Member Recognition

2020 Duty Officer of the Quarter

January through March | Regional Duty Officer Aaron Martinez     

Congratulations to Regional Duty Officer Aaron Martinez for his selection as the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter for January through March 2020.

On February 9, 2020, the Sanford Regional Communications Center received information via the Florida Fish and Wildlife dispatch of a possible active shooter at a car show in DeLand, Florida. Martinez was assigned to the Volusia County dispatch channel and immediately broadcasted the information to the field units. Martinez assigned units in CAD and maintained real time documentation as he continued to broadcast updates to the road units. Martinez ensured supervisory notifications were made and documented. Martinez relayed and dispatched road units to perimeter positions using the established mutual aid radio channel with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol. Three subjects were located and secured along the wood line of Interstate 4 by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

During the entire situation, Martinez maintained composure and did not let the stress of the situation interfere with his performance. Martinez displayed professionalism and teamwork that day and he was an excellent representation of the Florida Highway Patrol’s values, goals and mission within the Communication Center. Martinez is commended for his exceptional job performance and his willingness to go above and beyond his job duties.


April through June | Mr. Clayton Vinson

Congratulations to Mr. Clayton Vinson for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter from April through June 2020.

On May 9, 2020, Vinson received a transferred call from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in reference to a woman who was being physically assaulted by a male passenger. The woman was upset, hurt, and crying uncontrollably. Vinson was able to remain calm and talk to the woman, helping her regain her composure. Vinson was able to obtain the vehicle information and her general location and direction of travel. Throughout the call, the woman updated her location with cross streets as Vinson provided this information to the dispatcher. During the call, the male passenger could be heard yelling at the woman. Once the woman reached her destination, Vinson remained on the phone with her until a trooper was on scene.

Vinson is commended for his professionalism and calm demeanor during this situation. Vinson’s actions quite possibly kept the caller from further harm. Vinson is commended for your exceptional job performance.


July through September | Ms. Denitra Smith

Congratulations to Ms. Denitra Smith for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter from July through September 2020.

On July 22, 2020, the Sanford Regional Communications Center worked with troopers on a confirmed fatality on westbound Interstate 4. At the conclusion of the investigation, several attempts were made to notify next of kin. Working with the Newport News Police Department in Virginia, a possible address was in Orlando for the deceased subject. On July 25, 2020, Sergeant Behrenshouser responded to the address provided and with the assistance of the property manager, located the correct apartment of the deceased, and found three minor children that had been alone since July 22, 2020.

With no family in the area, the children were able to provide information on the deceased subject’s mother who lives in Ohio. Smith was able to locate information on the subject and possible family through internet searches. A teletype was then sent to Hancock County Sheriff’s Office for them to attempt the next of kin notification in Findlay, Ohio. The next of kin notification was successfully completed to the mother of the deceased.

Smith is commended for her efforts and for going above and beyond to complete the difficult task of locating the next of kin during this situation. Smith is commended for her exceptional job performance.


October through December | Regional Duty Officer Mitchell Brenner, Regional Duty Officer Shanel Demus, Regional Duty Officer Shantel Reece

Congratulations to Regional Duty Officer Mitchell Brenner, Regional Duty Officer Shanel Demus and Regional Duty Officer Shantel Reece for being selected as co-recipients of the Florida Highway Patrol Duty Officer of the Quarter from October through December 2020.

On October 11, 2020, Reece received a call from the Traffic Management Center advising a male subject approached a construction worker on Interstate 95 stating he had been shot. Reece immediately entered the call and documented all information. Reece notified the City of Miami Police Department Communications Center and updated CAD notes with Brenner’s assistance by monitoring the police emergency channel and notifying surrounding agencies.

Brenner was able to obtain the vehicle description and tag number and the assailant’s phone number from the Miami Dade Police Department. Demus dispatched troopers to the area as a non-active shooting incident before upgrading to an active shooter incident. The emergency alert tone was initiated, and additional units were dispatched to the scene. Demus contacted the assailant via telephone and obtained a confession, along with other information, that aided in solidifying the suspect’s apprehension and arrest.

They are commended for their collaborated efforts, professionalism, calm demeanor, and exceptional job performance during this situation.