Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Sam Mortensen says he had been warned President Trump might break script and call on him to speak, but he didn’t expect it.
The president invited Mortensen to the podium during a White House ceremony Wednesday.
“A little bit of a shock,” Mortensen tells Nebraska Radio Network about the impromptu invitation. “Obviously, I had to come up with some stuff off the cuff, but my biggest fear was, ‘Don’t trip walking down the bleachers.’”
Mortensen credited his fellow law enforcement officers during his brief remarks.
He found the president friendly.
“It was a brief interaction, but I felt like he was a genuine individual.”
Mortensen is stationed in Kearney. He serves in the Carrier Enforcement Division of the NSP. He representative the Nebraska State Patrol at a White House summit addressing the opioid epidemic.
Mortensen says he likes what he has read about legislation passing Congress and signed into law by the president.
“One of the things that really stood out to me is the amount that they’re going to put into getting treatment for those that are addicted and need the help and if we can interrupt the demand, then we can interrupt supply hopefully,” Mortensen says.
Mortensen compares the efforts to address the current crisis to those used against the meth crisis, stating while it is unlikely abuse of opioids can be stopped, the crisis can be mitigated.
President Trump praised Mortensen for the April bust of 118 pounds of fentanyl, one of the largest fentanyl seizures in state history.