Colonel Gary Howze received his Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Florida State University, where he also earned certificates as a Certified Public Manager and Supervisory Management. He joined the Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary in 1987 while attending college and working full-time. In 1990, Howze graduated from the Florida Highway Patrol’s 84th Academy Class. He has served as a State Trooper in multiple positions of increasing responsibility across the agency in the areas of Patrol, Traffic Homicide, Criminal Investigations, Training Academy, Internal Affairs, Professional Compliance, Inspector General Investigations, Office of Strategic Services, and as the Patrol’s Executive Officer.
During his tenure at the Florida Highway Patrol, Howze had the opportunity to participate in many additional assignments, including contributions to the Nationwide Motorcycle Theft Task Force, where the South Dakota Attorney General deputized him as a Detective, allowing him to work undercover operations and serve as a motorcycle theft subject matter expert in multiple states. He has served as the FHP’s Emergency Management Coordinator and the Department’s State Emergency Operations Center representative, as well as represented the agency on the statewide Traffic Records Coordinating Committee. He is a past President of the FHP Command Officers Association and holds memberships in several key associations such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Florida Sheriffs Association, State Law Enforcement Chiefs Association, and the American Association of State Troopers.
From 2019, Howze transitioned from the Patrol to serve three years as the Director of Law Enforcement, Victim Services, and Criminal Justice Programs for Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. In that role, he was the primary liaison for the Florida Attorney General for federal, state, and local law enforcement issues. He also provided recommendations on initiatives and legislation, acting as an instrumental Advisory Board member of the Florida Fusion Center, Special Olympics of Florida, Cold Case Advisory Commission, Missing and Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse, Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Environment Safety Incident Reporting Committee and the Department of Health Strategic Plan.
In 2023, Howze returned to the Patrol after being appointed Colonel by Dave Kerner, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. He serves as a Commissioner with the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, is the Chairman of the Joint Task Force on State Law Enforcement Communications, member of the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Florida, advisor for the Florida Sheriff’s Cold Case Advisory Commission, and is the agency representative on the Domestic Security Oversight Council.