Children's book comes to life for Black Rock students: State troopers and canine partners visit school
Black Rock School in Thomaston hosted some special canine guests in October, according to Principal Jon Kozlak. On Wednesday, October 12, Connecticut State Trooper D.J. Chasse led a program for third graders to introduce them to his partner, Zeus, a German shepherd. Trooper Chasse, the father of a BRS student, spoke about the important and unique role of a canine partner when fighting crime and what their duties are in their position. “It was a really fun way to engage the students, especially since the whole third grade just finished reading ‘Officer Buckle and Gloria,’ which they also really enjoyed,” said Third Grade Teacher Paul Biron, who organized the day’s event. “I would love to do this again in coming years. The children really enjoyed it and they were able to pet the dogs and meet them as well. It was a unique experience for them.” The children’s book, written by author Peggy Rathmann, is about an officer and his canine partner that visit a local school, giving safety tips and demonstrations. Also on hand for demonstrations and questions was Trooper Ed Anuzewski and his canine partner, Tex, who just finished his official training. Both Zeus and Tex are tracking dogs for the State of Connecticut. “We are excited that Troopers Chasse and Anuzewski took the time to visit our third graders,” said Mr. Kozlak. “Our students were engaged and ask thoughtful questions throughout the demonstration. Programs like this are a great way for kids to connect their learning in the classroom to real-world settings.” Students also learned what the difference between the two dogs were, since Zeus is a German shepherd and Tex is a bloodhound, the dogs have special abilities because of their breeds. Students learned the benefits of using each breed to track, and how they were trained and are rewarded differently by their handling troopers. Mr. Kozlak said that BRS typically offers an educational and entertaining program like this in the fall and again in the spring. He hopes this program will return for future third grade classes. “We appreciate the work of law enforcement. This program was a terrific learning experience for our students. We thank Troopers Chasse and Anuzewski for giving to our school,” said Mr. Kozlak. “As always, I was proud of our students for being respectful to our guests and responsive to the program.”
Two sisters take 60 mugs to the Mississippi Highway Patrol Office to give to state troopers
Paige and Kaley Wilson, 11 and 8, are using proceeds from their lemonade stand to give “a hug and a mug” to first responders. They’ve raised $1,202 since July and bought Arctic insulated mugs to give to police, firefighters and other emergency personnel. The girls, along with their dad, John Wilson, took 60 mugs to the Mississippi Highway Patrol Office on Wednesday to give to state troopers. The girls call their fundraiser Delicious Divas’ Lemonade. “I love seeing their reactions because it just makes me smile,” Paige said. State Trooper Brodrick Nettles said he plans to use his mug for tea. “I think it’s great,” he said. State Trooper Cal Robertson agreed. He said he plans to use his for water or coffee. Paige and Kaley both attend North Woolmarket Elementary School. The girls came up with the idea for a lemonade stand and said their father told them they should use the money they made to do something good. “With all that’s going on this world, and the disrespect shown to police, I thought they could do something to make a difference for police and other first responders,” Wilson said. The girls first set up shop in the driveway of their Woolmarket home and made $312, selling fresh-squeezed lemonade and their mother’s homemade cookies. Their second time, they raised $890, but realized they couldn’t keep up with fresh-squeezed lemonade. Wilson said he bought 150 insulated mugs. He and the girls began driving around, and every time they saw a police car parked in front of a home, they would stop and give the officer a mug. “One officer had a tear roll down his face,” Wilson said. Next, they gave out mugs at their neighborhood fire station. They’d given out 79 mugs before gave some to state troopers on Wednesday. When not selling lemonade, Paige enjoys playing with friends and Kaley enjoys playing with the family’s dogs. Kaley’s into art. She said it’s her favorite thing about school. Paige said her friends are what she likes most about school. An officer’s wife made the girls T-shirts with their fundraiser’s name. The girls will set up shop Saturday under a tent at the Veterans Day parade in D’Iberville. They will announce future locations of lemonade sales on their Facebook page. “They’re giving a mug and a hug one smile at a time,” Wilson said. “I think I get even more out of it than they do.”
FHP: Dementia one of leading causes of wrong-way driving
A wrong-way driver was stopped on the Turnpike in Lake County before a tragedy could happen, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said. A report said the driver may have been suffering from dementia, which numbers show is one of the leading causes of wrong-way crashes. The incident involving the 76-year-old man was caught on camera. Early Friday evening, on the Turnpike in Lake County, troopers were in a mad dash to stop the driver. “He’s at a high rate of speed going through the SunPass lane. Far left lane, coming up the toll,” the trooper told a dispatcher. A toll booth worker called troopers when she saw the driver get onto the Turnpike from an exit ramp in Howie-in-the-Hills. It triggered an immediate response from troopers, who were nearby and managed to cut him off before he could crash into someone. A trooper wrote in a report, “I noticed he didn’t really know what was going on,” and “I asked him if his wife lives in Florida and he had said she passed away, but his wife was actually alive and was in the middle of filling out a missing persons’ report with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.” The trooper asked the driver for his keys and said he gave his shoe instead. Troopers were told by a relative that the driver had been suffering from signs of dementia. The driver was reunited with his wife at a Leesburg hospital. An FHP sergeant said that since the agency began tracking wrong-way drivers two years ago, they received 452 reports in Central Florida. Dementia is the second leading cause of wrong-way driving incidents behind drunk driving. The next day, a trooper stopped a man, also with dementia, who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 4 in Volusia County.
Oregon State Police Fallen Trooper Memorial Dedication
The finish line has finally been crossed. The Oregon State Police Fallen Trooper Memorial is completed. The memorial is located in the Capital Mall State Park, directly across the street from the State Capitol. It is a four foot high black basalt wall, quarried from an area near Madras. It is made up of eight stones connected in a U shape. The names of our fallen comrades are engraved on black granite plaques and highlighted with gold lettering. In the center of the memorial is a gold granite facsimile of the State of Oregon, with a black star marking the location each of our fallen troopers made their ultimate sacrifice. The highlight of the memorial is the motto under which these fine troopers made their final stand: They shall neither shun responsibility, nor shrink from duty in the face of danger. The dedication ceremony took place on October 1st at twilight. The service was a simple candlelight vigil, with a member of the Oregon State Police Honor Guard reading the names of the fallen, then lighting a candle and placing a blue rose at the base of the memorial. It was simple, dignified, and fitting. The ceremony also included the singing of the National Anthem by our own Sgt. Yvette Sheppard, and the playing of Amazing Grace by the Portland Police Highland Guard. The Ceremony was attended by a number of Oregon dignitaries. Governor Kate Brown and Senator Betsy Johnson both gave meaningful and sincere speeches. The family of Trooper Scott Lyons also gave a moving tribute. The ceremony was directed by Lt. Cari Boyd, President of the OSP Fallen Trooper Memorial Board. The ceremony was attended by three former OSP Superintendents, and current Superintendent Travis Hampton who also gave a wonderfully thoughtful speech. Several other organizations were represented including The Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, Washington State Patrol, and Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors. One of our special guests was Trooper Robert Purdy of the Kentucky State Police and member of their Honor Guard. Trooper Purdy is the grandson of our own Lt. Harold Berg, who was killed in the line of duty on May 19, 1975 during a search and rescue mission. Trooper Purdy presented the candle and rose to the memorial when his grandfather’s name was read. Trooper Kelli Howes of the Washington State Patrol Honor Guard participated in the dedication ceremony as well. Also in attendance were many family members of those whose names are enshrined on the wall. The process for this memorial was the brainchild of former OSP Superintendent Tim McLain. He and Retired Deputy Superintendent Greg Willeford formed a committee to explore the possibility of erecting a memorial to honor those troopers that made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the citizens of Oregon. This quickly became The Oregon State Police Fallen Trooper Memorial Foundation with tax-exempt status and the project was off. A design and location were determined, and the approval process began. It was decided from the beginning that local resources and labor would be used whenever possible. The basalt was quarried from Madras, the granite for the roman column was quarried from Washington, and the artist, architect, and contractor are all from Oregon. After permits and approvals were obtained, the process of fundraising began. This memorial was built using 100% private donations. The only public asset involved was the donation of the property the memorial sits on by the State Parks Department. Fundraising was slow and difficult. Most funds were obtained through several dinner and auction events, 10K Memorial Fun Runs, and direct donations from the public and several charitable foundations, including the OSPOA. OSP retirees were found to be very reliable sources of funds and help. Donations from the membership was disappointingly low. Total expenditures brought the cost of the memorial to about $250,000. This has all been paid for and the Foundation owns the memorial free and clear. This is not the end of the road, however. We are responsible for maintaining the memorial and are required by the Parks Department to keep an insurance policy on the memorial in case of damage. We will be hosting another dinner and auction after the new year, and are actively seeking donations to keep the memorial beautiful for centuries to come. This is where you can help. The OSP Fallen Trooper Memorial Foundation needs your donations. The process for doing this is very simple. You can make a payroll deduction every month from your paycheck. Contact payroll or your local Honor Guard member. You fill out a one page form and indicate the amount and it is done automatically. If every member of the OSP gave $5 a month, we would be in a position to always have the funds needed for maintenance, cleaning, and additions when necessary. Please give this serious consideration. The memorial was specifically designed to be simple, dignified, and timeless. The symbolism of the broken roman column represents an unfinished mission. The bench is provided so the public and family members have a comfortable, quiet place to contemplate and remember the people whose names are engraved in gold. They were fathers, sons, grandfathers, husbands, brothers, sisters, and daughters. They all left behind a legacy worth celebrating and commemorating. A lot of people need to be thanked for their endless contribution of time and effort. It was decided from the very beginning of this project, however, that this was about the names on the wall, not the people and organizations building it. So a simple “thank you” to those of you that need to be thanked. You know who you are. If you have any questions regarding the memorial, or can make contributions in the form of money or goods and services, feel free to contact me and I will get you in touch with the right people. This is now your memorial. Let’s take care of it together.