State Troopers give kids new bike helmets, footballs, basketballs
New Jersey State Police handed out bike helmets, footballs, basketballs, and car sets to area residents over the weekend, dispensing safety information along with hot dogs and cold drinks for the station’s annual “bike helmet giveaway.” The annual event, aimed primarily at kids and getting them to wear bike helmets, has turned into a community get-together – a chance for troopers and area folks to get to know one another. “We’re just trying to bless the community and get the message out about bike safety,” said Lt. Doug Pearson, Woodbine Station commander. “This is also a way to build a relationship between state police and the community.” Pearson and the troopers at the barracks pulled the event together with the help of sponsors, including Gentilini Ford, Acme Markets in Seaville, and Sea Isle Ice. This year, troopers were able to give away two new bicycles in a free raffle to the kids, as well as several large boxes of footballs, basketballs and soccer balls. Winning the two bicycles were Joseph Young and Nahjaye Wright. Wayne Shelton, a retired state trooper, and Sheriff’s Officer Erica Franco attended the event to help people correctly install the car seats that were also freely given to parents and caregivers. More than 50 people visited the station Saturday, May 20, choosing from a like number of helmets, as well as picking up sports equipment for their children. Pearson took the names and addresses of those who didn’t get a ball to drop one off at a later date for the young ones. On the lawn spreading out in front of the station, kids played with the footballs and rode their bikes on the wide sidewalk, while their parents had hot dogs and sodas with the state police. Two young women who had volunteered to help with the event are sisters, and both have backgrounds in education. Nicole Continisio is a counselor at Woodbine Elementary School. Her sister, Allie Baumgartner, teaches in Pleasantville. “This is a good way to bring the community together,” Pearson said.
135th Class graduates from Florida Highway Patrol Academy
Last Friday, 63 new state troopers graduated from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Training Academy. The graduates join the more than 1,900 troopers who patrol the state’s roads and communities each day to protect and assist Florida residents and visitors. “These new troopers selflessly chose to take the oath to protect our state and put the safety and well-being of others above all else,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “I am grateful for their decision to serve, and am confident they will continue FHP’s 78-year legacy of courtesy, service and protection.” Members of the 135th basic recruit class went through 28 weeks of intense physical and classroom training covering topics such as law, firearms, defensive tactics, vehicle operations, human relations and first aid. While at the FHP Training Academy, recruits also participated in several community service activities, including blood drives and volunteering to help those living with developmental disabilities. “This graduating class represents the future of this agency. I commend them for their dedication and commitment, and I wish them well in their career with the patrol,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “We are proud of our history, and we are pleased to have new troopers to carry on FHP’s commitment toward a safer Florida.” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, an ardent supporter of the FHP, delivered the keynote address during the graduation ceremony. “Thousands of people applied to be a part of the Florida Highway Patrol’s 135th Basic Recruit Class, but just 63 brave men and women made it through to graduation,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I want to congratulate these new troopers and thank them for their willingness to serve and sacrifice to keep us safe.” Upon reporting to their duty stations, the new troopers will be placed with a certified Field Training Officer (FTO). Troopers will work in tandem with their FTOs for up to 12 weeks prior to being released to solo duty.
Oregon State Trooper named AAST Trooper of the Year
Senior Trooper Nic Cederberg, a 7-year veteran of the Oregon State Police, has been recognized nationally for his heroic efforts that helped stop a murderer from taking more lives. The American Association of State Troopers recognized Cederberg’s heroic actions by naming him the 2017 Trooper of the Year for risking his life and assisting in the apprehension of a murderer. On December 25, 2016, Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Nic Cederberg's heroic efforts helped stop a murderer from taking more lives. At approximately 10:30 p.m., a male suspect met his estranged wife, Kate Armand, at his mother's residence in King City, OR to exchange their eleven month old daughter for visitation. After carrying their daughter into his mother's house, the suspect returned to Kate's vehicle and shot her eight times, killing her as she attempted to escape. Trooper Cederberg was taking a Christmas evening break with his family at his residence. He monitored the ATL on the suspect’s movements and having grown up in the area he knew the suspect would have to go one of two directions to avoid police detection. As Trooper Cederberg patrolled towards King City he found the suspect’s car backed into a driveway. Trooper Cederberg was in an unmarked patrol car, the suspect drove off and a pursuit ensued. During the chase the suspect shot at Trooper Cederberg’s vehicle repeatedly. While under fire, Trooper Cederberg continuously radioed position update to other responding officers in an effort to expedite their response. The suspect eventually turned down a dead end road. Trooper Cederberg stopped his patrol car short of the end of the road to set up for the suspect’s return. He watched as the suspect did a U-turn and accelerated toward him, and although responding officers were still several minutes away, Trooper Cederberg knew the suspect needed to be stopped. It was clear the suspect intended to ram Cederberg’s patrol car so the trooper began firing to stop the threat. After ramming Trooper Cederberg’s patrol car the suspect immediately started shooting at the trooper through his passenger window, striking Trooper Cederberg in the right hip knocking him to the ground. The gunshot rendered Trooper Cederberg’s legs useless and it is believed that this is the bullet that is still currently lodged against his spine. Although wounded in the exchange, the suspect got out of his car and moved around the back of his vehicle looking for the trooper. Unable to get up, Trooper Cederberg was able to reload and return fire as the gunfight continued. The trooper attempted a second reload as suspect charged him firing indiscriminately, his last shot fired a few feet from Trooper Cederberg. The trooper continued to move and fight on the ground; he was struck a total of eleven more times. Five rounds were absorbed by his ballistic vest, but seven rounds struck his body. The suspect disengaged from the gunfight when he heard the sound of approaching sirens and ran into a nearby wooded area to set up an ambush. The suspect’s ambush was unsuccessful, he died at the scene after a brief but intense exchange of gunfire with other officers. Officers began treating Trooper Cederberg’s injuries immediately, he was taken to the hospital where he endured numerous surgeries and a lengthy stay in the ICU. His injuries include a collapsed lung, two broken arms, and a bullet lodged against his spine. The bullet near his spine is too dangerous to remove and could be a part of him for the rest of his life. Trooper Cederberg is still recovering and requiring intense medical treatment. He continues his fight to get better and return to a normal life. Trooper Cederberg has kept an amazing and optimistic attitude. He’s told his friends and family, “I was just doing my job.” His actions helped stop a crazed murderer from injuring or killing more innocent people. A presentation ceremony will be held in Salem, Oregon on July 12, 2017.
Wife accepts posthumous Rutgers degree for State Police trooper killed in crash
State Police Trooper Frankie Williams was just a few credits shy of completing his master’s degree in criminal justice when his life was cut short. On Wednesday, Williams’ wife, Kimberly, accepted the degree for him posthumously and could enjoy the bittersweet moment as her husband would have done, she said. “I kind of imagined him being here and what that would have been like,” Williams, 30, of Egg Harbor Township, said at the Rutgers University-Camden graduate school commencement. “I know that Frankie would be extremely excited and would feel so honored that this is being done on his behalf.” Frankie Williams, 31, died Dec. 5 in a head-on crash while responding to a call about an erratic driver on Route 55 in Millville, Cumberland County. He graduated in the 156th New Jersey State Police academy class in January 2016, finally completing his dream to become a trooper. But Frankie was also always big on education, said his wife, whom he married in September. Before becoming a state trooper, he graduated from Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing in 2009 and from Rutgers University in Camden in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He was finishing his master’s degree at the time of the crash. Before conferring degrees to the graduates and calling them individually up on stage Wednesday, Kriste Lindenmeyer, the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences & the Graduate School at Rutgers–Camden, called Williams up to the stage. “Some of today’s graduates and our faculty knew Frankie Williams,” Lindenmeyer said. “They know he was an engaging and talented student, as well as a leader among his peers.” Lindenmeyer invited Williams to walk up to the stage and accept his degree, while the arena roared in applause while she walked back to show the diploma to her father and some cousins. It was a great way to honor him and keep his memory alive, she said. This was his next step in making his family proud. “He was always looking to be challenged and always setting goals and meeting those goals,” she said. Williams just returned this week from National Police Week in Washington, D.C., where her husband was honored in a vigil. She said accepting his master’s degree Wednesday was just another great way to pay tribute to him as a person. Kimberly said she remembers watching him graduate with his bachelor’s degree in 2012 at that same arena, but this time, she was on stage at the BB&T Pavilion for him. “I’m trying to enjoy the moment as he would if he were accepting his degree,” he said.