Highway Patrol uses airplane to catch speeders

MSHP

On a straight piece of highway, it's not easy for a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper to do traffic enforcement. But with the help of a plane flying 2,000 feet above, the highway patrol has another tool to keep the roadways safe. With 14 aircraft across the state of Missouri, the MSHP Aircraft Division's main job is traffic enforcement. In 2015, the Aircraft Division assisted with writing 15,072 citations or warnings. When the division does traffic enforcement, they use three sets of pre-painted "blocks" on the roadway that are measured at 660 feet, or 1/8th of a mile, apart. The pilot uses a stopwatch to time how fast a car crosses through those blocks. The stopwatch is calibrated to the 1/8 mile distance, and is able to give the pilot a speed. The pilot and a trooper on the ground always do a test to make sure the stopwatch and the ground trooper's speedometer are calibrated correctly. When a car crosses the first blocks, the pilot starts his stop watch. When he crosses the second set, he stops the first stopwatch and starts a second stop watch. When the car finally passes through the third set, the pilot stops the second stop watch. The pilot uses these two speeds to determine if the driver is speeding. If the pilot feels the driver is speeding, he will radio to a ground trooper waiting they have a violator. The pilot will tell the ground trooper the color and style of the car, which lane the car is in, and what cars are around the speeding car; any details to give the trooper a better indication of which car needs to be pulled over. Once the trooper gets behind the correct car, the pilot will tell him and the trooper will pull the speeding car off to the shoulder. Once the pilot sees both the trooper and the speeding car on the shoulder, he is able to end visual contact with the violator. The ground trooper will then write the ticket or warning for speeding as well as any other violations the ground trooper sees including if a seat belt was being used. Once that is complete, the ground trooper relays what citations or warnings he's written back to the pilot. In addition to traffic enforcement, the division also helps with search and rescues, manhunts, and pursuits. Using helicopters, the Aircraft Division can access otherwise inaccessible areas such as cliffs and bluffs, or conducting a water rescue when someone is stuck in a flooded home or car. They also assist in locating people, whether they are criminals or lost children. Being in the air, the pilots can see things that otherwise wouldn't be visible from a ground prospective. Being able to have a plane above a pursuit, the MSHP is able to take law enforcement on the ground out of a potentially dangerous situation. The pilot can safely follow the suspect and allow other officers to get in position ahead of the suspect. 

Source: abc17

Line

19-Year Old Dies after Playing Chicken with the California Highway Patrol

CAThe California Highway Patrol was monitoring a “swap meet” held in the parking lot of a local mall last Sunday. According to the authorities, around 80 trucks and off-road vehicles were participating the meeting, and some of the drivers were performing donuts. Naturally, the officers were watching the drivers while undercover in unmarked cars. At one point into the night, one of the drivers left the scene and was observed driving at speeds of up to 90 mph (145 km/h). The officers continued the pursuit in their unmarked vehicle, and they drove for approximately five miles, until the Chevrolet Silverado reached a dead-end street in Fullerton. At that point, the driver turned the truck around, and attempted a game of “chicken” with the police officers. In layman’s terms, the incredibly dangerous game of “chicken” consists of two vehicles driving directly into each other’s path, and the one that steers away first is considered the "loser." The officers did not want to let the suspect leave the scene and risk an accident with innocent civilians, so they opened fire on the vehicle. Pedro Villanueva, the 19-year-old driver of the red Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, died on the scene. His passenger was injured by a bullet that struck his upper torso, but he is expected to survive. Authorities are unaware whether Villanueva figured out if he was being pursued by a team of undercover police officers when he decided to drive towards them at speed. Villanueva’s family and friends mourn his death, and a GoFundMe page was opened to raise money for his relatives. According to the LaTimes, the page shows a photograph of the 19-year-old man as he is holding a guitar while sitting in the bed of his pick-up truck. We would like to remind you that street racing is dangerous, and getting pursued by the police in any country is a serious offense.

 

Line

State Trooper Honored for Alabama's First Texting while driving manslaughter conviction

AL

An Alabama State Trooper was recently awarded for his investigation into a crash two years ago that led to what a prosecutor believes is the first manslaughter conviction based on the state's texting and driving law. Trooper Bruce Irvin recently received the citation from Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Stan Stabler, according to the agency's Twitter and Facebook pages. Trooper Irvin is assigned to Highway Patrol's Mobile Post. Two years ago, USA student Miranda "Randi" Hamilton died in a crash that prosecutors blamed on another driver's cell phone use. On Wednesday, that man drew a potentially precedent-setting 10-year split sentence on his manslaughter conviction. Irvin was the traffic investigator for an April 14, 2014 crash on Lott Road, just west of Schillinger road that killed 24-year-old Miranda Hamilton of Mobile. A jury earlier this year found Jonathan Mikeal Raynes, 23, of Purvis, Miss., guilty of manslaughter in the wreck. Raynes was sentenced in April by Circuit Court Judge Robert Smith to a 10-year-split sentence with two years to serve in prison. Raynes is appealing his conviction and sentence to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Raynes, according to testimony at his trial, had told Irvin that it had not been his phone that distracted him, Irvin testified that he believed otherwise. Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich argued that Raynes was "fixated" on his phone at the time of the crash. Her case was built largely on the testimony of Paul Weathersby, an information technology specialist and digital forensic examiner for the FBI's Mobile division. Weathersby testified that Raynes had been using his cellphone in the hour before the crash mostly to send instant messages or look at profiles of women on dating sites. He used several social media apps, but returned repeatedly to a dating site called Badoo, which he apparently was using for the first time that morning. According to Weathersby testified Raynes last manipulated his phone at 8:57:36 a.m., or 32 seconds before the first 911 call about the wreck was logged. If the prosecution doesn't have a smoking gun in a manslaughter case based on Alabama's texting and driving law, will a warm one do? Based on the verdict in a Mobile case, the answer apparently is "yes.' No eyewitness testified that he was using his phone at the instant of the crash. Rich said earlier this year that she believes this is the first time Alabama's texting and driving statute has been applied in a manslaughter case. The state's texting and driving law went into effect in August 2012. Starting Wednesday in Alabama, car-driving texters, emailers, Facebookers and Twitterers will take on a new handle -- lawbreakers. That's when Alabama becomes the 38th state with a law banning texting and driving.Line

Alert State Trooper Locates Missing Child and Grandfather on Independence Day

LAboy

 

At approximately 3:00 am on July 4, 2016, the New Oreleans Police Departmentcontacted Louisiana State Police about a missing child from the New Orleans area. Roshei Selmon (3 years old) was last seen with his 45 year old grandfather, Roland Williams, and both had been reported missing by their family. Louisiana State Police issued a Level II Endangered/Missing Child Advisory due to the fact that Williams suffers from a medical condition which impairs his judgment. Williams was believed to have been traveling with the child in a beige/tan 2007 Cadillac DTS. Louisiana State Police broadcast the missing person information to all on-duty Troopers. Shortly after 6:00 am, an alert Trooper from State Police Troop A in Baton Rouge spotted the vehicle at a convenience store on Satsuma Rd. near I-12 in Livingston Parish. The vehicle was unoccupied, so the Trooper entered the building to search for the child and his grandfather. Upon searching the building, the Trooper located both Selmon and Williams in the restroom area of the store. Both were unharmed and in good condition. While awaiting confirmation of Selmon and Williams’ identity, the Trooper provided them both with food and water. The New Orleans Police Department and the family of Selmon and Williams were contacted about the recovery.Acadian Ambulance was dispatched to the scene as a precaution, and checked both Selmon and his grandfather for any injuries. Both were in good health, and were released to family members to return home. "Far too often law enforcement and other public safety agencies are called to respond to tragic events,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. "However, in this darkness, we never stop searching for the light of hope. The successful recovery of this young child and his grandfather are our beacon today. Working together with our public safety partners for positive resolutions are why we do what we do.”

Source:Louisiana State Police Facebook page

Line

Ohio State Patrol:15 year old drives van with intoxicated parents as passengers

Two parents have been charged with child endangerment after police say they had their 15-year-old drive them to Cedar Point - while they were in the car legally intoxicated. An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper pulled a mini-van over on State Route 2 shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday morning for speeding. When the trooper asked for the driver's information, he discovered that the male was 15 and didn't have a license or even a driver's learning permit. The driver's mother, father and 12-year-old sister were also in the van, with the father in the passenger seat next to the 15-year-old. The trooper noticed "obvious signs of impairment" with the parents and gave them a portable breath test. The father, Timothy McCoy of Reynoldsburg, tested at .184% alcohol content and the mother, Michelle Kirk, also of Reynoldsburg, tested at .265%. The legal limit for blood alcohol in Ohio is .08%. The family said that they had been driving to Cedar Point, had left early in the morning with their 15-year-old driving, and had gotten lost and had been driving all night. Police report that the teen drove all the way from Columbus to Vermilion before they stopped the van. The parents were placed into custody and the family was taken to the Ohio State Patrol post in Sandusky. A grandmother came to pick the children up. McCoy was charged with child endangerment and was taken to the Erie County Jail. Kirk was charged with child endangerment and wrongful entrustment of a vehicle. She was released with her children when her mother arrived to pick them up. Both parents will be in court on July 5th. Children Services in Columbus was notified about the incident and will be given a copy of the report.

Line