Florida Cabinet Recognizes Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year

~ Lieutenant Channing L. Taylor receives distinguished award ~

TALLAHASSEE, FL – This week, the Governor and Cabinet recognized Lieutenant Channing L. Taylor as the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) 2016 Trooper of the Year. Lieutenant Taylor is assigned to FHP Troop D in Cocoa, FL. He has been with the FHP for over 22 years.

“Every day, FHP Troopers leave the comfort of their homes in order to protect us and help ensure motorists Arrive Alive,” said Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director, Terry L. Rhodes. “On that dark Sunday evening, Lieutenant Taylor made selfless decisions that undoubtedly saved the lives of innocent bystanders. He is a hero who has earned our gratitude and commendation.”

“Lieutenant Taylor is to be commended for his actions. He not only ended a life-threatening situation to himself, but his quick and decisive actions ensured the safety of the individuals around him,” said FHP Director, Colonel Gene S. Spaulding. “Lieutenant Taylor demonstrated his commitment to the Florida Highway Patrol and the residents and visitors of the great state of Florida by his actions that day and is well deserving of this recognition.”

On June 14, 2015, at approximately 9:15 pm, Lieutenant Taylor observed a red pickup truck entering the parking lot of the Pilot Gas Station on State Road 520 in Brevard County without its headlights on. Lieutenant Taylor approached the vehicle to inform the driver regarding the headlights. After the initial contact with the driver, the passenger of the vehicle produced a revolver and fired at Lieutenant Taylor striking him in the shoulder. Lieutenant Taylor found cover and with a clear line of sight, engaged the subject with his service weapon, fatally wounding the suspect. The driver of the truck was taken into custody immediately after the incident.

The Trooper of the Year award was created in 1965 by the Florida Petroleum Council to recognize Florida Highway Patrol Troopers for the work they do each day to ensure A Safer Florida.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about FLHSMV and the services offered, visit, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook.