North Carolina Highway Patrol Unveils Glow-in-the-Dark 'Ghost Cruiser'
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has debuted a new "ghost cruiser" on its social media pages. The cruiser features markings that are more discreet and glow at night. Vance County trooper J. A. Thomas was awarded the first ghost vehicle for leading the state in DWI enforcement and arrests, the NCSHP said. "I love it. It's a nice ride," Thomas said. "Just knowing, like, this car is a reward, and if I save one life it's a greater reward." The NCSHP said it plans to deploy one of the ghost cruisers in each of its eight troops. 'A ghost patrol car has the exact same markings of our traditional marked patrol car but they just have a low profile and they glow in the dark at night," said Colonel G.M. McNeill Jr.
Michigan State Police say truck-wall sends message of hope: 'There is help'
The truck drivers and Michigan State Police troopers who created a wall of trucks under a freeway overpass, preventing a person from jumping, are being hailed as heroes. Renee Osaer, safety director for Moon Star, said she was proud that one of the company's drivers was involved. "At Moon Star (Express) we believe in safety and giving people chances," Osaer said. "We were very pleased to be able to assist in the situation because we feel that all of our drivers and everyone out there are people, and that's ultimately the goal — safety and people." At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, a truck wall was assembled under the Coolidge overpass on I-696 to prevent a man from taking his life. There were 13 trucks total, lined up on both the eastbound and westbound sides of the freeway, with the man standing above them. Because of the efforts of the Michigan State Police and the truckers, the man walked safely off the overpass. The situation lasted about two hours. Michigan State Police directed the trucks as they approached the overpass, First Lt. Michael Shaw said. "Basically, what we do, as we're shutting the freeway down, we'll go through and we'll kind of 'volun-told' some truck drivers as they come along and we'll line them up underneath there," Shaw said. "The thought process of that is, if the individual involved decides to jump off of the overpass or loses his grip and falls, he's only falling 5 feet or 6 feet onto the top of these semi-trailers." Shaw said the practice has been used for more than 20 years, but it has never taken up an entire freeway. It has also never apparently been captured on camera and shared widely on social media. Shaw said these situations usually resolve themselves in 10 to 15 minutes. As praise has poured in for the police and the drivers, Shaw said it's important to focus on what sparked their actions. "One of the things that we really wanted to talk about with this particular photo, as we saw it kind of circulating around is, we know our troopers did a great job out there and we're grateful for the truck drivers but also in that photo is a man standing on the overpass, thinking about taking his own life," Shaw said. "For law enforcement, we take that very seriously." Shaw also stressed that people who are considering suicide should know there is help available. "We want to make sure to kind of use this photo as well to tell people that there is help out there," Shaw said. "Be it the suicide hotline, be it 911, the clergy, a family member. Before you take that final step, reach out to people and talk to them about maybe some help you can get."
North Carolina Highway Patrol writes nearly 13,000 traffic violations during campaign
The NC Highway Patrol spent a week conducting “Operation Drive to Live,” a campaign to reduce teen-related crashes during prom season. The operation began Monday, April 16 and focused on education and enforcement. Troopers conducted more than 153 traffic safety presentations and patrolled nearly 560 school zones, monitoring driving behaviors of teens as they traveled to and from school. The NC Highway Patrol says across the nation, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death of teens each year. “Simply talking to teenagers about the perils of driving recklessly is the first step”, said First Sergeant Michael Baker, SHP spokesperson. “Working together, we can reduce the number of teenage collisions one conversation at a time. Although the campaign has ended, troopers will continue to monitor teenage drivers throughout the year. Here’s a look at some of the totals in our area, which includes 10 counties in Southeastern NC:
- 53 DWI charges
- 5 DWI under 21 charges
- 795 Speeding tickets
- 248 Seat belt tickets
- 2 Felony drug violations
Across the state, a total of 12,801 traffic and criminal violations were found during this campaign.
Virginia State Police dedicates helipad to honor trooper-pilot killed in line of duty in 2017
Two Virginia governors joined more than 200 family and friends Wednesday, April 18, to formally dedicate and name the helipad at the Virginia State Police administrative headquarters in Chesterfield County. Governor Ralph Northam and former Governor Terry McAuliffe, along with Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran and the family of Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates unveiled the new sign that designates the helipad in Bates’ memory. “The Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates Helipad will serve as a lasting tribute to Berke’s incredible spirit and legacy as a public safety professional, aviator, father, son, brother, and friend,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent. “This memorial will be seen by those visiting our administrative headquarters and academy. It is also rightly located just across the way from the very academy doors Berke proudly walked through in January 2004 to begin his career as a Virginia State Police trooper. We hope this simple, but meaningful, tribute brings added and lasting comfort to his family, friends, and colleagues.” Bates, 40, and the State Police Aviation Unit Commander, Lt. H. Jay Cullen III, became the Department’s 64th and 65th Virginia State Police line of duty deaths when their helicopter crashed Aug. 12, 2017, in Albemarle County. The Department dedicated its Chesterfield Aviation Base and Headquarters in Lt. Cullen’s memory in February 2018. Trooper-Pilot Bates was born in Manassas, Va., and graduated from Brentsville District Middle-Senior High School in Nokesville, Va., in 1994. He served as a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol from 1998 until he joined the Virginia State Police in 2004. He graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy on August 27, 2004, as a member of the 107th Basic Session. His first assignment was in Virginia State Police Richmond Division’s Area 8 Office, which encompasses the City of Richmond and Henrico County. Less than a year later he became a member of the office’s Motors Unit, serving as a motorcycle trooper until 2013. He joined the Governor’s protection detail, known as the State Police Executive Protective Unit, in October 2013 and served with the unit for three years before accepting promotion to Special Agent with the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Richmond Field Office General Investigations Section. In July 2017, he became a Trooper-Pilot with the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit. Bates is survived by his wife, twin 12-year-old son and daughter, parents, and siblings.