The start of 2014 marks the beginning of an important milestone for the Florida Highway Patrol. Seventy-five years ago, the Florida Legislature created the Patrol as part of the Department of Public Safety. Today, FHP is known as one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the country and continues to meet the high standards of service that the residents and visitors of Florida have come to expect of those that wear a Florida State Trooper uniform.
The Patrol was established in 1939 under the direction of Colonel H. Neil Kirkman, for whom the building that houses the headquarters of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is named. The first FHP recruit class had 32 graduates and by the end of the first full year of operation (1940), the state had 59 Florida Highway Patrol troopers. In that first year, troopers patrolled 1.9 million miles of roadway and investigated 1,000 crashes in a state with less than 2 million residents. By comparison, last year troopers patrolled more than 31 million miles and investigated over 200,000 crashes in a state with over 19 million residents and more than 90 million visitors each year.
For more information about the history of the Florida Highway Patrol, visit
Happy 75th Anniversary