2020 Greetings from the Chairman
Happy New Year to everyone!
2020 is upon us and with a decidedly divided country and a presidential election looming, it promises to be interesting.
For the first time in recent memory, Florida’s governor has not included a (trooper) pay increase in his recommended budget for the legislative session which begins in January, concentrating instead on bolstering Florida’s schools and public education. That’s okay. The budget process is a long and drawn-out affair and the Patrol has many friends in the Legislature who will be working to bolster trooper pay, including Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Representative Chuck Brannan (R-Lake City).
2019 was both a good year, and one for reflection. The FHP family lost Trooper Tracy Vickers, who was killed in a September crash in Orlando. We also lost longtime FAST Board member and Vice Chairman Lieutenant Dan Hinton, who died of a heart attack during a training exercise in February. Their deaths serve as constant reminders of the dangerous nature of the job and the daily sacrifices made by the families of not only troopers, but all law enforcement officers, everywhere.
FAST was founded in 1986 by a group of uniformed troopers with the expressed purpose of representing the “unique” needs of the men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol. That mission remains the same today – service, advocacy and support for the men and women – and families – of the Florida Highway Patrol.
So here’s to a happy, healthy, successful and safe 2020. On behalf of myself and the entire FAST Board of Directors, I want to thank all of you for your trust and support!