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Lawsuit: Patrol academy run like 'paramilitary boot camp'

Posted October 26, 2011

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— A former cadet in the State Highway Patrol training academy has filed suit against her two former instructors, blaming them for injuries she suffered that have left her permanently disabled.

Jennifer Elisabeth Martin is seeking at least $30,000 in compensatory and punitive damages from Susan Raye Moreau and Gregory Noal Gentieu in the suit, which was filed two weeks ago in Wake County Superior Court.

Martin alleges that while at the 29-week Basic School in 2008, she suffered numerous ailments from training, including a cracked hip and a stress fracture of her thigh bone. The instructors disregarded her pain and ordered her to continue physical training, which ultimately caused her left leg to separate from the hip socket, according to the suit.

Moreau and Gentieu often referred to Martin as a "drama queen" and failed to provide her with any medical assistance, the suit states.

"(The instructors) created a paramilitary boot camp training environment which was designed to eliminate any cadets who displayed weakness and discourage the reporting of injuries," the suit states. "The instructors all had the mentality that a cadet was not hurt unless he or she was gushing blood or had a bone sticking out."

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  • braddavis Oct 28, 2011

    I don't know kodac31, I know a lot of local cops and they all laughingly refer to the NCSHP guys as the "grey gods". Not because they're great officers, but because they walk around with a chip on their shoulder and have overblown egos. I'd like to see a trooper switch nights with a local cop working downtown Durham or Fayetteville for a few weeks and see how he does....instead of sitting by the side of I-40 in his shiny new Charger playing solitaire on his laptop...

    What an ignorant statement! I came through the 100th Basic School, and the bottom line is, some people don't deserve to be in law enforcement. If you can't take instructors in your ear yelling at you and you certainly can't handle a beligerant person on the side of the road at 3am. Note, I also worked 3rd shift alone for 18 months with no radio communication with RPD or the Wake County SO, because at that time we weren't all on the 800mh system. It's easy to take shots when you have no idea what you're aiming at!!!

  • stormtrooper76 Oct 27, 2011

    lauren329

    There are alot of NCHP haters that post here, so dont let them discourage you. Thanks to your husband for his service!

  • stormtrooper76 Oct 27, 2011

    Something is missing here. The news and observer had an article about this and it gives completely different information. It said these two troopers refused to help her after she suffered a broken bone in her leg, couldn't walk and was dragging herself to the dormitories. Then they went and stuffed their faces leaving her to sit in a dark room without getting her to the hospital. Paramilitary or not, the military doesnt treat soldiers or even the enemy like that. God help us all if these goons show up and you've been in a wreck. Just plan on dying because they're gonna stop at burger king first.

    Funkytown

    I'm getting the feeling that this story is not accurate. Both accounts (WRAL & N&O) tell different stories. Neither one makes sense. If all of this occurred, why are we hearing about it now, 3 yrs later? I know the court process takes time but the media would have got hold of this long before.

  • stormtrooper76 Oct 27, 2011

    I don't know kodac31, I know a lot of local cops and they all laughingly refer to the NCSHP guys as the "grey gods". Not because they're great officers, but because they walk around with a chip on their shoulder and have overblown egos. I'd like to see a trooper switch nights with a local cop working downtown Durham or Fayetteville for a few weeks and see how he does....instead of sitting by the side of I-40 in his shiny new Charger playing solitaire on his laptop...

    UNC PH.d

    Maybe you should come to Durham and see what troopers are doing. I'm in Durham alot and see troopers working all over the place. I've seen them in good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods. Even then, most of the time they are working alone. I think your "so called" police officer friends in Chapel Hill are feeding you hogwash and are probably envious.

  • Funkytown Oct 27, 2011

    Something is missing here. The news and observer had an article about this and it gives completely different information. It said these two troopers refused to help her after she suffered a broken bone in her leg, couldn't walk and was dragging herself to the dormitories. Then they went and stuffed their faces leaving her to sit in a dark room without getting her to the hospital. Paramilitary or not, the military doesnt treat soldiers or even the enemy like that. God help us all if these goons show up and you've been in a wreck. Just plan on dying because they're gonna stop at burger king first.

  • UNC PH.d Oct 27, 2011

    Lauren, I understand where you're coming from..but there's a difference between a lawyer or politician being arrogant because they(usually) can't do anything to you, while a law enforcement officer who's on his high horse can certainly make a citizen's life hell during a traffic stop just because he thinks he can. That was my point, my police officer friends often say the Troopers act like wanna-be Marines who think they're Gods gift to law enforcement, and it's kind of a joke how stiff and serious they usually act all of the time..(it's not needed for good police work).

    As for me, I'm glad someone does it, but for what Leos get paid and the risks they take, it just ain't worth it.

  • lauren329 Oct 27, 2011

    ...and furthermore, to the person who addressed affairs being encouraged in patrol school.... You are incorrect. Two officers were "asked to resign" in 2004 for having extramarital affairs. I know both the former Troopers personally. What the NCSHP doesn't know about, they cannot stop, but trust me when I say that if they do know, it will be stopped. They frown upon affairs, flirtations, and they do not partner men and women in order to prevent such things. Every person is different. How a person responds to the intense training (and it is intense) and mental challenges is completely up to that person. My husband got tougher, but he still buys me flowers, tells me I am beautiful, kisses me EVERY morning, and takes me everywhere with him. He has never even raised his voice to me once. Everyone has the potential to be their best or become their worst. My husband is actually better and sweeter (albeit more protective considering the things he sees). Don't blame the institution.

  • lauren329 Oct 27, 2011

    I can proudly say my husband is a member of the NCSHP and he is NOTHING like the way the Troopers are represented in the news. How many law enforcement officers, lawyers, politicians, etc. are NOT arrogant? My husband isn't, but many people in the above fields are. However, there are corrupt celebrities, football players, models, etc. who are corrupt as well and you still support them... And none of them risk their lives to support their families or protect citizens like law enforcement does. Obviously, there will be bad apples everywhere, but the NCSHP uses Marine-based training to prepare the Troopers for the worst possible conditions and circumstances. I happen to know that girl signed a contract and waiver when she entered Patrol School. It's sad and pathetic that people who do not know ALL the NCSHP members make generalizations and taint the entire department.

  • UNC PH.d Oct 27, 2011

    I don't know kodac31, I know a lot of local cops and they all laughingly refer to the NCSHP guys as the "grey gods". Not because they're great officers, but because they walk around with a chip on their shoulder and have overblown egos. I'd like to see a trooper switch nights with a local cop working downtown Durham or Fayetteville for a few weeks and see how he does....instead of sitting by the side of I-40 in his shiny new Charger playing solitaire on his laptop...

  • kodac31 Oct 27, 2011

    Linuxheels---AMEN brother on making a excellent point about the lack of fact nased journalism in WRAL's reporting when it comes to their nonstop attacks on the NCSHP. This tabloid style journalism does a great disservice to one of the Nations Best State Highway Patrols, our great Troopers who put their lives on the line daily, & the citizens of this State who are filled with confusing one sided biased information. Troopers--Keep your heads up & stand proud, the vast majority of the citizens in this State overwhelmingly support all of you and know very well how you have been mistreated by the media. Its shameful that our great public servants have been turned into punching bags.

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