Florida Highway Patrol names new Colonel

Gary L. Howze II was sworn in as the 15th Colonel of the Florida Highway Patrol on Thursday, April 6, 2023, at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) in Tallahassee, Florida. Pictured, L-R: Lt. Col. Troy Thompson, Col. Gary Howze, sister Donna Thompson, FLHSMV Executive Director Dave Kerner, Lt. Col. Mark Brown.

Press release from Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Executive Director Dave Kerner announced Colonel Gary L. Howze II as the 15th Colonel of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). The Florida Highway Patrol, established in 1939, is Florida’s largest state law enforcement agency, and its nearly 2,000 State Troopers are known as Florida’s Finest.

FHP Troopers promote safety and enforce laws that keep Floridians and visitors safe. They are national leaders in traffic safety, as well as in combatting human smuggling, human trafficking, and narcotics trafficking. FHP Troopers are committed to protecting Florida residents and visitors through the core values of Courtesy, Service, and Protection.

“Colonel Howze re-joins the Highway Patrol family as someone who has demonstrated commitment, accountability, and service to this agency and the State,” said Executive Director Dave Kerner. “With over 30 years of experience, Colonel Howze joins me in leading this agency to new heights. Together, with the nearly 2,500 FHP Members, both sworn and non-sworn as our backbone, we will amplify and execute upon the goals of Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet.

“With the continued support and leadership of the Governor, the Cabinet, and the Legislature, we will continue to make Florida safer, with an emphasis on traffic safety and combating crime emanating from the southern border.”

“In accepting this position, I am truly coming home,” said Colonel Gary Howze, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “I have the utmost respect for the dedicated men and women who serve the State and protect Florida’s roadways and those citizens and visitors who travel them. I look forward to getting to work and am committed to clear, transparent communication in my leadership and actions. I will honor my solemn oath and execute upon the lawful orders directed to me.”

“I want to congratulate our former Director of Law Enforcement Relations and Victims Services Gary Howze on this new leadership role,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.

“Gary served our agency and Floridians with excellence and integrity, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role as Colonel of the Florida Highway Patrol to build a Stronger, Safer Florida.”

Colonel Howze served with the Florida Highway Patrol from 1990 until his most recent appointment in 2019 as Director of Law Enforcement, Victim Services, and Criminal Justice Programs for the Florida Attorney General.

Colonel Howze is a Florida State University graduate who earned a Bachelor of Science degree and certificates in Public Management and Supervisory Management.

  • I must say that GPD could take lessons from FHP and ASO in courtesy and basic manners.

    GPD is relentlessly nasty, arrogant, and without any kind of civility. Doesn’t matter if you’re an 80 year old woman or a 20 year old thug, GPD treats everyone with arrogance and disrespect.

    FHP and ASO do the same job without the nastiness. Very proud of both these agencies and many, many, thanks for the job you do.

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