Photo/Story Gallery 2006
FHP Salutes Black History Month
In honor of Black History Month, the Florida Highway Patrol would like to recognize all of our African-American members who have made valuable contributions to our agency.
FHP salutes its first black trooper, Alphonso Lofton:
Alphonso Lofton was serving five years with the United States Marine Corps when he took one look at a Florida Highway Patrol trooper investigating a hit-and-run accident in 1966, and decided that’s what he wanted to be when he got out of the Marines. After earning the rank of Sergeant, he was honorably discharged in August, 1968. Afterward, he attended Lake City Community College.
His dream of working for the Florida Highway Patrol became a reality on May 1, 1970, when he became the FHP’s first African-American trooper. He was a member of the 38th Recruit Class at the Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy in Tallahassee from January 10, 1971- April 3, 1971. Upon graduation, he returned to Miami where he was assigned to Field Operations. On January 1, 1973, he was promoted to Traffic Homicide Investigator. On March 9, 1981, he was assigned as a Recruiter for Troop E in Miami.
Since Trooper Lofton held the distinction of being the first African-American trooper, he was appointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee of the Department where his efforts to recruit more African-Americans into the ranks of the Florida Highway Patrol earned him recognition from the Patrol and from the community.
In recognition of his efforts, he received the Martin Luther King Brotherhood Award and was honored by the State of Florida. The Florida Commission of Human Relations also commended him for his outstanding service with the Florida Highway Patrol.
Unfortunately, at age 39, Trooper Alphonso Lofton lost his battle with Multiple Sclerosis on February 25, 1984. His distinguished career with the Florida Highway Patrol was cut short by this tragic illness. Trooper Alphonso Lofton’s outstanding record of service to the citizens of the State of Florida exemplified character, honor and integrity. On August 19, 1988, the Troop E Headquarters Station was dedicated to the memory of Trooper Alphonso Lofton.
African-American Troopers Killed in the Line of Duty: