Gov. Rick Scott and Fla. Cabinet Issue Resolution Recognizing Sergeant Andrew Litzell as Trooper of the Year

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Today, Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet issued the following resolution recognizing Sergeant Andrew Litzell as the 2014 Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year. The Trooper of the Year is awarded to a deserving member of the Florida Highway Patrol for their outstanding efforts, courage and commitment to protecting the lives of Floridians.

Governor Scott said, “I am honored to recognize Sergeant Andrew Litzell as the 2014 Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year today. Sergeant Litzell has served the Florida Highway Patrol with incredible courage and strength, and I am proud to join our state in thanking him for his service and dedication to protecting our families and communities.”

In December 2013, Trooper Litzell attempted to stop a speeding driver who instead initiated evasive measures. Trooper Litzell followed the vehicle until the pursuit led into neighborhoods and became unsafe to follow. Trooper Litzell later spotted the vehicle and reengaged in pursuit after the driver attempted to escape from his vehicle. Upon narrowing the distance between him and the driver, Trooper Litzell was shot directly in the face by the suspect, but was still able to apprehend the suspect despite the severity of his facial wound and a harrowing struggle. Trooper Litzell was transported via medical helicopter and made a full recovery following surgery. He has since been promoted to Sergeant and has received Florida Highway Patrol’s Medal of Valor and the Purple Heart. Trooper Litzell truly exemplifies the mission of the Florida Highway Patrol for service, integrity, courtesy, professionalism, innovation and excellence.

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the Troopers of the Florida Highway Patrol are exposed to personal risk on a daily basis while serving and protecting the citizens of Florida; and

WHEREAS, a Trooper, during his tenure, will encounter situations to distinguish himself through extraordinarily heroic and selfless actions during the call of duty; and

WHEREAS, Trooper Lawrence Andrew Litzell, while running radar to ensure compliance with speed limits, attempted to affect a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling southbound on US 17 just outside of Palatka on December 28, 2013; and

WHEREAS, the driver refused to stop and initiated evasive behavior leading to more densely populated areas; and

WHEREAS, Trooper Litzell followed the vehicle until the pursuit led into neighborhoods and became unsafe for the general public necessitating Trooper Litzell to disengage from the pursuit and to radio for assistance; and

WHEREAS, Trooper Litzell, remaining attentive, spotted the vehicle attempting to elude detection by driving without its headlights and reengaged the pursuit; and

WHEREAS, Trooper Litzell had to pursue the driver on foot after the driver and passenger exited their vehicle in an attempt to escape as their options narrowed; and,

WHEREAS, as Trooper Litzell, upon narrowing the distance between him and the driver, was shot directly in the face by the suspect with a .25 caliber handgun; and

WHEREAS, despite the severity of his facial wound and a harrowing struggle, Trooper Litzell was able to neutralize the threat and to secure the suspect’s weapon and body while trying to maintain consciousness until additional officers arrived on the scene; and

WHEREAS, Trooper Litzell was transported via medical helicopter and made a full recovery following surgery at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville; and

WHEREAS, Trooper Litzell has since been promoted to Sergeant and has received Florida Highway Patrol’s Medal of Valor and the Purple Heart; and

WHEREAS, Trooper Litzell, through his actions, exemplified the mission of the Florida Highway Patrol for service, integrity, courtesy, professionalism, innovation, and excellence.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Governor and the Cabinet of the State of Florida do hereby recognize and commend

SERGEANT LAWRENCE ANDREW LITZELL

2014 FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL TROOPER OF THE YEAR

for his heroic service to the citizens of Florida.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida have hereunto subscribed their names and have caused the Official Seal of the State of Florida to be hereunto affixed in the City of Tallahassee this 9th day of December, 2014.

 

RICK SCOTT

GOVERNOR

PAM BONDI

ATTORNEY GENERAL

JEFF ATWATER

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

ADAM H. PUTNAM

COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE

 

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