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 February 21st, 2013  
St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara will preside at agency awards ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m.
 
St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara will present life saving  awards, deputy and civilian of the year awards and other awards at a  ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m. at Sheriff's Office headquarters  at 4700 West Midway Road.

Here are the award recipients:

Fourth Quarter

Civilian of the Quarter: Ed Walko
Detective of the Quarter: (name withheld, deputy is undercover)
*Detective of the Third Quarter: Ron Barton, Sue Woodward
*Detention Civilian of the Third Quarter : Charles Strickland
Detention Deputy of the Quarter: James Willingham
Detention Supervisor of the Quarter: Brian Buchko
Patrol Operations Deputy of the Quarter: Andrew Soesbe
Patrol Support Deputy of the Quarter: Darrel Murphy
*Patrol Support Deputy of the Third Quarter : Richard Doss
Volunteer of the Quarter: Rita Gonsalves, Sharon Hill
*Award recipients from previous quarters

Yearly Awards

Admin./Law Enforcement Supervisor of the Year: Adam Goodner
Civilian of the Year: Ashlee Mayr
Detective of the Year: (name withheld, deputy is undercover)
Detention Civilian of the Year: Charles Strickland
Detention Deputy of the Year: David McKeever
Detention Supervisor of the Year: Brian Buchko
Patrol Operations Deputy of the Year: Ron Stickney
Patrol Support Deputy of the Year: Michelle Hernandez
Volunteer of the Year: Sharon Hill

Miscellaneous Awards

Life Saving : Adriano Krecic, Steve Wise
Combat Cross: *Angela Flowers
Exceptional Duty: Donna Carmichael, Julie Casals, *Michelle Hernandez,  Melissa Sangster
Commendation: *George Dean, *Erin Flanagan, Heather Jackson, Trevor  McKnight, *Ron Messina, Sal Anicito, Explorer Post 400, Kathryn  Bryant, Betty Scheely
Unit Citations:
Human Resources:  Lori Pereira, Kim Briglia, Mary McCaffrey, Cheryl  Sands
Records:  Jean Bridges, Jo Burger, Dottie Cardillo, Anita Dalia,  Carrie Fage, Kay Long, Diana Morgan, Carrie Rayl, Melissa Sangster,  Natalie Smith, Esther Thelusma
Distinguished Service (Citizenry): Christopher Gable

*Award recipients from previous quarters

Here are the details:

Distinguished Service
Christopher Gable

On December 2, 2012 Deputy Randy Tucker was dispatched to Sanibel  Avenue as a backup with regards to suspicious activity.

The complainant, Christopher Gable, advised dispatch that while  hanging his Christmas lights he observed two males near an abandoned  residence acting in a suspicious manner.

Upon arrival, it was immediately evident that the two males were  involved in illegal activity and taken into custody. The investigation  revealed the two subjects were involved in a burglary in Martin County  in which a 2013 Toyota Camry was stolen. The subjects were in the  process of striping the vehicle when Mr. Gable observed them and  contacted 911, ultimately leading their arrest and recovery of the  vehicle.

Mr. Gable is a great example of what can be accomplished when citizens  work together with law enforcement to help safeguard their  neighborhoods.

Civilian of the Quarter
Ed Walko

Our fleet maintenance personnel have the task of maintaining our  entire fleet. They must familiarize themselves with each piece of  equipment we own. Ed Walko has been assigned to fleet maintenance  since 2006. Ed is often called upon to complete the most complex tasks  in the garage. He displays a vast knowledge of fabrication abilities  which are an invaluable asset to our agency.

One very notable project was completed in 2012. It was our  multipurpose rescue vehicle. Ed was able to convert a standard issued  military four-wheel drive truck into a truly amazing rescue vehicle.  Although the other team members in the garage assisted him, it was his  engineering and expertise that was used to accomplish this project. Ed  juggled many duties and responsibilities while finding time to  complete this vehicle. Thank you.

Civilian of the Year 2012
Ashlee Mayr

Ashlee Mayr's exemplary efforts before and after being awarded the  civilian of the second quarter are worthy of continued recognition.

In August 2013, the senior Explorer advisor was on leave for almost  two months. Ashlee asked if she could assist in Explorer activities to  help fill the void of Deputy Anicito. She facilitated the Explorer  calendar, attended events that did not require a deputy, and attended  an Explorer delegates conference with the Explorers as an advisor.

Ashlee continues to assist the Patrol Operations Division when needed,  and recently has begun assisting the I.D. Unit in scanning fingerprint  cards and verifying entries. She has also filled in at the traffic  unit.

During this quarter, she continued to help with the PPE Kit project  assisting in issuing gear and keeping all records up to date. She  conducted driver's license checks for all COP members to ensure  compliance with Florida law and agency policy.

In October, the Florida Crime Prevention Association recognized the  unit as the 2012 Crime Prevention Unit of the Year. The success of  this would not have been realized without Ashlee's suggestions and  participation.

In the midst of Ashlee's professional endeavors, she managed to  complete her college studies in November and graduated with a Master's  in Science Degree in Business and Human Relations.

Patrol Operations Deputy of the Quarter
Andrew Soesbe

Deputy Drew Soesbe has been with the office since December of 1999.  When not responding to calls for service, he conducts traffic stops,  foot patrols, warrant checks, and follows up on previous calls that  may have required additional investigation.

During the fourth quarter, Deputy Soesbe produced the following  statistics:

14 – felony PC arrests
8 – misdemeanor PC arrests
8 – misdemeanor warrants
21 – traffic citations
40 – verbal/written warnings
4 – notice to appear
33 – reports

One highlight for the quarter occurred on November 21 when Deputy  Soesbe was dispatched to Atlantic Coast Recycling in regards to  subjects possibly trying to sell stolen property. During this  investigation, Deputy Soesbe was able to clear two burglaries that  occurred in St. Lucie County. During these burglaries, the suspects  stole property valued in excess of $500. The suspects then took the  stolen property and sold it at the recycling company. Deputy Soesbe  was able to get a confession from both suspects in this case after  Miranda Warnings were read. Deputy Soesbe returned the stolen property  to its rightful owner.

Deputy Soesbe has a positive influence on his fellow deputies and the  public. Thank you for all you do.

Patrol Operations Deputy of the Year
Ron Stickney

Master Deputy Ron Stickney has over 26 years of law enforcement  experience. He was recognized as patrol operations deputy of the third  quarter.

On December 3, there was a bolo for a missing female and a vehicle  description that was read in briefing. The female had been reported  missing to the Fort Pierce Police Department. Master Deputy Stickney  patrolled a remote and isolated area near Torpey Road when he came  across the vehicle of the missing female. He requested assistance as  he was not immediately able to locate the woman. Other deputies and  canine arrived. After a canine search, the female was found in the  woods. She advised she had been out there for several days.

If it had not been for Master Deputy Stickney's diligent efforts and  professional standards, this story may have ended with the tragic  death of the lady.

Master Deputy Stickney is not only identified in our agency as a  professional but also by other agencies in the criminal justice  system.

We thank him for your professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication.

Detective of the Quarter and the Year 2012
(Name withheld because deputy does undercover work)

Detective (undercover deputy) began his career with the Sheriff's  Office in 2003 where he was assigned to the Department of Detention.  Later, he transferred to Patrol Operations, and he 2010 he was  assigned to SIU.

At the time, the unit lacked the technical expertise to maintain  undercover video and audio equipment. (Undercover deputy) educated  himself and explored new equipment to help improve the quality of the  investigations, while saving the agency several thousand dollars.  Because of his technical development, the video and audio quality has  resulted in the State Attorney's Office having quicker prosecutions  and a higher percentage of case clearances.

In May 2012 (undercover deputy) took on additional responsibility as a  canine handler. (Undercover deputy) has gained the confidence and  respect of his canine to the point where she works a majority of the  time without being on a leash. This canine team is highly active with  regard to searches for our agency as well as others.

During the last quarter, (undercover deputy) produced 37 arrests on  multiple felony charges and 31 arrests on misdemeanor charges,  hundreds of traffic stops and numerous citizen encounters. On December  19 he was involved in an officer-involved shooting where he again  demonstrated his courage and professionalism. The actions that he took  during the shooting helped protect the lives and safety of the public  as well as other law enforcement officers.

(undercover deputy) is currently enrolled in courses working toward  his associate's degree as well as advanced investigative classes.

Administrative/Law Enforcement Supervisor of the Year 2012
Adam Goodner

Sgt. Adam Goodner's normal duties include providing mid-level  management of the Technical Services Unit, Evidence Unit and  Identification Unit. Additionally, he is the commander of the Crisis  Negotiation Team. While doing these things, he functions as the lead  driving instructor and cold case investigation team leader.

Last year, several cold-case homicide investigations were reopened,  and Sgt. Goodner coordinated these cases.

Sgt. Goodner has reorganized the work flow and increased communication  within the Identification Unit. He was instrumental in getting the  scanning process up and running in the unit as well.

Sgt. Goodner served as a member of the OSSI Core Team (our new report  writing system) and provided training for agency personnel.

Life Saving
Steve Wise, Adriano Krecic

On Nov. 9, 2012, Deputies Steve Wise and Adriano Krecic responded to  the 3500 block of South Ocean Drive regarding a mentally disturbed  male who was walking naked along the beach. Upon arrival, they spoke  with the male, who was extremely mentally disturbed. Deputy Wise went  to take him into custody when he ran into the ocean.

For approximately 45 minutes, the deputies tried to talk the man out  of the water. The man would shout from the water, "I want to go back  to New Horizons; call my wife down here." While attempting to get the  subject out of the water, his wife arrived. At that time, the subject  submerged himself and attempted to drown.

Deputis Wise and Krecic entered the waist deep water, made contact  with the subject, and successfully rescued him. The subject was then  transported to the hospital under the Florida Baker Act. Were it not  for the efforts of Deputy Wise and Deputy Krecic, the mentally ill and  suicidal man would have died. Thank you for a job well done.

Exceptional Duty
Julie Casals, Melissa Sangster

Detective Ed LeBeau was assigned a sexual battery investigation with  very few leads. The incident took place in a remote area of St. Lucie  County in the early morning hours of Oct. 24, 2012. The female victim  escaped her attacker by climbing a fence onto the Florida Turnpike and  flagged down traffic for assistance.

Before regular work hours, Detective LeBeau contacted Melissa Sangster  to compose two photo line-ups of possible suspects to show the victim.  Melissa used several computer databases and not only located the  suspect vehicle but also located traffic citations issued to the  suspect in the same vehicle believed to have been used in the sexual  battery.

Melissa found a telephone recording of the suspect contacting the Port  St. Lucie Police Department requesting information regarding a woman  he met on the internet, once week after the incident took place.  Melissa obtained the recording of the phone conversation. She talked  to the officer who spoke to the suspect and discovered that the  officer completed a transaction report listing the suspect's name,  Charles Koch, and the vehicle he was driving.

At the scene of the incident a pay stub and an aluminum can were  recovered. The suspect's name was on the pay stub, and a fingerprint  was lifted off the can. However, there were no criminal records or  fingerprint information for the suspect.

Melissa learned that Charles Koch had a lewd and lascivious exposure  of sexual organs charge as a juvenile. She was able to get the only  set of fingerprints for the suspect from the Martin County Clerk of  the Court.

This was one way the suspect was definitively linked to the incident.  It enabled Detective LeBeau to obtain search warrants for the  suspect's DNA and his vehicle.

DNA evidence was located in the suspect's vehicle that linked the  victim to the vehicle. DNA evidence was also recovered from the  victim's clothing, linking the suspect to the victim and the scene of  the crime.

Julie Casals from our Crime Lab was contacted. Without Julie's  excellent skills and the ability to quickly complete the DNA analysis  in a timely manner, the suspect in this case might have continued to  prey on the women of St. Lucie County. The DNA testing results Julie  provided ensured a solid case against Charles Koch.

Because of Julie Casals' and Melissa Sangster's dedication,  professionalism, and unique skills the suspect was arrest for sexual  battery.

Exceptional Duty
Donna Carmichael

Several months ago, Donna began preparing herself to take a test to  achieve recognition as a certified latent fingerprint examiner by the  International Association for Identification (IAI.) She sought this  certification because there seems to be a national trend where the  courts are more closely scrutinizing the qualifications of witnesses  who testify during latent print identification cases.

Certification through IAI is based upon the candidate's personal and  professional record of qualifications as well as an examination. This  examination consists of a three-part written test to include the  applicant's ability to compare and identify latent prints and an oral  board testing relating to the ability to accurately and effectively  communicate principles and findings.

Donna spent several months studying and preparing for this  examination. Historically, the pass rate has been at or below 50  percent nationally. On Jan. 23, she received notification she passed  the latent print examination and will receive her actual  certification. She has earned our congratulations.

Detention Civilian of the Third Quarter and Year 2012
Charles Strickland

Charles Strickland has been employed with the agency since 2006. He  has proven to be a valuable asset. He is very astute and  conscientious.

One of his highlights last year was advising his supervisor about the  inappropriate activity between an inmate and a volunteer. Mr.  Strickland's attention to detail and intuitiveness to investigate  suspicious activity is very beneficial. He has trained numerous new  civilian clerks in the lobby, and they have since gone to different  areas within the agency.

Mr. Strickland is the consummate professional. He has worked with  numerous partners over the years, and we have never received one  complaint against him. The switchboard area is an extremely busy area  and can be a highly stressful place to work; however, Mr. Strickland's  wonderful sense of humor keeps tension down and morale up at the  switchboard.

Detention Deputy of the Quarter
James Willingham

Sgt. James Willingham has been assigned to the Department of Detention  since November 2008. When given a mission, Sgt. Willingham develops  and pursues a course of action to complete the task.

In addition to his regular daily duties as a jail maintenance deputy,  Sgt. Willingham managed to use his work crew sufficiently and  effectively to assist with preparations for the Florida Model Jail  Standards inspection. They took on extra details and facility projects  in preparation for this inspection. During the inspection, we received  many compliments on the cleanliness of our facility.

No job is too big or too small for Sgt. Willingham. He is always there  to assist. He takes pride in each and every assignment given to him.

Detention Deputy of the Year
David McKeever

Deputy David McKeever has shown himself to be a strong team player. He  is always offering assistance without one asking. He takes command of  a situation. His dominance in stressful situations has calmed many  circumstances that could easily escalate to possible inmate or deputy  injury.

He brought prior experience to the job, which has been a strong asset  to all. He is viewed as an outstanding deputy with his supervisors and  staff. He has added to his experience by taking additional classes and  training to better his skills.

According to his supervisor, Deputy McKeever is one of those few  deputies who with little to no supervision always excel at his  position.

Detention Supervisor of the Quarter and Year 2012
Brian Buchko

Sgt. Brian Buchko is one of the most selfless supervisors Lt. Dan  O'Brien has seen Sgt. Buchko often biting off what appears to be more  than he can chew, but somehow getting it done flawlessly and in a  timely manner.

Sgt. Buchko's areas of responsibility include: mandatory training for  certified, civilian, and contracted personnel, and volunteers;  management of the 324-hour detention FTO program; management of the  jail's inmate telephone system, which consists of 240 phones;  management of the inmate video visitation system, consisting of 125  inmate and visitor stations, FAST-PAST visitor management, and  facility key control.

Sgt. Buchko has assisted with overseeing the wiring of the property  room expansion, the SecurPass room, and the nurse's station in booking  which was completed in a few days.
 
Sgt. Buchko was assigned as the project manager for the inmate video  visitation upgrade. The video visitation upgrade had been in the  planning stages for 10 years. The project was very intricate and  normally would be managed by someone of higher rank.

Sgt. Buchko managed the stem installation inside of our 186,000 square  foot security facility with ease, while maintaining his previously  assigned duties.

Commendation
Deputy Trevor McKnight, Heather Jackson

The Sheriff's Office hosts an annual clergy appreciation luncheon each  year in October. For the October 2012 luncheon, Deputy Trevor McKnight  created a DVD for the event.

Deputy McKnight produced a professional quality video, including  designing and making a case for the DVD, making over 350 copies of the  DVD. Much of the work was done on his own time.

Heather Jackson was instrumental in making over 350 covers for these  DVDs. She had to print, size, cut, and assemble each case, as well as  organize and assist with the distribution of the disks.

Their combined efforts saved the agency at least $6,000. Thank you  both for your hard work and dedication.

Patrol Support Deputy of the Quarter
Darrel Murphy
   
Deputy Darrel Murphy is assigned to work at the Delaware School in  Fort Pierce. This school is unique. It is an alternative school  setting for students with a wide range of social, emotional, and  learning issues. Many of the students are incapable of functioning in  a traditional school setting due to behavior issues that often require  the intervention of Deputy Murphy.

Almost on a constant, daily basis, Deputy Murphy is forced to put his  police and personal diplomacy skills to work dealing with students  that often behave in such a way that requires them to be removed from  the school either by arrest or Baker Act.

Deputy Murphy serves as a member of the Underwater Search and Recovery  Team. In November he planned and created a multi-agency, one-day  training program for members of the office as well as other agencies  from Palm Beach County.

Recently, he has been working with the Gang Intelligence Team and has  been involved in the team's street operations.

In addition to his normal assignments, Deputy Murphy performed the  duties of Explorer advisor while Deputy Anicito was out on medical  leave this quarter. Deputy Murphy scheduled and attended Explorer  meetings. He was the lead mentor for the youthful members of the  group.

He served the Explorers in a number of off-duty events and functions  providing direction and guidance. The hours he put in were numerous  and in addition to his regular duties as a school resource deputy. As  always, he performed utmost professionalism.

Patrol Support Deputy of the Year 2012
Michelle Hernandez

Deputy Michelle Hernandez was with the School Resource Unit for four  years. In mid-2012 she transferred to the Criminal Investigations  Division. Prior to her transfer, she was recognized as patrol  operations deputy of the first quarter.

One highlight during that quarter took place on March 26. It was one  of the most tragic days in St. Lucie County history. A school bus with  over 30 students was involved in a major traffic crash. Michelle  responded to the scene and was called upon to reprt to Lawnwood  Hospital to work with other agency members and the victims' family  members.

She was compassionate and professional and called upon her experience  as a victim's advocate. On an extremely trying day for all, she  performed above and beyond the expected level of professionalism.

On Sept. 19, 2012, Detectives Angela Flowers and Michelle Hernandez  were assigned sex offender checks. During one of their checks, the  defendant became highly aggressive, so much so that he injured  Detective Hernandez's hand and fingers, and he broke Detective Flowers  ankle. Detective Hernandez received a meritorious service award for  her actions. This award is also being presented at today's ceremony.

In addition, Detective Hernandez serves as a member of the Crisis  Negotiation Team.

Deputy Hernandez deserves our congratulations.

Volunteer of the Quarter
Rita Gonsalves

Rita became a member of the Sheriff's Office as a part-time clerk in  March 1999, went full time in 2000, and was promoted to the position  of secretary for the Crime Prevention Unit in 2001. Rita then retired  on January 31, 2006.

During her retirement, Rita found pleasure taking care of her  grandchildren and volunteering with fraternal organizations. Somewhere  along the way, she realized she missed the office environment and the  comradeship. Rita expressed these feelings and acted upon the  suggestion to become a volunteer.

With the new project of scanning, Rita eased the burden of the staff  by putting her office skills back into action, assisting the Human  Resources Unit one morning a week. Soon, the staff in Records realized  the prize that HR had and asked Rita if she would be willing to assist  them as well. Once again, Rita stepped up to the plate and agreed to  give Records four hours a week as well.

In Human Resources, she not only scans but does not hesitate to answer  the phones, greet the public at the window, or assist an employee with  a simple request. Quite often, Rita surprises her co-workers with her  home-baked sweet treats as well.

Rita Gonsalves is truly an asset to the agency.

Volunteer of the Quarter and YEAR
Sharon Hill

Sharon Hill has been a volunteer with our agency for about three  years. She has spent almost her entire time volunteering with the  School Resource Unit.

In the fourth quarter of 2012 the unit's secretary was forced to be  away from her duties for an extended amount of time for an unforeseen  circumstance. Sharon stepped up and filled in for this vital position.

In addition to volunteering during regular office hours, Sharon also  volunteered in a number of extra roles by putting in time at the  annual NOPE Candlelight Vigil and working with the SRDs on Halloween  night with Pumpkin Patrol.

Sharon also assisted with this year's Christmas families toy drive,  which was a tremendous success. Sharon spent time gathering  information of families in need, collecting donations, and shopping  for presents. Sharon spent hours organizing, coordinating, and  preparing for the day when people would come together to wrap the  collected gifts.

Sharon is truly a team player and has become a valued member of the  school resource unit.

Commendation
Betty Scheely, Kathryn Bryant

On December 17, 2012, Citizens Observation Ptrol members Betty Scheely  and Kathryn Bryant were on patrol in the Spanish Lakes Riverfront  community when they noticed a vehicle on fire in the clubhouse parking  lot. The driver was still inside the vehicle. They immediately call  9-1-1 and reported the fire. Before the Fire Department arrived, Ms.  Scheely stated that two unknown men came running over to the burning  vehicle and helped the victim out. Once the Fire Department arrived,  they put out the fire.

Thanks to Betty and Kathryn and the two unknown men, the victim was  saved from the burning vehicle.

Commendation
Sal Anicito and Explorer Post 400

The task of providing meaningful law enforcement services is a complex  endeavor. The ever-changing needs of our society require professionals  to be on the cutting edge of knowledge and skills. Most often, these  skills are used for the detection and suppression of crime.

It is only when we become proactive in the prevention of crime and  other self-destructive activities that we experience the true meaning  of service.

The Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education (N.O.P.E.) vigil held on  Oct. 25, 2012, was the pinnacle of public service. Bringing together  law enforcement resources to comfort, encourage, and provide hope to  those who are hurting is the best of what we have to offer as human  beings and as an agency.

Deputy Sal Anicito and representatives of Sheriff's Explorer Post 400  played a significant role in touching the lives of those who gathered  for this solemn occasion. All who were present felt the tremendous  burden borne by many in the room. It was difficult to imagine the  impact on the young lives of the Explorers.

Deputy Anicito's dedication and leadership as well as the hard work of  Explorers from Post 400 should not go unnoticed. The sincerity,  respect and professionalism shown by each of the Explorers not only  reflect well on each of them, but also reflect on Deputy Anicito's  leadership as well as the mission and values of the Sheriff's Office.

Human Resources Unit Citation
Kim Briglia, Mary McCaffrey, Lori Pereira, Cheryl Sands

During the past year, the members of the Human Resources Unit have  received a total of 152 applications for job postings for various  entities of the Sheriff's Office. Out of these applications they  processed and hired 46 individuals. Then they processed 38 members who  retired and resigned.

These are just a couple of the tasks that the Human Resources  personnel handle. They work hand-in-hand with all members of the  agency to assure their benefits are being used in the manner which is  required by the employee. This, in itself, is a complicated  undertaking. On a daily basis a problem arises with insurance or some  question about our benefits. These women work tirelessly to address  the issue and resolve it.

Lt. Scavuzzo has observed these women working hard to assist our  personnel and perform in the highest level of service. We thank them  for all that they do.

Records Unit Citation
Jean Bridges, Jo Burger, Dottie Cardillo, Anita Dalia, Carrie Fage,  Kay Long, Diana Morgan,
Carrie Rayl, Natalie Smith, Esther Thelusma

During the fourth quarter, the Records Unit received and verified  3,130 original offense/incident reports as well as 342 follow-ups.  These reports and follow-ups are coded and counted for the Uniform  Crime Reporting (UCR) system and then verified for accuracy by the  members of the Records Unit. In addition to receiving the offense and  incident reports produced by the agency, the unit receives every  arrest affidavit from the jail.

The unit is tasked with the job of filtering through each arrest  affidavit and determining if it is to be counted for UCR. The unit  received 2,704 arrest affidavits for the fourth quarter. If the arrest  is one that was originated by the Sheriff's Offic, then the arrest  affidavit is scanned into the OnBase system and indexed so that it can  be retrieved for future reference. Along with arrest affidavits, the  Records Unit scans and indexes every attachment for original offense  reports.

They are now in the process of scanning past case files into OnBase so  they may continue to access these records for years to come without  maintaining the actual paper copy.

For the fourth quarter the Records Unit scanned and indexed a total of  5,685 documents. The main function of the Records Unit is to assist  the public, either by mail, phone, fax, or in person at the window.  They answered 1,120 record requests along with answering numerous  phone calls and requests from individuals within the agency.

These women are always willing to assist any and all entities of the  office with reports, crime reporting issues, and questions.
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crime stoppers