Florida’s longest serving Highway patrol is hanging up her boots finally after inspiring generations with her dedication to serving her city.
Master Trooper Barbara Ehrhart, made a career choice to work for law enforcement at just 21 years of age, and the decision was made after a very unpleasant encounter. “I got stopped on Thanksgiving morning for speeding by a trooper on I-275 in St. Pete,” she said. “He was so rude and so mean. I thought to myself, I thought I could do something better than that. I could do that. I think if you treat people the way you’d like to be treated it would be a better place to live.”
I met a real hero today. Trooper Barbara Ehrhart you are a gem! Thank you so much for your service. #FHP #WTSP #retirement check out her story on 10News at 6. #manateecounty #florida
With that determination she has helped stop crime and treat people with respect for the last 36 years. “That’s all I’ve wanted to do, is just better myself and I tell the people that I’ve trained over the years,” she said. “I just tell everybody to keep an upbeat attitude about everything and keep going.”
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles congratulates Trooper Barbara Ehrhart, who retired this week…
It was a revolutionary step for her to be a female officer 40 years ago when a lot of people didn’t approve of it. “People looked at me like, ‘What are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be doing this,’” Ehrhart said. “It’s gotten better and I think more people are open to females being in law enforcement.”
But she faced it all, and says a lot of good things came out of it, like she met her husband on the job, as she says, “I remember a foot chase with my husband before we got married,” she said, “that he tackled a man on the ditch and got green slime all over him.”
A tweet from the Florida Highway Patrol, says Ehrhart is the “longest current serving female trooper,” and after 36 years of serving her community, she signed off for the last time. “This will be my final 10-42,” she says, “I want to thank the Florida Highway Patrol for over 36 years of service … I hope that I’ve encouraged other women throughout the years that may have entered law enforcement or those that are thinking about entering law enforcement.”
People responded saying, “Trooper Barbara Ehrhart, thank you for your 36 years of dedicated service to the Florida Highway Patrol, the residents of Manatee County and the citizens of the great state of Florida.”
BREAKING FHP NEWS! After 36 years w/ the Florida Highway Patrol, longest current serving female Trooper Barbara Ehrhart signs off for the final time!
Trooper Ehrhart served her entire career in Manatee Co & has been an inspiration to us all! Enjoy your retirement! #FHP 🚓 pic.twitter.com/PFAW9UZc1p
— FHP SWFL (@FHPSWFL) July 30, 2019
Ehrhart says that interacting with people during emotional situations, were her most memorable times. “I just remember the people I helped the most, working traffic fatalities, letting them know someone they loved was killed,” she reminisced. “I try to remember how I would feel if someone had to tell me that. That’s why I tried to be very empathetic with them and try to do what I can do for them. I could not have asked for a better career in my life. I’m going to miss it.”
Ehrhart will now be joining the auxiliary unit along her husband, who serves as its captain. Hope this fine officer gets to spend more time with her family and enjoy her retirement as much as she can.