Member Recognition

1997 Trooper of the Year

Trooper Yodonis receives Trooper of the Year awardOn August 28, 1997, the Florida Highway Patrol announced that Trooper Frank C. Yodonis had been selected for the prestigious Trooper of the Year Award for 1997.

On November 11, 1996, at 8:00 p.m., Trooper Yodonis observed a vehicle pulling off onto the shoulder of Cypress Gardens Boulevard, in Polk County, and turning the headlights of the vehicle off. As Trooper Yodonis turned around on the vehicle to investigate, he noticed that the brake lights were being tapped, as if to draw attention to the vehicle. As Yodonis exited his patrol car and approached the 1996 Honda from behind, he noticed a set of car keys on top of the vehicle and observed the driver still in the car.

Trooper Yodonis receives Trooper of the Year award

As he approached the vehicle, Trooper Yodonis noticed that the driver was shaking and crying. Yodonis asked the passenger, who was standing by the passenger door, if everything was all right. The passenger replied that everything was fine, that they had just had a family argument. Yodonis then looked at the driver, who mouthed “he has a gun!”.

At that time, the passenger pulled out a .38 caliber revolver and pointed it at Trooper Yodonis, at which time Yodonis grabbed him in a bear hug and successfully disarmed him.

Further investigation revealed that the driver was a victim of an armed carjacking that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office was investigating. The passenger was turned over to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office where he was charged with Armed Carjacking, Armed Robbery, False Imprisonment, Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, and Resisting Arrest with Violence.