Louisiana State Police equipping troopers with body cameras
Louisiana State Police plans to equip its state troopers with body cameras in an effort to improve transparency and safety. The LSP will purchase more than 1,500 of TASER’s “Axon Body 2” body cameras to be used by approximately 700 uniformed state troopers on patrol. “Each Trooper that’s assigned to patrol will get one,” LSP Master Trooper Brooks David with Lafayette-based Troop I said. Troop I has about 40 state troopers who cover eight parishes, including Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary. Trooper interactions with the public usually take place during traffic stops in front of the trooper’s vehicle. More Troopers find themselves in situations that happen away from their vehicles and out of the line of sight of the current in-car camera systems, David said. “I think it’s self-explanatory. It will catch a whole lot more than just that picture in front of the vehicle,” he said. According to LSP Public Affairs Section’s Lt. J.B. Slaton, there is an increased need for the LSP to be able to document these interactions for evidence collection and the protection and safety of the troopers and the public. State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson researched the use recording devices in January 2016. His staff also researched other law enforcement agencies’ deployment of different types of recording systems as well as the capabilities and the compatibilities of the various recording systems. Twenty-two troopers across the state used the “Axon Body 2” cameras from February through September. “Nothing is more important than the safety of the public we serve and the troopers committed to that service. We must ensure that we maintain transparency and accountability through proper training, sound procedures and the latest technology,” Edmonson said. “For nearly 20 years our troopers have used in-car cameras to document interactions with members of the public, but I am pleased to announce that we will now be taking that capability a step further.” “Fully deploying HD body cameras, let alone taking the innovative step of purchasing two per officer, is undoubtedly a bold move in the direction of improved accountability and officer protection,” said TASER CEO and co-founder Rick Smith. “Combine that with our Axon Signal technology, which virtually ensures that important interactions don’t go unrecorded, and you’re looking at an agency whose technology can help them go above and beyond. We commend them on being the first major, statewide agency to take these steps.” “They’re going to outfit New Orleans first because of the troopers that work on Bourbon Street and then after that they’ll start outfitting the troops,” David said. “I don’t know which order they’re going to go in.”
Pennsylvania State Police welcomes 62 new troopers
Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker announced that 62 cadets graduated from the State Police Academy in Hershey, PA and have been assigned to troops across the commonwealth. The men and women represent the 147th graduating cadet class. Blocker spoke during the ceremony at Bishop McDevitt High School, along with Lieutenant Colonel Lisa Christie and Major William White. Anthony Mazzone, from Montgomery County, spoke on behalf of the graduating cadet class.
Michigan State Police graduates 41 new troopers
Forty-one new Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers will report for work at MSP posts across the state this week following graduation from the 131st Trooper Recruit School. Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP, administered the Oath of Office during the ceremony at the Lansing Center. "As these new troopers travel home to be with their loved ones for the holidays, they can leave proud knowing they have what it takes to join the ranks of the elite Michigan Department of State Police," stated graduation keynote speaker, Governor Rick Snyder. "We wish them safety each and every day and hope they enjoy long and rewarding careers serving and protecting the residents of our great state." Today’s graduation ceremony also marks the debut of MSP’s new Campaign hats, a nod to what enforcement members wore until the early 1920s. All active enforcement members were given the opportunity to vote on whether the department should make the uniform change for its 100th Anniversary, which will be celebrated across the state throughout 2017. All active enforcement members began wearing the hats today. In her address to the graduates, MSP Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said, "You have joined the MSP family at a very exciting time. As our newest troopers and the last recruit school to graduate in 2016, you are now part of our department’s history and you will help determine its future. I expect you to do what’s right, to do your best and to treat others the way you want to be treated. In everything you do, I ask that you provide ‘Service With a Purpose.’" Tpr. Thomas Gladney III was elected Class Orator by his fellow recruits and spoke on behalf of the graduating class at today’s ceremony. Other award recipients included Tpr. Brett Nichols who received the Academic Achievement Award and Team Building Award, Tpr. Trevor Baesch who received the Marksmanship Award and Tpr. Antonio Palmer who received the Outstanding Performance Award. The 131st Trooper Recruit School began on July 17, when 50 prospective troopers reported to the MSP Training Academy in Lansing. For the past 23 weeks, recruits received training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving. In order to be selected to attend the academy, all applicants had to pass a stringent selection process that included a physical fitness test, background investigation and hiring interview. As part of the department’s commitment to "Providing Service With A Purpose," the recruits participated in community outreach projects in which they donated food to the City Rescue Mission of Lansing and packaged food for Capital Area Community Services. The 131st Trooper Recruit School is the third of four trooper recruit schools this year, as well as a motor carrier officer recruit school.
Oregon Trooper critically wounded in shootout; suspect killed
An Oregon State Police trooper was critically wounded and a homicide suspect fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire in suburban Portland, authorities said.Sgt. David Thompson of the Washington County Sheriff's Office said the incident began late Christmas night, when police in King City found a dead woman after responding to a call about shots being fired. A suspect identified by police as 30-year-old James Tylka was seen driving away and a chase ensued. It ended with an exchange of gunfire about 20 miles south of Portland. The wounded trooper, identified by the Oregon State Police as 32-year old Nic Cederberg, is a seven-year veteran of the state police who also served in the military. Officers from Hillsboro, Sherwood and Tualatin police were involved in the incident. They have been placed on paid administrative leave. Police have not released the name of the woman found dead. The body was at a home that is Tylka's listed address. Court records indicate Tylka was married and also had an ex-wife. Court records show Tylka and the ex-wife had several years of disputes regarding custody and child support payments. The woman filed for immediate temporary custody of their child in September, saying the boy was in danger of potential abuse. The woman said Tylka spoke about suicide in September 2015, drawing a call to police, before leaving town for four months. She wrote that they agreed to joint custody in May 2016 but he had been acting irrational, impulsive and aggressive, constantly pressuring the boy for updates about what she is doing at home. The woman wrote that the boy was crying when she picked him up Sept. 5. The boy, she said, told her that Tylka yelled at him and a grandmother. "I asked him what he meant. (The boy) stated: 'If I don't tell daddy what you do he yells at me and sends me to the corner. I told him no and he yells until I tell him.'" A judge denied the request for immediate temporary custody. Earlier this month, an auto dealer filed a small claim against Tylka, saying he owes $450 for a down payment of a vehicle.