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Press Release

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**PHOTO RELEASE** CFO Jimmy Patronis Recognizes 2021 Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet presented Sergeant David “Shack” Cox of the Florida Highway Patrol with a Cabinet Resolution honoring his service and recognizing him as the 2021 Trooper of the Year. Trooper Cox has served the State of Florida as a highway patrol officer since 2006.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “It was an honor to recognize Trooper David Cox today as Florida’s 2021 Trooper of the Year for his heroic actions he displayed on January 3, 2021. Florida is fortunate to have some of the best law enforcement officers in the entire country who epitomize service and sacrifice, and Sgt. David Cox is just one of those heroes who risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe. Florida’s law enforcement officers have one of the toughest jobs in the world. These brave men and women answer the call 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Congratulations to Trooper Cox on this tremendous achievement and thank you to our dedicated troopers statewide for their service to our great state.”

FLHSMV Executive Director Dave Kerner said, “Sergeant Cox represents the great work that the men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol do every day. I’m proud of Sergeant Cox and I’m proud to work with Florida’s Finest.”
On January 3, 2021 at 12:29 pm Trooper David Cox was alerted to be on the lookout for a suspicious vehicle reported by the Panama City Beach Police Department for being used in an armed child abduction of a 5-month-old female child. While on patrol, Trooper Cox was able to identify the female suspect and, more importantly, located the small female child in an unrestrained car seat. The two suspects were positively identified and placed under arrest and the 5-month-old was delivered to the Florida Department of Children and Families, where she was later reunited with her mother. 


WHEREAS the Troopers of the Florida Highway Patrol daily demonstrate the core values of courtesy, service and protection and during their tenure will encounter situations to distinguish themselves by executing actions honed through rigorous training, making instantaneous decisions informed through experience, and demonstrating bravery innate to the Troopers during the call of duty; and

WHEREAS, Trooper David “Shack” Cox has patrolled the State of Florida for 16 years with his primary assignment in the Marianna area; and

WHEREAS, on January 3, 2021, Trooper Cox, while patrolling the Jackson and Washington County area, overheard a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for a dark colored Ford Fusion with a Missouri tag and dark window tint involved in an armed child abduction of a 5-month-old female child; and

WHEREAS, one of the suspect’s phone was being tracked, and the suspect vehicle was reportedly traveling northbound from Bay County towards the Jackson and Washington County area to possibly travel out of state via Interstate 10; and

WHEREAS, after canvassing the area of State Road 77 and I-10 in Washington County, Trooper Cox spotted the suspect vehicle at a Murphy Gas Station in a Walmart parking lot and further observed the driver matching the description in the BOLO exit the driver’s side door; and

WHEREAS, Trooper Cox was highly cognizant and sensitive to the potential danger to the child resulting from a shoot-out with the armed suspects or a high-speed vehicular pursuit, recognized that a nonconventional approach was necessary and had the experience to quickly formulate a plan; and

WHEREAS, Trooper Cox used the element of surprise by stealthily approaching the back of the suspect vehicle in his unmarked patrol car without activating emergency lights and sirens to apprehend the driver and subdue a female accomplice while, most importantly, protecting the five-month-old child who was located unrestrained in a car seat; and

WHEREAS, Trooper Cox clearly demonstrated “service” and “protection” by employing an innovative approach to a potentially volatile situation to safely reunite the five-month-old child and mother; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida recognizes

SERGEANT DAVID COX - 2021 Trooper of the Year

for his heroic actions in service and protection leading to the safety and welfare of the citizens and visitors of the State of Florida.


About CFO Jimmy Patronis

Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

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