Michigan State Police adds 13 motor carrier officers

Michigan CV Officers

Michigan will soon benefit from the services of 13 additional Michigan State Police (MSP) motor carrier officers with the graduation of the 21st Motor Carrier Officer Recruit School.  Governor Rick Snyder served as the keynote speaker at Friday’s graduation ceremony held at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing.  “Public safety and the protection of our highway infrastructure is a very important job,” said Snyder.  “These highly trained officers play a crucial role in Michigan’s economy.  Their dedication and commitment to serving our great state and its residents is appreciated.”  Motor carrier officers are armed uniformed members of the MSP who specialize in commercial vehicle enforcement.  They enforce traffic safety laws on commercial vehicles, protect the infrastructure through aggressive size and weight enforcement, conduct commercial vehicle and driver inspections and contribute to homeland security efforts by enforcing hazardous material regulations.  “We welcome the addition of these new motor carrier officers to the MSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP.  “Michigan’s residents are depending on them to deter and detect criminal activity with commercial vehicle activities, protect our state’s highways and infrastructure, and promote safety and security at our international border crossings.”

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January is Move Over Awareness Month in Florida

Move Over Florida

DHSMV is starting 2017 off with a call to Move Over, Florida! January is Move Over Awareness Month and we are committed to educating Florida motorists on the importance of the Move Over Law to protect all law enforcement and service responders, especially our#FHP troopers! The total number of crashes due to failure to #MoveOverFL increased 36 percent from 2015 to 2016.  This is simply unacceptable – failure to move over puts lives in great danger.  Motorists must move over or slow down to 20 mph below the speed limit when first responders and service providers are stopped on the roadside.

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New Jersey State Police receive painting of fallen trooper

NJSP Fallen trooper painting

It's easy to be cynical these days.  It's easy to only see the bad.  But there is good.  It's all around us. Sometimes we just need a reminder.  We recently received this amazing oil portrait of fallen hero, Trooper Frankie Williams.  The only message was scrawled on piece of FedEx paper attached to the package.  It simply read: "This oil portrait is a gift for the family of Trooper Frankie J. Williams' family. Painted with love and respect."  The artist left no signature and no request.  For those who've lost it, may this restore your faith in humanity!  Beautiful portrait!

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Missouri State Highway Patrol commissions 39 troopers

Missouri graduates

Col. J. Bret Johnson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, announced 39 troopers graduated from the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 30 in the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy gymnasium.  The 103rd Recruit Class reported to the Academy on July 5.  The new troopers report for duty in their assigned troops Jan. 17.  One of the new troopers is Corey D. Parrott, of Lincoln, who has been assigned to Troop A, Johnson County.  Gov. Jay Nixon provided the keynote address during the graduation ceremony.  Department of Public Safety Director Lane Roberts and Johnson also addressed the class.  The Honorable Edward R. Ardini Jr., Missouri Court of Appeals – Western District, administered the Oath of Office to the new troopers. Dean Gil Kennon, vice president of College Affairs for Mineral Area College, conferred an associate of applied science degree to 12 of the new troopers.  Troop F Color Guard presented and retired the colors.  Trooper Andrew A. Armstrong, Troop F, sang the national anthem.  The Rev. Jimmy C. McMasters, of Corning, Arkansas, provided the invocation and benediction.

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Memorial cross for Utah Highway Patrol trooper killed in line of duty unveiled

Utah Cross 1

A memorial cross was unveiled in Southern Utah Friday in honor of a Utah Highway Patrol trooper who died last month after being struck by a vehicle while trying to alert motorists of a low-hanging power line.  A 14-foot-tall cross memorializing Trooper Eric Ellsworth was erected along Interstate 15 among 14 other white metal crosses already standing.  Each cross bears the name and badge number of a fallen Highway Patrol trooper killed in the line of duty, reminding the public of those troopers’ service and ultimate sacrifice.  The crosses, placed on private property owned by DATS Trucking located at 321 N. Old Highway 91 in Hurricane, face northbound traffic and can be seen just north of I-15 Exit 16.  Don Ipson, a state senator and president and CEO of DATS Trucking, said he erected the crosses in 2007, following a lawsuit that had been filed alleging the crosses – originally placed near the areas where the troopers had died – violated the U.S. Constitution. The suit argued that the placement of crosses on public land violates the principle of separation of church and state.  The American Atheists Inc. and three of its Utah members sued the state over the crosses in 2005.  They claimed the memorials suggested a state endorsement of Christianity. In 2010, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver agreed and ordered the crosses removed.  State attorneys appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it declined to hear the case.  The Utah Highway Patrol Association said it had constructed the memorials in the Latin-cross shape, not for the purpose of endorsing any religion but because, in this roadside context, the cross, unlike any other marker, communicates to motorists passing at highway speeds the simultaneous messages of “death, honor, remembrance and safety.”  “Memorial crosses, in general, are secular symbols widely used to honor and respect the heroic acts and noble contributions of fallen public servants,” the Highway Patrol Association states on its website.  “Roadside crosses, in particular, are secular symbols widely used to memorialize, and generally understood to represent, traffic-related and other roadside deaths.”  When Ipson, an honorary colonel with the UHP, heard the crosses had to be taken down, he notified the Highway Patrol Association of his idea to put all 13 memorial crosses, at the time, on his business’ property and offered to pay for them.  Ipson and his family have been “unbelievable supporters of the Utah Highway Patrol,” UHP Col. Michael Rapich said Friday after Ellsworth’s cross had been erected.  “This is just one thing among hundreds of other things that they do.”  “You’ve been our champion in so many ways – we appreciate it,” Rapich told Ipson, adding: “This fight goes back a long ways.”  Ipson said supporting the Highway Patrol has been a life-long passion of his, adding that he personally knew two of the troopers whose names now appear on the crosses.  Ipson recalled being 12 years old when UHP Trooper Armond “Monty” Luke died in 1959 during a vehicle pursuit just outside of Panguitch, where Ipson grew up.  Years later, when Ipson’s son was 12 years old and his family returned to Panguitch, Ipson said Trooper Ray Lynn Pierson died of a gunshot wound within a few miles of where Trooper Luke had died.  Families of the fallen troopers have been appreciative of the crosses, Ipson said, adding that some families stop by to visit the memorial site from time to time.

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