Troop Boundaries & Information
Patrolling Florida’s Turnpike
MAJOR KEVIN L. BLOM
On Friday, January 25, 1957, Troop K commonly known as the “Turnpike Troop” began patrolling the 110 mile stretch of the Sunshine State Parkway from Ft. Pierce in the north to the Golden Glades Interchange in Miami in the south, with 33 original troopers, equipped with 22 Ford Police Interceptors equipped with “special high speed engines capable of overtaking anything that is likely to be encountered on the turnpike”, with an emphasis on “strict enforcement of the 60 mph speed limit, drinkers, fatigued drivers and bad tires”.
Today Troop K has grown to nearly 200 troopers, with 55 Regional Duty Officers and 15 civilian support staff, patrolling the 450 miles of the Florida Turnpike Enterprise highway system to include the 312 mile mainline stretching from Wildwood in the north to Florida City in the south, the 23 mile Sawgrass Expressway, the 19 mile Seminole Expressway, the 15 mile Veterans Expressway in Tampa, the 42 mile Suncoast Parkway, the 25 mile Polk Parkway, the 6 mile Southern Connector Extension of the Central Florida Greeneway in Orlando and an 8 mile section of the Beachline Expressway in Orlando, traveling through 16 of Florida’s 67 counties to include Sumter, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Okeechobee, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Polk, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Seminole.
Troop K is headquarters located in Orlando at Mile Post 263 along with the Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise headquarters. In addition, Troop K is the official and preferred law enforcement troop for the turnpike system. Troop K’s safety and enforcement emphasis is on unlawful speed, aggressive drivers, impaired drivers, contraband interdiction, seatbelt and child restraint, move over law, following too closely and commercial motor vehicles.
The eight service plazas on Florida’s Turnpike are placed at intervals of approximately 45 minutes travel time apart to provide food, fuel, automobile repair and towing services to Turnpike customers. Over 35 million customers visit these service plazas each year and they allow drivers to rest on long distance trips to avoid fatigue. In the event your vehicle becomes disabled or you are in need of assistance Motorist aid call boxes are located every mile in both directions of Florida’s Turnpike (Mainline) for travelers in need of police, ambulance or roadway services. These are not voice communication devices; instead, electronic signals are transmitted to the Florida Highway Patrol, which dispatches the necessary service vehicle. Motorist also may dial *FHP (*347) or for an emergency dial 9-1-1 on a cellular phone for assistance. If calling for assistance via a cell phone, please be prepared to give an approximate mile marker and travel direction to the call taker.
Troop K has a unique partnership with the Florida Turnpike Enterprise to provide the safest driving environment for our customers making the Florida Turnpike Enterprise highway system one of the safest roadways in the Nation!
Captain Roger Reyes
Miami District Commander
The Miami District encompasses the Florida Turnpike section that travels through Dade and Broward Counties along the Sawgrass Expressway. The headquarters for the Miami District is located in southern Dade County at Post 1 which is located adjacent to the Snapper Creek Plaza. Broward County troopers are stationed at Post 3 which is located just off the turnpike near Fort Lauderdale.
The settlement of this area of South Florida dates back to the Tequesta Indians that resided here before the arrival of the European settlers. The Spanish built a mission at the mouth of the Miami River by 1567 and later constructed a fort that was completed by 1743. In 1821, Florida came under the control of the United States as the Spanish complete their withdrawal from the area.
The Dade and Broward County areas are truly diverse from both business and cultural perspectives. South Florida is renowned for its beaches and recreational opportunities. However, it has recently become a hub for the international business community, travel and the fashion industry. Agriculture also continues to be a key contribution to the rest of the United States, especially during the winter months.
Captain Ellery Collado
West Palm Beach District Commander
The West Palm Beach District covers Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River Counties for a total of 117 miles along Florida’s Turnpike. We occupy an office in Palm Beach County at the 99 mile marker and an office in St. Lucie County at the 145 mile marker.
The Florida Highway Patrol’s only K-9 instruction school is located in our district. The K-9 program was organized in 1994 and instructed by Trooper Michael VanLeer. Trooper VanLeer is currently the only K-9 evaluator in the state working for our Department. The K-9 training includes 460 hours ofobedience, agility, evidence recovery, tracking, area and building searches, criminal apprehension, and 320 hours in narcotics detection.
The new dispatch center for the entire Florida Turnpike is located in Palm Beach County. The building was built to withstand hurricane force winds of up to 200 miles an hour. The dispatch center contains state of the art 800 megahertz communication equipment and is scheduled to become operational in June 1998.
South Florida also boasts of fielding several professional sports teams (the Marlins, Dolphins, Heat, and the Panthers), providing educational opportunities for students through several major public and private universities and celebrating its diverse culture through an array of festivals, art shows, and through music.
The Florida Turnpike is a safe, clean and expedient way to travel through this region of the state, whether you are a guest or a resident. Please drive safely and enjoy your stay, whether it’s for a day or a lifetime!
Captain Jeffrey Bissainthe
Orlando District Commander
Welcome to Troop K, Orlando District, we cover a total of 216 Highway miles, 126 miles of Florida’s Turnpike which is also known as Florida’s “Main Street.” The Orlando District begins at the 190 mile post located at the Indian River – Osceola County line and continues northward to the end of the Florida Turnpike and merges with Interstate 75 in Sumter County. The Orlando District also patrols eight miles of State Road 528 which is also known as the “Beachline Expressway” in Orange County, 25 miles of the Polk Parkway in Polk County, 15 miles of the Veterans Expressway and 42 miles of the Suncoast Parkway in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando Counties.
The Orlando District traverses through Osceola, Orange, Lake, Sumter, Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough, and Polk Counties. The Orlando Districts section of Florida’s Turnpike sees an average traffic volume in excess of 90,000 vehicles per day. Over 50 million people visit Central Florida annually and the majority utilizes the roadways patrolled by the Orlando District.
The Troop K Headquarters and the Orlando District Offices are located in the two story Law Enforcement Building at the Turkey Lake Service Plaza, four miles North of Interstate 4 on the Turnpike at mile marker 263.
We hope you enjoy your visit to the Florida Turnpike, where we strive to make Public and Highway Safety our Top Priority.
Lake Worth Regional Communications Center
The Lake Worth Regional Communications Center has been operational since June, of 1998. A 9,000 square foot addition and upgrade to the existing facility was completed in 2008; the facility now makes up a 12,000 square foot state-of-the-art communications and dispatch center. Personnel assigned to the Center include Duty Officers, Duty Officer Supervisors, Troop Shift Commanders, Computer Systems Specialist, and The District Captain.
The LWRCC receives emergency calls and is responsible for radio and computer dispatching the Florida Highway Patrol’s Troop K, Troop L and 8 other State Law Enforcement agencies. Troop K has patrol responsibilities of more than 312 miles of Highway throughout 11 counties on Florida’s Main Turnpike beginning near Florida City in Miami-Dade County and terminating near Wildwood in Sumter County. Other roadways comprising Florida’s Turnpike system include The Veterans Expressway, Seminole Expressway, Beachline Expressway, Polk Parkway, Sawgrass Expressway, and Western Beltway. Troop L has an area of patrol responsibilities throughout 6 counties including I-95, I-75, I-595, and US 27. The LWRCC is co-located with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission dispatch center.
RCC Manager Cindy Fucci commands this regional communication center. The Troop Shift Commander and the RCC Manager monitors radio communications between patrol officers and the communications center. They manage critical incidents to ensure proper and effective response by law enforcement personnel and they provide timely notification of command staff concerning significant incidents.
The Duty Officer Supervisors are responsible for monitoring and evaluating the performance of the Duty Officers under their supervision. They maintain current knowledge of the protocol and procedures of the Communications Center. They also notify field supervisors and Shift Commanders regarding information pertinent to their respective geographical area of responsibility.
Duty Officers are required to complete their assignments quickly and accurately under emergency situations and they must handle several requests and incidents simultaneously. They answer *FHP and emergency 911 calls. They document pertinent information from each incident into the CAD system, and dispatch the appropriate personnel to each incident via radio. The Duty Officer is the lifeline of every Law Enforcement Officer via their radio. The Duty Officers maintain the highest standards of professionalism and ethical behavior at all times.