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 May 11th, 2010  
St. Lucie County Deputy Sheriff Keith Pearson wins Treasure Coast "Peers Award" from professional group
 
ASIS International, a worldwide organization of security professionals, has given its Treasure Coast "Peers" award to St. Lucie County Deputy Sheriff Keith Pearson, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"Deputy Pearson, 26, is a six-year veteran of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office," said Sheriff Mascara. "He is an outstanding law enforcement officer. Law enforcement professionals from Palm Beach County to Indian River County selected Deputy Pearson for this prestigious award, which he richly deserves."

He recently received the award at a ceremony at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.

ASIS International describes itself as " the preeminent organization for security professionals. Founded in 1955, ASIS is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and productivity of security professionals by developing educational programs and materials that address broad security interests, such as the ASIS Annual Seminar and Exhibits, as well as specific security topics."

The website address is www.asisonline.org.

Here is the text of Deputy Pearson's award nomination as submitted by Sheriff Mascara:
Deputy Pearson has been employed with the St. Lucie County Sheriffs Office for six years. He has served in both the Department of Detention and the Department of Law Enforcement. Deputy Pearson has had an exemplary career with my agency.

During the third quarter of 2009, Deputy Keith Pearson was temporarily assigned to the Special Investigations Unit to assist with their Summer Operation 2009. He was one of fifteen chosen to participate because of his reputation as a hard working, dedicated deputy with the right demeanor.

Deputy Pearson did not disappointment the members of this operational team. He was invariably the first person at work and the last to leave. He assisted the group with each task no matter how small the task. The final statistics for this operation were 71 arrests with a total of 92 charges (ranging from possession of cocaine, battery on a law enforcement officer to open container of alcohol). Deputy Pearson wrote 31 citations, 176 written warnings, 18 correction cards, and conducted and completed 19 field interview cards. Deputy Pearson accomplished this while continuing to help his peers with their paperwork, such as tow sheets and any other detail that needed to be addressed.

One incident that stands out during this operation was a reckless driving traffic stop that Deputy Pearson conducted. Upon the vehicle stopping, the driver immediately exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Deputy Pearson chased the driver for approximately seven blocks. This gave responding units enough time to set a perimeter and deploy a canine.
 
The suspect was quickly apprehended due to Deputy Pearson's perseverance. The suspect turned out to be under the influence of alcohol and was a member of a violent criminal street gang from California known as the "18th Street Gang." The suspect was also determined to be in the U. S. illegally and has been deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
 
In April 2009 Deputy Pearson was recognized with a commendation award for his assistance to our Criminal Investigations Division. Deputy Pearson learned of a pull-behind roto-tiller theft that occurred in a residential area. The stolen property was valued at $1,000. There was no physical evidence recovered at the scene, and there was no witness or suspect information. It should be noted that Deputy Pearson was not directly involved with this case, and he did not write the original report.

Deputy Pearson later learned a witness saw a white Dodge truck in the area at the time of the theft. The next day another law enforcement agency responded to the school bus compound where a white Dodge truck was seen loading brake drums into the bed of the truck. Thinking this may be related to our theft. Deputy Pearson took an interest in the case and began investigating. The local scrap yards were notified of the truck and suspect descriptions.

A short time later, Second Chance Salvage called to report the suspect vehicle arrived at the salvage yard with brake drums. Second Chance Salvage provided a tag number and the suspect's name. Deputy Pearson then contacted our detective working the roto-tiller case. Deputy Pearson told the detective he believed there was a connection between the tiller theft and the brake drum theft. Deputy Pearson returned to the salvage yard regarding the roto-tiller. He found a large pile of bright orange cut up metal that could have been the tiller.

He discovered the tiller had been brought in by the same suspects who brought in the stolen brake drums. The owner of the roto-tiller went to Second Chance Salvage and identified the pile of cut-up metal as his roto-tiller. The next day Deputy Pearson located the suspect's white Dodge truck. Four suspects were interviewed and ultimately taken to jail for the theft of the roto-tiller and brake drums in addition to drug related charges. * * *

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