On Wednesday, January 16, 2002, Buckle Up Florida presented three members of the Florida Highway Patrol awards during a Florida Police Chief's Association breakfast at World Golf Village in St. Augustine.
Trooper Larry E. Coggins, Jr. received the first place "State Officer of the Year" award for his efforts in public safety and education in the Polk County area. Trooper Coggins speaks on a regular basis to elementary and high schools, civic groups, homeowners associations, and large corporations about bicycle, alcohol, seat belt, and driving safety issues. Trooper Coggins is also one of the highest enforcers of traffic laws in the Lakeland District. His enforcement activity for the year 2000 was over 2800 citations and arrests.
Lt. Michael Burroughs, Lake City, was awarded the second place "State Officer of the Year" for creating a safety belt/child restraint program entitled "Don't be a Dummy, Buckle Up." Lt. Burroughs organizes monthly safety seat checkups and attends safety fairs, partnering with local business groups as well as civic groups. He also teaches driver improvement classes with the Northeast Florida Safety Council.
Trooper Samuel O. Johnson was awarded third place for "State Officer of the Year" for his safety education and enforcement efforts in Miami-Dade County. Trooper Johnson is a certified child safety seat installer and regularly gives safety courses on the proper installation of child safety seats at schools, hospitals, and churches throughout his area. Trooper Johnson is a mentor at Richmond Heights Middle School where he introduced a program entitled "The Winner Within." Trooper Johnson also sponsors an annual picnic for the youths of this school who perform well during the school year.
Pictured, from left to right, are Colonel Chris Knight, Lieutenant Mike Burroughs, Trooper Samuel Johnson, Trooper Larry Coggins, Jr., and Satellite Beach Police Chief Lee Cody, President of the Florida Police Chief