The History of the Florida Highway Patrol Shoulder Patch
In the spring of 1951, Lieutenant Clay W. Keith’s idea of a single shoulder patch on the right shoulder impressed Colonel Neil Kirkman so much, in the fall meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Washington, D.C., he presented the concept. Within a short time, every Highway Patrol and State Police organization in the United States adopted the idea. The patch appeared in a magazine published by the Florida Peace Officers Association and soon all of Florida’s law enforcement agencies adopted the idea.
While the patch gave the Florida Highway Patrol national publicity, Lieutenant Keith’s ideas gave Major J. Wallace Smith (Budget Officer) nightmares. The Patrol did not have the funding in the budget to cover the patches. Colonel Kirkman could not wait until the next year’s session to ask for funding, so he informed Major Smith to locate the necessary funds. Shoulder patches at that time cost approximately 22 cents each, so with 255 Patrolmen, each with 6 shirts, the conversion cost was $337. History does not record how Major Smith obtained the necessary funding.
The History of the Florida Highway Patrol Motorcycle Unit
By Captain Al Woffard
From the Harley-Davidson “The Motor Officer” Fall 2011
The Florida Highway Patrol featured motorcycles at its inception utilizing the 1940 models. During the 1940’s and 50’s, all troopers were required to be trained in cars and on motorcycles. The motorcycle section was phased out in the mid 1960’s with four 1964 models remaining in the Miami area.
The Florida Highway Patrol Motorcycle Unit was resurrected in 1984 with a compliment of 10 troopers (1 sergeant & 9 troopers) assigned to Miami-Dade County. The motorcycle used was the FXRP Harley Davidson 1985 model. Over the past 20 years, we’ve progressed to having 10 motors assigned to Troop E (Miami), 4 motors assigned to Troop L (West Palm Beach), 10 motors assigned to Troop D (Orlando), 10 motors assigned to Troop C (Tampa) and 10 motors assigned to Troop G (Jacksonville). Presently the motor of choice is the Harley Davidson Road King, however the new 2009 bike will be the FLHTP fairing model with a slightly different appearance related to decals.
The Florida Highway Patrol’s Vision Statement is ‘A Safer Florida through Courtesy, Service, and Protection’. Their Mission Statement is to promote a safe and secure Florida through professional law enforcement and traffic safety awareness. Florida Highway Patrol ‘Values’ include Courtesy by treating others fairly and professionally; Service by rendering aid and assistance to members of the public; Protection by protecting life and property. Their ‘Strategic Goals’ are to improve traffic safety, interdict criminal activity, enhance homeland security, provide communications, and retain, develop, and recruit quality employees.
Information and Photos provided by the Florida Highway Patrol