On Tuesday, May 15, 2001 President George W. Bush was presented with an honorary Florida Highway Patrol Trooper’s badge. Lieutenant Pat Santangelo, FHP Troop K Public Information Officer, made the presentation just outside of the oval office at the White House in Washington D.C. Although the badge was that of the Florida Highway Patrol, Lieutenant Santangelo stated to President Bush that it is representative of all State Police and Highway Patrol Troopers, and is given in appreciation of his support of law enforcement and his commitment to make America a safer place.
Lieutenant Santangelo, the Executive Director of the Florida Highway Patrol Command Officers Association, and Sergeant James “Bubba” Rhyne III, Chairman of Local 6000, International Union of Police Associations, were invited to Washington by the National Troopers Coalition to take part in a meeting with President Bush to discuss issues that concern State Police and Highway Patrol Troopers. Lieutenant Santangelo and Sergeant Rhyne are the Florida delegates to the NTC.
After a brief photo opportunity, President Bush invited the Troopers into the Oval Office for the meeting. NTC Chairman, Scott Reinacher, a Michigan State Trooper, discussed issues and presented the NTC’s views on upcoming Federal legislation. The President spent about 45 minutes with the Troopers. President Bush expressed his appreciation for the job that all police officers do, and complemented State Troopers on the positive image they give to the Law Enforcement profession.