St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara will preside at agency quarterly awards ceremony Tuesday
At a ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 17, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara will present awards to agency members for the first and second quarters of 2013.
The recipients are:
Admin./Law Enforcement Supervisor of the Quarter: Kevin Dietrich, Kurt Mittwede Civilian of the Quarter: Sallyann Kelly, Shirley McMillon Detective of the Quarter: Rob Valentine Detention Civilian of the Quarter : Dayatra Ragin-Bryant Detention Deputy of the Quarter: Ellis Alexander Detention Supervisor of the Quarter: Jason Wheeler Patrol Operations Deputy of the Quarter: Matt Brewster Patrol Support Deputy of the Quarter: Diederich Hueck Volunteer of the Quarter: Warren Alford
Unit Citation: Explorer Post 400: Dep. Sal Anicito, Richard Adkinson, Jordan Bamford, Preston Benoit, Idalis Braddy, Kayla Briggs, Melissa Cabrera, Matthew Cason,Demar Clayton, Dazwaisha Daley, Jose Delgado, Landan Dinsdale, Tyler Dockswell, Adam Doty, Brittany Duren, Noah Duren, Arianna Emmons, Jenny Espinosa, Andersch Etienne, Emmanuel Etienne, Jonathan Gato, Gabriela Gonzalaz, Josh Gross, Samuel Hernandez, Donte Hetzer, Jonathan Hummel, Charles Johnson, Ashley Lugo, Eric Mendez, Cristaly Mercado, Erica Molina, Nicole Moore, Nicholas Morales, Dillon Murphy, Dylan Newman, Natalie Orozco, Nicole Orozco, Stephanie Stephens, Kevin Torres, Pasmith Touissaint, John Tsagarakis, Sarah Turba, Wislyne Ulysse, Cody Vinson, Anthony Whitney, Tanya Wright
Admin./Law Enforcement Supervisor of the Quarter: Charlie Scavuzzo Civilian of the Quarter: Kim Briglia Detective of the Quarter: None Detention Civilian of the Quarter : Genynne Rodriguez Detention Deputy of the Quarter: Clinton Williams Detention Supervisor of the Quarter: Doug Laury Patrol Operations Deputy of the Quarter: Paul Pearson Patrol Support Deputy of the Quarter: Francis Avril Volunteer of the Quarter: Jerri Anicito
Medal of Honor: Clarence Bennett Combat Cross: Matt Briglia, Mark Sarvis, Cedric Sotomayor, Nate Stubley Meritorious Service: Clarence Bennett, Dan Pack Life Saving: Scott DeMichael Life Saving : Jeff Jackson, Edward Gonzalez, Johnathon Lasasso, Corey McCuen Life Saving: Justin Jackson, Clifford Lamm, Jason Lyda, David Streeter Life Saving: Mitchell Mazanoski Life Saving: James O’Brien Life Saving : Ron Pallack, William Hedges, Wayne Anderson, Joseph Baptiste, Sharon McClelland, Jason Meizinger, Michael Morales, Justin Parker, Michael Profitt, James Soto, Teresa Stanton
Commendation : Squad C: Kevin Dietrich, Kurt Mittwede, Joe Bell, Matt Briglia, Clarence Bennett, Supreet Cheema, Dennis Devaney, Matt Gerdes, James Jennings, Tad LeRoy, Nelson Ojeda, Evens Paulvil, Mark Sarvis, Cedric Sotomayor, Leah Stephens, Andrew Stewart, Ron Stickney, Nate Stubley
Commendation: Gary Gonsalves Commendation: Grant King Commendation : Brian Witherow Commendation : Dwayne Newton, Brian Shackley
Commendation : W. T. Hamilton, Clinton Williams Commendation : Sidney Long, Willie Perry, Victor Sands
Unit Citation: Transportation: Doug Laury, Jason Wheeler, Daniel Arcentales, Steve Byrne, Lucius Harris, Johnny Hubbard, Richard Medina, Dexter Scott, Kimberly Tipton, Corey Todd, Robert T. Wolff
Here are the details:
First quarter awards
Patrol Support Deputy of the First Quarter Diederich Hueck
Deputy Diederich Hueck serves as the school resource deputy at Westwood High School. He is respected by the faculty, the staff, and the students.
During the first quarter, Deputy Hueck responded to the dean's office for a disturbance. He attempted to quell a disruption involving several students. Unfortunately, he was forced to arrest one of the students involved in the situation. As Deputy Hueck was attempting to place the student in custody, the suspect began to violently resist. While trying to gain control, the suspect's brother arrived on the scene and attempted to intervene.
Once the first suspect was under control, Deputy Hueck had to engage the suspect's brother. The brother struck Deputy Hueck several times. Deputy Hueck was able to gain control of the brother and place him under arrest. The suspects were unharmed and were taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
The above-mentioned incident is just one example of the outstanding job by Deputy Hueck every day.
Deputy Hueck is a member of the agency's SWAT team and Gang Intelligence team. He is also a certified basic gang investigator.
This summer he worked with needy children for a week as a counselor at the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches summer camp.
Commendation Gary Gonsalves
Deputy Gary Gonsalves is a member of the Crime Prevention Unit. He has been instrumental in the recent expansion of the office's social media outlets. The 10-8 show, YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitter are a necessity is today's age to reach out to the public.
During this quarter, Deputy Gonsalves developed a pro-active crime prevention initiative by filming a series of public service announcements (PSA). These PSAs are aired on the St. Lucie County Television station and on YouTube under the 10-8 Show. Gary spends countless hours filming and editing these shows.
Deputy Gonsalves has streamlined the process for posting to our FaceBook page. FaceBook enables our agency to release information quickly to the public and media. Our page has over 3,000 members and is growing daily. He works closely with Mark Weinberg, our PIO, to post news releases on the site. The responsibility Gary has is 24 seven. At times he is called to respond at a moment's notice, occasionally on his time off.
Deputy Gonsalves is a team player and is a tremendous asset to our agency.
Unit Citation Explorer Post 400
Dep. Sal Anicito, Richard Adkinson, Jordan Bamford, Preston Benoit, Idalis Braddy, Kayla Briggs, Melissa Cabrera, Matthew Cason,Demar Clayton, Dazwaisha Daley, Jose Delgado, Landan Dinsdale, Tyler Dockswell, Adam Doty, Brittany Duren, Noah Duren, Arianna Emmons, Jenny Espinosa, Andersch Etienne, Emmanuel Etienne, Jonathan Gato, Gabriela Gonzalaz, Josh Gross, Samuel Hernandez, Donte Hetzer, Jonathan Hummel, Charles Johnson, Ashley Lugo, Eric Mendez, Cristaly Mercado, Erica Molina, Nicole Moore, Nicholas Morales, Dillon Murphy, Dylan Newman, Natalie Orozco, Nicole Orozco, Stephanie Stephens, Kevin Torres, Pasmith Touissaint, John Tsagarakis, Sarah Turba, Wislyne Ulysse, Cody Vinson, Anthony Whitney, Tanya Wright
It is an honor and a privilege to recognize Deputy Sal Anicito and Explorer Post 400 for a unit citation.
During the St. Lucie County Fair, the Explorers parked 20,795 cars. Our explorers undertake this task with swiftness and efficiency. They are on site for ten days from the time the fair opens until it closes. The fairgrounds parking area is enormous. Because of its size, many patrons don't remember where they parked their vehicle; our explorers assist them in locating their car. If a patron's vehicle is broken down, they will find someone to assist the citizen.
The Explorers took the time to raise money for the St. Lucie County Hundred Club. During their parking detail at the fair, they asked citizens if they wish to donate to the 100 Club in honor of Sgt. Gary Morales. They did this without impacting their main assignment, which is parking the citizens' safely and properly. They raised over $3,400 for the St. Lucie County Hundred Club.
In the past, they have worked color guard for various functions. They assist in promoting the Citizens' Observation Patrol program.
These young individuals are a great asset to our office. They add support and dedication to our office family.
Civilians of the First Quarter Sally Ann Kelly and Shirley McMillon
Captain Walsh submitted this nomination before her retirement in April. These two outstanding civilian employees, who on a daily basis, go above and beyond their job duties to ensure that all the members of the Sheriff's Office Department of Detention have their time accurately accounted for. Sallyanne Kelly and Shirley McMillon assist every member of our team with their questions and concerns while continuing to accomplish their normal daily assignments.
Any discrepancies that could impede a member's pay is quickly addressed and resolved. These discrepancies if not addressed could result in an employee not receiving accurate pay for those periods. Both Sallyann and Shirley know the consequences staff may face if they do not stop to question a time sheet that they feel may have been erroneously submitted and/or not completed.
In Captain Walsh's memo she states, "I have had the pleasure of working closely with both ladies and found them to display superior professionalism, exceptional work ethics, and enthusiasm concerning their positions. Above all, they are receptive to the needs of all staff and continually exhibit their dedication to the office by following a team set of basic beliefs."
Detective of the First Quarter Rob Valentine
Detective Rob Valentine has been very busy this first quarter. He has maintained a case load, covered his three on-call weeks, and continued to investigate crimes against children. In addition, he worked at keeping up with the pawn shops, the second-hand dealers, and the scrap metal industry. This in itself is a full-time commitment.
Deputy Valentine has investigated numerous crimes against children complaints. These investigations are extremely tedious and time consuming. They often require the issuance of multiple subpoenas and countless hours reviewing data and images from the internet.
In the last three months Detective Valentine has written about two dozen search warrants resulting in the arrest of 10 individuals. Collectively they were charged with 200 felonies in reference to the possession and dissemination of child pornographic material. These defendants are currently being prosecuted in state and federal court and have the potential to be sentenced to several hundred years of incarceration. Congratulations.
Patrol Operations Deputy of the First Quarter Matt Brewster
Deputy Matt Brewster has been with the office since January 2012. He is very proactive. His statistics for the first quarter of 2013 are: 6 felony arrests, 10 misdemeanor probable cause arrests, 8 misdemeanor warrants, 18 traffic citations, 118 verbal/written warnings, 4 notices to appear, 15 criminal opportunity forms, and 35 reports.
Here is onehighlight from this quarter: On February 24, Deputy Brewster saw a suspicious vehicle in Fort Pierce with a North Carolina license plate. Deputy Brewster stopped the vehicle. During the traffic stop, 911 advised that the vehicle was stolen from North Carolina. Deputy Brewster immediately secured the sole occupant. The driver was arrested for grand theft auto and transported to the jail.
The suspect was asked several times if he had any drugs on his persons, and he said no. During a search of the arrestee at the jail, a bag of cocaine was found. Because of Deputy Brewster's proactive and watchful eye the victim's vehicle was returned.
Deputy Brewster is a member of our Gang Task Force. During the fair, he spent several nights locating and identifying gang members, making the fair a safer place for all.
Volunteer of the First Quarter Warren Alford
Mr. Warren Alford has volunteered in the Identification Unit for many years. He slips into the I.D. unit quietly on his scheduled days and begins to work. During this quarter, he logged in excess of 60 hours. His job assignment involves verifying the correct court case number on every arrest affidavit generated in this county. Once he confirms the correct case number, he then enters it into the Jail Management System software for future reference. This data is critical to accurately calculate how much time an inmate must serve after being sentenced.
Warren retired from the Sheriff's Office in 1985 as the Chief Deputy. When it comes to older cases from years past, his prior experience here at the Sheriff's Office has been an invaluable source of information.
Warren is definitely an asset to us here. His work ethic demonstrates confidence and efficiency beyond that reasonably expected.
Life Saving Mitchell Mazanoski
On January 6, 2013 Deputy Clarence Bennett was assigned to FTO Mitchell Mazanoski. They responded to a Baker Act call and transported the subject to Lawnwood Hospital. Deputy Mazanoski completed his paperwork and the custody of the subject was given to the hospital and Fort Pierce Police Officer Moore. The subject was adamant about taking his own life. Officer Moore wanted the subject to change into a gown. Deputy Mazanoski volunteered to assist since the subject showed a little resistance. Deputy Mazanoski waited by the closed bathroom door while the patient changed his clothes.
After five minutes passed and no activity from the patient, Deputy Mazanoski knocked on the door and made verbal commands for the subject to come out of the bathroom. But, he received no response from the subject. Deputy Mazanoski opened the door and observed the patient with his head in the sink underwater attempting to drown himself. Deputy Mazanoski grabbed the patient and pulled him out of the sink. The patient collapsed to the floor. Once the subject was no longer in danger, he was left in the custody of the medical staff.
Although the patient was no longer in Deputy Mazanoski's custody when the incident occurred, his continued diligence to duty allowed him to observe a life threatening situation and save the life of a would be suicidal patient.
Distinguished Service Responders to March 24 fires in northern St. Lucie County
Kevin Dietrich, Chris VanDeventer, Brian Rhodes, Jamie Wills, John Parow, Adam Goodner, Sal Anicito, Daniel Arcentales, Joe Bell, Matt Briglia, Deron Brownm, Steve Byrne, David Caglioni, Dennis Devaney, Fred Fernandez, Chris Gordineer, Doug Laury, Kevin Lindstadt, Nelson Ojeda, Keith Pearson, Tony Savage, Cory Speicker, Leah Stephens, Andrew Stewart, Rick Stuhr
We commend these agency members who responded to the March 24 fires that quickly spread in the Indrio Road, Lakewood Park area.
Shortly after 3:15 p.m. the fires jumped from an open field on the south side of Indrio Road to the north side approaching a populated area with multiple developments. With the fires spreading quickly, it was determined that more resources were needed to notify and evacuate residents, limit access to these areas, as well as close main arteries of travel for the commuting public.
As public servants, these incidents stress all of our resources. However, with the assistance of on duty and off duty personnel, we were able to provide ample notification to the homeowners of the pending fires, provide for safe evacuation routes, and limit outside commuters from being effected by the fires as well as a safe location to relocate residents pending the return to their homes.
Our personnel responded and acted professionally during the incident. Their level of service to the community was exemplary under the most stressful of situations. Our deputies did this with little to no thought of their own personnel safety.
Medal of Honor: Clarence Bennett
Combat Cross: Matt Briglia, Mark Sarvis, Cedric Sotomayor, Nate Stubley
Life Saving: Scott DeMichael
Commendation: Grant King
Commendation: Kevin Dietrich, Kurt Mittwede, Joe Bell, Matt Briglia, Clarence Bennett, Supreet Cheema, Dennis Devaney, Matt Gerdes, James Jennings, Tad Leroy, Nelson Ojeda, Evens Paulvil, Mark Sarvis, Cedric Sotomayor, Leah Stephens, Andrew Stewart, Ron Stickney, and Nate Stubley
Law Enforcement/Administration Supervisors of the First Quarter: Kevin Dietrich and Kurt Mittwede
On February 28, at 9:28 a.m., our Sheriff's Office family and our community experienced the murder of an on-duty Deputy Sheriff. Sgt. Gary Morales was conducting a traffic stop on a vehicle when the occupant refused to stop. The pursuit ended in the 3200 block of Naylor Drive where Sgt. Morales was murdered.
Deputy Clarence Bennett was in the area of the pursuit and was responding to the location as Sgt. Morales' back-up unit. As Deputy Bennett approached, he observed the suspect murdering Sgt. Morales. The suspect continued to engage both Sgt. Morales and then Deputy Bennett, and then fled the scene.
Deputy Bennett gave radio information to other deputies that Sgt. Morales was down and that shots had been fired. He further radioed information on the fleeing vehicle. At great risk to his own life, Deputy Bennett immediately engaged the suspect with deadly force.
Deputies Matt Briglia and Nate Stubley (then in FTO) heard the radio transmissions from Deputy Bennett. They immediately located the vehicle. They along with Deputies Mark Sarvis and Cedric Sotomayor gave pursuit. As the vehicle continued to flee along the roadways in Silver Lakes Estates, the deputies remained directly behind the vehicle.
On Oleander Avenue Deputy Sarvis was able to execute the PIT maneuver on the escaping vehicle. It came to rest on the east shoulder of the roadway. The driver exited. After a struggle, the deputies took him into custody. These brave deputies did exactly what they were trained to do by taking decisive action and using only the force necessary to stop a fleeing, dangerous felon.
Their lives were in danger as they pursued the armed felon until he abandoned his car, and the deputies continued to risk their lives to subdue the suspect and take him into custody. Detective Scott DeMichael was on scene when paramedics arrived. He rode in the back of the rescue vehicle with the mortally wounded Sgt. Morales.
The paramedic asked him if he knew how to do CPR, if he would be able to perform chest compressions on Sgt. Morales. Detective DeMichael replied yes. He performed chest compressions during the entire transport to the Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. He only stopped after he was relieved. We are all thankful that Scott DeMichael found the strength to provide first aid to Sgt. Morales.
Without being instructed to do, Sgt. Grant King went to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and secured the scene in the emergency room. Sgt. King took charge of items which would become evidence and ensured the proper chain of custody. Sgt. King began interviewing emergency room personnel in order to document vital information. When a detective arrived, Sgt. King had everything organized and ready to go, which saved valuable time and prevented the loss of any critical items.
During this intense morning, Sgt. King showed great personal initiative and demonstrated the expertise he had acquired from years of service in the Criminal Investigations Division.
The remaining members of Squad C took over the calls for service for those who were involved on scene. They assisted in setting up a perimeter to limit access, and others assisted in crime scene evidence gathering roles.
Lt. Kevin Dietrich remained calm on the radio while making sure all bases were covered by getting rescue to the scene, directing units in the apprehension of the suspect, and maintaining the crime scene. Numerous times after the incident, Lt. Dietrich gave comfort to the members of his shift to help them through this difficult time. Lt. Dietrich spearheaded a private meeting off premises to provide additional support and console his squad.
Sgt. Kurt Mittwede was the backbone of the operational aspects of the county outside of the crime scene. He supervised the county with a small number of deputies to cover all calls for service, and arranged for another squad to cover Squad C for debriefing. He ensured everything was accounted for in the days to follow.
The members of Squad C nominated their supervisors this quarter. A majority of the squad mentioned that both supervisors provided strength, leadership, compassion, determination, motivation and professionalism that enabled Squad C to function as a unit and continue to provide superior law enforcement services to our community during a time of enormous loss.
The members of the squad were devastated by the murder of their Sergeant and friend, but they continued to do the job of protecting the public.
We are extremely proud of the actions of all personnel on that terrible day. The people of St. Lucie County have good reason to be proud of their Sheriff's Office which functioned with such tremendous teamwork and skill.
Detention Civilian of the First Quarter Dayatra Ragin-Bryant
Dayatra Ragin-Bryant has been working in the Department of Detention for 19 years. She has worn many hats, working the front lobby, payroll, law library, and currently as inmate welfare coordinator. She is well organized, dependable, systematic, and efficient.
When Sgt. Wheeler was promoted, he immediately added more assignments to her workload. She embraced these changes enthusiastically. Dayatra was instrumental in training Sgt. Wheeler in the details of his position and assisted Lt. O'Brien in administration. Dayatra is cross-training other clerks about inmate welfare procedures and responsibilities. She has taken on these additional responsibilities without complaint, instead showing increased drive to help her supervisors and unit succeed.
Recently, she was selected to go to Tallahassee for training in the Florida Model Jail Standards inspections so she is even more well-rounded and beneficial to her unit.
In addition, Dayatra has attained her Bachelor of Arts degree. She is a tremendous asset to her unit, the Department of Detention and the Office.
Detention Deputy of the First Quarter Ellis Alexander
Deputy Ellis Alexander has taken on a tough responsibility dealing with both inmate discipline and fire safety within the Department of Detention.
He often stays late without compensation to ensure all discipline is handled in a timely fashion, regardless of the delay factors beyond his control.
Since his assignment in this position, he developed a database for his use in which he tracks disciplinary reports. This has been extremely helpful. The report has revealed hotspots in the jail, therefore allowing concentration in those areas for prevention.
Deputy Alexander created and distributes a list that shows which inmates are to be released from confinement. This way, there is no confusion or question on holidays and weekends, making deputies' and supervisors' lives easier.
In addition, he assists the training unit and the administration with pulling phone calls and videos for current cases of inmates that are in our custody. Congratulations.
Detention Supervisor of the First Quarter Jason Wheeler
Sgt. Jason Wheeler was promoted in February. His assignment is within the Administrative Division of the Department of Detention. Since his promotion, he has jumped in head first. Sgt. Wheeler met with every member of his staff to see where they are, where they want to be, and what he can do to assist them in meeting their goals.
Sgt. Wheeler renovated the front lobby office, making it a much more professional environment. He rearranged staff and staff responsibilities. He placed employees in locations that are best for them and the agency.
He has cross-trained all of his staff so they all can fill in for each other. Prior to the cross-training, classification and booking clerks would cover the lunches. Now, his staff is self-sufficient allowing other units to retain their employees and continue the work they do.
Special requests (e.g., attorney requests) are made directly to Sgt. Wheeler via email from outside visitors. This takes the guesswork and argument out of permissions and miscommunication between shifts.
In addition to performing his job as administrative sergeant, he maintains the accreditation office and the training of new accreditation staff.
Lt. Dan O'Brien has seen an improvement in morale because of Sgt. Wheeler's leadership style and techniques.
Life Saving Award Justin Jackson, Clifford Lamm, Jason Lyda, David Streeter
On February 7, a suicide attempt was called on the radio from B3 dorm 1. B3 dorm 1 houses general mental health inmates waiting to be cleared to move into standard general population dorms. Deputies Justin Jackson, David Streeter, and Jason Lyda were first to arrive.
Deputy Lamm and Sgt. Sokolowski arrived next. An inmate in cell "C" had gouged his arm on the inside of his elbow with a pencil. The inmate had hit a vein causing his blood to gush.
The 275 pound, 6-foot 5-inch inmate, a retired Marine, was highly agitated. Deputies Jackson and Streeter removed him from the cell, grabbed a towel, and applied pressure to the injury. Deputies Clifford Lamm and Streeter calmed the inmate down, controlling his anger so medical staff could treat his injury. The inmate was taken to the medical unit where the physician stitched up the one-inch gouge in the inmate's arm.
This inmate had the ability to resist because of his military training. However, thanks to the use of our Critical Incident Training skills, these deputies prevented any further injury.
Commendation Brian Witherow
On January 20, Deputy Brian Witherow rendered assistance to a fellow officer in a time of need while off duty. The following letter from Officer Jeff Gibbs of the Fellsmere Police Department describes the incident.
"I was working a detail at the Frog Leg Festival. I had noticed an individual who I suspected of having an active warrant walking through the festival with several other males. After asking the male to step aside and speak with me, it was learned that he was in fact wanted. I attempted to take the male into custody and a struggled ensued.
As myself and another officer were restraining him, his other male friends began to draw closer to myself and the other officer from behind. As I took note of this, I was glad to hear the words "I am a St. Lucie County Deputy." This deputy was able to regain control of the suspect's friends and help defuse the rapidly growing situation. By this deputy's quick response acting as a backup officer and assisting in crowd control, the general public was safer.
It is good to know that neighboring agencies are able to work so smoothly together and get the job done. I am writing this to you in hopes that Deputy Brian Witherow's good deed does not go unrecognized."
Life Saving Edward Gonzalez, Jeff Jackson, Johnathon Lasasso, Corey McCuen
On February 9, Deputy McCuen was in the tower and alerted Sgt. Jeff Jackson about a suicide attempt in B3 dorm 3. Sgt. Jackson, Deputy Edward Gonzalez, and Deputy Lasasso arrived on scene and saw the inmate hanging from the cell bars.
The inmate had tied a sheet around the bars and around his neck. The sheet was immediately cut between the knots, freeing the inmate. Sgt. Jackson removed the sheet from the inmate's throat.
The inmate began to cough and show evidence of breathing. Deputies Lasasso and Gonzalez assisted Sgt. Jackson in moving the inmate to a lying position. The inmate's coughing subsided, and he opened his eyes. However, he was verbally unresponsive. Medical arrived and removed him to the medical unit where he was placed on suicide observation.
Thanks to their actions, they prevented a suicide attempt by an inmate.
Second quarter awards
Patrol Operations Deputy of the Second Quarter Paul Pearson
Deputy Paul Pearson has been a member of our office since August 2002. He is currently assigned to Patrol Operations, Squad A as a float deputy.
During this quarter he had the following statistics: 7 felony arrests, 26 misdemeanor arrests, and 19 warrant arrests
In early June, there had been a crime spree of multiple stolen cars out of the Savanna Club community. Within this crime spree, Deputy Pearson located three of the approximately five stolen vehicles. Two were occupied at the time he located them. One of the suspects helped identify the main suspect from these thefts.
The other occupied stolen auto was occupied by this primary offender. This sequence of events also provided CID with information regarding multiple residential burglaries.
He remains active throughout each shift and is well respected by his coworkers and supervisors.
Deputy Pearson is an active member of the SWAT team where he serves as an entry opener. He is a model employee and an asset to the agency.
Meritorious Service Clarence Bennett, Dan Pack
On May 24 at 7:30 p.m. Deputy Clarence Bennett was training Deputy Dan Pack. While at the Pat Duval Substation, they heard gunfire. As they stepped outside, they continued to hear gunfire and looked in the direction of the noise, where they observed two vehicles with several young black males shooting at each other from the intersection of Juanita Avenue and Essex Drive.
As they pulled their weapons to address the violent suspects involved, the suspects got back into their vehicles and fled. The lead vehicle, as it fled, entered a ditch on 42nd Street south of San Diego. The occupants opened the doors. Deputies Bennett and Pack, not sure if the suspects were going to shoot or flee, exited their vehicle prepared to shoot. The suspects chose to flee on foot.
A perimeter was established to minimize the chance of escape. After several hours, the suspects were located, identified and arrested. Four of the five were involved in a gang rivalry gun battle. They also located and recovered two handguns that were used in this violent crime. One innocent bystander was hit by a round that was shot at the scene by the suspects.
Thanks to Deputies Bennett and Pack's quick and courageous actions these suspects were apprehended.
Civilian of the Second Quarter Kim Briglia
Kim Briglia joined the Office in 2010 beginning her career in the records unit. In August 2012, she transferred to human resources.
In March of this year, Kim was promoted to HR specialist. Along with this new role, she was also responsible for training her replacement. Kim managed both the roles of HR specialist and trainer for two months, until Kayla was up and running. However, Kim did not remain in this single-functioning role of HR specialist long before our benefits specialist decided to return to her hometown in Miami.
The second quarter of this year presented more opportunities for change with the departure of the benefits specialist. Kim jumped in to learn this new role and all that entails insurance benefits and FMLA administration. The decision was made to restructure the roles in the unit.
In order to provide more efficient "customer service" to our employees, the HR specialist and the benefits specialist were combined into one-functioning role. This change allows all employees the convenience that any time contact is made with HR, any member of the unit is there to take care of them.
In addition, Kim oversees the four volunteers who are involved in the scanning process. She assists in running reports and preparing documents for oral boards.
In February, she became certified as a Zumba instructor and teaches two Zumba classes each week at the Sheriff's Office.
Patrol Support Deputy of the Second Quarter Francis Avril
Deputy Francis Avril joined the Sheriff's Office in November 2002 and has been assigned to the Court Security Section since January 2007. Deputy Avril's primary assignment is in the family division. He specializes in defusing highly emotional situations in domestic violence court and other highly charged cases.
On June 24, an incident arose that allowed Deputy Avril to utilize all his abilities. While working juvenile dependency court with Deputy Angel Torres, a 17-year-old juvenile, who had no case on the docket, demanded to see the juvenile division judge about his case status. In an unusual occurrence, the judge granted the hearing, but it was not heard until after hours. What the juvenile did not know was that the case workers felt he needed to be Baker acted, due to threats he had made to them in the hallway.
This subject was not a run-of-the-mill juvenile, but towering over the deputies in height and weighing almost more than Deputies Avril and Angel Torres put together. Patrol was called for back-up since Deputies Avril and Torres were the only law enforcement in the building.
Deputies Avril spoke with the juvenile in an attempt to calm him down, but the juvenile walked outside to the Courthouse front steps. Deputies Avril and Torres devised a plan to have the Patrol deputies come through the back of the courthouse to not startle the juvenile. When they came through the front door to make contact, the juvenile took off running.
Deputy Avril, a former Haitian National Team soccer player, was able to head off the juvenile while the other deputies gave chase. When Deputy Avril confronted the juvenile, the juvenile began yelling "Kill me, kill me, kill me!"
In what was described by one experienced law enforcement witness as a "textbook arm-bar take-down," Deputy Avril made physical contact with the juvenile and took him to the ground without the juvenile or any of the deputies being injured. Once on the ground, the juvenile began beating his own head on the concrete. Deputy Avril was able to help protect his head until he could get him to calm down. The juvenile has seen Deputy Avril numerous times and the two have established a positive rapport.
Administrative/Law Enforcement Supervisor of the Second Quarter Charlie Scavuzzo
From day one in his new position within the Department of Administration, Charlie was hands on. He took the time to come into Records and observed the daily functions of the unit, asked questions about what we do and asked how he could be of help to make our working environment a better place.
He accomplished many things for the Records Unit. Examples include getting additional monitors, a temporary scanning position for the unit, and additional storage space in archives. When a part-time employee retired from the agency, he arranged for that position to become full time.
He recognized that the OSSI system was developing into a more complex validation of the Incident and Arrest information, and he was instrumental in developing more communication among Records, detectives and deputies regarding report writing.
The Records Unit wish him the very best as he now takes up his new rank as Capt. Scavuzzo.
Volunteer of the Second Quarter Jerri Anicito
The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office hosted the 2013 State Florida Sheriffs Explorer Association Conference. In attendance were 17 Sheriff's Office Explorer posts from around the state that stayed in St. Lucie County.
Beside Deputy Sal Anicito, there was another person who was instrumental in keeping the conference in order and enjoyable for all participants. Sal's wife, Jerri, donated her time to make sure this event went problem-free. Jerri was there being a mentor, chaperone, friend, and mom to all of the kids.
Miss Jerri, as the kids call her, worked during the day at her job and then came to the hotel at night to participate in the evening events for all of the explorers. One night she grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for all of the explorers and advisors.
She donated over 60 hours during the week of the conference. There is no doubt that Miss Jerri volunteering her hours made the explorers from out of town feel welcomed and loved. Besides this week, Miss Jerri is a constant fixture with our Explorer Post 400. Jerri, thank you for all you do for our youth.
Detention Civilian of the Second Quarter Genynne Rodriguez
Genynne Rodriguez has been assigned to the Classification Unit for two years. She has made it her mission to personally advocate for and seek out those inmates that desperately need help for drug and alcohol addiction, spiritual guidance, and a chance to improve their level of education. She keeps active lists of inmates requesting programs. After an interview, she places the inmate's name on the correct program housing.
She receives calls from family members, members of the court, attorneys, and staff into the progress of each inmate and makes recommendations for the release planning for those inmates to continue after they are released back into the county.
This has helped maintain a lower recidivism rate. The current recidivism rate for general population inmates is 33 percent. Inmates in a substance abuse program have a 15 percent rate, and inmates in the culinary program have a 10 percent rate.
Genynne comes to work with a "can-do" attitude. Genynne is an asset to the Department of Detention and the Office.
Detention Deputy of the Second Quarter Clinton Williams
Deputy Clinton Williams has been with the office for eight years. Deputy Williams can be called upon at any time to do any task. He recently worked as a firearms instructor for our yearly qualifications. He did this switching from nights to temporary days and then back without hesitation. He is an exemplary instructor, not only helping deputies improve their skills, but assisting those new deputies qualify that had little hope that they themselves could do it. Deputy Williams brought a calm to the range, along with an encouraging voice.
During Correction Officer's Week and Nurse's Week, Deputy Williams came in, after his normal shift, and participated in the rib competition that was set up to boost the spirits and morale. He spent all day cooking, not looking for anything in return.
In addition, he participates in wrestling matches where the proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of St. Lucie County.
Detention Sergeant of the Second Quarter Doug Laury
Sgt. Laury is one of the most devoted, selfless and meticulous supervisors that we have assigned to Detention. Being the supervisor over the transportation unit, he takes the safety of his staff and maintenance of his fleet and equipment seriously.
Sgt. Laury works much later than his shift, going over court lists, comparing the inmates listed to paperwork he has on file as well as in JMS to ensure that his staff are prepared for any inmate they have to deal with. This involves many "keep-separate" inmates, inmates with serious mental health or medical issues, and high-risk inmates.
After the high-profile Zimmerman trial, we began planning for interagency support from the transportation unit. Sgt. Laury was extremely organized and took the task personally, preferring to stay at the jail in order to be better prepared should his unit be activated to assist in a situation of civil unrest. The time came when they were activated, and his unit responded in unison and without any hesitation. Thank you for your dedication.
Life Saving James O'Brien
Deputy James O'Brien was instrumental in saving the life of two inmates on consecutive nights.
On April 29, an inmate was complaining about his medication and inability to sleep. Deputy O'Brien spoke with medical and advised the inmate his medication could not be changed. The inmate, who became angry, said, "Don't worry about it; I'll take care of business."
Deputy O'Brien saw the inmate tying his laundry bag to the upper bunk in an attempt to hang himself. Deputy O'Brien immediately called for assistance and rushed down to the dorm. Upon the arrival of additional deputies, he entered the cell and cut away the laundry bag string. The inmate was transferred to medical for suicide observation.
On April 30, Deputy O'Brien observed that an inmate had a blanket covering his cell bars. He ordered the inmate to remove the blanket, but then noticed there was also a sheet wrapped in the bars and the inmate was out of view. Deputy O'Brien grabbed the J-hook and told the tower deputy to open the dorm door but not the cell. When he got to the top of the stairs, he saw the inmate with the sheet around his neck and hanging from the bars. As he was cutting the sheet, he called a suicide attempt. Once free from the noose, the inmate fell to the floor. The inmate was then transferred to medical under suicide observation.
Ronald Pallack, William Hedges, Wayne Anderson, Joseph Baptiste, Sharon McClelland, Jason Meizinger, Michael Morales, Justin Parker, Michael Profitt, James Soto, Teresa Stanton
On May 28 Sgt. Hedges was alerted to an incident in the 122 holding cell of the jail's medical unit. Upon further investigation of the incident, Sgt. Hedges found an inmate unconscious in a pool of blood. He was attempting suicide.
Sgt. Hedges called a suicide attempt over his radio and immediately rendered assistance by applying direct pressure to the self-inflicted wound. These deputies along with medical staff responded to Sgt. Hedges' radio call, assisting in the effort to save the inmate's life.
Their swift thinking and efficient teamwork was paramount for success in a dire situation. Their actions show their dedication, and commitment to uphold the agency mission by providing for care, custody, and control of inmates in a manner that is safe for staff, inmates, and members of the community.
Commendation Dwayne Newton, Brian Shackley
On June 28 an inmate from Delta 2 East Dorm 7 told Deputy Brian Shackley he saw another inmate in the dorm with a razor blade.
Sgt. Sands arranged for Deputy Shackley and Deputy Dwayne Newton to conduct a search of Cell H in Dorm 7. The inmate was secured in restraints, searched, and questioned with negative results. During the search of Cell H the razor blade, which had been removed from the handle, was discovered under the inmate's sink.
The successful search and recovery of a dangerous weapon was conducted professionally and without incident. Their actions prevented serious injuries from occurring to themselves and their coworkers.
Commendation W. T. Hamilton, Clinton Williams
On June 27 Richard Gavis was arrested by SIU and transported to the detention facility by deputies. During the initial intake process, an additional diligent search was performed of the computer bag that was turned over by the transporting deputies. As Deputy W. T. Hamilton searched the bag's contents, he located a vacuumed sealed pouch concealed in an inner pocket.
The pouch was removed and Deputy Hamilton saw a substantial amount of $20 bills meticulously organized within the pouch. Deputy Hamilton alerted Deputy Clinton Williams of his findings. Deputies Hamilton and Williams completed the search of all items received for Gavis and informed the transporting deputies of their findings. SIU responded and conducted an inventory of the pouch and confiscated all monies for their investigation.
The attentiveness to their duties and expeditious manner in completing their assigned tasks assisted SIU in confiscating a vital amount of evidence to assist with their investigation.
Commendation Sidney Long, Willie Perry, Victor Sands
After serving over 14 years in prison, former inmate Alfred Perry was released from custody and worked to make positive change in his life. He attributes his positive change to the listed employees who he says, "…had a great impact for positive lifestyle that [he's] living today." Mr. Alfred Perry says that he has spent more than 31 years in and out of detention facilities and felt strongly enough about the impact these employees had on his life to write Sheriff Mascara to compliment them.
While the business of corrections is not always pleasant, it is completely gratifying when lives are positively changed by the actions and professionalism of our employees.
Unit Citation – Transportation
Doug Laury, Jason Wheeler, Daniel Arcentales, Steve Byrne, Lucius Harris, Johnny Hubbard, Richard Medina, Dexter Scott, Kimberly Tipton, Corey Todd, Robert T. Wolff
Under the direction of Sergeant Doug Laury are many dedicated deputies. They all function together flawlessly and in harmony. This is a very tight unit, comprised of extremely professional and extraordinary individuals.
The deputies all put in long hours, regularly held over with little to no notice, whether on a long transport or staying late to bring inmates back from court. This is done with no complaint.
After the high profiled Zimmerman trial, we began planning for an interagency support from the transportation unit. The entire unit was involved, including two added individuals (Sgt. Jason Wheeler and Deputy Richard Medina). The time came when they were activated, and the unit responded in unison and without any hesitation.
In addition to the most recent event the unit is also being recognized for their day-to-day dedication to their duties.
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