Home » Posts tagged 'north carolina state police'
Tag Archives: north carolina state police
Two years from the day, and only a few miles from the location where N.C. State Trooper Shawn Blanton was killed while conducting a traffic stop, friends, family, town and county leaders and fellow law enforcement officers gathered Thursday to dedicate a bridge in memory of his service.
At the request of Canton town leaders and Haywood County Commissioners, the North Carolina Board of Transportation named the bridge at Exit 31 on Interstate 40 — mere feet from the spot where Blanton was slain — The Trooper Shawn Blanton Bridge.
North Carolina State Troopers and a civilian who saved lives and helped catch suspects were honored at an awards ceremony at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville Thursday morning.
The awards were given by Reuben Young, secretary of the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, and Col. Randy Glover, commander of the State Highway Patrol.
“Each trooper went beyond the normal call of duty and demonstrated outstanding judgment,” Glover said. “This level of service exemplifies what it means to be a state employee – to serve others.”
They presented the following awards:
- Trooper R.B. Battle – CCPS Heroism Award and Highway Patrol Award of Valor. Battle entered a burning home in an attempt to prevent loss of life.
- Trooper A.S. Duff – CCPS Commendation Award and Highway Patrol Samaritan Award. Duff, who was off-duty, helped apprehend of a suspect in a drive-by shooting in Wallace.
- Trooper D.S. Gould – CCPS Commendation Award and Highway Patrol Samaritan Award. Gould attempted to perform life-saving CPR on an unresponsive woman at a residence in Burgaw.
- Trooper J. K. Locklear – CCPS Commendation Award and Highway Patrol Samaritan Award. After a wreck, Locklear tracked down an injured victim to her home. She was unresponsive, and Locklear gave life-saving care until medical personnel arrived.
- Patrol Telecommunicator F. L. Ledwell – CCPS Commendation Award and Highway Patrol Samaritan Award. Ledwell helped find an overdue truck driver. The driver was found unconscious in the cab of his truck near Columbia, N.J.
- David H. Campbell – Citizen Life Saving Award for his helping a patrol member in a time of need.
The Commendation Award is CCPS’s second-highest award for heroism and is given only to those whose judgment and courage saved others. The Meritorious Award is CCPS’s second-highest award for meritorious service or achievement.
The patrol gives the Award of Valor to a member who displayed personal bravery and self-sacrifice while preserving life or property. The Meritorious Award is given to a patrol member who demonstrated outstanding service to the state. The Samaritan Award is bestowed to a patrol member who went beyond the call of duty to help a citizen.
They give us speeding tickets.
They cite us for expired inspection stickers.
They are there to protect other motorists, as well as us, when we imbibe beyond the laws of the land.
But, as Mrs. Robert Guynn of Eastover reminds us, North Carolina Highway Patrol officers are worthy of our respect, and they often perform duties of humankind that we seldom realize.
You’ll find more thoughts from our readers on my blog, The Gospel Truth, I Think, at http://www.fayobserver.com.
Your turn: “On July 14, I was making my way down Dunn Road in Eastover to the 295 by-pass,” Mrs. Guynn writes. “As I approached Pembroke Lane, I noticed flashing blue lights ahead of me and, as my normal reaction is, I put on my brakes before I even looked to check my speed. Ahead of me, and to my left, I saw a state trooper who had a blue older model Cadillac pulled over. There, standing on the side of the road, was this little old frail looking African-American lady.
“I was appalled!
“I thought, surely she was not about to be arrested! She was just a little old lady for Pete’s sake! Then, as every red blooded American (who is nosey) does, I began to slow down even further. I wanted to get a good look at what was happening. What I saw truly impressed me.
“I will never forget it.
“That state trooper was changing that little old lady’s tire! He was down on his hands and knees in the mud and dirt helping her! I wanted to pull over on the side of the road and start applauding him! I wanted to go by the state trooper headquarters and give him a plate of home-baked cookies! Something! Anything to show him how impressed I was with his humility in serving his county in such a way, not to mention his humanitarian heart!
“The state troopers who serve us here never know who the enemy may be for the day. When they approach a vehicle, they do not know who will be in the car and what sort of danger that person may pose. Most frequently, they work alone and must use their highly trained skills to do their jobs if they are going to survive any real threats. When they leave the security of their homes they can give no promise to their families that they will be home at the end of the day. They are brave men and women, and my hat is off to them.
“I just want to say ‘thank you’ from the bottom of my heart to all these unsung heroes. They do much to keep our roads safe as well as help us to police ourselves when we pass them on the road or see them parked on the side of an interstate. I hate to think of what the roads in our country would be like if not for their service!
“And a special ‘thank you’ to that state trooper, who in spite of his need to be strong and brave, did not forget to be a human being that day. He took time and gave an extra effort to help that little old lady. She may have been stuck on the side of Dunn Road afraid and unsure of what she was going to do without this kind servant of the public who went out of his way to help her. May God bless and keep our state troopers safe! “
My turn: Great story, Mrs. Guynn, and thanks for sharing it with our readers. I’ve been in contact with the Highway Patrol office here to find out just who the noble trooper was so you can take him some homemade cookies. No luck so far, but I’ll keep trying.
Wow. Micheala must be one VERY strong woman. It’s inspiring to see that she’s determined to find the good in this and help others in the process.
A year ago, Micheala Blanton was dreaming of her baby’s first birthday and how they would celebrate.
That was before her son, Tye, was born prematurely and with serious health problems. It was before her husband, State Trooper David Shawn Blanton Jr., was shot and killed during a traffic stop.
It was before Tye died.
But Blanton still plans to celebrate Tye’s birthday with a party and fundraiser for the Tye Blanton Foundation 2-5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Maggie Valley Country Club to benefit babies and parents at the Mission neonatal intensive care unit.
Participants are asked to bring birthday presents — preemie clothing and blankets, and things parents need — to be given to Mission Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
“Being Tye’s mom was the best thing I’ve done in my life,” Blanton said. “Celebrating his birthday with the community makes me feel like I’m still a mom. That’s how I spend time with Tye.”
Tye died in October, four months to the day after his father.
In the public eye
Blanton has been in the public eye since the death of her husband, and people across Western North Carolina have offered prayers and support throughout the last year.
She hopes to use that publicity to help others whose babies were born too soon or are critically ill and who aren’t in the public eye. Her goal now, she said, is to raise awareness and help parents and babies in the NICU.
“Nobody plans to have a preemie,” she said. “We all plan for a healthy baby, and not everybody in the NICU has the support of the community like I had.”
Many parents of sick babies are low-income and don’t have health insurance. Many travel an hour or more to the hospital. Some babies are born to drug-addicted parents who don’t or can’t visit them.
“They need so much,” Blanton said. “I just want to help them.”
Blanton didn’t know how sick Tye was until he was born with a rare heart condition. The sonograms didn’t pick it up. He couldn’t have corrective surgery until he reached 5 pounds, and he weighed about 2 pounds when he was born seven weeks early.
She was in the NICU with Tye when she got word her husband had been shot.
Bringing people together
Blanton has turned her grief into something positive, said her friend Lara Feinberg, also the wife of a state trooper.
“I know if she can get up in the morning, I can, too,” Feinberg said. “If she can do something positive, I want to do it with her.”
Blanton said she does OK most days, but Mother’s Day was particularly difficult.
“Last year, I thought I would spend it with my baby and my husband, and this year I don’t have either,” she said.
Having a celebration on Tye’s birthday will help her get through the day.
The Blanton family’s tragedy brought the wives of state troopers closer together, Feinberg said. The board of the Tye Blanton Foundation is composed largely of women whose husbands are troopers.
Sunday’s event will be a chance for people to join the foundation for $10 and a promise to volunteer for three hours during the coming year (the event itself counts).
“Of course, even if you don’t want to volunteer, you can write a check for the foundation,” Feinberg said.
The foundation was started by Blanton and her sister-in-law, Shea Layman.
“I had been wanting to do something even before Tye died,” Layman said. “Tye was in bad shape, but as bad as it was, he had the support of a family and the community, and a lot of babies and their families didn’t.”
They started by collecting items from Haywood County schools: new preemie clothing, new blankets for the babies, gasoline cards, restaurant gift certificates, movie passes and gift cards to Wal-Mart and Target.
“We have to make sure anything for the babies is new,” Blanton said. “They’re so vulnerable to infection.”
Large numbers of outfits and blankets are needed because every time clothing and blankets get wet, they have to be changed.
The items for parents help them to get out and relax a bit, and help them pay for the gasoline to go back and forth.
“When your baby is in the NICU, you want to be there with him, but you need to get out a little bit,” Blanton said. “The food at Mission is fine, but you need to get out of that building.”
Blanton said she also wants to put baskets with full-size shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant and other toiletries in each of the six parent sleepover rooms.
“We’re starting small,” Blanton said. “But I don’t believe we’ll stay that way.”
Two state troopers received awards Wednesday from the Highway Patrol and its parent agency – one for heroics, the other for meritorious service.
On Aug. 27, 2008, Trooper Fred Demuth received the Heroism Award. He helped rescue two people in separate homes that were engulfed in flames in Tarboro.
His actions saved the life of one of the residents, according to Highway Patrol officials.
“Trooper Demuth went above and beyond the normal call of duty on this occasion in an attempt to possibly save others. This level of service exemplifies what it means to be a state trooper – to serve others,” said the Highway Patrol’s commander, Col. Walter Wilson Jr.
Trooper Leonard McLeod received the Meritorious Service Award.
He created a commercial motor vehicle safety program that promotes truck safety to members of the trucking community. He presented the program to hundreds of citizens last year, according to Highway Patrol officials.
“These troopers’ actions made the difference in people’s lives. These troopers are to be commended for their actions,” said Reuben Young, secretary of the N.C. Department of Crime Control & Public Safety.