Trooper of the Month

2017 Trooper of the Month

January | Trooper Phillip Payne

Congratulations to Trooper Phillip Payne for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for January 2017.

On January 11, 2017, while Payne was working an enforcement detail in Saint Augustine, he was monitoring the local Police Department radio and heard there could be a possible suicide attempt at the top of the State Road 31 and Inter Coastal Waterway Bridge. Since he was in the vicinity, Payne was able to respond in less than a minute.

Upon Payne’s arrival, he noticed a man straddling the concrete barrier wall. Payne verbally engaged the suspect while walking towards him. The suspect responded to Payne, but he acted as if you could not hear the suspect because of the traffic in hopes the suspect would get off the wall, which worked. The suspect walked towards Payne and he began to talk to the suspect. The suspect confided in Payne that he wanted to kill himself by jumping off the bridge and had previously attempted suicide. Payne assured him that everything would be okay and had the suspect transported to the hospital under a Baker Act.

Payne is commended for his actions during this incident and he demonstrated commitment to the residents of the State of Florida.


February | Trooper Jeffery Sudlow

Congratulations to Trooper Jeffery Sudlow for being selected as a co-recipient for the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for February 2017.

While Sudlow and Trooper Mick Whitsel were patrolling, a pursuit began after a suspect that had carjacked his own mother’s vehicle with an infant in the backseat. The pursuit covered three counties and involved multiple agencies. As the pursuit entered Citrus County, Sudlow drove to the pursuit while Trooper Whitsel stayed in front of it. Sudlow was able to relay a current location to Trooper Whitsel so he could position himself ahead of the suspect. As the suspect approached Trooper Whitsel, he lost control of the vehicle and spun out into a ditch, allowing the other vehicles to surround the suspect and stop the pursuit. The infant in the vehicle was returned to its mother unharmed.

Sudlow and Trooper Whitsel displayed great dedication to the safety of the public while assisting multiple agencies with the capture of the suspect. Had the two of them not worked together to end this pursuit, the outcome could have been different for the infant and everyone else involved.

Sudlow and Whitsel are commended for their quick and creative thinking during this incident and they demonstrated commitment to the residents of the State of Florida.


March | Trooper Jean Torres

Congratulations to Trooper Jean Torres for being selected as a co-recipient for the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for March 2017.

At 9:30 a.m, on Friday, March 17, 2017, while Torres, Trooper Llanio and Trooper Rodriguez were conducting a speed enforcement detail on State Road 836, Trooper Carlos Rosario-Flores was struck by a vehicle. Without hesitation, Torres along with Trooper Rodriguez and Trooper Llanio started providing critical lifesaving first aid to Trooper Rosario-Flores since he had sustained serious life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash.

Torres, Trooper Llanio and Trooper Rodriguez were instrumental in immediately notifying the Miami Regional Communication Center of the seriousness of the incident and relaying specific information for responding Miami-Dade Fire Rescue ground personnel and their Air Rescue helicopter. The assistance they all rendered to Trooper Rosario-Flores and the information Torres relayed to the pilot expedited his flight to the Trauma Center.

All three of them are to be commended for their heroism and professionalism in the face of a highly traumatic event involving a fellow trooper. Because of all of their actions, it saved crucial time that contributed greatly to Trooper Rosario-Flores survival.


April | Trooper Michael Ford

Congratulations to Trooper Michael Ford for being selected for the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for April 2017.

On Thursday, April 13, 2017, Ford responded to the top of the Skyway Bridge because of a call about a female leaning over the side of the bridge. Upon arrival, Ford contacted the female and after speaking with her he determined she was about to jump. Ford was able to quickly gain control of her and had her transported to a hospital to seek further attention.

It is because of Ford’s quick response and actions that saved the female’s life. Ford is to be commended for his professionalism, decisive actions and compassion for others.


May | Trooper Emily Purvis

Congratulations to Trooper Emily Purvis for being selected for the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for May 2017. On Friday, May 5, 2017, as Purvis was returning home to Jacksonville from the Florida Highway Patrol Academy, she observed a vehicle in the wood line off 1-10. Purvis stopped to investigate and discovered an unresponsive female in the driver’s seat of the locked vehicle. After immediately summoning rescue personnel, Purvis shattered the driver’s side window, with the help of an off-duty police officer and opened the door.

After discovering a slight pulse, Purvis returned to her patrol car to retrieve her seat belt cutter and CPR mask while the off-duty police officer stayed with the driver. Purvis cut the driver from her seatbelt, removed her from the vehicle and then checked her vitals again to find she was not breathing.  Purvis and the off-duty police officer began CPR on the driver and were able to restore her pulse and placed her in the recovery position.  While waiting for rescue personnel, the drivers breathing stopped for a second time and Purvis performed CPR on her again until she was relieved by rescue personnel.

Although the driver passed away days later, Purvis’ efforts gave the driver a chance at survival. Purvis’ actions exemplify what it is to be a Florida State Trooper. Purvis is commended for a job well done and her attention to her duties and responsibilities as a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper.


June | Trooper William J. Lewis

Congratulations to Trooper William J. Lewis for being selected for the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for June 2017.

On Friday, June 30, 2017, while Lewis was off duty in his personally owned vehicle (POV) on Highway 177 in Holmes County, he observed an individual behaving erratically. The individual was yelling and appeared to be trying to car jack a postal worker’s vehicle. After calling 911 and informing them of the situation, Lewis started to approach and verbally told the individual that he was a law enforcement officer and showed his credentials. Lewis instructed the individual to get on the ground, which the individual disobeyed and fled on foot. While fleeing, the individual stole a bus from a church. Lewis returned to his POV and followed at a safe distance while still keeping in contact with dispatch about the location of the individual. Once Lewis noticed responding units had arrived, he backed off. Dispatch informed Lewis once the individual was in custody so he could give a statement.

Lewis’ actions are to be commended. Lewis assisted in the capture of a dangerous suspect and in turn reduced the potential for loss of life and property.


July | Corporal Michael Manfredo

Congratulations to Corporal Michael Manfredo for being selected for the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for July 2017.

On Thursday, July 25, 2017, Manfredo observed a black GMC Denali parked on the shoulder of the entrance ramp of 1-4 westbound at mile marker 114 in Volusia County. A woman was standing outside of the vehicle cradling a small child and appeared to be in distress. Manfredo stopped to check on the lady and observed the small child was turning blue in the face and her mouth was opened, but there was no sound coming from her. Manfredo immediately grabbed the child and provided three thrusts to her back until three pink pom-poms were dislodged from her throat. After the pom-poms were dislodged, the child started to cry and regained her normal complexion.

Manfredo is to be commended for his professionalism and heroic actions that saved the child from impending death or permanent disability.


August | Corporal Robert Friesen, Trooper Kristen Middleton

Congratulations to Corporal Robert Friesen and Trooper Kristen Middleton for being selected as co-recipients for the Florida Highway Patrol Troopers of the Month for August 2017.

On Tuesday, August 8, 2017, Friesen and Middleton were dispatched to a possible suicidal suspect in the north rest area of the Skyway Bridge, where Friesen saw the subject walking on the access ramp to the north fishing pier.

Friesen contacted the subject, who reassured him that he was waiting for his doctor. Once Middleton arrived, the subject fled from them both and jumped over the bridge and into the water where he proceeded to try and commit suicide by drowning himself. Friesen and Middleton secured their duty belts and jumped in after the subject to try and prevent the subject from harming himself. The two of them swam out to the subject and performed rescue swimming to return the subject to the shore and began CPR until the paramedics arrived on scene and took over life saving techniques.

Friesen’s and Middleton’s actions that day undoubtedly saved the life of another and for that, they both are to be commended.


September | Trooper Robert Roxbury

Congratulations to Trooper Robert Roxbury for being selected for the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for September 2017.

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, Roxbury was off-duty at his residence when he heard a loud banging on his front door. As he approached the door, Roxbury could hear frantic crying coming from outside. When Roxbury opened the door, his neighbors were holding an unresponsive two-week old infant. One of Roxbury’s neighbors was screaming that the infant was not breathing, and he observed the lifeless infant turning blue. The lady informed Roxbury that the infant had just consumed formula and was possibly choking on it.

Roxbury immediately took the infant and positioned her angled downward and performed three back blows. Roxbury observed a thick mucus, salvia and fluids expel from the infant’s mouth and nose area. The infant began to cry and open her eyes, but soon thereafter became unresponsive again. Roxbury positioned the infant in a downward angle again and administered more back blows. The lady provided Roxbury with a nose-suction bulb and he was able to suction the fluids from the infant’s mouth. Roxbury continued to keep the infant crying and responsive until St. Cloud Fire Rescue responded to the 911 call and transported the infant to the hospital. She recovered and according to her doctor is alive because of Roxbury’s efforts.


October | Trooper Michael Corrao

Congratulations to Trooper Michael Corrao for being selected for the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for October 2017.

On Friday, October 6, 2017, Corrao was dispatched to a possible suicidal suspect at the top of the Skyway Bridge. When Corrao arrived, he saw the subject on the outside shoulder looking over the concrete barrier wall.

Corrao contacted the subject and opened a dialogue with him. The subject told Corrao he was going to jump off the bridge. While talking to the subject, Corrao noticed the subject start to climb over the wall to commit suicide. At this point, Corrao quickly rushed to the subject and grabbed him to prevent him from going over the side of the bridge. Corrao escorted the subject to the ground until another Trooper arrived on scene to assist him. The subject was transported to the Pinellas Mental Health Service Facility where he was Baker Acted.

Corrao’s actions that day undoubtedly saved the life of another and he is to be commended for his selfless actions and empathy shown toward a citizen of Florida.


November | Trooper Joshua W. Seay

Congratulations to Trooper Joshua W. Seay for being selected for the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for November 2017.

On Sunday, November 26, 2017, Seay was enroute to K9 school when he approached a single vehicle crash on 1-10 westbound, at mile marker 290 in Suwannee County. There were four occupants in the crash with one ejection.

Upon arrival, Seay utilized his medical first aid kit and began assessing the victim’s injuries with Sergeant Wilson. During Seay’s initial assessment, the victim was unconscious and had a faint pulse. While Seay was administering first aid to the victim, the victim stopped breathing. It was at that time that Seay decided to begin doing rescue breaths while Officer Nobles of the Florida Department of Agriculture began the chest compressions until EMS arrived on scene. Once EMS arrived on scene, Seay took over chest compressions from Officer Nobles while the victim was moved into the ambulance. The victim was transported to Shands Live Oak.

Due to Seay’s quick actions and application of training by all members on scene, he was able to save the victim’s life. Seay is to be commended for his selfless actions and empathy shown toward a citizen of Florida.


December | Captain Bryant Gay

Congratulations to Captain Bryant Gay for being selected for the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for December 2017.

During the month of December, Gay responded to a medical emergency call at the I-95 mile marker 303 Rest Area. Upon Gay’s arrival, he located an unresponsive employee that was not breathing. Gay began life-saving measures, providing CPR until the emergency medical crew could arrive. With Gay’s assistance, the EMS crew was able to regain the pulse of the victim.

Due to Gay’s quick actions, and application of training by all members on scene, he was able to save the victim’s life. Gay is to be commended for his selfless actions and empathy shown toward a citizen of Florida.