Thursday, May 5, 2011

Honoring Kansas' Fallen Officers

Tomorrow the Kansas law enforcement community will gather to celebrate the lives of, and mourn the loss of all of Kansas’ officers who have been lost in the line of duty. Three new names have been added to the Law Enforcement Monument on the Statehouse grounds, and these men will be honored in the years to come by their brothers and sisters in uniform.

The first two officers were dedicated professionals who died last year working to keep Kansans safe. The third officer is an officer from history, someone whose name was not yet on the monument, who was working to secure a safer Kansas nearly 99 years ago.

Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Officer Luke Nihart was killed in the early morning hours of June 26, 2010. He was working the annual Country Stampede at Tuttle Creek State Park, when the ATV he was operating crashed. He died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Nihart had served with the Department of Wildlife and Parks for 11 years.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Sam Smith was killed on July 23, 2010. Smith was responding to a domestic disturbance call when he lost control of his patrol vehicle and struck a tree. Smith died from the crash. He had served with Franklin County for nine months.

Santa Fe Railroad Special Officer G.W. Greenstreet was looking for thieves who had been stealing from rail cars in the train yard at Edgerton on the evening of June 17, 1912. During the search, he was struck by a train and killed.

When an officer is lost in the line of duty, the entire law enforcement community feels that loss, and we mourn that loss with the officer’s agency. Kansas communities have shown in the past that they, too, feel these losses and mourn with law enforcement. We all join to support the family and friends the officers left behind—husbands and wives; brothers and sisters; moms and dads; sons and daughters.

During this time, our agency also reflects on our 10 fallen brothers in blue that have made the ultimate sacrifice while working for a better Kansas. These 10 troopers who were lost in the line of duty were dedicated to their jobs. Each served bravely, and we reflect on them, not just every May, but throughout the year.

Remembering our fallen officers…
Trooper Maurice Plummer-End Of Watch December 16, 1944
Trooper Jimmie Jacobs-End Of Watch October 6, 1959
Trooper John McMurray-End Of Watch December 9, 1964
Lieutenant Bernard Hill-End Of Watch May 28, 1967
Sergeant Eldon Miller-End Of Watch January 19, 1968
Trooper James Thornton-End Of Watch October 2, 1973
Trooper Conroy O’Brien-End Of Watch May 24, 1978
Trooper Ferdinand “Bud” Pribbenow-End Of Watch July 11, 1981
Master Trooper Larry Huff-End Of Watch November 26, 1993
Master Trooper Dean Goodheart-End Of Watch September 6, 1995

From May 15-21, thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C. in honor of National Police Week and National Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15). Please join Kansas, and the rest of the nation, as we remember our fallen officers and say thank you for their sacrifice.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Joint effort in Salina results in HR Award

On November 19th The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) presented nine member organizations from Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, and Wisconsin with the 2010 SHRM Pinnacle Award, the highest honor given to SHRM chapters and state councils. In Kansas, the Salina Human Resource Management Association received recognition for its “Coping with Community Tragedy - Workplace Violence” seminar.

A tragedy happened in Salina, Kansas on October 8th, 2009 when a double homicide occurred in an area workplace. After assessing the needs of its members, the Salina Human Resource Management Association (SHRMA) adopted education on workplace violence as a major initiative for 2010. SHRMA collaborated with the Salina Police Department, the City of Salina and the Kansas Highway Patrol to provide an educational seminar free for attendees. In addition to the live seminar, SHRMA underwrote the production expenses for a DVD. Proceeds from the sale of this low-cost training tool will be used for a future SHRMA community initiative. The seminar will air numerous times on the local public access television station to reach as many people as possible in efforts to continue with Salina’s “Coping with Community Tragedy” program.

The SHRM Pinnacle Award Program is designed to recognize outstanding achievements in chapter/state council development and contributions to the advancement of effective human resource management. All SHRM professional chapters and state councils are eligible to compete in this program. Winners will each receive a $1,000 grant presented at a chapter/state council meeting with special recognition in SHRM publications and during the Leadership Conference.

The Society of Human Resource Management, headquartered in Alexandria, VA includes a global membership of more than 250,000. The Society has members in 140 countries and offices in India and China. With a staff of more than 350, there are more than 30 specialized departments within SHRM to serve the needs of HR professionals by providing the most essential and comprehensive set of resources available. As an influential voice, SHRM is committed to advancing the human resource profession to ensure that HR is an essential and effective partner in developing and executing organizational strategy.

Congratulations to the Salina Human Resource Management Association, our public safety and our community partners in Salina for this well deserved recognition. The Patrol is proud to have participated in this important community safety effort.

Colonel Terry Maple

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Honoring our Veterans

Thursday, November 11, (Veteran’s Day) is a special day in the history of our country. This day is designated to honor the service of many brave men and women who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces.

It is because of our veterans, their sacrifices and service to our country that the United States of America is frequently referred to as the greatest nation in the world.

Over the years many KHP employees have proudly served our nation. Whether they served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserves, all represent a deep dedication, perseverance and sense of pride, all traits that this great nation was built on.

This Veteran’s Day, I encourage each of you to honor the service of our current and past veterans. Whether you fly your flag, attend a parade, or extend a handshake and a thank you to our veterans, each will know that their service is appreciated.

From the men and women of the Kansas Highway Patrol, I would like to thank the veterans for their service, bravery, and the sacrifices you have made to ensure our freedom.

To the families of veterans, know that we understand the sacrifices you have made in support of your loved ones while they served our country. Thank you for sharing your husbands, wives, sons, daughter, mothers and fathers to ensure the safety and security of Kansas and our Nation.

The United States of America will continue to be the greatest nation in the world as long as there are brave men and women willing to serve to ensure the freedoms we enjoy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Keep the Treat in Trick or Treat-Have a Safe Halloween!

Halloween is a much anticipated time of year for many parents and youth in our communities. As party-going ghosts and goblins celebrate Halloween this weekend, the Kansas Highway Patrol would like to remind motorists that Halloween is one of the deadliest nights of the year involving impaired drivers.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics indicate that in 2008, 58-percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

Kansas Highway Patrol troopers will be diligent in their efforts to remove impaired drivers from the roadways this weekend. Below are some tips for enjoying a safe Halloween.

Some tips to help you have a safe, enjoyable Halloween & to keep you free from jail time:
• If you plan to drive, do not drink.
• If you plan to drink, designate a non-drinking driver and give that person your keys before drinking.
• Never ride with a driver who has been drinking.
• Take a list of phone numbers with you for cabs or friends to call for a sober ride home.
• If possible, plan to spend the night at the event.
• If you are throwing a party, provide non-alcoholic alternatives, and never let guests drive drunk.
• Report impaired drivers to your local law enforcement agency.
• Always buckle up and properly secure children in their safety seats, these are your best defense, should you be involved in a crash.

Remember, children will be celebrating Halloween in costumes that are not always reflective, and as they engage in Trick or Treat activities, they do not always look for oncoming vehicles.

We encourage everyone to slow down, and to be cognizant of children and other pedestrians. Enjoy Halloween, but do so safely.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Week Dedicated to Child Passenger Safety

This week marks Child Passenger Safety Week (CPS Week)—a time dedicated to protecting the smallest, most vulnerable passengers on our roads. Children rely on adults to set an example for them, and to ensure that they are secure when we travel with them in our vehicles.

Last Friday a kick off event was held for CPS Week in Lawrence. A young mother spoke about how her two daughters, ages three and six, are still alive because they were in properly fitted and properly installed child safety seats when another motorist crashed into them. Even with the force of the crash they were in, which knocked off the mother and both daughters’ shoes, the two girls still came out unharmed.

There are great benefits to Child Passenger Safety Week. The week brings about awareness to the accessibility of technicians to properly install your child’s safety seat. During the week, numerous events are held throughout the state to check child seats for safety and proper fit and installation. These events are free of charge, quick (normally lasting less than half an hour), and many times, no appointment is necessary. Seat check events in your area can be located using the following link:

Another great thing that happens during Child Passenger Safety Week is the Kansas Motor Carriers Association’s annual donation of child safety seats. On Friday, KMCA President Jason Hammes presented our agency with 105 child safety seats of various sizes that will benefit those children in Kansas who are in need of a seat. KMCA is commited to improving traffic safety. They have partnered with us on this important safety effort for the past 11 years, helping protect our children—our most important resource.

Typically Kansas parents do a great job of securing children from when they are born until the age of four. However, once these kids grow to the ages of five to nine, the rate is lower than adult usage rates. For children ages five to nine, they are secured at a rate of 76-percent…that is six percent lower than the adult seat belt usage rate. For youth ages 10-14, the securement rate is even lower, with only 68-percent of these kids buckled up. That is not good enough. Should these kids be involved in a traffic crash, their best defense against injury or death is being properly secured in a child seat, and/or seatbelt. We must do better to protect the youth on our roadways!

For the protection of your family, and children in your care, I encourage you to look for Child Passenger Safety Week events near you. Get your car seat checked for proper fit and installation. Any time you need a car seat inspected or have questions, you can contact your local Kansas Highway Patrol office to set an inspection up, the following link will direct you to what field office you need to call: .

Friday, September 17, 2010

Troopers Work KS State Fair & Preparedness Day at the Fair

Since last Friday, September 10, Kansas Highway Patrol troopers have been assigned duty at the Kansas State Fair. They are assisting with security and law enforcement duties on the fair grounds, and providing traffic control in the Hutchinson, Reno County area. State Fair duty provides our troopers a chance to interact directly with the public in a positive manner, and affords the public an opportunity to engage in question and answer sessions with our troopers.

Annually, the Kansas Highway Patrol has a booth set up at the fair, where you can go to ask questions and interact with troopers. Our booth is manned by our Public Resource Officers (PRO’s), who are stationed throughout the state, and are trained to provide safety programs on a wide variety of topics to schools, civic organizations, and others who request programs. Annually, the KHP booth provides a display focusing on a specific theme. The focus of our display this year is trailer requirements. We receive numerous questions throughout the year on the requirements to pull a trailer, and the lights required, thus this year we decided to focus our display on trailers to address as many concerns as possible. In addition to the display, the KHP also provides a variety of safety information at our booth. We invite you to drop by our booth located on Cottonwood Avenue to obtain some safety materials and visit with our troopers during your visit to the 2010 Kansas State Fair.

While at the fair, our officers assist with traffic control, respond to medical calls, help look for missing children, take reports on stolen items, respond to fights, and provide security at the grandstand events. To ensure that we also have adequate coverage in the outlying county areas, we have additional troopers from other areas of the state who travel to Hutchinson to help with this annual event.

Monday, Sept. 13 was Kansas Preparedness Day at the fair. During the event I spoke about what our agency does on a regular basis to help prepare for critical incidents which could occur in our state. This includes undergoing specialized training, participating in simulated exercises, and maintaining proficiency with a variety of essential equipment.

Kansas families have heard many times about the need to prepare for emergencies which can occur in the state. Weather concerns are a major part of preparedness in Kansas. Severe storms are a constant concern, as is the approaching winter weather season. There are other emergencies, such as fire, or motor vehicle crashes. Making sure their vehicles are prepped, their homes are equipped with an emergency kit, and their families have plans in order are a few of the things we point out all of the time. Some of this can be overwhelming, but it is necessary and will be helpful when a critical event does happen in your area. There is a helpful website: which gives you one thing to focus on accomplishing per month. At the end of the year, your family will be more prepared, and focusing on one task a month isn’t as overwhelming.

I encourage Kansas citizens to prepare for major events that could happen in our state—tornadoes, floods, fires, winter storms. We will be ready to respond and help with recovery when these events do happen. I also encourage you to visit us at the Kansas State Fair. We look forward to meeting the people we serve!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Troopers Graduate Training Academy This Week

NEWS RELEASE – #2010-43

DATE: August 18, 2010



On Thursday, the Kansas Highway Patrol’s 20 newest troopers (Class #49) will graduate from the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Academy in Salina after undergoing five months of rigorous training. These graduates will be stationed throughout the state in areas where additional coverage is much needed.

“This is an exciting time for the Patrol,” Patrol Superintendent, Colonel Terry Maple said. “These new troopers will hit the road and have been assigned to areas where we’ve needed more help for quite some time. We haven’t graduated a class from the Academy since 2008, and it is long overdue.”

Speaking at the event will be Governor Mark Parkinson, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary with the U.S. Department of Justice, and Maple. The Class President will give a class response, and KHP Classes #20 and 21 (who graduated in 1984 and 1985) will be recognized. The Roll of Honor for KHP’s 10 officers lost in the line of duty will be read, as well as recognition to those Kansas officers who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in the past year.

Due to budget, this is the first training class the Kansas Highway Patrol has had since the 10 members of Class #48 graduated in December 2008. Last year, the Patrol was awarded an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to create a Domestic Highway Enforcement Team to help combat crime on the rural and interstate highways of Kansas. With the creation of this team, and moving team members to the newly created unit, the funding originally used for team members’ salaries then went toward hiring and training a new class.

Graduation information is as follows:

DATE: August 19, 2010
1:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Kansas Highway Patrol Training Academy
2025 E. Iron Avenue
Salina, Kansas 67401

The class will have undergone 897 hours of training upon their graduation. Their training covers law enforcement-related topics including car stops, Kansas law, physical training, firearms, and more. Upon graduation from the Training Academy, the new troopers will undergo 70 days in field training with their Field Training Officers in the areas of the state in which they will be stationed.