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Dear Col. Knight,

We've had occasion to speak on the phone over the years and I believe we met once in Panama City at my newspaper office.

I wanted to take this opportunity - especially since most people who write are complaining - to compliment Trooper L. Battle on his handling of a traffic stop involving myself on Saturday.

I had just been awarded custody of my 14-month-old son and had just driven him to Marianna to meet his mother and drop him off. I was emotional to say the least. I was also speeding when Trooper Jackson stopped me on South U.S. 231 as I returned home to go work on my hunting lease.

To make matters worse, as he did his job, we discovered that my fancy (sarcasm) new Kia's tag had expired on my birthday and that my 10-year driver's license expired at the same time last month.

Trooper Jackson was professional courteous throughout and listened to me as I gave him my lame excuse about the emotions of the day, etc. He also could see that I was a nervous wreck.

He then let me know he was writing me tickets for the expired tag, less than a month, and expired license, less than a month, but was giving me a warning on the speeding.

I was dumbfounded. He probably will never know how much that impacted me. He even explained how I could get the license and tag taken care of for minimal cost.

He didn't have to do any of these things, but I believe he sensed I was truly having an emotional day and had enough on my plate to deal with. The end result is I will take care of the tag and license tomorrow and I'll be driving slower. More importantly I had a very positive interaction with a state trooper in the line of his duties and that's something that will stick with me, and that I will tell others about. I had no expectation of a warning for speeding but he seemed to know how upsetting it was for me given my status of trying to raise a child and being in the court system with a divorce.

Please consider copying this to Trooper Battle and placing a copy in his personnel file. Y'all hear enough complaints and they make their way in. I'd like for their to be something nice. Again, he really made my day in so many different ways that it's hard for me to explain. But that one simple act was really cathartic for me.


Mike Cazalas


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