44 new Virginia State Troopers graduate today

Virginia graduation

The Commonwealth will welcome 44 new Virginia State Troopers to the ranks Friday morning, marking the 124th generation to graduate from the State Police Training Academy.  The troopers completed 27 weeks of instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, police professionalism, cultural diversity and crisis management.  Beginning Nov. 7, the troopers will be paired up with field training officers in their new patrol areas to complete a final 6-week phase of training.  The new troopers will be presented their diplomas during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. at the State Police Training Academy, 7700 Midlothian Turnpike.


Captain Ann Assumpico becomes the first woman to take command of the Rhode Island State Police

RI New Colonel


A state police captain will become the first woman to take command of the Rhode Island state law enforcement agency, Governor Raimondo's office announced Thursday morning.  Capt. Ann C. Assumpico, a 59-year-old Rhode Island native, has been chosen by Raimondo.  Assumpico will succeed Col. Steven O’Donnell, who retired in September.  The governor will introduce her to the public at 11:30 Thursday morning.  O'Donnell, who retired Sept. 23 and is now chief executive of the Greater Providence YMCA, declined comment Wednesday night prior to the governor's announcement of the appointment.  On Thursday, O'Donnell said that Assumpico has "decades of law enforcement experience with 25 years "in the boots and britches of the Rhode Island state police," and she'll have the "full faith, trust and confidence" of state troopers.  "I hold her in the highest regard as I'm the person that promoted her to captain," O'Donnell said.  O'Donnell said that the organization's readiness for leadership from a woman isn't a matter that's worthy of a lot of focus.  "We don't see gender," he said. "We see a state trooper."  It is expected that O'Donnell will be joined in the State room Thursday morning by former state police commanders Steven M. Pare and Brendan Doherty.  Assumpico's ascension to superintendent would move her past a number of state police leaders who hold higher ranking positions, including the agency's interim superintendent, Lt. Col. Kevin Barry.  Assumpico, a 24-year police veteran, is director of training for the state police, which puts her at No. 7 in the chain of command.   As the agency's training director, Assumpico has overseen daily operations of the Rhode Island State Police Training Academy and the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy, according to the state police website.  Prior to joining the state police, she served eight years as a corrections officer at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston.  She was a member of the ACI’s tactical team, holding the rank of assistant squad leader.  She also served seven years as a police officer in Coventry.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Roger Williams University and a master’s degree in justice administration from Salve Regina University.


The Florida Highway Patrol needs new recruits


The State of Florida is in desperate need of more troopers.  The Florida Highway Patrol is facing a shortage because of retirements.  The department is scrambling to find new recruits.  “We have a lot of people that are getting ready to retire and so we want to combat that to make sure there is not a shortage.  We want to start hiring now,” FHP recruiter Kenn Watson said.  A shortage of troopers could mean a rise in crime and longer response times, which could put lives at risk, officials said.  Recruiters have their work cut out for them. Officials say recent uprisings in Dallas and Charlotte have shown law enforcement is battling a bad reputation.  “It has become more challenging simply because of all the events that have taken place over the last year,” Watson said.  Money is also an issue.  If you want to be a trooper in New York, your starting salary is $75,252.  Iowa pays a starting salary of $49,000.  As for Florida, well, it’s the lowest starting salary in the nation at $33,977.  “What people have to understand, is that when you get to law enforcement, you’re here to help people,” Watson said.  “If you want to help your community and you want to help solve these problems, you need to come join us.”  That’s what matters to Katryna Solley.  Solley is a former motocross racer who became a trooper four months ago.  “I wanted to do something that meant something,” she said.  There is room for advancement at the Florida Highway Patrol, and Solley has big dreams.  She wants to fight crime and capture drug kingpins.  “It’s not just getting on the road and being a road trooper the rest of your life; there’s a lot of different areas you can get into,” Solley said.  State troopers handle homicide cases, find drug traffickers, and handle cases of civil unrest, mobs and prison riots.  “I’m able to make a difference, help people, and then I’m not stuck in an office all day.  I get to get out and do things,” Solley said.  The Florida Highway Patrol will be holding a recruitment fair at the Bradenton Patrol office at 5023 53rd Ave. E.  It will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 2 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.



Trooper Timothy Pratt remembered as "hero of heroes" at funeral


The long gray line of the New York State Police got a lot longer and a lot more colorful Monday morning.  New York State troopers were joined by their brethren from Canada, Massachusetts and even Texas.  They were all in South Glens Falls to honor Tim Pratt, a man who was all in for South Glens Falls.  A founding member of the South High Marathon Dance, he was born and raised here.  Raised his family here. And today his funeral was held here, his sons doing the readings and his daughter adding humor to a somber ceremony.  Sarah Pratt reminding the 800 people gathered inside, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, how much Tim Pratt loved to laugh out loud.
  "His laugh was more like a scream.  Unique, a sound I will yearn to hear for the rest of my life," she said.  Tim Pratt died Wednesday morning after being hit by a car while helping a lost trucker.  Whether at work or in the community, Pratt lived to help others.
He was honored in 2015 by the Marathon Dance for all his years of support.  His children and granddaughter presenting him with a plaque.  "Happy to be here and make sure everybody gets home safe."  The deep-voiced Pratt is heard saying to the enthusiastic young dancers.  Time and again, people talk about a man who was there for his family, his community and the public.  "How lucky we are to have known a man who was so dedicated to helping others," said New York State Police Superintendent George Beach.  "Tim Pratt reminds us, his life and death, about all that is good and noble in the profession to protect and serve," said Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard, who assisted in the service.  At the end of the nearly two hour ceremony, with police officers from across the country standing at attention, Trooper Pratt was carried to the hearse and his children were helped to their father's troop car for the ride to the cemetery.  Sarah Pratt reminding them all, "And he is inside each of you in my family and his family, and will always be."


New York State Trooper helps elderly man bury his dog


Trooper helps bury dog


A trooper from the New Lebanon barracks helped a Columbia County man retrieve and bury his dog after it was killed on State Route 22, State Police said Monday.  A 92-year-old Austerlitz man called troopers about 6 p.m. Oct. 4 to say his golden retriever had wandered away from his home and been struck by a car.  Trooper Louis E. Godfroy IV (pictured on the left with State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico) returned the dog's body to the man's home and realized the owner would not able to properly bury his dog.  The next day, when Godfroy was off duty, he returned to the River Road home and buried the man's beloved dog.  According to the State Police, "Godfroy helped a member of our community with compassion, courtesy and professionalism by taking the initiative to help the elderly couple with the loss of their family pet."