California Highway Patrol graduates 126 new officers
Crash pushed state police car into troopers conducting traffic stop
A dump truck struck a New Jersey State Police car on Interstate 80, pushing it into a traffic stop and injuring two troopers and a third driver. The cause of the Thursday afternoon crash that tied up westbound traffic for hours in Warren County is still under investigation, state police announced on social media late Friday morning. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. State police said the first trooper stopped a Honda Accord and was speaking to the driver outside the car at mile marker 5.3, about a mile east of the exit for Routes 94 and 46 in Knowlton Township and five miles from the Pennsylvania border at the Delaware Water Gap. Another trooper was en route when their Chevrolet Caprice was struck in the rear by a Mack truck, pushing the police car onto the right shoulder and into the Accord, which in turn was pushed forward into the first trooper and the Accord's driver, state police said. The troopers and the Accord's driver were flown to Morristown Memorial Hospital. The truck's driver was not hurt, authorities said. The highway was closed and detoured during the evening rush hour during the initial investigation. Some readers reported being stuck in standstill traffic for two hours or more.
Michigan State Police troopers bust driver with 45 pounds of marijuana
Michigan State Police troopers busted a 25-year-old man from West Bloomfield after discovering 45 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle. Troopers assigned to the Hometown Security Team were conducting a traffic stop on southbound I-75 near Gibraltar Road in Brownstown Township on February 28. After pulling the driver over, troopers detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the 2016 Dodge Dart. Troopers located the marijuana in the trunk of the vehicle. The driver told police he was driving to Toledo, Ohio with the marijuana. The man was arrested and is in jail as prosecutors review the case.
Wyoming Highway Patrol gets slick new look
On Feb. 21 Wyoming Highway Patrol introduced a new active pilot program featuring “slick top” cars to increase highway and road safety. Slick top patrol cars differ from standard patrol cars in the absence of a light bar on the roof. “These new patrol cars allow police officers to see and observe a whole lot more than officers in normal patrol cars ever will,” Wyoming Highway Patrol Lieutenant David Wagener said. Wagener said slick top patrol vehicles are less likely to be recognized right away, preventing a distracted driver from correcting their behavior only before driving near or past a police officer. Colonel Kebin Haller said in a press release that the highway patrol had been discussing a program like this for the past year. “Slick top enforcement patrol vehicles are not new to law enforcement or other highway patrol agencies throughout the country,” Haller said Slick top patrol cars could provide several benefits for the state of Wyoming’s highways and safety efforts. “In my personal vehicle I have seen so many distracted drivers, people will pull up to a stoplight and be using their phone,” Wagner said. “Where as if they see a cop they are more likely to put their phone away and pay attention, but return to whatever they were doing as soon as they go their separate way from the police officer.” State troopers assigned to slick top patrol vehicles will see and observe a great deal more, and recognize distracted drivers much more easily, Wagener said. It may also support efforts to stop human and contraband trafficking. “One example of how this would work is if I was heading east-bound on I-80 to Cheyenne, and a driver behind me was going 100mph in a 75mph zone.” Wagner said. “Without the identification of a light bar on the roof, the driver is less likely to slow down because of the presence of a state patrolman.” There are students on UW’s campus that agree and disagree with the move. UW Freshman Haley Dollerschell, a speech pathology major, said, “I think the new patrol cars are a good idea because in the long run it will hopefully prevent more accidents that are the result of distracted driving.” UW Freshman Kyle Sager, A secondary education major, disagrees. “I think it’s probably best to keep them on top of the car since that’s what people are used to and it seems to have no problems as far as I can see, so why would you change it?” Sager said. Only five new slick tops vehicles will be used across the state of Wyoming until effects of the initiative are determined. If the results are positive, entire fleets could be considered for upgrades to slick tops. Each of Wyoming’s five highway patrol districts will receive one slick top vehicle, Wagener said.