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Florida State Trooper Revives Driver

A woman found unresponsive and without a pulse in a car Wednesday on Alligator Alley was revived by a state trooper and then arrested because she was driving under the influence, authorities said. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper reported finding her vehicle on Interstate 75 near mile marker 85 in Collier County at 11:45 p.m. The vehicle was resting against the south shoulder fence along lanes for eastbound traffic, according to an FHP news release Thursday. A woman later identified as Cory Lynn Webster, 32, of Delray Beach, was sitting in the driver's seat , and the car was locked, the news release states. Concerned for her well-being, the trooper broke the rear passenger window to gain access and found Webster did not have a pulse, the release states. To gain better access, the trooper then broke the driver's side window, carried Webster out of the car and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, reviving the woman a short time later. Webster was taken to a Physicians Regional hospital in Collier. Upon being treated and released from the hospital, Webster was arrested by the trooper. She faces charges of driving under the influence (third violation in 10 years) and driving while her license was suspended, the release states. Drug test results are pending, but a breath test indicated her alcohol concentration level was .039, according to FHP. The legal limit in Florida is.08.

South Carolina Highway Patrol want to equip troopers with new rifles

A South Carolina law enforcement agency is seeking to purchase and arm personnel with semi-automatic weapons in the upcoming year. Recent shootings in Las Vegas and Texas have prompted this initiative, said Col. Chris Williamson of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. The need for an upgrade in weaponry has been overlooked in past years, he said. But as state legislators are expected to review its annual budget in January, Williamson said, he hopes they consider approving more than a half-million dollars to buy more than 600 semi-automatic rifles. “From the highway patrol standpoint, we’ve already decided that this is a necessity,” he said. “We’re just hoping that the budget request is honored.” Currently, 600 of 800 troopers are armed with shotguns. Williamson said the budget approval will allow remaining personnel to upgrade to semi-automatic rifles, which provide longer range as well as coverage of a larger area, should an active shooting situation arise. “With recent active shooting situations, all suspects were armed with long rifles that took out people from a larger area and distance, so in the modern age now, we’re looking to equip all of our law enforcement with these patrol rifles as we transition from a shotgun,” Williamson said. The budget request has been submitted for the upcoming legislative session. Williamson said troopers are already trained to use semi-automatic rifles, but if the request is approved, the agency will enhance the training. “We’ve been training all of our individuals with the rifle and the rifles will do a whole lot better than the shotguns,” he said. “This is a requirement to protect our citizens. It won’t do us any good to have faster response and when we get there we don’t have the possible tools to react to a threat.”


Deputy accidentally shoot Oregon state trooper with Taser, apologizes with cake

Oregon trooper tased

An Oregon state trooper received a cake as an apology after an Umatilla County deputy accidentally shot him with a Taser while they both responded to a domestic violence call.  A state police Facebook post Monday shows Trooper Mitchell Goldman smiling while holding the white frosting cake brought to him by the unidentified deputy who shocked the trooper and a suspect at the same time last week.  On the top: "Sorry you got tased" written in blue icing.  Goldman arrived at the scene first and encountered a man who "became belligerent" after the trooper tried to pat him down to check if he had any weapons, according to state police.  The two got into a scuffle, which was still going on when the deputy arrived.  The deputy fired his Taser.  One prong hit the suspect.  The other hit Goldman.   "Since they were in contact with each other, they both took the tase," police said in the post.  It's not clear what happened to the man or Goldman after that.  State police and Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan didn't immediately respond to requests for further details.  The deputy brought the cake for Goldman out of guilt, the post said.  On Dec. 4, Goldman shared the photo of himself and the cake on his Facebook page. 



Florida Highway Patrol trooper hit by car in crash involving suspected drunken driver

FHP Trooper Cruz seriously injured

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was seriously injured early Sunday in a crash involving a drunken driver, authorities said.  Trooper Daniel Cruz was working the scene of an earlier crash about 1 a.m. on Okeechobee Road near the Palmetto Expressway when he was hit, FHP Trooper Joe Sanchez said.  According to the arrest report, John Bencosme, 26, of Miami, was driving a blue Hyundai Velastar south on Okeechobee Road when he slammed into one of the cars from the earlier crash.  The impact sent a Hyundai Elantra spinning into Cruz, throwing him several feet into the air, the report said.  After the crash, troopers said they conducted field sobriety tests after smelling alcohol on Bencosme's breath. Troopers said Bencosme's blood alcohol level was .201 -- more than double the legal limit.  Bencosme faces multiple charges, including driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury.  "It's the greatest fear that we face," Sanchez said.  "Our roads have gotten to the point where troopers are more scared to be hit by a car than to be shot out there while they are performing their duties."   Sanchez said Cruz was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.  Troopers said Cruz seriously injured ligaments in his legs and he broke a small bone in his back.  "He is alert.  He is going to be out for about six months," Sanchez said. "He did sustain some, you know, injuries that are critical. ... But thank God he is alive."   The Palmetto Expressway southbound exit ramp to Okeechobee Road was shut down for several hours as authorities investigated the scene.



North Carolina Highway Patrol welcome 17 new troopers

NCHP December 8 graduation

The State Highway Patrol proudly welcomed 17 new troopers at a graduation ceremony for the 143rd Basic Highway Patrol School.  The celebration ended 15 weeks of extensive academic and physical training.  The ceremony was held at the Colonial Baptist Church in Cary at 10 a.m.  The oath of office was administered by Justice Robin E. Hudson, Supreme Court of North Carolina.  Colonel G. M. McNeill Jr., the 27th Commander of the State Highway Patrol provided remarks to those in attendance.  "Today you are becoming an ambassador for this great state, not only to North Carolinians but to those who visit from other states and other countries,” said Colonel Glenn M. McNeill Jr.  “As ambassadors, you must serve with loyalty, integrity and professionalism; the patrol’s core values that should be reflected in every action made.”  The cadets will report to their respective duty stations on Wednesday, December 27th to begin a rigorous field training program.



Idaho State Police welcome 13 new troopers

idaho state police december graduation

13 new state troopers were sworn in at the Idaho State Capitol Friday, December 1.  Troopers had to complete an 18-week training program at Idaho State Police headquarters in Meridian.  They were put through intensive mental and physical training.  Michael Archer, who completed the 18-week course, says those who graduated will make outstanding state troopers.  "We started off with 17.  Four didn't make it for various reasons because it was physically and mentally demanding class throughout the entire 18 weeks.  But I believe all 13 who made it, truly deserved to make it and are going to make outstanding Idaho State Troopers."  The new officers will serve in one of six ISP districts throughout the state.



North Carolina troopers surprise widow of crash victim

NCHP Widow

On Thursday, October 26, 2017, at approximately 0647 hours, Robert Vermillion was involved in a multi-vehicle fatal when his car went through the guard wires of I-485 near Rocky River Road and entered the opposite direction of interstate traffic.  Robert was killed instantly.  Trp. Kevin Robinson and myself drove to the home of the Vermillion Family.  They live(d) in a two bedroom home with six members of their family.  Jennifer (spouse), a twelve month old son, a 2 ½ year old daughter, Jennifer’s mother and grandmother.  We delivered the terrible news then left.  Later that same evening, I called Trp. Robinson and told him we have to do something for this family.  We both then put together a campaign to raise funds and raised over $5,600 in cash as well as gift cards, clothes, shoes, etc.  We hope that this little bit of help will go a long way in providing for the Vermillion Family through the holiday season.

To view video, go to:  https://youtu.be/tdcCQ_qq08o.


North Carolina troopers surprise widow of crash victim



On Thursday, October 26, 2017, at approximately 0647 hours, Robert Vermillion was involved in a multi-vehicle fatal when his car went through the guard wires of I-485 near Rocky River Road and entered the opposite direction of interstate traffic.  Robert was killed instantly.  Trp. Kevin Robinson and myself drove to the home of the Vermillion Family.  They live(d) in a two bedroom home with six members of their family.  Jennifer (spouse), a twelve month old son, a 2 ½ year old daughter, Jennifer’s mother and grandmother.  We delivered the terrible news then left.  Later that same evening, I called Trp. Robinson and told him we have to do something for this family.  We both then put together a campaign to raise funds and raised over $5,600 in cash as well as gift cards, clothes, shoes, etc.  We hope that this little bit of help will go a long way in providing for the Vermillion Family through the holiday season.

To watch video, go to:  https://youtu.be/tdcCQ_qq08o


Wounded state trooper released from hospital

PSP trooper released from hospital

Cpl. Seth Kelly, a state trooper wounded during a gun battle Nov. 7 in Plainfield Township, has been released from the hospital, state police confirmed.  Kelly was released Friday afternoon from St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill, said Capt. Richard D’Ambrosio, commander of the Troop M barracks where Kelly works.  Kelly was moved from the hospital’s intensive care unit last week where he was recovering from gunshot wounds to his neck, shoulder and thigh, authorities said.  The 13-year veteran of the state police still has a lengthy recovery before him, authorities said.  Kelly was one of two troopers involved in a traffic stop along Route 33.  During the stop, the man charged in Kelly's shooting, Daniel Clary, 22, of Monroe County, fought with troopers, trying to grab one trooper’s handgun from the holster and then dashing to his car, where he grabbed a gun and opened fire, state police said.  Troopers returned fire and Clary also was shot several times.  Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said the troopers’ use of force was justified and Kelly and Trooper Ryan Seiple showed restraint during the incident.  Authorities said Kelly likely saved his own life by applying a tourniquet to his wounds to stem his blood loss.  Clary remains in jail under $1 million bail, awaiting trial on charges that include two counts of attempted murder of a police officer.



Nevada Department of Public Safety announces new Nevada Highway Patrol Colonel

NHP New Colonel

The Nevada Department of Public Safety Director James Wright announced the appointment of John O’Rourke as Colonel of the Nevada Highway Patrol. O’Rourke has been the NHP Acting Colonel for the past several months following the retirement of Colonel Dennis Osborn.  He will officially assume the title of Colonel on Monday, December 4, 2017.  “Colonel O’Rourke brings vast knowledge and experience to the position, having served in two Divisions and in multiple capacities with the Department,” DPS Director Wright said.  Colonel O’Rourke has served for over 20 years with the DPS, joining the Highway Patrol Division in 1995.  As a Trooper, O’Rourke was active in impaired driving apprehension, field training and motorcycle programs, field sobriety test instruction, and defensive tactics instruction.  His numerous assignments have included Deputy Chief with the Parole and Probation Division, Commander with the Honor Guard and Lieutenant Colonel with the Highway Patrol.   O'Rourke was the first NHP Trooper to be awarded the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Mountain Pacific Trooper of the Year.  He is also a James D. Hoff Meritorious Service Award and Gold Star Medal of Valor recipient.  “It is a privilege and honor to serve as Colonel alongside the men and women of the NHP,” Colonel O’Rourke said. “We will continue to make safety a priority for residents and visitors on Nevada highways and in our state.”



Michigan State Police graduates 127 new troopers

Michigan State Police December graduates

Michigan has 127 new state troopers.  The large group graduated from the 133rd Trooper Recruit School on Thursday. Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP, administered the Oath of Office during the ceremony at the Lansing Center.  “These men and women have chosen a very rewarding career,” said graduation keynote speaker, Gov. Rick Snyder.  “We wish our newest troopers safety each day.  Thank you for dedicating your life to serving and protecting the residents of our great state.”  In her address to the graduates, MSP Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said, “I know you chose this career to help people and to keep communities safe.  Strive every day to make a positive impact in the lives of the citizens we serve.”  The 133rd Trooper Recruit School began on June 4 when 160 prospective troopers reported to the MSP Training Academy in Lansing.  For the past 26 weeks, recruits received training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving.  



California Highway Patrol makes 66 DUI arrests during holiday maximum enforcement period

CHP DUI arrests

The California Highway Patrol says 66 people have been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving over the Thanksgiving holiday.  The DUI arrests were made between November 22 at 6 p.m. and November 26 at 6 a.m., according to CHP.  The number is up slightly from this time last year when 52 arrests were made over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Statewide, CHP has made 965 DUI arrests, up from 768 over Thanksgiving in 2016.  The arrests were made as part of the state’s holiday maximum enforcement period.  During the period, all available officers were deployed to catch drunken or drug-impaired drivers as well as speeders and other traffic violators.  The maximum enforcement period lasts until Sunday at 11:59 p.m.



Highway Patrol Sergeant nearly killed in collision is happy to be back on the road

Montana HP Sergeant returns to work after 8 months

Sgt. Scott Bennett still has difficulties descending stairs — “my ankle just doesn’t want to bend that way” — but he’s back in his uniform and in his new Montana Highway Patrol car, off of light desk duty and onto the streets.  The road that led to his recovery lasted a long eight months for Bennett, who was injured in a head-on crash on U.S. Highway 93 by an alleged impaired driver during a snowstorm March 8.  Bennett was driving northbound and a Dodge Intrepid driven southbound by David Deshazo slid out of control about 6 a.m. and into the northbound lane on a curve.  Deshazo, 44, is charged with two felonies — negligent vehicular assault and criminal endangerment — relating to the accident.  Not only does the moment of impact replay in Bennett’s head, he’s watched it a few times on the video captured on his patrol car camera.  “The camera was by my head,” he says, holding his right hand near his eye, “so the video is exactly what I saw.  Every time I watch it, or think about it, I cringe.  It was a snowstorm, and I just see this car coming at me.”  When the crash occurred, his right foot was pushing down hard on the brake pedal, and the engine came through the firewall into the passenger compartment, breaking his right tibia and fibia, and shattering other bones into pieces. He slumped over into the passenger seat after the impact, but didn’t lose consciousness. In the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital’s emergency room, Bennett was in so much pain he begged for doctors to take his right leg off.  He endured three surgeries, which involved inserting plates, screws and cadaver bones in his leg.  At one point, he wore an “external fixator” that consisted of bolts through his ankle and a metal external plate that immobilized it.  Bennett spent the first few weeks in a haze, lying on his couch, consuming pain pills and keeping the ankle elevated with ice on it.  He watched movies, dozed, and tried not to think that his 17-year career could be finished.  “It would be easy to give up; I could have taken medical retirement, but I didn’t want to go that route,” Bennett recalled.  “In this career, you identify as a person — it’s kind of who you are — as a law enforcement officer.  It doesn’t stop when you get off shift.  “Because of the extent of the damage, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to come back to full duty.  You have to run, jump and fight, things that involve a lot of physical activity.  I wasn’t sure I’d get back.”  He went to physical therapy, but also returned to his lifelong love of lifting weights.  At first, he went to the gym once a week, then twice a week, then three times. The workouts started lightly, then he added more weight.  Bennett laughs, recalling how he would have to push down on his right leg to accelerate his vehicle to get to the gym.  “Luckily, it wasn’t too far, and I could use my left leg to brake,” he said.  After five months of what he called an excruciating period of time, he was allowed back on light duty status.  That meant paperwork at his desk, out of uniform, and without a marked MHP vehicle.  “It was very frustrating,” he recalled.  “I would be in the office, maybe approving reports, but across the scanner would come a nearby call and I couldn’t run on it.”  A few short weeks ago, his doctor cleared him for patrol duty.  He’s got a new vehicle, the old uniform, and new boots.  His old rig was totaled in the accident and his duty boots were cut off.  His supervisor, Sgt. Jim Kitchin, is thrilled to have Bennett return.  He notes that with only 242 officers statewide, anytime one is off the streets it’s felt throughout the ranks.  Along with having to move people around to cover shifts, it limits their opportunities to do proactive policing.  “Sgt. Bennett is one of the sergeants that we like to have on the road, and he likes to be out there working with his team,” Kitchin said.  “Having him back is great.”  Bennett knows he’ll never be the same. He’s expected to have severe arthritis in his right ankle as he ages.  He’s still in a lot of discomfort, and the accident limits some physical activities, like racquetball.  But he feels he is close to the end of his road to recovery.  “I’m adapting to my new reality,” Bennett said.  “But it’s good to be back.  I’ve been to a couple of crashes, have made some traffic stops, and even just finished making an arrest.  I’m still in the office doing paperwork a lot, because that’s part of my job, but it’s good to be back.”



Texas Trooper killed in line of duty


Trooper Damon Allen was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on I-45 in Freestone County, just south of Fairfield, at approximately 4:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day.  He had contacted the driver and was returning to his patrol car when the man exited his car and opened fire with a rifle.  Trooper Allen was killed at the scene.  The man was located in Waller County several hours later and taken into custody after exchanging shots with officers.  Trooper Allen had served with the Texas Highway Patrol for 15 years.  He is survived by his wife and three children.



Governor Baker names Kerry Gilpin new Massachusetts State Police Superintendent

MSP New Colonel

Kerry A. Gilpin, a 23-year State Police veteran who turned to a career in law enforcement after the murder of her sister, took command of the 2,200-person force on Wednesday, a day after her predecessor and his top deputy abruptly retired amid a scandal over an altered police report.  In a closed door ceremony at his office, Governor Charlie Baker swore in Gilpin, 47, a major who previously served as deputy division commander of the Division of Standards and Training, which oversees internal affairs as well as the State Police training academy.  “It is the mission of the Massachusetts State Police to keep the Commonwealth safe and I have the utmost confidence that Colonel Gilpin will excel as the leader of our tremendous police force,” said Baker in a statement.  “Colonel Gilpin brings decades of experience and knowledge to her post, with a deep understanding of the State Police force at every level.”