Trooper Jimmy R. Love
Troop H - Jefferson Co.
Trooper Jimmy R. Love has been selected as recipient of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for May, 1997, based on his actions involving the apprehension of four juveniles occupying a stolen van.
At approximately 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, 1997, Trooper Love observed a green Dodge van traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 in Madison County. He clocked the vehicle exceeding the speed limit, traveling 89 in a 70 MPH zone.
After stopping the vehicle near the 262 mile marker, Trooper Love interviewed the white male driver and determined there were three passengers, including two white females and one white male. Love asked the driver to exit the vehicle and walk back to his patrol car. The driver explained that he had some identification in the glove box. Love then proceeded to the right front passenger's door and spoke with the white female seated there.
Trooper Love then observed a white male in the center of the van holding a semi-automatic handgun, pointing it in his direction. Love ordered him several times to drop the weapon. While Trooper Love focused on the passenger holding the handgun, the driver ran back to the driver's seat, started the vehicle and began driving away. As the vehicle was reentering Interstate 10, the right rear panel window shattered. A passing witness subsequently stated he had observed the white male point the gun to the rear and shoot through the window.
Trooper Love then retreated to his patrol vehicle and began to attempt to catch up to the fleeing van. The van entered Suwannee County and traveled approximately seven miles before driving onto the shoulder and breaking through a fence, at which time all four occupants fled from the van on foot.
A perimeter was established and all four juveniles were later apprehended in a barn they had unlawfully entered approximately two miles from where they had abandoned the vehicle. The vehicle, a 1996 Dodge van, had been reported stolen in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 13, 1997. The four juveniles were charged with Attempted Murder on a Law Enforcement Officer, Felony Fleeing and Eluding, Grand Theft Auto, Burglary, and Criminal Mischief.
Trooper Love's quick actions and utilization of proper officer survival techniques prevented him from being injured or killed during this incident and resulted in the apprehension of these dangerous juveniles.
Trooper Love has been employed with the Florida Highway Patrol since 1985. He assigned to Troop H, Jefferson County.