Channing Tatum visits Kentucky State troopers
Before coming to Knoxville for a benefit, actor Channing Tatum made a stop in Harlan, Kentucky. Tatum visited Kentucky State Troopers to learn about the “Shop with a Trooper” project and other initiatives. The star will be in Knoxville Wednesday for the screening of his upcoming movie “Logan Lucky” at the Regal Cinemas Pinnacle 18. The screening will benefit Variety – The Children’s Charity of Eastern Tennessee.
South Carolina Highway Patrol, emergency officials prep for 2 million visitors for the eclipse
Planning a road trip for this month’s big eclipse? Be prepared for traffic, and for a heavy law enforcement presence. “Any of those major thoroughfares or major routes, we will be monitoring them on a 24/7 basis the weekend before and day of the eclipse,” said Lance Cpl. Matt Southern. The exact number of state troopers stationed between Beaufort County and Charleston along I-95 or U.S. 17 could not be provided, but additional manpower from South Carolina Highway Patrol headquarters and State Transport Police is being added across the Palmetto State. The State recently reported that 160 extra state troopers will be stationed along the I-26 corridor between Columbia and Charleston during the eclipse. While the major roads leading into the path of the eclipse from Beaufort County will certainly have significant monitoring from the Highway Patrol, there is a reason more northern cities and roads are receiving special attention. “The path of the eclipse goes from Greenville into Columbia and then down into Charleston, so that is why there is such a major focus there,” said Southern. Planning for the eclipse began last year for the Highway Patrol, which has partnered with the state’s Emergency Management Division and Department of Transportation to prepare for the eclipse, and Southern feels confident that together they are ready to handle the additional traffic burden it will bring on. “This is not a natural disaster,” said Southern. “We plan all the time for natural disasters, hurricanes and things where there’s a lot of traffic. We know the exact timetable on the eclipse, so we’re able to put our resources in place ahead of it and be ready on an exact timetable.” Anywhere between a half million and 2 million people are expected to travel to South Carolina for the eclipse, which will have a major impact on roads throughout the state. The South Carolina Department of Transportation is planning to suspend lane closures the weekend of the eclipse, and the Emergency Management Division has formulated a readiness plan. “Be prepared for a lot of people,” said Derrec Becker, public information officer with SCEMD. “Go ahead and make sure your car is filled up with gas. Go ahead and buy groceries. Give yourself extra time to get where you need to go, and prepare for long lines.” Rob Perry, state traffic management engineer for the South Carolina Department of Transportation predicts traffic on par with the 4th of July weekend, perhaps worse. Traffic issues will be exacerbated by the fact that unlike other high traffic events which are localized to certain cities or tourist destinations, this month’s eclipse will traverse the entire state. It should be a magical experience, but Southern stressed the importance of readiness. “The one thing we’re asking the public is to be prepared,” said Southern. “If you have no desire to participate in the eclipse, the best thing you can do is stay off the roads. That will really help us. If you have to get out in traffic give yourself ample time to get from Point A to Point B and expect traffic not just on the day of the eclipse but the days leading up to it.”
To watch video, go to http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article165207942.html.
Texas Department of Public Safety graduates 48 new highway patrol troopers
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw was joined by Texas State Representative Mark Keough as the department commissioned 48 men and women as the state’s newest Highway Patrol Troopers. This 11-week advanced recruit school was specifically designed for current and eligible law enforcement officers to train to become troopers. This school provided officers an accelerated path to becoming a Trooper, versus the standard course that spans more than 20 weeks. The C-2017 class includes four women and six military veterans, and the graduates represented 39 different law enforcement agencies. The troopers began the 11-week training academy in May. Instruction included counter terrorism, traffic, and criminal law, arrest and control procedures, accident reconstruction, first aid and Spanish. They also received training in the use of force, communication skills, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, cultural diversity and physical fitness. The new troopers will report to duty stations across Texas in the coming weeks and spend the first six months in on-the-job training.
Grant money will put more state troopers on the road
Alabamians can expect to see additional troopers on the roadways thanks to Gov. Kay Ivey. Ivey has awarded grants totaling $3.5 million to support law enforcement efforts. According to the Alabama Department of Law Enforcement Cpl. Tracy Nelson, the agency will utilize the funds by having every available trooper on Alabama roadways. “The funds will allow us to have extra funding available for overtime,” Nelson said. “With funding available for overtime we can increase patrol and safety-checkpoint locations across the state.” Ivey has indicated the purpose of the grant money is to make Alabama roads safer by preventing injuries and fatalities. “At this point our fatality rate has increased by 10 from this time last year,” said Trooper Kevin Cook. “We all have concern in this number. Going at this rate 2017 will be more deadly than 2016 and records show 2016 was one of the deadliest years in Alabama’s history.” Gov. Ivey said in a written release that drivers who get behind the wheel while impaired, or disobey traffic laws, present a danger to every motorist on the road. “The only way we can change a driver’s behavior is to be visible,” Cook said. “The more troopers we have on the roadways the more we can target speeding, driving while under the influence and seat belt violations. Visibility, visibility is the only way we can make our roadways safer.” A portion of the funds received will also go toward the “Click It or Ticket” program and the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program. “The time frame for the ‘Click It or Ticket’ program will wrap up soon,” Cook said. “Once that program wraps up for 2017, we will start the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ program. This program is scheduled to run through September 3. This program not only targets driving while under the influence on the roadways, but also on Alabama’s waterways.”