TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Florida Highway Patrol is mourning the loss of a retired Colonel who sadly passed away after serving the community for more than 32 years.

In a statement, FHP said, “It is with deep sorrow that we share the passing of Retired Colonel David H. Brierton Jr.”

The highway patrol added, “Colonel Brierton was a valued member and leader of the Florida Highway Patrol for more than 32 years and served as the 11th Director of the Florida Highway Patrol.”

Colonel Brierton began his FHP career in 1983 as part of the 69th Recruit Class. From there, he served in Miami-Dade as a trooper and a sergeant before being promoted in 1989 to lieutenant. He was relocated to Bradenton before being promoted to captain in 1993 and returning to south Florida where he supervised operations in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties.

In 2003, the agency said he was promoted to major and assigned to FHP Headquarters in Tallahassee, where he supervised Investigations and Professional Compliance.

According to FHP, Colonel Brierton was appointed lieutenant colonel in 2006 and charged with oversight of Patrol Operations, Investigations, Contraband Interdiction, Emergency Operations, and Homeland Security.

He was appointed colonel in 2011 and retired four years later in 2015.

Before joining FHP, Colonel Brierton served in the Army as a military police officer.

“Please keep the Brierton family in your thoughts and prayers,” FHP said. “They ask for privacy at this time as they grieve this devastating loss.”