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February 2007

K-9 Officer Keith Klopfer

Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced the selection of K-9 Officer Keith Klopfer of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement as Officer of the Month for February 2007. Officer Keith Klopfer has served with the FDACS for the past seven years, having begun his law enforcement career with the Atlantic Beach (FL) Police Department.

Generating direct sales of $57 billion last year, agriculture ranks second in direct revenue for the state of Florida. Since the early 1920's agriculture has grown exponentially and continues to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state. The majority of these products are imported or exported by truck, with more than 12 million commercial vehicles entering Florida each year. The Office of Law Enforcement of the FDACS is tasked with inspecting each truck and for safeguarding Florida's food supply.

Officer Klopfer and his K-9 partner, Blizzard, lead the unit in arrests and/or violations since the inception of the K-9 program. Officer Klopfer and Blizzard are responsible for the apprehension of numerous suspects in cases ranging from possession of a controlled substance to transporting un-inspected fruits and vegetables. In addition, they have participated in numerous special details involving Urban Search and Rescue missions and deployments to areas ravaged by Hurricanes Ivan, Frances, Charlie, Dennis, Wilma, and most notably, Hurricane Katrina. Team Klopfer and Blizzard is the department's most important recruitment tool and are detailed annually to the Tampa State Fair.

In April of 2005, Officer Klopfer left a weapons armor class early after receiving a call from his pregnant wife that she might be going into labor. While in route home, Officer Klopfer came upon an accident that had occurred when a tow truck veered off the highway and struck a utility pole. The pole had collapsed and wires had fallen directly onto the truck. Without hesitation Officer Klopfer pulled the driver out of the truck to safety and the contacted the Alachua County Sheriff's Office requesting backup. While waiting for support, Klopfer continued to check on the status of the driver as well as perform traffic control so that other vehicles would not be involved. Only after a support team had arrived and he knew the accident victim was receiving medical care, did Officer Klopfer journey home to assist his wife in the birth of their first child. For his selfless actions in rescuing the driver of the vehicle he was awarded the Medal of Valor.

Officer Klopher is now a certified instructor in Firearms, Defense Tactics, Driving Techniques and General Instruction. He has also assisted with the department's mandatory re-training and in-service classes. According to Lieutenant James Armstrong, "Officer Klopfer continues to excel and accomplish exceptional feats. It is my honor to nominate Officer Klopfer for the NLEOMF Officer of the Month Award as he a man of tremendous integrity, one whom you can trust and who is totally committed to his duty and the agency."

Officer Klopfer continues to serve as a K-9 Officer and Instructor for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement. He is married with one child and is an active member of the International Union of Police Associations.