Trooper Tyra L. Keplinger
Troop G - Jacksonville
Trooper Tyra L. Keplinger has been selected as recipient of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for June 2000, based on her actions involving the arrest of an armed robbery and aggravated battery suspect.
On June 28, 2000, Trooper Keplinger had just arrested a subject pursuant to a crash investigation and was transporting him to the Duval County Jail when she rolled up on the scene of a potentially deadly crime in progress. She observed two subjects in the roadway, one of which was cutting the other about his hands and body with a box cutter (razor knife). As Trooper Keplinger approached the scene, she exited her patrol car and confronted the attacker without hesitation.
Trooper Keplinger drew her service weapon for protection and ordered the subject to drop his knife. The subject complied with the command by dropping his knife; however, he took evasive action by running around the front of Trooper Keplinger's patrol car. Trooper Keplinger proceeded around the rear of her patrol car and confronted the subject a second time and ordered him to the ground. The subject again complied by lying in a prone position on the ground. Trooper Keplinger held the subject at bay until several deputies arrived and took him into custody. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office subsequently charged the subject with armed robbery with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Trooper Keplinger's quick thinking and courage prevented a potentially deadly crime from being carried out and enabled the immediate capture of the perpetrator, while maintaining the security of the prisoner that she already had in custody.
Trooper Keplinger, a 2-½ year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol, is assigned to Troop G, Jacksonville.