Florida Highway Patrol Reaches Milestone Anniversary
Well, it’s now official: Happy 75th (Diamond) Anniversary to the Florida Highway Patrol!
The Patrol was created in 1939 by an act of the Florida Legislature as part of the Department of Public Safety under the direction of Colonel Neil H. Kirkman – the namesake of the Patrol’s Tallahassee headquarters under the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
The first meeting of the new department’s executive board was held on September 28, 1939, where its members determined that sufficient funds had been collected from driver license fees to begin the work of setting up the fledgling Florida Highway Patrol.
The first Florida Highway Patrol recruit class graduated 32 new troopers, and by the end of the first full year of operation in 1940, the new law enforcement agency boasted 59 troopers.
During that first year, troopers patrolled 1.9 million miles of roadway and investigated more than 1,000 crashes in a state with a little more than 2 million residents.
Today’s troopers patrol some 31 million miles annually and investigate more than 200,000 crashes in a state with 19 million residents and millions more visiting every year.
The Florida Highway Patrol is recognized nationally as one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the country.
Troopers today continue to meet the highest standards of “Courtesy, Service & Protection” that has been the FHP’s hallmark for 75 years!
The current Florida Highway Patrol recruit class at the Academy is the division’s 129th.
Congratulations, and here’s to 75 more!