Pennsylvania State Police

Some Of PA's Wealthiest Communities Get State Police Coverage At No Cost

May 9, 2017
Gene Puskar / AP

About half of communities home to 21 percent of the state’s residents don’t have their own police force, instead relying on state troopers.

Bell Tolls As Police Ambush Killer Gets Death Sentence

Apr 27, 2017
Rich Schultz / AP

The bell atop the Pike County Courthouse last tolled the fate of a condemned killer in the 1980s.

On Wednesday, it rang again.

Eric Frein, the would-be revolutionary who shot two Pennsylvania troopers, one fatally, in a late-night attack at their barracks, was sentenced to death late Wednesday. The jury's decision that Frein should die by lethal injection brought a shouted "yes!" from a gallery that included high-ranking state police brass, the slain officer's mother and the trooper who suffered debilitating injuries after Frein shot him with a high-powered rifle.

Survivalist Who Ambushed Police Seeks To Avoid Death Penalty

Apr 20, 2017
Rich Schultz / AP

A survivalist who shot and killed a Pennsylvania State Police trooper and injured another in an ambush at their barracks will now fight for his own life following his conviction on capital murder charges.

Eric Frein, 33, was convicted Wednesday of all 12 charges he faced more than two years after targeting the state police in a late-night sniper attack.

Survivalist Researched Escaping Manhunts Before Fatal Ambush

Apr 17, 2017
Rich Schultz / AP

An anti-government survivalist charged with ambushing two troopers at a state police barracks did research on how to escape a manhunt more than a year before the deadly attack, according to evidence presented Monday at his murder trial.

Eric Frein's laptop was used to search online for "how to escape a manhunt" and "how are manhunts conducted" in May 2013.

Troopers Detail Response To Sniper Targeting Their Barracks

Apr 5, 2017
Rich Schultz / AP

State police troopers on Wednesday described for a jury how they responded in the chaotic minutes and hours after a sniper targeted their barracks, shooting two troopers from a wooded area across the street during a late-night shift change.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The state police are facing shrinking ranks and a funding shortage as a slew of troopers approach retirement age.

Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed a $25 per-person fee for each of Pennsylvania's 2.5 million residents in nearly 1,300 municipalities that rely on state police coverage instead of a local police force.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

State police have announced a manhunt for a suspect charged with assaulting a trooper after a traffic stop on a busy western Pennsylvania highway.

Troopers say 26-year-old Byron Williams, of Pittsburgh, should be considered armed and dangerous.

Police say a trooper stopped a car for a lane-changing violation about 4:30 p.m. Jan. 8 and became concerned when a passenger twice gave a false name and birth date. That man, now known to be Williams, got out of the car, rushed the trooper, and wrestled with him before running into some nearby woods in Frazer Township.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 

State police are trying to determine who intentionally killed an elk on an eastern Pennsylvania nature and wild game preserve.

Troopers from Bethlehem say the animal was found slain about 8:30 a.m. Sunday at the Trexler Nature Preserve.

The 1,100-acre facility is owned by Lehigh County and is next to the Lehigh Valley Zoo, about 10 miles west of Allentown. It was founded more than 100 years ago as a way to preserve endangered bison and elk herds.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

 

 

Updated: 3:03 p.m. 

One police officer is dead and another wounded after a shooting around 4 a.m. Thursday in Canonsburg, about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Melinda Roeder / 90.5 WESA

When a drunk driver struck and killed Pennsylvania State Trooper Kenton Iwaniec, his parents began a personal crusade against drunk driving. They also set out to protect and assist law enforcement officers.

Now, eight years later, the foundation they started has purchased more than $600,000 worth of safety equipment. The money is mainly used to purchase portable breathalyzer tests, which police called PBTs.

Katie Meyer / WITF

This year, state legislators determined that the Department of Health would be responsible for reducing the backlog of untested rape kits. So far, department of health officials said that effort has not been successful.

Part of that agreement also stipulated that the Department of Health would ensure that local police departments submitted all of the untested kits.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

All taxpayers in Pennsylvania pay for the state police, and the state police serves all taxpayers. It just serves some taxpayers a bit more.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, 1,287 of the 2,561 municipalities in Pennsylvania have no local police force. 

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

The head of the Pennsylvania State Police has confirmed an ongoing investigation into “suspected cheating” at the agency’s training academy.

State Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker said in a written statement Thursday that the review began last December into suspected cheating among cadets training to be state troopers.

Pledging to “leave no stone unturned,” Blocker said the investigation has included “dozens” of interviews and evidence collection.

“I will make sure that each and every person involved is held accountable,” said the commissioner.

Investigating State Police Misconduct

Oct 1, 2015
David Holt / flickr

From 2009 to 2014 internal investigations uncovered more than 1,000 allegations of misconduct among the PA State Police. While reforms have been made the State Police remain vague on any type of punishments that have been administered. Reporter Jeffrey Benzing, of our content partner Public Source, joins us to discuss the results of his investigation into this issue.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

High school senior Logan Tewell said he needs to start working out.

The Bedford County 17 year old said he's interested in a career with the Pennsylvania State Police, so Trooper Brian Arrington told him the usual stuff. Keep your grades up, stay out of trouble and keep on the right path. 

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Public Safety Director, Stephen Bucar, will leave his post next month, Mayor Bill Peduto’s office announced Thursday. 

Bucar accepted a position as Deputy Commissioner of Staff with the Pennsylvania State Police in Harrisburg. He was hired by Peduto in May 2014 following a national search.

Josh Hallett

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and state and local law enforcement are teaming up over the holiday weekend to crack down on alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. 

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is ramping up nationally, increasing checkpoints and roving patrols across the state.

PennDOT spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick says the holiday excitement often leads to bad decisions behind the wheel.

The governor’s nominee to run the Pennsylvania State Police says one of his goals will be workforce diversity.  

Major Tyree Blocker said Tuesday that, in addition to community outreach and superb training, the state police needs “a long-term recruitment and retention program to attract qualified individuals.”

If confirmed by the state Senate, Blocker would be the second black commissioner of the state police. But he said his concerns about recruitment and retention extend beyond minority and female troopers.

Wolf Picks Retired Major To Run PA State Police

Aug 4, 2015
Courtesy photo

Gov. Tom Wolf has picked retired Major Tyree C. Blocker to be the next commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, after the governor’s first nominee failed to win the state Senate’s confirmation in June.

The nomination represents a homecoming for Blocker, a Chester County resident, who spent 30 years with the State Police. Blocker was a trailblazer as an African-American commander and ran the Bureau of Drug Law Enforcement when cocaine was flooding into Pennsylvania.

Victims of sexual violence in Pennsylvania may receive more support as the state adopts a new approach to contact them.

The State Police and the Office of the Victim Advocate are now sharing data to identify victims of sexual violence and let them know them about changes in their offenders’ status.

The effort has more than doubled victim registrations in the past two months, according to state officials.

Pennsylvania State Police are short more than 400 officers with hundreds more retirements on the way, officials said Monday, but recruitment and retention in recent years continues to plummet.

Police recruiter Cpl. Brian Carpenter said tough background checks, college education or military experience  requirements and the recent, high-profile backlash against police in general has given potential applicants pause despite a state budget cushion that could support scores of new hires.

AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam

The nation’s oldest state law enforcement agency is in need of recruits. The Pennsylvania State Police are looking for qualified candidates to fill a growing number of vacant positions. However, attracting more men and women to consider careers as troopers has been difficult. Corporal Brian Carpenter says he thinks recent new events involving police and the public have deterred many applicants: 

"I think that some times even the good people say 'I don't know if I'm willing to go ahead and make the sacrifices that it takes to become a Pennsylvania State Trooper.'" - Corporal Brian Carpenter  

Wolf To Seek New Nominee For State Police Commissioner

Jun 15, 2015
AP Photo/Marc Levy

Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday that he will seek a new nominee to become the Pennsylvania State Police commissioner and replace his first choice, who was rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate in what the Democratic governor called a move that put politics above the state's best interests.

Col. Marcus Brown, a former Maryland State Police superintendent, withdrew his name from consideration, Wolf's office said in a statement.

Wolf Pick For Police Chief Fields Senators' Tough Questions

Jun 3, 2015
AP Photo/Marc Levy

Gov. Tom Wolf's choice to lead the Pennsylvania State Police responded to a battery of questions Wednesday from Republican senators who, like the troopers' union, want the Democratic governor to withdraw Col. Marcus Brown as his nominee, while a Democrat accused Brown's detractors of opposing the integration of the overwhelmingly white force.

PA Sending 300 Troopers To Baltimore

Apr 29, 2015

Pennsylvania State Police are sending about 300 troopers to Baltimore beginning Thursday in a response to Maryland’s emergency request for help restoring calm to the city’s streets.

State police spokesman Trooper Adam Reed said the deployment is expected is cost $200,000 a day, which the state of Maryland will pay back later.

Pennsylvania State Police will now carry the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone in their cruisers.

In Pennsylvania, heroin and prescription drug abuse is the leading cause of accidental death, killing more people each year than motor vehicle accidents. In 2014, state police investigated 183 overdose deaths and 126 non-fatal overdoses, according to Gary Tennis, acting secretary of the Department of Drug and alcohol Programs.

Mary Wilson / WITF

The Pennsylvania State Police are taking applications: inquire within if you're calm, ready to work and have four hooves.

Most of the agency's 26 horses were donated. Last week, it took a few potential recruits into its stables in Hershey.

State Police Cpl. Mike Funk said donors have the option of taking their horse back after it is retired, usually around the age of 20.

Senate Democrat Backs Top Cop, Slams Racist Letter

Mar 26, 2015

A Democratic state senator says a racist, anonymous letter sent to the Cumberland County home of the acting State Police commissioner raises troubling questions.

Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia) is denouncing a letter sent to Acting Commissioner Marcus Brown that used a racial slur and referred to his decision to wear the Pennsylvania State Police uniform. The letter was delivered to Brown's mailbox Monday evening.

Pressure Mounts For Wolf’s Top Cop

Mar 24, 2015
Mary Wilson / WITF

Col. Marcus Brown is an outsider wearing an insider’s uniform, and it’s threatening to sideline his career with the Wolf administration.

Cities, boroughs and townships facing fiscal burdens they can’t dodge are cutting costs where they can.

For 25 municipalities last year, according to the Pennsylvania State Police, that meant dissolving the local police department. State troopers are left to pick up the slack, without a compensating boost in resources.

“If this trend continues, there will be stresses on the organization,” said State Police Acting Commissioner Marcus Brown, adding that since he took office in late January, four more local police agencies dissolved.

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