Tennessee Highway Patrol exploring body cameras
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is exploring equipping its troopers with body cameras, a move that would make it the first statewide law enforcement agency to do so. The idea is included a document called a "Request For Information," something public agencies file when they are interested in receiving information about a possible purchase. The document also asks for more information about new "pursuit vehicle video" equipment, the cameras included in cars that record incidents on the road. Lt. Bill Miller, a spokesman for the THP, said the move was not an indication of a policy shift but rather a search for more cost-effective in-vehicle equipment. "Our current system requires video to be downloaded and stored in a hard drive. The newer camera systems allow for cloud storage and many do come with body cameras. We are exploring camera systems based on their cost efficiency to operate," Miller said. However, the RFI itself indicates a broader purpose in pursuing the cameras. "Body cameras are necessary for Trooper protection as well as accurate and complete documentation," the document states. The RFI is no guarantee the THP will move forward with purchasing body cameras. The document states the agency will conduct demonstrations on some equipment in April. In theory, the agency would still need to solicit bids for any body camera contract before it would equip troopers with the devices. Outcry in recent years over the deaths of people — most often young black men — at the hands of police officers around the country has spurred an ongoing national debate about whether body cameras should be necessary for all law enforcement. Supporters say the cameras provide more accountability and protection for law enforcement, offering evidence to show exactly what happens. Opponents say there are privacy and financial concerns with cameras, opening the door to new expenses and questions of information that should or can be released. In Tennessee, only a few agencies are using the cameras. A Tennessean review in November 2015 found the Knox County Sheriff's Office and police departments in Gallatin, Millersville and Memphis among the entities using or testing the cameras. The Franklin Police Department has discussed using the cameras but officers are not yet equipped. Most notably, Memphis police have the cameras but the roll-out of the program has been marred by controversy. According to The Commercial Appeal, there have been allegations a representative from the company that makes the cameras bribed a city official, that the equipping of the cameras has gone slowly and the department's policies on how and when to use the cameras don't stack up with national standards. Officers at every precinct were slated to be equipped with the cameras by November. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has promised to include funding for body cameras when she releases her proposed budget later this spring. During a December forum, Nashville District Attorney Glen Funk cautioned the cameras are not a cure-all. "As a trial lawyer, as a prosecutor, I'm all in favor of having additional evidence in cases," he said. "But we've got to be careful about rushing headlong into this thinking it's going to cure all ills, even an ill that hasn't happened in Nashville and I pray never happens in Nashville." In past years, Democrat state lawmakers have proposed bills that would require all law enforcement agencies to wear the cameras. Those bills have never gained much traction in the Tennessee General Assembly, and no similar bill had been filed as of Monday morning.
90 Mph wind gust tips truck onto Wyoming Highway Patrol Car
A dramatic moment was caught on camera as an 18-wheel tractor-trailer was seen tipping over onto a Wyoming Highway Patrol vehicle. The video shows the truck driving in the right lane on a highway being blown over by what was recorded as a 90 mph gust of wind. No one was in the police vehicle at the time, and no one was hurt in the incident. The truck driver was issued a citation, police said.
Wounded Oregon State Trooper leaves hospital after 48 days
An Oregon State Police trooper who was shot several times during a Christmas night shooting is out of the hospital. Oregon State Police said in an email Sunday that Trooper Nic Cederberg has returned home. Cederberg is an Army veteran and seven-year veteran of the department. Cederberg’s wife, Hayley Shelton, said in a Facebook post that they returned home Friday after 48 days in the hospital. While they have a long road ahead, she says she is confident her husband will face the next recovery phase with determination, strength and a positive attitude. Authorities say the trooper was shot Dec. 25 by homicide suspect James Tylka following a car chase. Tylka was then killed by police. Officers pursued Tylka after finding his estranged wife dead outside his suburban Portland home.
Twenty-eight new troopers graduate from the 132nd Michigan State Police Recruit School
Twenty-eight new Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers will report for work at MSP posts across the state next week after graduating from the 132nd Trooper Recruit School Friday afternoon. Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP, administered the Oath of Office during the ceremony at the Training Academy. “These men and women should be very proud of themselves today,” said graduation keynote speaker, Governor Rick Snyder. “They have what it takes to join the elite ranks of the Michigan State Police. We wish our newest troopers safety each day. My hope is that they enjoy long and rewarding careers serving and protecting the residents of our great state.” In her address to the graduates, MSP Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said, “In everything you do, I ask that you provide ‘Service With a Purpose.’ Michigan’s citizens are depending on you, as am I. You have an opportunity to positively impact our communities. Do what’s right, do your best and treat others the way you want to be treated.” The 132nd Trooper Recruit School began on Aug. 28, 2016, when 37 prospective troopers reported to the MSP Training Academy in Lansing. For the past 24 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 a community outreach project in which they assisted in building a playground at Wacousta Elementary School. The 132nd Trooper Recruit School is the fourth of four trooper recruit schools started in 2016, as well as a motor carrier officer recruit school; a first in the department’s 100-year history. Including these new troopers, there are currently more than 1,050 troopers assigned statewide.