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American flag2 flying at half-mastIn Honor of those who died in the line-of-duty

The Star FHP project was initiated in April, 1994.
The Star FHP project was initiated in April, 1994.



Hurricane Andrew Devastates Florida

The Florida Highway Patrol has the responsibility to mobilize 50% of the state law enforcement resources to declared disasters. The FHP enjoys a state, national, and international reputation of being a highly mobile, professional, diverse, and disciplined law enforcement agency that can be mobilized in short notice and provide assistance anywhere in Florida. This was again evidenced during 1998 with floods, wilfires, tornados, and hurricanes.

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Trooper Fulford - click photo James H. Fulford, Jr., In the Line of Duty
End of Watch: Saturday, February 1, 1992

Trooper Fulford was searching a vehicle in Monticello, when a bomb detonated inside a microwave. He had served the citizens of Florida, with the Florida Highway Patrol, for 14 years.

His career with FHP began August 8, 1977. He was in the 53rd recruit class in Tallahassee, from August 8 to November 4, 1977. He was stationed in Bradenton and Monticello. At the time of his death, he was 35.

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Trooper Hurd- click photo Kimberly A. Hurd, In the Line of Duty
End of Watch: Thursday, July 16, 1992

Trooper Hurd was conducting a traffic stop on South I-95 in Ft. Lauderdale, when she was struck by a passing van. The driver was intoxicated and fled the scene, but was later apprehended and convicted. She had served the citizens of Florida, with the Florida Highway Patrol, for 6 years.

Her career with FHP began May 5, 1986. She was in the 76th recruit class in Tallahassee, from May 5 to August 27, 1986. She was stationed in Fort Lauderdale. At the time of her death, she was 26.

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Colonel Bobby R. Burkett

In December 1992, Florida Highway Patrol Director Colonel Bobby R. Burkett retired after providing more than thirty years of distinguished service to the Patrol and the citizens of Florida. A nationwide search was instituted for a replacement to guide this agency into 21st century law enforcement.

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Colonel Taylor - Click photoLieutenant Colonel Paul B. Taylor
December 1992-March 1993
December 1997- March 1998

Lieutenant Colonel Paul B. Taylor was named Interim Director of the Florida Highway Patrol until Director Colonel Ronald H. Grimming was selected to lead the largest state law enforcement agency.

On December 1, 1997, Colonel Ronald H. Grimming resigned. Lieutenant Colonel Paul B. Taylor was appointed Interim Director on December 2, 1997 and remained in that position until March 10, 1998, when it was officially announced the Florida Highway Patrol had a new Director Colonel Charles C. Hall, who came up the ranks of the Patrol.

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Colonel Grimming - Click photoColonel Ronald H. Grimming
1993-1997

On March 1, 1993, Ronald H. Grimming was selected as the new FHP Director. Colonel Grimming served more than 22 years with the Illinois State Police and came up through the ranks serving in a wide range of law enforcement services in that agency. He retired as the Deputy Director of the Division of State Troopers with the Illinois State Police.

Colonel Grimming became the first Director in FHP history to be selected from outside the ranks of the Florida Highway Patrol. Colonel Grimming brought many innovations to the agency as well as a national reputation of being a knowledgeable law enforcement administrator.

In April 1993, under the direction of Colonel Grimming, the Drug Interdiction Program was reactivated and reorganized. Colonel Grimming, noting Florida was still a primary entry point for the importation of illicit drugs, directed the troop commanders to reactivate the remaining felony teams and empowered troop commanders to intensify their patrol efforts to include detecting and apprehending motor vehicle drug couriers. Colonel Grimming gave new direction to the program by appointing a statewide interdiction coordinator and keeping the felony teams assigned to their respective troops.

Each team member receives specialized training relative to search and seizure, interdiction techniques, drug identification, and interview and interrogation as well as other specialized training.

They are cross designated as United States Customs Officers under the FHP agreement with the U. S. Customs and the Blue Lightning Strike Force. The 31 felony teams are comprised of 68 FHP specially trained troopers designed as felony officers.

The Patrol seeks out the best canines available pursuant to its stringent guidelines. Each canine handler and their assigned canine are trained and certified as a team pursuant to guidelines established by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Currently there are 39 canines on patrol.

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"Slick Top" Patrol Cars

Many FHP marked patrol cars took on a different complexion, with the advent of the "slick top." The cars were painted with the traditional markings, however, they do not have the blue light bars on the roof. This made them more difficult to see by hard-core traffic law violators.

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Recruit Uniforms

Recruit uniforms were changed from khaki shirt and trousers to khaki shirt and green trousers. This is a sharp looking uniform and promotes a morale boost to the recruits over the previous uniform. The Academy training for recruits was extended to 26 weeks.

The Patrol established three Special Response Teams with three Riot Control Vehicles and helicopters.

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Innovations introduced by Colonel Ronald H. Grimming

Retraining for officers every four years (Mandated by FDLE)
Field training officer program extended to eight weeks
Established shift commanders (Lieutenants on every shift in most areas)
Added three prisoner transport vehicles
Beltway --waves of enforcement

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Smart Trailers

In June 1993, the FHP purchased four Speed Measuring Awareness Radar Trailers (SMART) using federal funding obtained through a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. Each trailer combined radar and computer technology with power from the sun to provide information for our personnel and for motorists. The four SMART trailers are used throughout Florida to promote voluntary speed limit compliance on Interstates, county and local roads, school zones, and other locations where there is a need.

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Operation Help-Cat

Operation Help-Cat (Help Combat Auto Theft) is a program funded from a grant received by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The statewide Hotline, 1-900-Help-Cat (1-800-435-7228) is operated by the FHP Investigations Section in Tallahassee. The Hotline is designed for the public to report suspicions about possible "chop shops" or the resale of stolen vehicles and parts, or to provide tips about the identity of car thieves and organized motor vehicle theft rings.

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Operation Precious Cargo

In November 1993, "Operation Precious Cargo," a child safety seat project designed to help protect children riding in motor vehicles in Florida was announced. It was a joint venture of the Allstate Foundation, Florida Highway Patrol, and the Florida Sheriff's Association. Child Safety Seats were to be distributed at roadside safety checkpoints and to needy Floridians.

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Community Oriented Policing (C.O.P.S.)

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 provided $8.8 billion and 100,000 officers nationwide for community policing for the next three years. The Florida Highway Patrol stepped forward and took the challenge to make streets and communities in Florida a safer place to live and to visit. The Florida Highway Patrol acquired a $3.1 million dollar grant from the federally funded COPS program and hired 42 officers to respond to community complaints.

Historically, Community Oriented Policing was a local police function used to identify local needs for law enforcement and the community as well as to foster better relations with the public. Although the concept was not new, a state level law enforcement involvement in such a program was unique.

Through the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the Patrol's Community Oriented Policing Units were formed in Orlando, Tampa, Bradenton, West Palm Beach, Miami, and Jacksonville. Of paramount community concern was the problems that face our residents and 40 million plus visitors every day -- traffic problems and enforcement.

COPS squads began surveying the communities to gain consensus of public perception of the problem and to institute programs to address those issues. COPS squads help provide traffic safety programs throughout the community as well as selective enforcement resources in various traffic enforcement initiatives.

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Changes to the "TOP"

hat comparison - click photoAfter 50 years of tradition, the campaign hat introduced by Colonel H. Neil Kirkman, was changed to the "Smoky Bear" type hat which is black in color, providing a contrast that matches the epaulets and piping around the pockets.

In May of 1994, the Florida Highway Patrol was in for a change in hats. Studies showed the Campaign hat provided more protection from Florida's cancerous ultraviolet sun rays than other law enforcement hats. In addition, a 1989 Ball State University study of seven types of police uniform hats rated the Campaign hat #1 for providing officers with the most authoritative and commanding presence, and showed the wearing of uniform hats a positive effect on the public's image of police officers.

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Chiefs Challenge Awards

In August of 1994, it was announced the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) had selected FHP as the third place winner in the 1993 Chiefs Challenge Awards Program. The Chiefs Challenge is a nationwide competition among law enforcement agencies to promote safety belt use and enforcement of safety belt and child safety seat laws.

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FHP Helicopter Program

Being primarily a traffic oriented organization, the FHP has traditionally utilized fixed-wing aircraft for search, rescue, drug surveillance, and traffic patrol and enforcement. While there are ten (10) fixed wing planes still in use, the Patrol recognized that its role in other law enforcement functions was increasing and the need for another type of aircraft was needed to supplement our air operations resources.

Many of our fixed wing aircraft are equipped with Lo-Jack Stolen Vehicle Recovery Systems and have been responsible for the location and recovery of a record number of motor vehicles during this past year.

To compliment our flight section, we now have three Bell OH-58 A+, light observation jet turbine helicopters capable of operating at remote sites (off airport), at night and from a hover to 110 knots airspeed. The helicopters are LO-Jack equipped, have a 30,000 candlepower "Night Sun" spotlight system, and UHF/VHF and 800 megahertz radio systems for communication. The first such craft was assigned to Troop K.

The helicopters are used on patrol and for special details such as the Olympic Soccer Venue and the Valu Jet Flight 592 crash site. South Florida's A-17 played a major role in the recovery efforts, investigation, scene security, and other special assignments at the Valu Jet crash site.

They have conducted surveillance/photography missions for ATF in a domestic terrorism (militia) weapons case. Helicopters were used in Hurricane "Opal" relief efforts, Homestead and Daytona Race Details, and were instrumental in the apprehension of a suspect who had shot and mortally wounded a Ft. Lauderdale Police Officer.

In addition to the helicopter in south Florida, a second one is assigned to Troop B in Lake City and a third is assigned to Troop A in Pensacola. This latter ship is crewed in a cooperative effort between the FHP and Escambia County Sheriff's Office. The pilot is a FHP Flight Officer and the observer is an Escambia County Deputy Sheriff.

Our aircraft section is a force multiplier and assists and provides air support for our troopers throughout the state. Funding for conversion of the helicopters was obtained from the Turnpike Authority, Department of Corrections, and the Escambia County Sheriff's Department.

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Valu Jet Crash

Being a law enforcement officer, we have no guarantees what will happen to us as each shift unfolds. Bringing us closer and closer to being wounded or killed. We're highly visible targets and we're the first to be eliminated because our mere presence is a threat to the criminal mind.

We're taught, trained, and drilled for an attack, physically and emotionally, every minute of the day or night. No matter what threatens us, we will not flee. We will not hide. We will stand firm, while others seek safety.

From the very beginning a law enforcement officer is trained to stand and fight to the very end, no matter what the costs. A target not knowing for what, he waits, or for whom, the officer knows the criminal must attack first.

As a human being . . . the Patrol officer just keeps going, hoping to save the world. Hats off to the finest men and women who courageously tackled the most heart wrenching job one can imagine.

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DUI Enforcement & Prosecution

When the Institute of Police Technology and Management (IPTM) decided to write the DUI Technical Manual they formed a committee of select agencies around the state that specialized in DUI Enforcement. The Florida Highway Patrol is a leader in DUI enforcement and, therefore, Lieutenant Sammie Thomas had the distinguished honor of being assigned to the Technical Advisory Committee on DUI Enforcement and Prosecution. He had the task of reviewing and making recommendations on issues relating to the DUI problems in the State of Florida.

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Canine Instructor

Trooper Mike Van Leer is the only State Certified Canine Instructor and Evaluator for the Patrol. As a canine instructor/evaluator, Trooper Van Leer has trained over 30 police canine teams for other police agencies and the Patrol in the areas of narcotic detection, tracking and patrol dog. Trooper Van Leer has over 2,000 academic hours in the training of Police Work Dogs.

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Automated External Defibrillators (AED)

The Florida Highway Patrol will be the first state law enforcement agency in the nation to carry these simple, lightweight, portable, lifesaving machines in the trunks of patrol cars.

The Patrol applied for a $300,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to purchase 90 to 100 units for troopers who patrol remote areas of the state, where response time is critical to the survival rate of the patient.

Studies show that when Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) strikes, seconds count! FHP plans on issuing the automatic external defibrillators to their First Responder personnel, helicopters, and troopers stationed in remote areas where they may be required to provide emergency care prior to the arrival of emergency medical personnel.

In 1995, 82 drivers, 31 passengers, and 11 pedestrians died in traffic crashes but their deaths were attributed to non-traffic related causes. FHP investigated over 50% of those fatalities. More than 350,000 Americans die each year of sudden cardiac arrest. This occurs when the heart's electrical system malfunctions, which causes the victim to collapse and lose consciousness.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers are committed to saving lives, and due to the Patrol's coverage of the rural areas of Florida, troopers often arrive at life threatening situations long before emergency medical personnel.

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Portable Changeable Message Signs

The Florida Highway Patrol purchased seven Portable Changeable Message Signs in 1995 with funding provided by FDOT. Currently these message signs are being used to improve voluntary motorist compliance in the area of safety belt use, speed limit compliance, and driving under the influence violations. The signs are also used to inform motorists of unusual road conditions, closings, and work zone areas.

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Operation Safe Gate

"Operation Safe Gate" is a program designed to stop violators of railroad crossings. This is a specialized law enforcement program designed to increase public awareness of Florida laws on highway railroad crossings and crossing dangers.

The program is a cooperative effort of the Polk County Community Traffic Safety Team, Florida Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies to educate the public and to patrol and enforce the laws governing railroad crossings on the Railway's right-of-way.

The Florida East Coast Railway Company has updated their Trespass Affidavit Program with law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction of their business properties, and/or mainline trackage. Florida Highway Patrol troopers have authority to enforce applicable Statutes on the Railway's right-of-way in Palm Beach County.

The success of these programs shows a need for it to be expanded to other areas of the state where problems or gate crossing violations occur.

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Captain Jones - click photo Saxton R. Jones, In the Line of Duty
End of Watch: Monday, May 1, 1995

Captain Jones was shot accidentally while cleaning his service weapon in Tallahassee. He had served the citizens of Florida, with the Florida Highway Patrol, for 24 years.

His career with FHP began July 7, 1969. He was in the 36th recruit class in Tallahassee, from September 1 to November 22, 1969. He was stationed in Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Lake City, Marianna, Quincy, Panama City, Madison and Tallahassee. At the time of his death, he was 47.

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DUI "100 Club"

On May 2, 1995, Colonel Ronald H. Grimming, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, announced the newest members of the Patrol's prestigious DUI "100 Club." The announcement was made during a recognition ceremony at the Central Florida Chapter of the National Safety Council in Orlando. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) of Central Florida co-sponsored the event.

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Trooper Jennings - click photo Donald E. Jennings, In the Line of Duty
End of Watch: Friday, June 30, 1995

Trooper Jennings was struck by a passing vehicle while assisting with a traffic crash on the Sawgrass Express in Sunrise.

At the time of his death, he was 33. Trooper Jennings had served the citizens of Florida, with the Florida Highway Patrol, for 11 years.

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"Operation Round-Up"

"Operation Round-Up" is a selective enforcement program designed to remove convicted multiple Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenders from Florida's roadways whose driver licenses have been permanently revoked.

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"Driving ... It's A Matter of Control"

"Driving . . . It's A Matter of Control" was launched in 1995 from a grant awarded to FHP to develop an educational video, poster, and brochure to promote the reduction of DUI, increase safety belt use, and increase speed limit compliance.

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"Booze It and Lose It"

Our very popular and well received campaign called "Booze It and Lose It" is a statewide partnership between the public and private sector to wage war on drunk drivers in Florida. Components of the campaign include increased use of sobriety checkpoint operations, increased enforcement of drunk driving laws and a significant media/communications campaign. Drive Smart Florida is coordinating this campaign.

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Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Teams (CISD)

The duties of a trooper routinely brings the officers face-to-face with tragedy. They're exposed to death, injury, personal losses and crisis, and other traumatic events. The exposure to this type of trauma requires assistance resource to officers for their own well-being.

The Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Teams were formed to help FHP members cope with the tragedies they face including traffic crashes involving death, loss of co-workers, loss of loved ones, and personal crisis.

The teams are comprised of facilitators who are also troopers and supervisors lending the peer counseling component to the program. Professional help is also provided to the troopers as a part of the CISD program.

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Medal of Valor Award

The Patrol instituted the Purple Heart and Medal of Valor Award programs to recognize officers for heroism and injury in the line of duty. Plaques, certificates, and a medal to be worn on the uniform is presented in special ceremonies throughout the state.

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Star FHP (*347)

The need for the public to better communicate with not only the various "911" systems around the state but with local FHP stations became apparent with the great increase in the use of cellular telephones. Through the efforts of the FHP Public Information/Safety Education Section, and virtually all of Florida's cellular telephone providers, the "STAR (*) FHP" cellular telephone program was born.

Motorists dialing *FHP (*347) on their cellular phone are provided with a direct toll-free link to the closest FHP station. This system may be used to report drunk drivers, traffic crashes, stranded motorists, and other highway incidents. This link provides motorists with a "safety net," as the majority of 911 services will not accept non-emergency calls.

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Consolidation of Dispatch

In 1995, in order to implement the budget, DHSMV consolidated dispatching into 29 locations statewide and discontinued dispatch operations in 14 locations. This consolidation had no impact on the communications ability of the FHP nor did it affect officer safety.

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FHP Historian

Major C. W. Keith was appointed FHP Historian on November 9, 1995 for his 46 years of dedicated service to the Florida Highway Patrol and the Division of Driver Licenses. He joined the Patrol in 1941 and in 1946 he was promoted to sergeant and assigned to the Division of Driver Licenses as chief examiner.

As a result of reorganization in the Florida State government, Keith retired after thirty years of service with the uniformed division of the Florida Highway Patrol. He was appointed Director of the Division of Driver Licenses and served in that capacity until he retired in 1987.

He developed the road sign test by using the shape of the signs without wording. He also invented and patented a vision testing device for use by driver license examiners.

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National Accreditation

Another challenge facing the agency was the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in which the Patrol began the long enduring process under the leadership of Colonel Bobby R. Burkett, it gained prominence nationally by becoming the 13th state police/highway patrol agency to achieve national accreditation.

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Breaking Tradition

For the first time in the history of the Florida Highway Patrol, recruit troopers will be training with law enforcement recruits from other state agencies. Seventy-five (75) FHP recruits and fifteen (15) recruits representing the Bureaus of Marine Patrol and Park Patrol, Division of Law enforcement, Department of Environmental Protection, participated in basic law enforcement recruit training at the FHP Training Academy in Tallahassee, beginning On October 8, 1996, and ending on March 21, 1997. The Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Compliance Office, also train recruits at the FHP Academy.

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Trooper Smith - click photo Robert G. Smith, In the Line of Duty
End of Watch: Saturday, July 26, 1997

Trooper Smith in his patrol car in the emergency lane of Interstate 95 in Miami after completing a traffic stop, was struck from behind by a drunk driver travelling at an excessive speed. He had served the citizens of Florida, with the Florida Highway Patrol, for 4 years.

His career with FHP began January 4, 1993. He was in the 87th recruit class in Tallahassee, from January 4 to May 21, 1993. He was stationed in Naples and Miami. At the time of his death, he was 34.

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Operation Beltway

The FHP fostered an unprecedented statewide campaign in 1996, called "Operation Beltway," a multi-agency safety belt enforcement initiative. Due to its success, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has continued funding through the end of 1998. The Patrol also received additional private funding to purchase radio and television air time during the grant period to play public service announcements throughout Florida. The new program was aimed at increasing safety belt compliance from 58 to 75 percent.

According to NHTSA, 154 lives and 4,100 injuries, and close to $200 million dollars could have been saved last year with a 15 percent increase in the compliance rate.

Over 200 Florida police and sheriffs departments and 3,600 officers joined FHP in our effort to raise safety belt compliance in Florida to 75%. According to informal surveys conducted during the project, safety belt compliance rate has increased from 58.3% (1st pre-wave survey) to 67% (7th post-wave survey).

At the beginning of wave #7, to coincide with the Thanksgiving Holiday, the Florida Highway Patrol instituted a patrol policy change, taking a "zero tolerance" approach to safety belt and child restraint violations. The policy was developed to prohibit written warnings for occupant restraint violations as an enforcement option by troopers. The goal of this policy change is to increase true enforcement measures for those who refuse to comply with Florida's occupant restraint laws, and to have a model policy in-place for other law enforcement agencies to consider.

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Command-Level Promotions

Troop E, covering Dade and Monroe Counties, is the Patrol's second largest troop with 298 uniformed and civilian positions. Captain Rebecca P. "Becky " Tharpe became the first female in the history of the Florida Highway Patrol to attain the rank of Major.

Captain Kevin Guidry is the second black male member of the Florida Highway Patrol to earn the rank of Major. He heads the FHP Enforcement Services Command at General Headquarters in Tallahassee. He is responsible for coordinating FHP Emergency Operations Center responsibilities, Hazardous Materials, Hireback Programs, Drug Interdiction activities, FHP Auxiliary and Reserve Programs, FHP Air Operations, Traffic Homicide Investigations, and Communication Services.

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"The $2.00 Difference"

All Floridians registering their vehicles, or renewing their present registration, may voluntarily donate $2.00, which goes into the Department's Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund, for the sole purpose of purchasing child safety seats.

The Department tracks the donations by the county in which the money was donated. The cornerstone of the program is "Every Dollar Donated in Your County Stays in Your County."

The current plans are for the Department to order the seats for delivery to Troop Public Information Officers who will then provide them to county tax collectors within their troop. Representatives of local agencies and troopers who have been specifically trained will do distribution and training within that county. The Patrol's Public Information Officer will also work closely with county tax collectors within their troop to encourage county tax clerks to actively seek donations.

Public service announcements and posters have been developed to promote the program. Grant money from General Motors will purchase cable television air time to air PSA's featuring local tax collectors.

As of April 1, 1998, a total of $66,459 has been donated by Floridians while registering their motor vehicle and a total of 18851 seats have already been purchased and distributed with these donations.

Lieutenant Paul Shinholster, Public Information Officer in Troop B - Gainesville, conceived this program and lobbied it through the Florida Legislature . Florida is currently the only state to have such a program; however, several states have contacted us and are working on implementing a similar program in their jurisdictions.

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Trooper Crooks - click photo James B. Crooks, In the Line of Duty
End of Watch: Saturday, Tuesday, May 19, 1998

Trooper Crooks was shot during the attempted apprehension of a subject in Pasco County who had just shot and killed two Tampa Police Department detectives.

At the time of his death, he was 23. Trooper Crooks had served the citizens of Florida, with the Florida Highway Patrol, for 9 months.

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"Operation Safe Kids"

The Florida Highway Patrol is participating in "Operation Safe Kids" which is a National Child Restraint Campaign funded by General Motors Corporation and Evenflo Juvenile Furniture Company, Inc. This program distributes child safety seats to low-income, culturally diverse, and under served families, absolutely free of charge. Law enforcement agencies are not required to establish special criteria for determining the need for the seats. Officer discretion is all that is needed. If the officer feels that a seat is needed by a family . . . then a seat should be given. The International Association of Chiefs of Police provides vouchers for troopers to give out to needy families to receive a child seat. However, the trooper is required to instruct on the proper use and installation of the seat.

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Hall of Fame

He was selected, not only for his outstanding athletic career and achievements, but also for the many contributions to the community in which he serves. Pembrook Burrows is a Public Information Officer and an active member of the Freeway Incident Management Committee, the Traffic Safety Council, Community Traffic Safety Team, Trauma Foundation, Traffic Safety Council of the Palm Beaches, Minority Law Enforcement Counsel, "Pride of Palm Beach" Masonic Lodge #447, and the Criminal Justice Board of Lake Worth High School.

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"Operation Safe Riders"

"Operation Safe Riders 97" is our latest program paid for by a grant from Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The Florida Highway Patrol received a total of 2,567 child safety seats which were distributed during 1997.

There were two stipulations: (1) Troopers giving out seats must be trained in the proper use of this seat and pass this training on to the recipient and (2) the recipient should have an apparent financial need. Additional funding has been received from FDOT to purchase more child safety seats in 1998.

This program enables law enforcement officers to help families that are in need of a child restraint device but cannot afford one. In some areas around the state, vouchers are given out to those violating the child restraint law and the violator is able to obtain a free child seat after attending a thirty minute training session.

There is still much to be done to assure the safety of children while traveling in motor vehicles in Florida. Our continued goal is to provide educational information and to provide child safety seats to the parents and guardians who need them.

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"Campaign Safe and Sober"

The Patrol is committed to "Campaign Safe and Sober" which is a two-year national campaign sponsored by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). This program is designed to reduce alcohol-related fatalities to 43 percent and increase seat belt usage to 75 percent by 1997. Meeting these goals will save approximately 3,000 lives, prevent an estimated 153,000 injuries, and save an estimated $1 billion in health care expenses each year.

Florida is the largest law enforcement agency in the state and our primary enforcement priorities are apprehending DUI drivers, unlawful speed, occupant restraints, drug interdiction, and faulty equipment violations. This two-year campaign focuses on a different theme each quarter such as DUI, speed, seat belts, and underage drinking activities. This program will be a success simply because this campaign's focus and FHP's priorities are a perfect match.

When law enforcement agencies combine their enforcement initiatives and focus on an aggressive public information campaign, they have the impact and the vehicle needed to reach and educate the motoring public of the real dangers associated with driving. No one agency can do it alone. . . but together it can happen.

When the campaign began, the Patrol developed a "roll call" video presentation to get this program's message out to all of the men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol. This video has been endorsed by NHTSA and is now available to law enforcement agencies all across the country.

After the first year of "Campaign Safe and Sober" the Patrol has already met the goal of lowering alcohol-related fatalities to 43 percent. The figures for 1996 show Florida's alcohol related death toll is 33.6 percent. This is a credit to all of the dedicated officers around the state who have put forth the effort to make this campaign successful.

The Patrol continues to work with Florida's legislature to develop and pass tougher laws and penalties relating to DUI and safety belt usage. Although we have yet to be successful in passing a primary safety belt law, FHP continues to send the message; Florida needs a "Primary Safety Belt Law" because we know safety belts save lives and reduce injuries.

Both "Operation Beltway" and "Campaign Safe and Sober" will complement and enhance FHP's tactical enforcement, public information and education initiatives already in place, such as; Smart Trailers, Operation Round-Up, FHP Safe Riders, Roadside Sobriety Checkpoints, Wolfpack Patrols, Star FHP, Help-Cat, and Contraband Interdiction. The Patrol continues to support and participate in Operation C.A.R.E. throughout the year.

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Staff Inspections Unit

In order to make certain that this agency had the benefit of a management quality assurance resource, a Staff Inspections unit was formed. The unit audits performance, operations, and becomes an assistance medium for FHP managers throughout the state.

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Promotional Process Revised

The FHP revised its promotional process to ensure an added measure of fairness and competitiveness in the process. As a result, minorities in the FHP supervisory ranks increased dramatically.

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The FHP Web Page

With growing technology in the "information age," the Florida Highway Patrol Web Page was born in 1996. Under the supervision of the Patrol's public information/safety education section, the web page became a reality. Through a personal computer, visit our site on the World Wide Web -- www.flhsmv.gov/fhp. The public can obtain information concerning FHP history, management, safety resources, recruiting, changes in Florida's traffic laws, and even complete an application on-line to become a trooper. There are links from the Patrol home page to The U. S. Department of Transportation, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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Enhanced Educational Opportunities

With more emphasis being placed on education for promotion as well as for entry level candidates in the 21st century, the FHP instituted programs where shifts could be flexed and adjusted to permit troopers to further their education. Agreements with local higher learning institutions were negotiated making educational opportunities a reality to many employees.

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The Selection Process

The Patrol has recently added another dimension to the recruiting effort. In an attempt to attract and recruit the best qualified candidates for the FHP, the Patrol's recruiting section began traveling to military bases, colleges and universities, and local police academies throughout the southeastern United States. With 7 full-time recruiters, the Patrol invests many hours in attracting qualified applicants.

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FHP Applicant Entrance Testing

The Patrol re-instituted a written entrance exam as part of pre-employment testing. The exam was designed to test cognitive skills and to measure probabilities as to whether the applicant was suited for the increasingly complex challenges of a law enforcement career. The exam was a filtering mechanism; those who fail to achieve a minimum score are disqualified.

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Time for Growth - The Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary

The Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary is as much a part of history as the Patrol itself. Spawned from the American Legion, the FHP Auxiliary became an organization that provided troopers with a "partner" during patrol. Although not permitted to carry firearms at the time, they provided a tremendous resource to the agency.

The Auxiliary force is now permitted to bear arms, must comply with Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training requirements, and are used extensively in limited scope patrol throughout Florida during major events, peak holiday traffic periods, and disasters, in an effort to increase visibility and assist full-time troopers.

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ZERO TOLERANCE - For Belts and Booze

The FHP instituted a "zero tolerance" approach toward safety belt and child restraint violations in November of 1997. The change in policy was to send a strong message to the motoring public that occupant restraint use does save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.

The severity of Florida's DUI problem caused an outpouring of support from both the public and private sectors in efforts to correct the situation. These efforts resulted in improvements of DUI related statutes, certification of equipment and operators for chemical testing, and increased training for law enforcement officers in DUI enforcement.

Effective January 1, 1997, any person under the age of 21 who is operating a motor vehicle and has a breath or blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will receive an automatic administrative suspension of their driving privilege for six months.

The Breath Test Instrumentation Subcommittee has recommended that law enforcement agencies use PBTs for obtaining breath samples allowed under 322.2616(17), Florida Statutes. To assist in accomplishing this task, each FHP troop will be provided with a sufficient number of PBTs to be assigned to all traffic sergeants. These devices will provide troopers with a quick method of determining if an underage driver has a "BAC" of .02 or higher.

Since all FHP troopers are trained in standardized Field Sobriety Testing procedures, they are better able to detect those individuals who continue to drive impaired. The Patrol uses DUI squads, "Wolfpack" patrols, and Roadside Sobriety checkpoints to detect and arrest motorists who make our streets and highways more dangerous for everyone else.

As a result of the "Booze It and Lose It" campaign, from January 1 through December 31, 1997, the Florida Highway Patrol conducted 67 roadside sobriety checkpoints throughout the state. Troopers checked 44,425 vehicles at these checkpoints and made 542 DUI arrests, issued 31 Suspension Notices for Underage Drinking, made 131 Drug Arrests, and apprehended 52 fugitives.

Survey forms handed out at these checkpoints concluded that nearly everyone found the checkpoints to be a positive effort in reducing the incidences of motorists driving impaired. As a result of our efforts, alcohol-related fatalities have been reduced from 46.3 percent of total traffic-related fatalities in 1990 to 33.6 percent in 1996.

The Florida Highway Patrol will continue to fight the battle to save lives. We will use whatever means necessary through education, enforcement, teaming up with other law enforcement agencies, and working with the public and private sectors in an attempt to lower the number of people injured or killed in alcohol-related automobile crashes in Florida.

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New Polygraph Examiner

Lieutenant Paulette Jones made history on September 2, 1997, when she became the first female polygraph examiner on the Florida Highway Patrol. She graduated with the highest grade point average in the class. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Central Florida.

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Physical Fitness

A physical fitness test was also instituted in the pre-employment process. The PFIT is age and gender based.

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Outstanding Service

The Patrol received the prestigious AAMVA Public Affairs and Consumer Education (PACE) Competition Region II Award in the following categories: Brochure -- "It's a Matter of Control," Internal/external Video -- "It's a Matter of Control" and the Internet Web Site -- "FHP Home Page." Lieutenant Bill Leeper, Public Information Officer for Troop G, produced and directed a film in 1997 entitled "Highway of Horror" which captures real film footage of actual traffic homicide scenes. There are no actors in this reproduction. The script is real. Real drivers, real victims and real life is portrayed in this film of 18 minutes and 26 seconds; from the party, to the next of kin notification, the hospital, the court, the jail, and finally to the grave. Real moments in the lives of all the parties connected in a truly preventable collision that doesn't have to end this way! Recognizing our troopers for their outstanding service has been and will always be something that the Patrol takes great pride in. The Florida Highway Patrol also recognizes groups and citizen's for assistance to our members, because without help from others, our jobs would be much more difficult.

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Colonel Hall - Click photoColonel Charles C. Hall
1998-2001

Colonel Charles C. "Curt" Hall, a 32-year veteran of the FHP, was appointed Director of the Florida Highway Patrol on March 10, 1998, by the Executive Director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Mr. Fred O. Dickinson, III.

Colonel Hall received his Associate of Science Degree in Law Enforcement from Pasco Hernando Community College and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminology at Florida State University. He is also a graduate of the Senior Leadership Program and the Chief Executive Seminar, both sponsored by the Executive Institute of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Colonel Hall was a member of the Patrol's 28th Recruit Class. After completing his initial training at the FHP Academy, he began his career as a Trooper in Glades County. He has progressed through all ranks within the Patrol. Before being appointed as Director of the Patrol, his most recent assignment was Deputy Director of Field Operations.

Colonel Hall served in the United States Air Force from 1961 until 1965, when he was honorable discharged. He is a member of the Florida Sheriff's Association, the Florida Police Chiefs Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the State Law Enforcement Chiefs Association and the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association.

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In 1998, Florida ranks fourth in population with an estimated 14,720,385 people. An influx of approximately 450 people per day or 160,200 people per year migrates to Florida according to the University of Florida's report on sustaining Florida's resources.

The Patrol has 1,580 sworn officers. Since the statistical data for 1998 will not be complete until late fall 1999, the following statistics are accurate for the Fiscal Year 1996/1997: Traffic crashes investigated 189,993, Florida Traffic Crash Reports 92,497, Short Forms 54,409, Non-Reportable 43,987, Traffic related fatalities 2,811, Traffic related injuries, 240,001, Assistance rendered, 332,198, 48-Hour Corrections Notices issued 154,321, Written Warnings issued 262,615, Child Restraint Warnings 3,475, Infractions 668,664, Misdemeanors 74,119, Felonies 4,868, Miles patrolled 35,482,204, and Total arrests 747,651.

 


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