50 cadets graduate from Tennessee Highway Patrol academy
50 cadets earned their badges officially becoming the newest members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP). Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally served as the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church. The 50 new state troopers, also known as Cadet Class 118, took their oaths of office after completing 19 weeks of intense, physical and classroom training. This graduating class will be an asset to the department. The cadets bring with them various backgrounds including previous law enforcement, experience, military and college experience. “Congratulations to the trooper cadets graduating today,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “In 2016, the Tennessee Highway Patrol was named the top state police agency in the nation by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). This honor exemplifies the dedication and daily work performed by the men and women of the THP. As I have done with previous classes, I challenge this class to continue the outstanding service the citizens of Tennessee deserve.” “Each graduate has earned this incredible honor of being chosen to serve as a Tennessee State Trooper,” Commissioner David W. Purkey said. “As a former trooper, I know the commitment that is expected of our new troopers who are serving our citizens. I congratulate Cadet Class 118 on this great accomplishment.” Trooper Daniel Howard was named the top cadet and presented the “Calvin Jenks Memorial Award for Excellence” for his leadership, work ethic and academics. The award was named in honor of the late Trooper Calvin Jenks who was killed in the line of duty in January 2007. Trooper Lael Justice received a $5,000 scholarship from Bethel University. As part of their community service project, Cadet Class 118 participated in a blood drive with the American Red Cross, a can food drive for Second Harvest Foodbank and a toy drive for Toys for Tots. Cadet Class 118’s motto is “Endure, Persevere and Overcome.” The new graduates begin a field training period lasting 10 weeks.
Maryland State trooper gets top honor from State Police Aviation Command
In just two years, Trooper John “Jack” Wildman has already distinguished himself in the way he conducts himself during rescues and law and traffic enforcement. The 24-year-old has been named Trooper of the Year by the Maryland State Police Aviation Command. Wildman is part of the team that operates the Trooper 3 helicopter out of Frederick. “Wildman received the honor due to his outstanding performance, leadership and a personal desire to help others in the community through his position in Maryland State Police Aviation Command,” according to a state police news release. “Wildman is an active trooper who successfully blends his experience as a paramedic with his passion for law enforcement.” Wildman was humble about the honor and emphasized that his role is only one of many important jobs involved in state police operations. “At the end of the day, I’m a very small member of a very big team,” Wildman said at the hangar Wednesday night. “I’m lucky to be recognized for the rescues that I’ve done, but the only reason I’m able to do them is because we’ve got crews all over the state, who are there 24/7 ... who are ready to go.” Wildman, who is originally from Cincinnati, joined the Maryland State Police and specifically the Frederick Barrack because the organization’s mission was exciting to him. “I wanted a job where I could help somebody, and I wanted a job where every day is different,” Wildman said. “Maryland State Police offered me that opportunity. I’m really grateful.” In August 2017, Wildman was with the crew that rescued a person from drowning near Prettyboy Dam in Baltimore County. Wildman was lowered from the aircraft with a stretcher and a mechanical CPR device to treat the person, who had been resuscitated by the Baltimore County Fire Department. The team rescued the person while the device supplied continuous mechanical compressions during the hoisting operation. It was the first extraction of its kind in the state, according to Maryland State Police. Wildman was able to contribute “critical post-mission evaluations to improve the system and service provided in this area,” according to the agency statement.
California Highway Patrol cadet proposes to girlfriend after run to honor fallen heroes
She said yes. After a stampede of 108 California Highway Patrol cadets ran five miles Wednesday morning in a long-standing, pre-graduation tradition, one cadet decided to make it an extra special event. Cadet Stephen Torres got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend, Mikayla Wagner, in front of the State Capitol. Torres’ fellow cadets shined their flashlights as they looked on. A CHP cadet who finished the 5-mile pre-graduation run to the State Capitol tradition this morning decided to pop the question. Wagner and Torres are from Modesto. They have been dating for five years and have known each other since 6th grade. Family and friends at the CHP Academy in West Sacramento were all in on the proposal. The morning run is said to be a way for the cadets to recognize the ultimate sacrifice of law enforcement heroes, reality that much more apparent after the death of CHP Officer Andrew Camilleri this past Christmas Eve.
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Connecticut State Police: New Year's weekend crashes up by 80 percent
Slippery conditions from a Saturday snowfall helped cause a big increase in the number of accidents investigated by State Police during the long New Year’s holiday weekend. From 12:01 a.m. on Friday to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, troopers responded to 494 accidents. That number is a nearly 80 percent increase from the 276 accidents investigated in the 2016 New Year’s weekend. Troopers also reported that 54 people were injured in those accidents, 20 more than the 2016 figure. Two of those accidents were fatalities.