Trooper Edward Pope
Congratulations to Trooper Edward Pope for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for May 2006, for his assistance in preventing a possible suicide.
On Monday, May 22, 2006, Trooper Pope received a BOLO regarding a woman who had contacted the Fort Myers Regional Communication Center to report that her husband was going to kill himself. The husband was driving a 2005 Dodge pick-up truck on I-75 possibly between North Port and Sarasota with an unknown direction of travel.
While Trooper Pope was searching the northbound portion of the Interstate, he received information that the woman was at Exit 179, so he responded to that location and met with the woman. She stated that she and her husband were going through a difficult divorce, and that five minutes earlier she had spoken with her husband who told her that he could not take it any more and was going to kill himself, and then he hung up the phone. The woman attempted to call her husband back several times, but he did not answer the phone. Trooper Pope also attempted to reach the man on his cell phone, but only got a voice message.
When Trooper Pope asked if her husband had any close friends, the woman was able to give him the name and cell phone number of the friend. Trooper Pope contacted the friend who was very upset because he had just been on the phone with the husband who told him he was going to kill himself. The husband told his friend that he had a bottle of vodka and a bottle of Vicodin that he was going to take. The friend stated he could hear the husband handling what appeared to be a full bottle of pills and he appeared to be drinking something. The friend stated that the husband would not tell him where he was.
After the friend gave Trooper Pope his home address, Trooper Pope requested the Communication Center to dispatch a Charlotte County deputy to that location to look for the husband in case he arrived there.
Trooper Pope again attempted to call the husband’s cell phone. A Charlotte County deputy answered the phone. The deputy stated that he had found the subject intoxicated and was going to take him to a hotel to sleep it off. Trooper Pope asked the deputy to immediately contact EMS because the subject was believed to have taken a large quantity of pain medication with the alcohol.
Trooper Pope and the woman headed to the location where the deputy found the husband and found EMS on the scene. The subject, who appeared to be semi-conscious, was transported to the local hospital. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office assumed the
investigation. Trooper Pope later contacted the hospital and was informed the husband would recover, but was lucky to have been found so quickly or he may not have survived.
On Wednesday, May 24, 2006, Trooper Pope was contacted by the towing company for the vehicle in regards to two letters that were located in the visor of the vehicle. One of the letters was a suicide letter addressed "To Whom Finds Me." Trooper Pope took possession of these letters and turned them over to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
Trooper Pope is to be commended for his hard work and relentless efforts. This style of dedication and police work is an example of the best tradition of the Florida Highway Patrol. Congratulations for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for May 2006!