Deputies will work crashes after sheriff’s office receives complaints about waiting for FHP

ORLANDO, Fla. — Nine Investigates has been reporting about the hiring freezes at the Florida Highway Patrol and what that means when you get in a crash.


In Orange County, the sheriff will now have deputies help investigate some crashes.

Until now, FHP has only investigated crashes in Orange County.

For years, the agency has been understaffed, and residents have complained they have had to wait hours upon hours for a trooper.

Read: FHP to stop raises for troopers, this on the heels of hiring freeze

“So this has been an issue or complaint that I’ve heard from many of our residents since I’ve been sheriff, that when they get involved in a traffic crash, they just have to wait so long for another agency,” Sheriff John Mina told Channel 9.

Last year, there were more than 26,000 crashes in Orange County; FHP investigated most of the crashes, and Orlando police handled the rest. The sheriff estimates they will now handle about 10,000 of those calls a year.

Deputies will work mainly on minor crashes with no injuries. Field services officers will handle most of those. Mina said, “We did increase the size of that unit and will continue to increase it to assist with that, but our deputies who are out in patrol now will also be trained.”

Read: Motorcyclist dies after Osceola County crash, troopers say

He said he has enough staff for it and will roll out over the next year. This year, he expects about 50 new deputies to start.

When asked what he thinks this will change for the community, he said, “Just quicker response times. It’ll help clear the roadways a little quicker, too.”

The FHP is in a hiring freeze, but they currently have about 100 openings, the lowest number of vacancies in years.

The next time the agency will hire is in June of 2025.

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.