Member Recognition

2013 Duty Officer of the Quarter

January through March | Duty Officer Gladis Izaguirre

Congratulations to Duty Officer Gladis Izaguirre on her selection as the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter for January through March 2013.

On Sunday, March 31, 2013, Izaguirre received a call from Miami-Dade Police Department with a very excited female on the line, stating she was worried about her father-in-law who suffered from dementia and could not tell them where he was currently located. Izaguirre took down the man’s cell phone number and contacted him. After approximately 20 minutes, she was able to get an approximate location by having the gentleman walk to a sign and tell Izaguirre what it read.

With the help of Ms. Macias, Izaguirre was able to locate the man and realized that he was in the Bradenton area. Ms. Macias called the Ft. Myers RCC while Izaguirre remained on the phone with the man and assured him that help was on the way. After being on the phone with the man for over an hour, Izaguirre and Ms. Macias were able to direct a trooper from the Ft. Myers area to his location and rescue him. Izaguirre then requested the Hialeah Police Department to contact the family so she could tell them where the father was and reassure them that he was okay.

Izaguirre’s willingness to go the extra mile makes her a real asset to the Miami Regional Communications Center. Izaguirre is congratulated for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter for January through March 2013.


April through June | Duty Officer Michael Halfpenny

Congratulations to Duty Officer Michael Halfpenny on his selection as the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter for April through June 2013.

On Monday, April 1, 2013, Halfpenny reported to work for the Midnight Shift, and upon relieving the Evening Shift Duty Officer, he learned that next of kin notification had not yet been made from a fatality which occurred approximately sixteen hours earlier.

Halfpenny familiarized himself with the call and began using a variety of resources available to locate the next of kin. After utilizing the DHSMV database DAVID to identify names and addresses associated with the deceased without success, Halfpenny then entered her name into the GOOGLE search engine which led you to a database, My Life, where he found names of people associated with the victim. Halfpenny continued searching those names until he found a female that could possibly be the victim’s mother; this individual showed the same address as the victim. Halfpenny then ran the female’s driver license and it showed two different addresses. Halfpenny dispatched a trooper to the first address, but there was no contact. Halfpenny then sent the trooper to the second address where he was able to contact the victim’s mother and next of kin notification was completed.

Halfpenny’s work ethic, professional knowledge, dedication and perseverance make him a real asset to the Tampa Bay Regional Communications Center. Halfpenny is congratulated for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter for April through June 2013.


July through September | Duty Officer Denitra Smith

Congratulations to Duty Officer Denitra Smith on her selection as a co-recipient of the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter for July through September 2013.

On Monday, September 2, 2013, Smith answered a 911 transfer call from the Melbourne Police Department. The caller was reporting a parental kidnapping of her four-year-old son by the caller’s grandmother. The caller advised she was following the suspect northbound on I-95.

While Smith remained on the phone obtaining vehicle, suspect and location information, Regional Duty Officer Jean Jarvis dispatched three Brevard County troopers to the incident and provided location updates to responding units. Once it was determined the suspect may travel toward the Orlando area, Regional Duty Officers Robert Jarvis and Carolina Dulin dispatched three additional troopers from Orange County.

While these efforts were underway, Regional Duty Officer Kimberly Manion contacted the Brevard Sheriff’s Office by phone and relayed suspect information and location updates. Once it was determined the suspect was traveling toward the Orlando area, Regional Duty Officer Andrew McAlister and Jean Jarvis provided location updates to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

All these combined efforts culminated in the suspect vehicle being stopped by Florida Highway Patrol troopers without incident. Further investigation revealed a kidnapping had not occurred and was a custody issue.

Smith’s work ethic, professional knowledge, dedication and perseverance make her a real asset to the Miami Regional Communications Center. Smith is congratulated for being selected as a co-recipient of the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter July through September 2013.


October through December | Duty Officer Joyce L. Cooley

Congratulations to Duty Officer Joyce L. Cooley on her selection as the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter for October – December 2013.

On Saturday, December 28, 2013, Cooley was working the St. Augustine console at the time of the critical incident involving the shooting of Trooper Lawrence Litzell. Cooley demonstrated an unerring attention to detail during the incident with constant focus on the trooper’s safety. Even during this critical incident trooper-involved shooting, Cooley provided timely assistance and maintained a completely professional demeanor. Cooley’s focus was on ensuring the safety and well-being of Trooper Litzell by coordinating the proper medical and police response. This was evidenced by Cooley’s interaction with supporting agencies. Cooley also maintained appropriate control of the incident, continued to document the incident and assist in the notification of all appropriate state agencies. This was also accomplished while keeping the chain of command informed and updated throughout, without a loss or degradation in other ongoing Jacksonville Regional Communications Center operations.

Cooley’s work ethic, professional knowledge, dedication and perseverance make her a real asset to the Jacksonville Regional Communications Center. Cooley is congratulated for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter for October – December 2013.