By Governor Pete Ricketts
July 16, 2018
The summer travel season is a busy time of the year for the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP), our state’s premiere law enforcement agency. Nationally, millions of Americans take to the roads each summer to get away. Here in Nebraska, tourism is our third largest industry, drawing 20 million visitors annually according to the Nebraska Tourism Commission. Throughout the summer season and around the year, our troopers are busy working the roads. While this may be their most visible work, their job places very diverse demands on them. This summer, already, our great troopers have been relaying medicine across the state, taking drugs off the streets, and reaching out to communities.
This week, NSP Col. John Bolduc and I honored troopers at the State Capitol for their work relaying medication across the state in May. It all started with a call from Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. The hospital had an urgent request: Lifesaving medicine needed immediate transportation from Omaha to Colorado, and weather prevented air transport. Without hesitation, NSP Lt. Matt Sutter organized the delivery of the medicine from Omaha to North Platte via NSP cruisers. From North Platte, the medicine was flown to its final destination of Colorado. While federal privacy protections prevent release of information about the patient, even to the agency, our great troopers stepped up when the need arose. Lt. Sutter and these troopers showed tremendous initiative and teamwork to get this potentially life-saving medicine to its required destination.
Our troopers have also been hard at work in recent months taking illegal drugs off the streets. In April, NSP made national news for drug seizures, which carried an estimated street value of $25 million. On April 18th, troopers seized 1,853 pounds of illegal marijuana during a traffic stop in Fillmore County, and on April 25th, troopers took 118 pounds of fentanyl off the road in Buffalo County – the largest ever such seizure in Nebraska and one of the largest in the country. On June 11th, troopers also seized 530 pounds of illegal marijuana following a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Shelton, Nebraska. At a news conference we hosted to recognize the troopers for their great work, Col. Bolduc noted that over 100 people die every day in the United States from opioid overdoses, and seizures of illegal drugs like this one help save lives.
In between saving lives and taking illegal drugs off the streets, our troopers are out in the community at county fairs and community festivals. Community events give the great men and women serving in NSP an opportunity to connect with Nebraskans like you. For example, troopers visited John C. Fremont Days this week with the “seat belt persuader.” The persuader mimics the effect of a vehicle rolling over, helping young Nebraskans understand the importance of buckling up. In addition to community events, you can connect with NSP and many of our troopers on social media. They are constantly sharing new information about their daily work, weather, accidents, and other events of interest. Stay up-to-date by following @NEStatePatrol on Twitter and liking their Facebook page atwww.Facebook.com/NEStatePatrol.
When you see a trooper or officer this summer, take a moment to “thank” them for their work serving the Nebraska State Patrol or one of the numerous local law enforcement agencies across our state. The thin blue line they form helps protect our communities, and it is a foundational part of keeping Nebraska the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family. If you would like to share a good news story about law enforcement in your community, or thoughts on another matter, you are welcome to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-471-2244.