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Dear Sir or Madame:

I am writing to share an experience I had with the Florida Highway Patrol on Thursday, March 12, 2009 in Pensacola, Florida.

I had the day off from work as I was not feeling well. I wanted to quickly go to the store to purchase one item and return home. I did not intend for anyone to interact with me as I was not dressed in anything but shorts and a t-shirt and flip-flop, no cell phone, nothing but my wallet and my keys. I expected to be in and out of the store and back home fast. However, while inside the store a vehicle was approaching the parking lot to park and presumable visit the store and she collided with my vehicle which was parked in the parking lot of The Butcher Shoppe on Fairfield Drive. The store clerk called the FHP and it then became clear that the other drive of the vehicle that hit my vehicle may not understand the procedure of "a blue form", what one does when involved in an accident, etc. Further, she could not produce proof of current insurance coverage to me at that time. The dispatcher who was on the store’s phone with me said she may not understand and as such, he was going to ask a Trooper to come to the scene.

Within five minutes, Trooper Clarence Mitchell arrived. I was instantly impressed with his demeanor. He took complete command of the situation and all without having uttered one word! After he assessed the situation he did obviously talk with me and the other person. He was very kind, had a calming way about him, was very reassuring and he seemed to genuinely care about my well-being, He appeared to understand my concern about the damage to my vehicle but what is especially significant to me is that he displayed the utmost respect and patience with the other person involved as well- even though she was at fault.

I was stressed, frustrated, somewhat angry at the lady, and did not feel great. Trooper Mitchell resolved the situation and I was swiftly on my way back home. In addition and despite all of this, in a totally respectfully manner, Trooper Mitchell even made me laugh and I was smiling toward the end. His humor was also a welcome relief to the tense situation. It was interesting to me that a man with such presence was able to quickly convert a tense situation into an amicable resolution all, while responding to a situation that he typically did not do; in other words, I’m sure he is pressed for time yet it was not apparent by his actions nor his treatment of anyone involved in this situation.

When I arrived at work on Friday, I was discussing my experience with my boss, Stephen Echsner. While I do not speak for Mr.. Echsner, repeating his view of Trooper Mitchell is a pleasure. Mr.. Echsner told me of the respect and professionalism that Trooper Mitchell possesses and that he believes Mitchell was a former Marine. I believe this explains his ability to command the situation without speaking a word!

I’m sure in the line of work that Trooper Mitchell is in it is impossible to be recognized for all the "good" and positive impact they have on the community and public.

My sincere appreciation and gratitude to Trooper Mitchell for his service to the public each day. I hope that Trooper Mitchell is commended for his professionalism and is assured of how much one like me appreciates him.

Sharon A. Baswell


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