On Friday, January 25, 1957, Troop K began patrolling the 110 mile stretch of the Sunshine State Parkway from Ft. Pierce in the north to the Golden Glades Interchange in Miami in the south, with 33 original troopers, equipped with 22 Ford Police Interceptors equipped with “special high speed engines capable of overtaking anything that is likely to be encountered on the turnpike”, with an emphasis on “strict enforcement of the 60 mph speed limit, drinkers, fatigued drivers and bad tires”.
Today Troop K has grown to nearly 200 troopers, with 55 Regional Duty Officers and 15 civilian support staff, patrolling the 450 miles of the Florida Turnpike Enterprise highway system to include the 312 mile mainline stretching from Wildwood in the north to Florida City in the south, the 23 mile Sawgrass Expressway, the 19 mile Seminole Expressway, the 15 mile Veterans Expressway in Tampa, the 42 mile Suncoast Parkway, the 25 mile Polk Parkway, the 6 mile Southern Connector Extension of the Central Florida Greeneway in Orlando and an 8 mile section of the Beachline Expressway in Orlando, traveling through 16 of Florida’s 67 counties to include Sumter, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Okeechobee, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Polk, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Seminole.
Troop K, commonly known as the “Turnpike Troop” is headquartered with Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and is the official and preferred law enforcement troop for the turnpike system. Troop K’s safety and enforcement emphasis is on unlawful speed, aggressive drivers, impaired drivers, contraband interdiction, seatbelt and child restraint, move over law, following too closely and commercial motor vehicles.
The eight service plazas on Florida’s Turnpike are placed at intervals of approximately 45 minutes travel time apart to provide food, fuel, automobile repair and towing services to Turnpike customers. Over 35 million customers visit these service plazas each year and they allow drivers to rest on long distance trips to avoid fatigue. In the event your vehicle becomes disabled or you are in need of assistance Motorist aid call boxes are located every mile in both directions of Florida’s Turnpike (Mainline) for travelers in need of police, ambulance or roadway services. These are not voice communication devices; instead, electronic signals are transmitted to the Florida Highway Patrol, which dispatches the necessary service vehicle. Motorist also may dial *FHP (*347) or for an emergency dial 9-1-1 on a cellular phone for assistance. If calling for assistance via a cell phone, please be prepared to give an approximate mile marker and travel direction to the call taker.
Troop K has a unique partnership with the Florida Turnpike Enterprise to provide the safest driving environment for our customers making the Florida Turnpike Enterprise highway system one of the safest roadways in the Nation!