Help Keep Troopers Safe
10 Easy Steps to Keep Officers Safe on the Road
Here are 10 easy steps you can take to make our roadways safer for officers, other first responders, and motorists to help decrease injuries and fatalities. Please remember these every time you're out on the road. Do your part to keep our troopers safe!
1. Focus on driving. Do not talk on your cell phone, eat, hunt for items in your vehicle, or engage in other distractions while driving.
2. Give officers room on the roadway. Slow down, move to the right, and stop if possible for emergency vehicles.
3. Move over. When you see a police vehicle stopped on the side of the road, slow down and, if possible, move one additional lane away from the stop.
4. Never drive on the shoulder of a highway. Police and other emergency vehicles often use the shoulder to get to traffic crashes and other incidents.
5. Watch officers' hands as they direct traffic. Follow their directions and drive through the area carefully.
6. Only drive when sober. Officer deaths caused by drunk drivers increased by more than 30 percent over the last three decades.
7. Drive within the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit puts both yourself and others on the road at risk.
8. Keep the volume on your radio at a reasonable level. Excessive noise can prevent you from hearing an approaching emergency vehicle.
9. Don't wear headphones while you drive. It's important to be aware of your surroundings and be able to hear emergency vehicles.
10. Report drunk drivers. If you see a drunk driver, reporting them can prevent a tragedy that could put others at risk.
Trooper Nicholas Dees
Let us never forget
Join us in remembering the life and service of Tpr. Nicholas Dees, 30, of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol who was struck and killed by a vehicle east of Shawnee on Jan. 31, 2015.
Tpr. Dees and Tpr. Keith Burch, 27, were investigating a wreck involving a semi-truck on I-40 at approximately 10 p.m. when a vehicle went around their patrol cars before striking both troopers. Dees died at the scene. Burch suffered serious injuries.
Both Dees and Burch graduated from the 61st OHP Academy in 2013.
Dees is the son of a retired trooper, and his lifelong dream was to be a trooper, according to his wife Brandi, in a statement read at the memorial service. She thanked the OHP for meeting the family's every need since his death. She also thanked people who have written and said kind things about her husband.
According to reports, the driver of the car they say hit Dees and Burch, Steven Wayne Clark, was charged with first-degree manslaughter. Authorities say he did not observe the state’s Move Over Law.
Dees became the 35th Oklahoma state trooper to die in the line of duty. He is survived by his wife and two young daughters.
The family of state troopers across the country mourns with the Dees family and the OHP family during this extremely difficult time, and extends its prayers for a complete recovery to Tpr. Burch.
2014 Best Looking Cruiser Results
Ohio cruiser voted best looking nationwide
The Ohio State Highway Patrol topped the competition in the AAST-sponsored Best Looking Cruiser Contest, capturing just shy of 22,000 votes, with the West Virginia State Police trailing with 19,502 votes.
The contest ran on the AAST Facebook page July 1-15, with all 49 state police and highway patrol cruisers displayed in an album. Hawaii is the only state without a state police division.
“It is humbling to see that the citizens of Ohio recognize what we do and supported their highway patrol in this contest,” said Lt. Craig Cvetan of the OSHP. “Winning this contest would not have been possible without the support of the public we serve."
“Making Ohio safer requires a collaborative effort and the support of everyone,” Cvetan said. “This contest shows the community supports law enforcement in their efforts to improve the quality of life for the citizens in Ohio.”
Visitors to the page clicked “like” for the cruisers of their choice. The contest generated a remarkable 97,291 votes, 15,785 shares, and 12,311 comments. The competition grabbed the interest of the media nationwide and gives bragging rights to the winner, as well as front-page coverage in the Fall 2014 issue of AAST’s Trooper Connection newsletter. AAST representatives will present the Best Looking Cruiser trophy to the OSHP in conjunction with graduation ceremonies at the OSHP Academy on Oct. 10.
“As the contest progressed, the public posted comments and also messaged us about future contests,” AAST President Keith Barbier said. “They want to see more of what state troopers do, and we will live up to their wishes.”
Watch for the Best Looking Motorcycle contest next summer, which will again be on AAST’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/statetroopers.
The top 15 vote-getters in the Best Looking Cruiser Contest included the following:
1. Ohio State Highway Patrol
2. West Virginia State Police
3. North Carolina State Highway Patrol
4. Alabama Highway Patrol
5. Minnesota State Patrol
6. Kentucky State Police
7. Michigan State Police
8. Virginia State Police
9. Georgia State Patrol
10. California Highway Patrol
11. Massachusetts State Police
12. Tennessee Highway Patrol
13. Florida Highway Patrol
14. Alaska State Troopers
15. South Carolina Highway Patrol
For complete results and photos of all cruisers, visit
AAST Bids Farewell To A Friend
AAST lost a tremendous trooper, friend, and Board member on August 18, 2014, when Capt. Christian T. Ricks died following complications from a surgical procedure.
Chris, 65, is survived by his wife of 35 years, Bonnie; their two children; a granddaughter; and his mother.
Chris retired as a captain from the Missouri State Highway Patrol in 2006, after serving 35 years. Following his service as AAST’s Missouri state director, Chris served as national second vice president and had served as chairman of the AAST Foundation. He was also greatly involved in church and community activities. He was a tremendous asset to AAST and will be greatly missed.
Please remember the Ricks family in your thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time. To leave a condolence for the family, visit http://www.freemanmortuary.com/book-of-memories/1931432/Ricks-Christian/obituary.php.