Corporal Richard J. Kraus
The American Society for Industrial Security recently recognized and honored a member of the Florida Highway Patrol for his genuine care and compassion toward his fellow man. Land-O-Lakes District Corporal Richard J. Kraus was presented with the Societies highest honor for his courageous acts performed on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in 2004.
Since the inception of the FHP's 24-hour suicide prevention patrols over the Tampa Bay Shipping Channel, troopers have saved over 60 people from jumping to their deaths. In 2004, Corporal Kraus personally saved five people from plunging into the cold waters over 200 feet below. Each life-saving event occurred during nighttime hours, and the majority of the subjects involved had to be physically subdued by Corporal Kraus, who worked alone in many of the situations.
The common thread for each of these life-saving events is the line of communication that was established between Corporal Kraus and the subjects. In each case, Corporal Kraus provided a listening ear and guidance to prevent a tragedy. Five people who thought suicide was their only way out, are alive today to receive the help they need.
FHP congratulates Corporal Kraus, a 24-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol, father of Troopers Larry and Chris Kraus, and husband to Debbie Kraus.