|February 22, 2017
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today named Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Channing Taylor the 2016 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Attorney General Bondi recognized Lieutenant Taylor and nine other officers from across the state for their dedication to protecting Floridians.
“I am eternally grateful for these nominees and all our brave law enforcement officers who risk their lives daily to keep us safe,” said Attorney General Bondi. “We cannot thank these officers enough for the sacrifices they and their families make to protect our communities.”
On June 14, 2015, while on patrol, Lieutenant Taylor noticed a truck being operated without headlights, approached the vehicle and asked the driver for her license. Suddenly, a male passenger produced a revolver and fired at Lieutenant Taylor, striking him once in the shoulder. Lieutenant Taylor took cover and drew his firearm. When the suspects attempted to flee the scene, Lieutenant Taylor left his covered position to gain a clear line of sight of the vehicle and its occupants and fired his service firearm, striking the male passenger and causing the vehicle to stop.
Lieutenant Taylor not only ended a life-threatening situation to himself, but his quick and decisive actions ensured the safety of the individuals around him. Lieutenant Taylor's actions demonstrated that the safety and welfare of the public and the prevention of further injury was his main concern.
Each of today’s honorees had been previously selected as the Officer of the Year by a Florida law enforcement agency or association. The Florida Highway Patrol nominated Lieutenant Taylor, a 22-year veteran of FHP. A selection committee appointed by Attorney General Bondi considered the distinguished group of nominees from state agencies and organizations.
The following law enforcement officers are the additional nominees:
- Officer Christopher Ayala, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services;
- Officer David Brady, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission;
- Deputy Emanuel Gonzalez, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office;
- Officer Jason Hutchinson, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission;
- Officer Niel Johnson, North Miami Police Department;
- Special Agent Travis Lawson, Florida Department of Law Enforcement;
- Investigator Jason Newlin, the State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit;
- Investigator Jayson Paul, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office; and
- Deputy Nicholas Worthy, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
For more information on the nominees’ accomplishments, click here.