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 December 16th, 2013  
St. Lucie County Sheriff announces quarterly awards
 
Sheriff Ken J. Mascara has announced the recipients of agency quarterly awards.

Here are the award recipients:

Third Quarter

Admin./Law Enforcement Supervisor of the Quarter: Andy McIntosh
Civilian of the Quarter: Kayla Lee
Detective of the Quarter: Troy Norman
Detention Civilian of the Quarter: Solange Dorsainvil
Detention Deputy of the Quarter: Stan Mazanoski
Detention Supervisor of the Quarter: Gary Deshon
Patrol Operations Deputy of the Quarter: Heather Tucker
Patrol Support Deputy of the Quarter: James Abel and Chris Hill
Volunteer of the Quarter: Dottie Vignuolo and Claude Burke
 
Miscellaneous Awards

Life Saving: Stephen Mochan, Jonathan Lasasso
Life Saving (citizenry): Chris Campbell, Madison Hassler, Jackie Sterns, Jonathan Pickett
Exceptional Duty: William Hedges, Ezell Cooper
Commendation: Gary Gonsalves
Eagle Award: Jose Angulo, Anthony Pierce, Jeffrey Serafini, Todd Hogan
Certificate of Appreciation: Eva Macias

Here are the details:

Life Saving
Christopher Campbell, Madison Hassler, Jackie Stearns, Jonathan Pickett

On August 11 at 5:42 p.m., Squad A was dispatched to Seagrape Drive in reference to a three-year-old drowning victim. When deputies arrived, the victim had been removed from the bottom of a swimming pool, and rescue efforts were being conducted.

The initial investigation determined that the three-year old, Xavier Smith, was attending a birthday party at the residence. Xavier was witnessed eating a hot dog near the edge of the pool, then was seen inside the pool, still finishing his hot dog.

Minutes later, the first two rescuers (Christopher Campbell and Madison Hassler) observed Xavier at the bottom of the pool, and he was not moving. They immediately jumped into the pool and removed Xavier from the water. Xavier was not conscious and not breathing.

Two adults (Jackie Stearns and Jonathan Pickett) heard the commotion and immediately began lifesaving efforts on Xavier. Jonathan performed a finger sweep of Xavier's mouth, removing several pieces of the hotdog. Jackie, a registered nurse, administered CPR on Xavier, which was successful.

Xavier has since made a full recovery from the incident. Thanks to the quick and decisive action of all of the rescuers the life of Xavier was saved.


Detention Deputy of the Quarter
Solange Dorsainvil

Solange Dorsainvil has been assigned to the Classification Unit for over eight years. She is tasked as the trusty coordinator, which is a high-pressured responsibility. Multiple demands are placed with few resources to make them happen.

Solange has balanced the jail needs and the outside work units with security to operate the 16 detail crews making up 160 inmates daily.

Why then is it so difficult to find 160 inmate workers in an average jail population of 1,200? First, Solange goes through the classification of all inmates who are authorized to work. These are the low-security, general-population inmates. This cuts her pool of inmate candidates in half.

Second, this group of inmates must pass a thorough physical and be cleared for medical and mental health, cutting another 50 percent of the candidates left to work.

Next are the inmates with any security issues who may pose a threat to the work unit. Therefore, all gang members and associates are eliminated, aand remaining candidates are examined for any past behavioral issues that were reported and documented.

Solange now has about 130 unsentenced inmates, who can work inside only, and about 30 sentenced inmates who can work outside the facility.

Every day she keeps up with and makes sure these inmates are present and ready for their duties. In addition, she finds people for the many details that we provide help for during the year, such as the clergy appreciation luncheon, the volunteer appreciation barbecue and the Chili Cook Off.

By taking on some of the projects that we do on a daily basis, we have saved the taxpayers of St. Lucie County an enormous amount of money. None of this could have been the case without the hard work and dedication to detail by Solange to find the necessary inmates to complete the job.

We thank her for for continued service to the Sheriff's Office and the community.

Detention Deputy of the Quarter
Stan Mazanoski

Master Deputy Stan Mazanoski is an 18-year veteran of the Department of Detention. He has worked numerous assignments. Master Deputy Mazanoski utilizes four inmates per day to help him restore the walls, flooring, and fixtures in the inmate housing units, sergeants' offices, and administration offices.

His efforts with this same crew were also used for major improvements done around the jail and have made the working atmosphere much more enjoyable for the employees and the living areas for the inmates. In doing this, Stan has been able to help his inmates learn new skills that they can use to be more productive citizens when back in society.

All projects given to Stan are taken on with no complaint, even though they often mean longer hours or even working odd hours on weekends or late at night; time that he could be spending with his family.

We would like to recognize Stan for all the effort that he has made on the projects given to him and his regular duties on a daily basis.

Detention Supervisor of the Quarter
Sgt. Gary Deshon

Sgt. Gary Deshon was nominated by the Night One Shift. The shift had the following to say: "Sgt. Deshon's many outstanding qualities continue to shine through when selecting an ideal candidate among the fine sergeants supervising the night one shift. Sgt. Deshon possesses an easygoing, always approachable demeanor. This fosters a healthy work environment, and keeps the vital, effective lines of communication open for all of us to perform our duties at the highest standard.

"Sgt. Deshon is always available to assist without hesitation, regardless of the location or severity of the situation. Sgt/ Deshon's unwavering consistency can always be depended upon when looking for guidance or clarity in the myriad of correctional duties.

For these and other reasons, we collectively believe Sgt. Deshon stands out among his peers and deserves this recognition

Exceptional Duty
Sgt. William Hedges, Sgt. Ezell Cooper

On Sept. 2, Sgt. William Hedges was notified that an inmate in D1S dorm 10 was in possession of a weapon (blade removed from issued razor.) Sgt. Hedges responded, ensured the blade and inmate were secured, and investigated the incident.

During his investigation, Sgt. Hedges enlisted the help of Sgt. Ezell Cooper. They uncovered an elaborate inmate ruse spanning three separate dormitories. The goal of the inmates was to racially segregate the three dorms. The inmates planted dangerous contraband in selected cells, arranged for staff to be notified via an "anonymous" note and backfilled cells as selected inmates were sent to disciplinary confinement.

Sgts. Hedges and Cooper saw past the ploy and took active steps to stop a dangerous situation from happening.

Life Saving
Jonathon Lasasso, Stephen Mochan

On Aug. 24, Deputies Stephen Mochan and Jonathon Lasasso were assigned to B3, our mental health housing unit. Among the inmates housed in this unit was Randy Reese, who three days early attempted to commit suicide.

At 2350 hours, Deputy Mochan was conducting a visual security check of the housing unit when he saw an inmate begin to frantically wave his arms. When Deputy Mochan questioned the inmate, Deputy Mochan was told that Reese was lying on the floor covered in blood.

Deputy Mochan directed Deputy Jonathon Lasasso to the cell. Deputy Lasasso saw Reese lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Reese was unresponsive and showed no signs of breathing. Deputy Lasasso called a medical emergency and went back to attempting to revive the inmate. Reese was immediately taken to the medical unit where staff was able to stabilize him and stop the bleeding. Later he was transferred to Lawnwood Hospital.

Thanks to Deputies Mochan and Lasasso inmate Reese was unsuccessful at another suicide attempt.

Civilian of the Quarter
Kayla Lee

Kayla has been a member of the Human Resources Unit since March 2013.

It was not long before Kayla began suggesting methods to streamline the processing of employment applications and the processing of new hires. By putting Kayla's suggestions into practice, all members of the unit are now able to identify where an applicant is in the hiring process.

After learning that one of our team members would need to take medical leave in July, Kayla responded by saying "I'm ready to learn about insurance benefits now, so I can help." It was during this time, our new benefits program, BenTek, was nearing its launch date. The BenTek representative conducted a training session, and Kayla readily grasped the intricacies of the program. She has now earned the nickname of "BenTek Guru." Kayla has continued updating and verifying BenTek.

In July Kayla completed a course at IRSC called "Essentials of HR Management," which broadened her scope of the function of human resources. She also chose to enroll in an HR college course this fall semester as one of her degree electives.

Law Enforcement/Administration

Supervisor of the Quarter
Andy McIntosh

School Resource Squad A nominated Sgt. Andy McIntosh for supervisor of the quarter.

Sgt. McIntosh was assigned to the School Resource Unit in March 2010. He supervises 11 deputies in the north end of the school district.

Sgt. McIntosh spent time this summer evaluating school assignments. He spent the first week of school helping locate children who were "missing" while working with parents and school transportation to locate and reunite the families.

Sgt. McIntosh can be found at schools that are shorthanded assisting with the arrival and dismissal of students. He will stop by and make contact with the staff of the schools and check in with deputies to ensure things are going smoothly.

Recently, a student at C.A. Moore was found with a gun in his backpack. Sgt. McIntosh sent a deputy to the school and responded as backup to help with the situation.

Sgt. McIntosh supports his deputies both in their professional and personal lives.

Andy fills in as the public information officer, when needed. He is the chairman for the Sunshine Fund and assists with planning retirement parties and our annual Christmas party. He is a member of Crisis Intervention Team where he often does the opening speech for the class and serves as master of ceremonies at the Crisis Intervention Team graduation ceremonies. These are only a few of the functions in which Andy is actively involved.

Some of the words that have been used to describe Sgt. McIntosh are: trustworthy, supportive, knowledgeable and fair. Sgt. McIntosh is a shining example of a "hands on" supervisor.

Patrol Support Deputy of the Quarter
James Abel, Chris Hill

The job of School Resource Deputy is one that can be very challenging for many reasons. The number of external factors that can influence the degree of difficulty can be very lengthy. Many times these factors can come from areas that the deputy or our agency has little or no control over. At the start of the new year, the St. Lucie County School District decided to combine the county's two alternative educational institutions into a single school. This meant that the number of students who required special attention for a multitude of reasons would now be concentrated at one school, the Dale Cassens Education Complex.

Due to the number of these types of students being concentrated at one location, the supervisors of the School Resource Unit realized that there should be two SRDs needed at this location to deal more effectively with the types of students that would be attending this school.

Being veteran SRDs, Deputy Christopher Hill and Deputy James Abel were selected to staff this location due to their demeanor and abilities to deal effectively with the diverse and needy student population of this new school.

From the start of the school year, the challenges were more than anticipated. Over the first six weeks, Deputies Hill and Abel met every situation head on working as a team as well as individually to maintain control of a dynamic educational setting. Many times they were able to diffuse volatile situations with their excellent interpersonal abilities and allow the school staff to deal effectively with problem students. Other times, it took one or both of these deputies a great deal of their time and effort to bring problems to a conclusion.

Deputies Hill and Abel have been able to work effectively in an overall cooperative manner with the school staff and students to make this educational setting one where all students can come to learn in a safe and secure environment.

Volunteer of the Quarter
Claude Burke, Dottie Vignuolo

Dottie Vignuolo and Claude Burke have been invaluable at the courthouse. A little over two years ago, they picked up duties that the rest of the staff simply did not have time for. The Vignuolo-Burke team assists in the security post functions at the main courthouse front door. The two speak with the crowd, explain the security expectations, and get them prepared to be screened. This has cut processing time by almost 70 percent.

Dottie and Claude also assist the jury clerks with the processing of the jurors which range from 30 to 200. This allows a faster processing and turn-around, thereby getting the jurors up and in front of the judges quicker and jurors seated and hearing cases.

This year's Sheriff's Office Chili Cook-Off submission and chili cooking was done by none other than Dottie and her sous-chef Claude. They worked tirelessly to provide sample recipes and assisted in the organization of the Sheriff's Office booth and layout. They stepped up and ran the Chili Cook-off bake sale and ensured stock remained up and cash was submitted.

They are also very active in their community, serving Treasure Coast CrimeStoppers, Lakewood Park Crime Watch, and until very recently, the Sheriff's Citizens' Observation Patrol.

Patrol Operations Deputy of the Quarter
Heather Tucker

Deputy Heather Tucker has been a member of the agency since September 2009. She is assigned to the Patrol Operations Division, Squad A where she serves as a float deputy.

Deputy Tucker is proactive. One example occurred in the month of September. The county had recently experienced several burglaries with copper thefts resulting in a loss of several thousands of dollars. A detective sergeant attended briefing and advised the squad of the suspect vehicle. The following day, Deputy Tucker located the suspect vehicle, developed probable cause for a traffic stop, and identified the occupants. She used good interview techniques to determine where the suspects were living, working, and other pertinent information to assist CID with their investigation. This investigation is still ongoing.

Deputy Tucker recently transferred from midnight shift to days/evenings and is furthering her career toward becoming a candidate for detective. The shift supervisors regularly receive compliments from other division supervisors about Deputy Tucker due to her investigative skills.

Deputy Tucker's self-initiated activity is not motivated by generating statistics. Instead, it is geared toward combatting ongoing criminal trends.

Detective of the Quarter
Troy Norman

Detective Troy Norman started with the agency in January 2000. During this quarter Detective Norman assisted the Criminal Investigation by working the summer detail.

One example of his performance this quarter occurred on July 18 after a month-long investigation. Detective Norman was given several burglary and theft reports to investigate and was able to get 18 warrants on two suspects who were connected to the burglaries. He linked these suspects to several items of stolen property pawned at local pawn shops. Because of Detective Norman's investigation these two criminals are in jail so they cannot victimize any other citizens, and he was able to return property to several victims.

In addition, Detective Norman is a member of the SWAT team and is in charge of the agency snipers. Also, he is part of the training unit assisting in firearms and use of force training.

crime stoppers