On Friday, April 5, 2002, Colonel Chris Knight hosted a news conference at the Land O’ Lakes FHP station to announce a pilot project in Pasco County that will assess the effectiveness of a nationally recognized law enforcement staffing formula the Patrol has used for many years. A total of 14 new troopers were introduced to Pasco County, which effectively increases the FHP strength to capacity at 37 troopers, according to the staffing formula. Shown standing with Colonel Knight at the news conference is Pasco County Sheriff Bob White and the 14 new troopers who reported for duty.
The goal of the Pasco Project is to:
1) reduce response times to traffic crashes and other calls for service
2) reduce fatalities
3) increase the percentage of time a trooper actually engages in proactive patrol
4) increase traffic enforcement efforts, including the arrest of motorists for driving under the influence
5) effectively staff selective enforcement details
6) increase coverage of patrol zones, and
7) effectively handle all traffic-related calls for service.
The Patrol will track a number of activities in Pasco County for a full year to determine if the staffing formula is valid and specific goals are achieved. If the pilot project is successful, subsequent requests to the Florida Legislature for additional troopers in other counties throughout the state would then be justifiable.