FHP

Traffic jams across the state trapped evacuees for hours Thursday, but Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) chief spokesman Captain Jeffrey Bassainthe says his agency has enough personnel to do the job.

“Well we have over 1,700 troopers staffed, so like I said, all personnel, office personnel, are out of the office, days off have been cancelled and we’re working 12-hour shifts," said Bassainthe. "We want to ensure that we have maximum staffing and that we’re out there to assist the public into helping them get there safely.”

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The second-highest ranking officer in the Florida Highway Patrol is stepping down after acknowledging he wrote an email in May encouraging troopers to write at least two tickets per hour.

In the latest fallout from an ongoing investigation into whether troopers were told to meet a traffic-ticket quota, Lt. Col. Michael Thomas, a 30-year veteran and deputy director for the FHP, submitted a letter of resignation on Monday, indicating his last work day will be Friday.

Stretch Of I-95 Memorializes Fallen Trooper

Aug 25, 2014
Taimy Alvarez / Sun Sentinel

Two new signs were put up on Interstate 95 this month. They read “Trooper Kimberly Ann Hurd Memorial Highway” to remember Florida's first female trooper killed in the line of duty 22 years ago.

Kimberly grew up in North Collins, New York. Her mother Beverly Boltz says her daughter was a private person with an adventurous side.

“She was always independent. If she said she was going to do something she'd do it," says Beverly. "As a small child, I'd find her up in a tree or hanging out from a branch.”

Photo by Kenny Malone

The Florida Highway Patrol issued more than eight citations per hour during Operation I-95 Saturation last week.

In response to public complaints about a lack of enforcement on 95 in Miami-Dade County, FHP roughly doubled its enforcement Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., expanding the hours from the originally planned 10-to-4 timeframe.