L to R: Trooper Paul Rich, Sergeant Milton Busby,
and Trooper Deano Kates-Paulus
In response to public requests for stepped up enforcement on Interstate 95 in the southern portion of the state, FHP has dedicated four troopers for a new motor squad to help ensure a safer drive for citizens and visitors in heavy traffic and construction zone areas on the busy interstate in the southeastern portion of the state. The four-man squad will help alleviate the severe traffic problems on I-95 that include 1) large volumes of motorists using the busy corridor (residents and visitors to the area), 2) a decreased mobility of traffic flow because of construction work zones in progress, 3) increased incidents of speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors that cause traffic crashes and rubber-necking by other motorists, and 4) inadequate enforcement available in proportion to the increased volume of traffic and the construction situation. The motorcycle squad should prove to be ideal in these situations and will be able to respond to stranded motorists more quickly, work crash scenes, and render assistance in areas not accessible by patrol cars because of the lack of roadway shoulder access and overall traffic congestion.
In 2006, FHP received grant funds through the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to equip a new four-man motorcycle squad to patrol the I-95 corridor during periods of heavy traffic as part of a statewide I-95 speed enforcement initiative involving other law enforcement agencies. It is hoped that the new motor squad will increase FHP's response capability and assist with enforcement efforts with speed and aggressive driving, decrease crash response time, provide better traffic control, and provide faster assistance for stranded motorists.
Thanks to the grant funding obtained from FDOT, FHP was able to purchase four motorcycles, complete with lasers, police lighting, radios, and other equipment, and a sport utility vehicle to tow the motorcycle trailer. Four troopers were selected for the squad and training began in December 2006. The newly established motorcycle unit for Troop L will be based in Lantana. The class began with four troopers and a sergeant. After two grueling weeks of intensive training the squad was ready. They will soon begin patrolling I-95 in search of traffic violators and motorists who need their help.