Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Soldiers of the Street

Police officers hate the term “routine traffic stop”. Anyone who has done our job long enough knows that there is no such thing. Like infantry soldiers who never know what is around the next corner, across the next ravine or over the next hill, cops also must always be ready for the unexpected. That is why they are truly “Soldiers of the Street”.

On Friday, January 12th at 3:22 p.m., 48-year-old Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Nicholas Sottile was fatally wounded during a traffic stop near Lake Placid. He was able to call out over his radio that he had been shot, but he later died from his wounds at a local hospital. His killer has been arrested.

Those of us on duty have put the black bands over our badges once again. All police officers are reminded that traffic stops, domestic violence calls, suspicious person calls or any number of other so-called “routine” situations could turn bad at any time. We must always be ready and we must never forget our training.

Sottile was planning for his retirement after a long career with the Highway Patrol. Our condolences go out to his personal family and to his law enforcement family as well.

SFC Chuck Grist

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