Two Florida Highway Patrol Troopers will receive recognition this week in two ceremonies to honor their ultimate sacrifice to the FHP and the citizens they serve.
FHP Master Sergeant William T. Bishop, and Patrolman Royston Earl Walker will be remembered by having portions of roadways in Alachua and Dixie Counties named for them.
A portion of Interstate 75 in Alachua County to be named in remembrance of FHP Master Sergeant William T. Bishop
Gainesville – A portion of Interstate 75 between the 399 and 404-mile marker in Alachua County will be named in remembrance of fallen Florida Highway Patrol Master Sergeant William T. Bishop.
Master Sergeant Bishop was a member of the Florida Highway Patrol, serving the citizens and visitors of Florida for 30 years. He began his career with FHP, January 13, 1987 as a member of the 78th Recruit Class in Tallahassee.
His duty stations included Brooksville, Marianna, Lake City and Gainesville.
On Saturday June 17, 2017, while conducting a traffic crash investigation on Interstate 75 near the 403-mile marker, Master Sergeant Bishop was struck by a southbound vehicle. Shortly after he was transported to a local hospital, he succumbed to his injuries.
“Paying tribute to Master Sergeant Bishop by naming a portion of Interstate 75 in his honor is a great tribute,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Master Sergeant Bishop was dedicated to serving the residents and visitors of this state as a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, and the ultimate sacrifice he paid is well deserving of this recognition.”
A portion of US 19 in Dixie County to be named in remembrance of FHP Patrolman Royston Earl Walker
Cross City – A portion of US Highway-19 between County Road 351 A and SW 307th Avenue in Dixie County will be named in remembrance of fallen Florida Highway Patrol Patrolman Royston E. Walker.
Patrolman Walker’s career began with the Florida State Road Department in March of 1936.
Born in 1909, Patrolman Walker was the son of then Levy County Sheriff Robert Walker. Prior to joining the State Road Department, Patrolman Walker served honorably in the US Navy. In February 1936 he attended a four-week long Training Academy in Ft. Myers.
Upon completion of that training, he was assigned to patrol duties in North Central Florida in March of 1936. Patrolman Walker was assigned a motorcycle to carry out his duties and responsibilities.
On the evening of August 31, 1936, Patrolman Walker stopped a truck occupied by three men for faulty headlights in Cross City. It is not clear what “enforcement action” was taken during that initial encounter.
On the same evening Patrolman Walker conducted a second and subsequent traffic stop of the same vehicle. During this encounter, a confrontation between the driver of the vehicle and Patrolman Walker took place. After a short pursuit the driver stopped and was informed that he was going to be taken to the Dixie County Jail. Prior to arriving at the jail, a gun battle erupted between the driver of the vehicle and Patrolman Walker.
During the exchange of gunfire, Patrolman Walker was struck multiple times and succumbed to his injuries, but not before he returned fire and killed his assailant.
Patrolman Walker had served the residents of Florida for five months. At the time of his death he was 27 years old and was survived by his wife Lillian Walker.
“Paying tribute to Patrolman Walker by naming a portion of US 19 in his honor is a great tribute,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Patrolman Walker was dedicated to serving the residents and visitors of this state as a Pioneer State Law Enforcement Officer, and the ultimate sacrifice he paid is well deserving of this recognition.”