New Jersey Troopers of the year awarded to two for deactivating terror attack bombs

NJSP Troopers of the year

Two New Jersey state troopers were honored Thursday morning for successfully deactivating two improvised explosive devices after a pipe bomb exploded in a terror attack along a Marine Corps race in Seaside Park in 2016.  Detective Sgt. James Abbes and Det. Stephen Christinzio will each receive a 2017 Trooper of the Year award, State Police said in a statement.   Both devices were in a trash can that exploded before the start of the delayed race.  No one was hurt following the explosion, but two of the three bombs remained intact and active, authorities said.

Abbes and Christinzio donned protective gear, approached the explosives and set up equipment  including robots to deactivate the devices.  "Detective Sergeant Abbes and Detective Christinzio performed with calm and focus while under extreme stress, ensuring the safety of others first before risking their own lives to execute their mission, without the luxury of knowing if there were more components of the attack yet to be acted," said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Acting Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  "The actions of both troopers have made all of us in the State Police, past and present, proud and honored to call them Troopers of the Year."

2/26/18

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Colby College hires head of Maine State Police as new security director

Maine SP Colonel retiring

Following an extensive nationwide search, Colby College has announced it is hiring the head of Maine State Police to take over as its director of security.  Maine State Police Chief Robert Williams has led the force for the past seven years to close out a law enforcement career spanning 33 years.  He began as a trooper with the state police before finally being named colonel by Gov. Paul LePage in 2011.  He will officially take over as security director for the college on March 12.  In a statement from the college, Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer Doug Terp said that “having a seasoned leader with experience in every aspect of protecting our communities will position Colby for continued strength,” especially at a time when security on college and university campuses has become increasingly complex.  “Bob also demonstrates a keen ability to build relationships, which is an important element of this role.  We look forward to welcoming him to Colby,” Terp said in the release.  Williams will lead a staff of 40 employees at Colby and will manage and administer safety programming, facility security, compliance training, emergency preparedness and critical incident management.  “As a native of central Maine, I have watched Colby continue to rise,” Williams said in the release.  “I am drawn to Colby’s commitment to excellence, something that I have continually worked toward as a member of the Maine State Police.  After a full career in law enforcement, I am excited about the opportunity to interact with a whole new community.”  Williams is a graduate of the University of Maine in Augusta and earned a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from Husson University.  He also attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.  He began a career in law enforcement in 1983 as an officer in the Pittsfield Police Department.  He later became a state trooper in Skowhegan for 11 years, rising to the rank of sergeant.  He eventually became a lieutenant in the communications unit, and in 2000 rose to the rank of major. In 2007 he was named lieutenant colonel.

2/26/18

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New York State Troopers assist childhood friend of Parkland Shooting Victim by purchasing airline ticket to Florida

NYSP Pay for airline ticket

Two New York state troopers are being credited with an immense kindness after they paid for the flight of a young woman to Florida to say goodbye to her friend, one of the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.   Jordana Judson, 23, told NBC News that she was devastated to learn that her childhood friend, Meadow Pollack, was among the victims of the Valentine’s Day shooting at her alma mater.

Pollack, an 18-year-old senior, and Judson were lifelong friends, NBC News reported.  “They were like our second family our whole lives,” Judson said of the Pollacks.  A photo of Meadow Pollack, one of the 17 victims killed in the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sits against a cross as part of a public memorial in Parkland Florida.  Judson said she showed up at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday, the day after the shooting, frantic to get a flight home to Florida, where she’d grown up.  “As soon as I got out of the car at the airport, I started hysterically crying,” she said.   Troopers Robert Troy and Thomas Karasinski spotted the distraught young woman and asked if she was all right.  She tearfully explained that a friend was killed in the school shooting in Florida and that she needed help figuring out where to buy her ticket.   The troopers led her inside to the JetBlue counter, where an agent told her a one-way ticket to Florida would be almost $700. Unable to afford the cost, she begged the agent to lower the price or allow her a bereavement discount.  The agent could not accommodate her, and was about to give the ticket to another passenger when Troy and Karasinski stepped in.  “I look up, and the state troopers are standing there and they’re both handing over their credit cards,” Judson told NBC News.  “I’m telling them that they don’t have to do this.  This is crazy.  They said, ‘It’s already done.  We want you to be home with their families.’” 

A rabbi who sat Shiva with the Pollack family confirmed that Judson made it home to be with the family and to attend Meadow’s funeral on Friday, where the Miami Herald reported that she was described as a star with “a smile like sunshine.”  

2/23/18

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AAST has a new corporate partnership with Galls, LLC

Galls logo

The American Association of State Troopers, Inc. (AAST) is pleased to announce our newest corporate partnership. Galls, LLC, the leading distributor of public safety equipment in America, headquartered in Lexington, KY has generously signed on as a corporate partner in support of the American Association of State Troopers Foundation, Inc. (AASTF).  Galls services the needs of law enforcement, military, security, fire, ems, postal, public transportation and more.  Galls offers an extensive selection of products and brands, competitive prices, responsive service, fast deliveries, and seamless ordering.  With nearly 50 years in the industry, Galls offers thousands of agencies and departments a 360° solution and provides each with a personalized web portal that makes ordering super easy, fast and convenient.  The American Association of State Troopers is proud to partner with corporations like Galls that work every day to support our state troopers and all public safety heroes.

2/23/18

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AAST member appointed to be US Marshal

WVSP Lt. to be US Marshall

West Virginia State Police Lt. Michael Baylous has been confirmed to serve as the U.S. marshal for the Southern District of West Virginia.  Baylous was the spokesman for the West Virginia State Police, where he has served since 1994. Prior to joining the West Virginia State Police, Baylous served in the Marine Corps Reserves in Cross Lanes from 1987 to 1995.  In September, he was one of five candidates nominated for the position by President Donald Trump.  On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Baylous to serve as the Southern District’s U.S. marshal.  U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito released the following statement following Baylous’ confirmation:  “I was proud to recommend Michael Baylous to serve as the next U.S. marshal for the Southern District of West Virginia and to support his nomination throughout the confirmation process. There is no doubt that he has a strong commitment to maintaining the rule of law and ensuring West Virginians are safe. I am thrilled the Senate has confirmed him and look forward to working with him in his new role.”  Baylous holds a master of arts in government and public administration from Regent University, a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the West Virginia University and an associate of arts in police science from Marshall University.  U.S. marshals perform the essential functions of protecting the federal judiciary, apprehending fugitives, transporting prisoners and protecting witnesses.

2/20/18

Article courtesy of WCHS TV

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