
Michigan State Police celebrate 100 years with a special open house
Michigan State Troopers and members of the public gathered Thursday in Hermansville at the IXL Museum for the Gladstone post's open house celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Michigan State Police. The day began with the posting of the colors and a few words from Gladstone Post Commander, Gregory Cunningham on the history of the State Police and their part in Hermansville's history. After that people headed out to take in all of the displays on hand representing the past, present and future of the State Police. I think the only State Police piece of equipment that wasn't on hand was one of their helicopters. They had everything here for people to check out. There were displays for specials weapons, the dive team, forensics...you name it. One of the highlights was the many vehicles on hand. They had everything from a 1957 cruiser to a patrol car from the 30's and even a State Police Model-T. There was even one model whose efficiency wouldn't be measure in miles per gallon but rather in miles per pail. Detective Sergeant Jeremy Hauswirth was decked out in the full uniform of a 1917 State Trooper and to top it all off he was sitting atop a beautiful horse looking like he rode straight of another time. Now I have to give Jeremy the credit for putting together the awesome uniform but the credit for the beautiful horse, whose name is Katey, goes to Hauswirth's daughter Linnea because, apparently, dad borrowed his daughter's horse for the day. "When the State Police started in 1917 we wore outfits that were basically the standard issue WWI Doughboy soldier outfits. So that is what I've put together today is a replica of a 1917 uniform from the State Police". If you were wondering why all this was taking place in Hermansville it's because this was the first State Police post in the area. Trooper John Maga was the first Trooper assigned here. His daughter was able to attend today's open house along with some other family. As I said earlier, there were tons of things to look at but in the end, of course, the fan favorite was the K9 unit. Nobody can get upset about coming in second to the K9 unit right? Everybody loves dogs and Bach put on a good show with his handler Trooper Kelley from the Gladstone post.
Minnesota state troopers' speedy blood delivery saves new mom
A new mom is thanking some Minnesota state troopers for their quick action after giving birth. A happy ending for sure, but the moments leading up to this were intense and unpredictable as a routine C-section turned into a hemorrhage and major blood loss for new mom Lisa Jaeger. The Red Wing Hospital called the Red Cross for help, but getting the much needed blood from St. Paul to Red Wing had to happen fast or Lisa could die. That's when three Minnesota state troopers were called into action for a blood run relay. “I ran out of my squad; he ran out of his,” said Jacob Letourneau, a Minnesota state trooper. “He grabbed the box, it's in a box about this big. He handed it to me. I ran back to mine, threw it, closed the door and away I went.” A blood run is actually part of the job for troopers. So far this year, the Minnesota State Patrol has done 37 blood runs. There were 89 last year and 70 the year before. The State Patrol says it's something they're good at and proud to do. “Got it there quickly, got it there safely and got it there in time for doctors to use it and allow Lisa to make a full recovery,” said Col. Matt Langer, Chief of Minnesota State Patrol. But this one was a bit different. A long the way, troopers learned that Lisa was actually one of their own. She's the fleet manager for the Minnesota State Patrol. “When I found out it was one of our own, it made it a lot more personal,” said Letourneau. “I've known about the blood run,” said Jaeger. “I've been on a ridealong where we actually did a blood run. Never thought in a million years that a blood run would be something that saved my life and so I'm very, very grateful to these troopers.” Doctors told Lisa had the blood arrived just a few minutes later, she may not have made it. But thankfully, Lisa, her husband Brent and baby Ryan are doing well and enjoying life together. “I've got quite a story to tell about him when he gets older,” said Jaeger. In addition to blood runs, state troopers also transport plasma, platelets and organs upon request.
Vigil for slain trooper planned at State Police headquarters
A vigil planned for Wednesday evening at Virginia State Police headquarters will honor Special Agent Michael Walter, who was shot and killed in the line of duty Friday in Mosby Court. In cooperation with the VSP, Respect and Remember-Richmond United for Law Enforcement will hold a prayer vigil on Wednesday, May 31, from 6:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The vigil will be held at the site of Walter’s State Police cruiser memorial in front of Virginia State Police Headquarters, located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County. Participants are allowed to bring flowers and balloons to be left at the memorial. “We will join together in unity and prayer to be followed by a memorial tribute to remember Virginia State Police Special Agent Michael T. Walter,” wrote Cheryl Nici-O’Connell with Richmond United for Law Enforcement. “Please join us as we come together to support the family, pay our respects, and unite together as a community.” Walter, who served nearly 20 years with Virginia State Police, is survived by his wife and three children.