Michigan State Police gifted "vapor wake" dog
We’ve all see the headlines of people carrying backpacks containing explosives into public spaces. Sometimes their actions result in death, other times the public is spared. And now our state has a “new line” of defense against these threats. They’re called “vapor wake dogs” and the Michigan State Police has been gifted one of them. He’s a genetically bread Labrador named Louie, and his handler is Michigan State Police Trooper Tim Johnson. “Their sense of smell is greater than human beings. It’s not that we can’t smell the odor but we have to be much closer to it and there’s no way we can follow it like the dogs do,” explains Trooper Johnson. Louie is a 15-month-old Lab, still a puppy, but ready to work. He’s called a vapor wake dog, trained to detect the scent of explosives when they are in motion or in a crowd. “If you’re walking in a mall and man or woman walks by you with perfume or cologne on you get a couple steps past that person after they’ve passed you smell that in the air, the perfume. And that’s the way the dog does the vapor wake,” adds Trooper Johnson. The two tested out their skills this past weekend walking through the crowds at Michigan State before the football game. “He’ll grab the odor and then try to figure out what person has it on them and then trail the odor until they come across the person that has it on them and continued to follow them until the person stops,” says trooper Johnson. “So he is locked on the lady that’s walking at a faster rate than all the other people and he will follow continue follow her until she stops or we tell her to stop.” If these dogs pick up the scent of a bomb they can follow the vapor plume up to the length of several football fields. Louie and other dogs like him are trained at Auburn University in Alabama.
Massachusetts State Troopers assist a woman in labor
Two Massachusetts State Troopers jumped into action on an extra-special assignment Sunday night, helping assist a woman as she went into labor on the Massachusetts Turnpike. The call came in just after 7 p.m. Sunday evening from a Framingham couple who had pulled over on Interstate 90 Eastbound at the Allston Brighton tolls, State Police said. Trooper Joseph Hilton arrived first, followed quickly by Lieutenant William Nee, beating Boston EMS to the scene. The couple, meanwhile, had pulled into the parking lot just after the toll booth at Exit 18. The woman, by this time, was in active labor, according to State Police, and both troopers jumped in to assist. State Police said EMS arrived around 7:35 p.m., and the baby boy was delivered inside the ambulance. The baby and his parents were then taken to Mass. General Hospital. "Excellent work by all involved," State Police said in a press release. Police did not disclose the couple's name, but did share a photo of them and their newborn from MGH, with Trooper Hilton standing by.
New York State Police has more than 220 new troopers reporting to duty
A class of more than 220 new troopers graduated from the New York State Police Academy's Basic School last week, and they will report for duty across the state on Thursday. At least five of them will begin their service with Troop E, which is headquartered in Canandaigua. The academy program lasts for 26 weeks, and is followed by an additional ten weeks of field training. It's the 204th graduating class in the academy's history. Seven of the graduates are originally from Monroe County, including trooper Olivia Beck, who said she's really looking forward to getting out on the road. "It feels great to finally be able to say that I'm a state trooper," Beck said. "It's a great feeling to see myself and all of my classmates walk across the stage in uniform, to see all of our hard work pay off after seven months, and not just the last seven months at the academy but the years that in took in preparation to get to the academy." Beck will be assigned to Troop D, which is headquartered in Oneida and serves seven counties in central New York. The graduation ceremony was held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Hall in Albany, where Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul congratulated the graduates and thanked them for their commitment to public service. "Six months ago these outstanding men and women answered the call to serve, and after the rigors of training they are ready to join one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the world," said Hochul. "This class chose the motto ‘Protecting New York to the core, we are the 204’, and nothing could speak more to their courage and sense of dedication." Hochul also said she was encouraged to see that the number of women in each class of troopers continues to grow. "Last time I spoke (at an academy graduation) there were 28 women among your ranks", Hochul said, "and today there are 42." Among them was Samantha Hartmann of Remsen (Oneida county), whose mother Beth Lamphere is also a state trooper. They are believed to be the first mother and daughter to both serve with the New York State police. In addition to honoring all graduates from the 204th academy class, New York State Police Superintendent George Beach presented individual awards to a handful of students. Trooper Joseph A. Sparacino, who will join Troop E in Canandaigua, received the Academic Achievement award for attaining the highest level of academic performance during training. Sparacino, 27, was a police officer with the town of Tonawanda before joining the State Police. "It's been my dream to be a trooper," Sparacino said. "I'm just excited to get back on the road and do the job I love doing."
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper back on the job
After nearly a year away from the job, one Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper is back with the people he calls family. "From the moment that it happened, I had the OHP just take me in and just took care of me," said Jana Richardson. It was back in January on I-40 in Pottawatomie County, and roads were iced over. Trooper Jason Richardson was walking along the highway working previous crashes, when the driver of an SUV lost control and slid into the center median cable barrier. That vehicle overturned and hit Richardson forcing him into the roadway. He suffered a broken leg, and broken ribs, as well as internal injuries. After nine months recovering, Richardson is back with OHP and says he's thankful for his life, and his time to reflect on his faith. "I assure you, I'm ready," he said. "I'm ready to meet my maker. I don't want to leave my family, obviously but as far as the way I felt, again -- humbled -- and very appreciative." Richardson is from Latt. His wife Jana says, their family got tons of support from the community. "It's good to live in a small town because you're always going to have somebody there for you," said Jana Richardson. Richardson says that support helped his wife while he recovered. "The support has been overwhelming," Jason Richardson said. "I know we received cards and gifts and food, from numerous people." Richard says he hopes his story reminds people to take it slow on the ice or any other hazardous condition. "My safety is very important, I want to go home to my family," he said.