With the recent random shootings along Interstate 10 in the Phoenix area, the Arizona State Troopers Association (ASTA) is adding $1,000 to the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this act of “domestic terrorism.”
“For the past two weeks, commuters on the Phoenix freeways have been on edge because of a person or people who clearly have no respect for human life,” state Sgt. Jimmy Chavez, president of the ASTA. “Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) Troopers, and law enforcement in general, are also targets as they go out there and do their job day in and day out. Whether this is something that is related to the recent ‘anit-cop’ movement or not, these unlawful actions are certainly terrorizing our community. Our organization, in conjunction with the AZDPS, is encouraging anyone who sees something suspicious, to contact Silent Witness at (480)WITNESS – 480-948-6377, or the AZDPS hotline at 602-644-5805.”
Chavez further states, “The ASTA stands behind its members, the agency and the citizens of this state. We will not tolerate anyone who terrorizes our ability to go about our daily lives without fear.”
The men and women of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA) are encouraging Arizonans to take extra precautions and drive responsibly when traveling during the Labor Day holiday.
“Holiday travel can present challenges for all drivers on the road,” says Sgt. Jimmy Chavez, President of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA). “Being prepared for a trip will only make the experience much better for everyone.”
If you are traveling by car through Arizona, AHPA reminds you:
Buckle-up! Seatbelts save lives and it is the law.
Drive safely. Watch your speed, expect delays and give yourself enough time to travel to your destination.
Distracted driving can endanger everyone on the road. Consider hands free devices if using your phone is critical.
Consider a safety kit for your car. Include items like a first aid kit, cell phone back-up battery, flashlight, blanket, snacks, water, jumper cables, flares, warning triangles, and a whistle.
Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before a long drive, especially in parts of Arizona where heat can be excessive. Check tire pressure and condition (including spare) and fluid levels before you begin your travels.
Get plenty of sleep before embarking on a long drive– fatigued driving is dangerous for everyone.
Move over! Help protect emergency personnel on the side of the roads by moving over one lane. If you cannot change lanes, be sure to slow down.
If you see something – say something. If you notice something suspicious, call 9-1-1.
Designate a driver if you are under the influence.
If you are involved in a minor collision on the highway, move vehicles off the roadway to a safe location.
Since the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) was first formed in 1931, 29 officers have died in the line of duty. While many of these were accidental or traffic-related, eight were the result of murder. This is a challenging job at the best of times, requiring officers to confront individuals who may be dangerous, armed, and willing to cause severe injury or death to escape the law. For officers to stay as safe as possible while patrolling Arizona’s highways, they need the best body armor available.
If you’re an experienced member of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association, then you’re highly likely to know the various types of bullet proof vests on the market today, but what if you’re new to the role, and need to know more about finding the right protective clothing to stay protected against multiple threats you may encounter in the line of duty? Read on for more.
Bullet Proof Vests for Effective Protection
You never know exactly how any driver will react when you pull them over, or how badly they may respond to being tested for intoxication – most drivers may respect your authority and cooperate, but some may become aggressive, particularly if they’re wanted for other crimes. In these cases, if the individual is carrying a weapon, you may find yourself attacked. Various kinds of bullet proof vests are available: ballistic, edged blade, and spiked weapon.
A driver may be armed for various reasons, from personal safety to criminal behavior. Whatever the reasons, if you aggravate them – intentionally or not – you could find yourself threatened, or even fired upon. If this happens, provided you have the right vest, the bullet may never even reach your body. Bulletproof vests feature multiple layers of Kevlar, and absorb the energy of a round on impact, dispersing it throughout the material to lessen its force; this may flatten the bullet, but is likely to still result in severe bruising and swelling.
Ballistic armor is manufactured to provide varying levels of protection, from level I right through to IV, with multiple stages between. How do you know which vest stops which ammunition? Level I is designed to stop ammo in the .22 caliber range, while level IIA protects against lower-velocity 9mm and .40 S&W ammo. Level II stops 9mm of the higher-velocity range, and .357 Magnum bullets. Level IIIA is the final stage in the soft armor category, protecting against .44 Magnum and 9mm sub-machine gun ammo.
Level III armor will stop high-velocity rifle fire, of the following types: M80, 223 Remington, 30 Carbine, and 12 gauge. Level IV is able to stop armor-piercing rounds, with tough plates – made of ceramics or steel – incorporated alongside the Kevlar, though these may only provide single-shot protection. These hard armors are likely only needed in the most extreme situations, such as if you know a highly-dangerous, heavily-armed individual or gang is on the road in your area. Generally, lower-level armor may well be enough.
Edged Blade and Spiked Weapon Armor
In some situations, an individual may attack you with a knife or sharpened object if you attempt to question them or request they take a breathalyzer test. While guns are a definite threat, sharp items are just as dangerous – a single strike could puncture a vital organ or sever an artery, causing fatal wounds. While an attacker must get into close proximity before they can use their sharpened weapon, this can happen quickly, especially if they give no obvious indication of violent intent. Stab vests feature multiple layers of Kevlar and a tight weave to cause friction against blades, stopping them in both slashing and stabbing attacks. These are available in multiple levels based on the amount of energy used in the attack, and the size of the blade used.
Spiked weapon protection is also built into many stab vests, with the weave of Kevlar being especially tight – enough to stop a pointed tip passing between the fibers. If an attacker uses a hypodermic needle in an attack – as drug-users may do with no other weapon available – the threat of contamination should be considered; this may even be a threat used to warn you away.
You can never know exactly what dangers you may face on any given shift, but you should have armor available to cover against all threats.
Proper Fit and Comfort: Essential Considerations
To stay as safe as possible, you need to wear the ideal fit for your shape: if you choose armor which is too big or too small, it may leave you in greater danger than you expect. For example, an oversized vest may push up into your throat when you move, or drop down, exposing parts of your chest; on the other hand, if the vest is too small, it may dig into your sides and restrict your movements – a major problem when you need as much freedom to draw your weapon and take cover as possible.
Be sure to measure your chest and height – ideally, get someone to help you, to ensure accuracy – and check these against your supplier’s size chart to find the ideal size; if your department is ordering them for you, on their budget, ask them to make sure they get the right size. When measuring yourself, do so while wearing your uniform.
“I think from my perspective and my organization’s perspective, we are satisfied that Mr. Espinoza will be serving some prison time,” Sgt. Jimmy Chavez (President of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association) said. “It is certainly some comfort to the family, but I think we all would like to have seen more severe charges as well as more time served, particularly in light of the facts presented at trial.”
My name is Kylee Simpson. My parents, Eddie and Tina Simpson, both work in District 4. My siblings and I have grown up in Arizona all of our lives, the majority of which has been in Yuma. This year, I graduated as Valedictorian of the Gila Ridge High School Class of 2015. Throughout high school, I participated in Academic Decathlon, National Honor Society, and Track and Field, while working at the school. I am also very involved in my church nursery and youth group. I am going to attend Arizona Western College in the fall and will be getting an Associates in Nursing. Afterwards, I will continue at Northern Arizona University to obtain my Bachelor’s degree. I hope to work in either Women and Children’s or Emergency care. In choosing Nursing as my career, I have one main goal; to help people every day. It is an honor to be selected for the Skip Fink Scholarship. I thank all the brave men and women of the Highway Patrol for helping me to achieve my goals.
My name is Seth Copeland and I graduated from Centennial High School in Peoria this past May. As the youngest of 5 children, I often found myself to be the odd one out, pursuing interests not shared by my siblings. Throughout high school, one of those passions happened to be theatre. While my brother was off playing football, I found a home among the theatre department, finding a thrill in the opportunity to embody a multitude of characters. Over the years, my passion began to spread into leadership roles. It was not long before I found myself as not only the head of set designs and lighting and a drama club officer, but even the Captain of our school’s Improv team. What was once a small passion of mine also became a way to help people, as I became part of shows such as Laramie Project and Hello, My Name Is…– shows written with the intention of spreading messages of tolerance and acceptance.
While my passion for theatre might have distinguished me, in my family I have always found nothing but, love and support. Our parents instilled in myself and my brother and sisters values of compassion and gratitude. With both of my parents involved in law enforcement for well over 25 years and my brother being a Marine, they have also inspired me toward a career that matters- one where I might actually make a difference in somebody’s life. This led me to decide on joining the law enforcement field when I am older, hoping to one day become a detective. My ultimate goal is to join the FBI in the future, eventually training to become part of their Hostage Rescue Team. To help achieve these goals, I will start my journey by attending Northern Arizona University in the fall of 2015, where I will double major in Criminal Justice and Accounting. I am very thankful for the support and generosity of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association. Your scholarship will help further assist my education and put me on the road towards my goals and dreams.
My name is Rachel Fink, and I completed my first year of college at Phoenix College this year. During this time, I played volleyball & completed pre-requisite courses towards nursing. My career goal is to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. After graduating from Junior College, I will transfer to a university to complete my degree. I am also considering pursuing a Master’s Degree to become a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician’s Assistant. My family has always supported me and encouraged me to put my best foot forward and dedicate myself to accomplish my goals. My dad and both of my older brothers are all either in a public service job or pursuing one. My dad is a retired DPS Air Rescue Sergeant and paramedic, my oldest brother, Josh, is in graduate school earning a doctorate in Sociology to become a college professor, and my middle brother, Nathaniel, received his bachelor’s degree, served in the Navy, and is now working for the Glendale Police Department. They have each had a major influence on my work ethic because they have given me examples of how dedication is necessary to reach any goal, and it always worth it in the end.
My name is Raen Lewis and I was born on New Years Eve of 1996. I grew up with my parents and my younger sister in Arizona for my entire life. I love Arizona and everything about this state including the heat. I come from a large family of very close cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. My family is the most important thing I have in my life. I attended Liberty High School for four years. In those four years I participated in Cross Country, Track, and American Sign Language Honor Society. I graduated in the top 7% of my class with a GPA of 3.89. I earned a partial academic scholarship to Arizona State University because of my hard work. With the AHPA scholarship, most of my education is paid off for my freshman year. These scholarships make me very grateful and proud of myself for being able to help out my parents to pay for my college. At ASU, I will major in Non Profit Management. With this degree, I hope to help both animals and people around the world. I am extremely excited to start this journey in college and to spread awareness of the animals in the world who need help. This is my dream and I am so thankful to the Arizona Highway Patrol Association for helping me achieve it.
My name is Richard Nicholas Maine. I am a recent graduate of Buena High School and a proud recipient of the AHPA scholarship. I am most appreciative for this honor and owe a debt of gratitude to you and my family. Both have contributed to my life by giving me an opportunity to reach my goals, and through hard work and dedication, I hope to demonstrate just how grateful I am.
Dedication is a quality I have admired and possessed for a long time. I have always sought to see a task to the end and to the best of my ability. Although this quality has brought me much success, it has also made high school a very busy experience. Between football, athletic training, JROTC, working, coaching, volunteer work, and school work, it is a wonder I even had time to sleep. Even though it was difficult to balance my time, I do not regret one moment of it. I have always loved hard work and accomplishing a goal — I have my parents to thank for that. At an early age they instilled in me a strong work ethic and the idea that nothing is handed to you. These two things have been the greatest influence on who I am today, and who I will become in the future. In order to better understand the man I have become, you must first look at my past
Being the son of a police officer has been the biggest contributor to my character. As a young boy, I remember looking at my father and his fellow officers and feeling a great sense of pride, knowing I wanted to be like them one day. The thing that I remember most were all the stories they told. Now that I am older, I know that many stories were either romanticized or “over told”, but to a young boy sitting around the campfire at the annual bass derby the stories inspired me to be just like these men, one who would sacrifice everything to help those he cared most about. This concept has led me to be a caring person. I always strive to think of others before myself and would do almost anything if it meant being able to help someone. During high school, I was motivated to do hundreds of community service hours. My favorite service project was participating in the “Toys for Tots” program. I will never forget the smile and hug that came from a small boy I gave a bike to as an early Christmas present. That feeling is something I will continue to search for in life and has helped me in selecting a career.
Thanks to my father, his fellow officers, and that small boy, I have chosen to follow a path where I can devote my time to helping others. In the fall I will attend the University of Arizona and major in Physiology in order to become a physical therapist. During my senior year of high school, I was injured in a football game and required physical therapy. As I rehabbed, I watched people around me who could barely walk accomplish extraordinary feats. At that moment, I realized that I could help others by following this career path. I know the path will not be easy, but through a strong work ethic and dedication, I know I will not fail. As I move forward in life, I will never forget where I came from and the people who helped me get where I am. It is easy to let the small moments, like sitting around the campfire with your dad, slip away. I hope by embodying the values I saw growing up, I can cherish those memories and manifest those traits in my life, as well as make a difference in the lives of others.
I have learned that life is full of the unexpected, and difficult trials affect people of all ages and walks of life. Working with the AHPA has shown me how simple gestures towards others in their time of need affects not only the person you are helping, but in-turn teaches us something about ourselves. I’m Courtney McNichols and I have made it my mission to help others with the same care as members of the AHPA have for their own community. In August of 2015 I will continue pursuing my Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science and Kinesiology as a junior at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. During the spring semester of 2016, I will be taking classes in England at the University of Hull. I hope to attend graduate school in the future to further my education and pursue a PhD in Physical Therapy. Being involved in the AHPA’s community service projects, as well as other community service projects, has taught me the importance of giving back my time. I plan to pursue a degree that will allow me to give back to my community. I have learned lessons through community service, which I would not have been able to in any other way. I want to acknowledge how grateful I am for the many opportunities I have had to serve through AHPA.
I was born in Tucson, Arizona and graduated from Salpointe Catholic High School. I will be attending the University of Arizona in the fall on an academic scholarship where I will major in Pre-Medicine, and my goal is to pursue a career in Healthcare.
Community involvement plays an immense role in my life. My belief in community involvement for the benefit of others has motivated me to volunteer for organizations such as Special Olympics, Casa Maria Homeless Shelter, and Primavera. My family and I share a special connection with Special Olympics, as my brother Chris has Down Syndrome. Through volunteer work as well as my own life experiences, I have gained a stronger interest in giving back to the community, which has sparked my interest in healthcare. I hope to be able to provide foundational life-long skills to others so they may live long and fruitful lives.
My support system comes from my family, without their encouragement and financial assistance I would not be able to pursue my goals. My family has taught me the value of education, so that one day I may be able to give back to the family that has given me so much.
When I was a young girl I remember my parents telling me that I could do anything I set my mind to if I would simply “dream big and work hard”. I knew that I was held to a higher standard than most kids my age, but I didn’t always understand why. I gradually realized that my parents expected better behavior out of me because they wanted me to take a narrower path in life. They wanted me to strive for humility, honesty, and excellence even if it wasn’t necessarily the most popular thing to do. I grew to realize that my actions needed to speak louder. I learned that my behavior was a direct reflection of my character and my personal morals. I realized that I wanted to be known for more admirable things.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a strong desire to help others. Growing up, I used to think that I wanted to be a veterinarian. I would find all sorts of stray neighborhood animals to nurse back to health, and then beg my parents to let me keep them. Eventually they decided to get me a “patient” of my own so I would quit harboring the neighbor’s pets. When I was six years old, I got my horse, Newt, as a Christmas present. I came home every day from school, did my homework and then rushed outside to ride Newt. We slowly grew together, and I learned a lot about patience, diligence, and hard work through my time with him. Although my love for Newt and all sorts of other animals was strong, I soon learned that there were plenty of people in the world that needed help too. This sad fact motivated me to work hard in school so that someday I could attend college and get a degree that could be used to help others.
Things haven’t changed much since I have grown up. I still continue to work hard in my academics as well as community service. I am involved in various clubs and I am also an Emergency Room volunteer at Flagstaff Medical Center. In addition to this, I am an Ambassador to the College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences (ACEFNS). I also am a member of the Pre-PA club at NAU and volunteer my time helping others within the club make decisions about graduate programs. In addition to my volunteer and club activities, I also work two jobs on campus. I am a Supplemental Instructor for several first year Biology courses including Intro to Biology, Microbiology, and Anatomy and Physiology. My job is to recognize different learning styles within the classroom and ultimately facilitate the learning environment of first year students. In addition to my work as an SI, I am also a teaching assistant for a Medical Nutrition course. My primary job is to grade all assignments and quizzes as well as maintain communication with the students and administration. Needless to say, I manage to stay busy by helping others gain a better comprehension of the things that I am so passionate about.
Because of my experiences and desire to help other, I decided to pursue a major in Biomedical Science with a minor in Chemistry. My last three years at Northern Arizona University have proven that I am studying what I am destined to do. I have earned a 3.97 GPA and recognition on the Dean’s List each semester of my enrollment. Due to this continued academic success, I will be graduating a semester early with the highest of the Latin honors. I plan to maintain these high self-standards as I head into my senior year and eventually proceed on to graduate school. I am currently in the process of applying to various Physician’s Assistant programs throughout the west coast. My ultimate goal is to obtain my Master’s degree in Physician’s Assistant studies and work in an emergency room setting; helping a wide variety of people with an array of ailments. It is my dream to work in such a diverse, rewarding profession that serves to provide assistance to others.
Now that I’m grown, I appreciate what my family and childhood experiences have instilled in me. My upbringing has taught me to be more aware of my actions, to respect others, to have faith in the unseen, and also to not hesitate to lend a helping hand. Because of these values, I have decided to pursue a career where I can help others. I want to be a medical professional so that I can assist those who are in need just as my parents taught me to do. Although I know the road to this career is strenuous and long, I believe that it is a path that is sometimes untaken because of its difficulty. I know it’s the right path for me because of its various challenges. Just as my parents taught me, the right path might not be the easiest to take, but it’s worth taking if you simply “dream big and work hard”.
My name is Elizabeth Oien. I was born in Tucson, Arizona and I am 19 years old. I recently completed my first year attending Pima Community College, and will transfer to the University of Arizona in another year, majoring in Communications and Political Science. I have volunteered for many organizations, including Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) which is a support organization for the families of fallen officers. In addition, I also attended the AHPA’s Christmas Bear Delivery event in December of 2014. For me, volunteering is a way to give back to the community, and is an incredibly humbling experience. Aside from volunteering, I also intern with political campaigns and consulting firms in addition to working part time. In closing, I would like to thank not only my family for the continued support, but also the Arizona Highway Patrol Association for their generosity and assistance they have granted me in continuing my academic career and achieving my goals.
My name is Piper Seeley and I am 18 years old. Next fall I will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. I will be majoring in Space Physics. I will get to start my dream of joining the United States Air Force by being a part of the AF ROTC program at Riddle. I also hope to be an active member of the Student Government. While continuing my education I will also continue serving others in any way I can.
My name is Kyrstin Simpson. I am currently attending Arizona Western College in Yuma. I am going in to the second year of the Nursing program and will graduate in Spring of 2016. After graduating and getting my Nursing license, I have one more year to get a Bachelor’s degree at Northern Arizona University. This past year was the most difficult year of school I have experienced so far. I got my first B in college, learned how to study with a group, and had so many firsts in the clinical setting. This past year was a rewarding one; looking back on it now I see how I have grown both as a person and as a future nurse. I can’t wait for what next year has in store. When I become a nurse, I aim to work in pediatrics. I eventually want to take my skills to the non-profit field in order to use my career as something not just to live on, but to help those who need it, whether that be overseas or here in the US.
Going to school in my hometown has allowed me to stay active volunteering, at the hospital and at my church as a youth leader, which I love. I graduated eighth in my class from Gila Ridge High School in Yuma in 2012. At Gila Ridge, I was involved in Track and Field, drama club, and the National Honor Society. At church, I was a student leader in the youth group and preschool during this time.
I would like to thank the Arizona Highway Patrol Association for awarding me the scholarship. I am so grateful for the support I’ve been blessed with through the AHPA. This organization has truly shown commitment to supporting their officers. I am blown away by the opportunities that the AHPA has provided me with through the scholarships this year and in the past. Thank you to the AHPA members who put the scholarships together every year and those who contribute. It might seem like just a check, but it is education and a future to the ones receiving it. I am overwhelmed by the association’s generosity to be chosen again. I will follow up with the Association with my progress. Thank you!