South Carolina Highway Patrol graduates 62 new troopers

SCHP graduation picture

The South Carolina Highway Patrol announced the graduation of 62 troopers from its Highway Patrol Basic Class 100 Thursday.  According to the press release from Communications Director Sherri Iacobelli, Basic 100 brings the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 816.  Basic 101 will report to the Academy in January.  Today’s graduating class began training on July 15 and graduated from the Criminal Justice Academy on October 30.  An additional 15 prior certified officers joined on October 14. The class continued with specialized training from the Highway Patrol in all areas of law enforcement.  The SCHP Basic Training Program consists of 21 weeks of extensive law enforcement training in-residence.  After graduation, troopers must complete a minimum of 400 hours of field training.  Troopers are assigned to areas based upon population, calls for service, and the number of licensed drivers/registered vehicles in an area.  The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs, Immigration Enforcement Unit and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame.

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Highway Patrol Troopers go shopping with children in Sampson County, North Carolina

NCHP kids shopping

Local Highway Patrol troopers enjoyed filling up baskets with toys such as tractors, Transformers, Legos, dolls and Pokemon.  The Sampson County branch (Troop B, District 2) took 16 children shopping for the holiday season.  Clothing items were purchased first.  Next, it was the toy section. Children were selected after letters were sent to local elementary schools and guidance counselors contacted Tina Byrd, the station’s office assistant, with suggestions.  Byrd was assisted by Trooper Evelyn Campos.  First Sgt. David Kinlaw was grateful to participants, sponsors and donors from a golf tournament held in June.  Those funds went towards helping fellow residents.  “It’s our way of giving back to the community,” he said. “It’s something we look forward to every Christmas.”  The golf tournament began in 1989 to honor deceased Trooper Randy Ward.  It began to help less fortunate children and became more popular.  Along with the Christmas shopping, troopers were able to add funds for scholarships for students attending Sampson Community College.  Kinlaw assisted with plans for the golf tournament.  Trooper Chris Strickland collected funds for the tournament. In 2015, he was helped by Sgt. Bryan Smith.  Kinlaw said the events builds a rapport with the community by helping needy families.  “Especially this year, with the hurricane and flooding and people losing their homes, it’s good that we can have something like this,” Kinlaw said about giving back to the community.  “It helps the people who are less fortunate and makes their Christmas a little bit brighter.”

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CHP Stops Truck Hauling $11 Million Worth of Heroin

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A big rig carrying nearly 120 kilograms of heroin valued at over $11 million was stopped on the 15 Freeway in Victorville on Thursday, according to the California Highway Patrol.  The truck was pulled over for speeding on the northbound freeway just past Highway 395 about 6:50 a.m., CHP Officer Leon Lopez told KTLA.  A K-9 alerted on the big rig, leading officers to 118 kilogram-sized packaged of heroin in the trailer, Lopez said.  The narcotics were found in the rear of the trailer mixed in with the truck’s load, CHP Officer Robert Mendenhall told Victor Valley News.  Mendenhall estimated the street value and weight of the heroin, saying it was the largest drug seizure in his 29-year CHP career.  The driver was arrested on suspicion of transportation and possession of narcotics.  His story and nervousness, along with “criminal indicators,” drew attention, Mendenhall said.  The investigation and the evidence were being handed over the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Lopez said.  The vehicle was headed for Canada, Mendenhall told Victor Valley News.

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Lt. Channing Taylor Honored As Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year

FHP Trooper of the Year

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Florida cabinet members recognized Lt. Channing Taylor as the Florida Highway Patrol 2016 Trooper of the Year.  Lt. Taylor is assigned to FHP Troop D in Cocoa and has been with the FHP for more than 22 years.  “Every day, FHP Troopers leave the comfort of their homes in order to protect us and help ensure motorists Arrive Alive,” said Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director, Terry Rhodes.  On June 14, 2015, Taylor observed a red pickup truck entering the parking lot of the Pilot Gas Station on State Road 520 in Brevard County without its headlights on.  Taylor approached the vehicle to inform the driver regarding the headlights.  After the initial contact with the driver, the passenger of the vehicle produced a revolver and fired at Taylor, striking him in the shoulder.  He found cover, and with a clear line of sight, engaged the subject with his service weapon, fatally wounding the suspect.  The driver of the truck was taken into custody immediately after the incident.  “On that dark Sunday evening, Lt. Taylor made selfless decisions that undoubtedly saved the lives of innocent bystanders.  He is a hero who has earned our gratitude and commendation,” said Rhodes.  FHP Director, Col. Gene Spaulding, commended Taylor for his actions.  “He not only ended a life-threatening situation to himself, but his quick and decisive actions ensured the safety of the individuals around him,” said Spaulding.   “Lt. Taylor demonstrated his commitment to the Florida Highway Patrol and the residents and visitors of the great state of Florida by his actions that day and is well deserving of this recognition.”  The Trooper of the Year award was created in 1965 by the Florida Petroleum Council to recognize Florida Highway Patrol Troopers for the work they do each day to ensure A Safer Florida. 

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Highway Patrol Officer buys toys for three boys after traffic stop

TN Trooper with presents

The mission of the Tennessee Highway Patrol is to ensure safe and efficient transportation, while promoting highway safety through enforcement and education.  That sentiment rang true for one Tennessee Patrol officer who pulled over a mother, when the officer noticed that her children were not in car seats.   The officer asked the mother, "Why are the two boys in the back seat not in car seats?"  My answer was the two little boys were my foster sons who I had just got the night before. " The mother said the officer asked her for her phone number and gave it to him.  "His wife called me and asked about the boys.  This morning Officer Tidwell met me in Waverly, him and his wife had purchased gifts for the boys.  Not just the two boys in the back seat but, their older brother too.”  In a Facebook post posted to their Facebook page, the woman wrote: "I can not thank him enough for the kindness he has shown these three boys.  I never asked him for anything.  He and his wife acted out of the kindness of their hearts.  He showed these boys that there are very nice cops out there and I hope he has left a lasting impression on them that cops are good."

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