Cocoa Police Department Honors Sgt. Anthony Colombo as Officer of the Year During Annual Award Ceremony

Susan Lambert named employee of the year

The Cocoa Police Department held its Awards Ceremony this month to recognize employees and private citizens. Among the awards presented was the 2023 Officer of the Year, which was presented to Sgt. Anthony Colombo, second from right. In July, 2023, Sgt. Colombo was placed in command of the Special Investigations Unit. (Cocoa PD image)

More than one dozen police department employees were recognized for professional excellence, heroic acts, and actions that went above and beyond while performing public service to the citizens of Cocoa during 2023.

BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA –  The Cocoa Police Department held its Awards Ceremony this month to recognize employees and private citizens.

More than one dozen police department employees were recognized for professional excellence, heroic acts, and actions that went above and beyond while performing public service to the citizens of Cocoa during 2023.

Chief Evander Collier IV and members of his command staff presented the awards during a special ceremony held at the police department.

The 2023 Officer of the Year was presented to Sgt. Anthony Colombo.

In July, 2023, Sgt. Colombo was placed in command of the Special Investigations Unit. He led the narcotics team to make numerous controlled purchases at known problem areas in the city.

These efforts developed strong cases against more than a dozen drug dealers who were subsequently trespassed from public parks where they did their business.

During the latter half of 2023, Sgt. Colombo was placed in charge of both sides of the investigations unit which included Special Investigations, and the Criminal Investigations Division, in essence serving as acting lieutenant.

During this time, the unit had three homicides with new detectives in training. All three homicides were solved. Sgt. Colombo is also the SWAT supervisor and tasks himself with training, scheduling, and coordinating SWAT deployments. Sgt. Colombo is always the first one in, and the last to leave.

He has shown an enormous amount of patience with his newer detectives and motivates his staff when needed in difficult cases. He ensures his staff learns and grows as a unit and is well respected by his coworkers and other law enforcement professionals.

The 2023 Communications Officers of the Year award was presented to Michelle Perry, above center. Perry joined the Cocoa Police Department in June, 2007 as a communications officer and quickly rose to the position of communications lead and became a mentor to her colleagues.

The 2023 Communications Officers of the Year award was presented to Michelle Perry.

Perry joined the Cocoa Police Department in June, 2007 as a communications officer. She quickly rose to the position of communications lead and became a mentor to her colleagues.

According to some of the officers working with her, she sets herself apart in many ways. Every call response where she is the call taker already has reporting parties, vehicles, and suspect information added prior to arrival.

This significantly increases the officer safety aspect of the call response. As a communications officer, she gathers vital information and is extremely thorough in the details regarding allegations, suspect information, and time frames. Every call narrative has more detailed and relevant information.

When working on operations, she is composed and structured in her speaking. She does not excite officers over simple calls, yet emphasizes the seriousness of calls when warranted. She communicates quickly and efficiently, considering officer proximity with priority calls. She does not put any air time to waste, giving purely vital information, and does not stumble on her words.

Ms. Perry is very aware of what happens on-screen and off-screen. In one case an officer requested a back-up unit with strain in his voice. Knowing an officer was at station, she had the security gates open just in time for the responding officer to quickly exit the station.

The officer in need of backup ended up having a resisting subject who was combative. Ms. Perry was able to recognize the seriousness of the situation and reacted expeditiously in coordinating the response while communicating over the radio that help was on the way. Ms. Perry is always willing to flex her schedule or work overtime when the center needs assistance and does not complain, she very seldom calls out sick.

She is always looking out for her dispatch team and what she can do to improve things within the communications division. Ms. Perry is a great asset, not only to the officers but to her dispatch team as well.

It takes a uniquely special quality to be calm under pressure while delivering the highest level of communication and public safety service to the citizens of Cocoa and the officers who respond to their calls for help. Communications Officer Perry embodies the professionalism that is needed in this field. She is highly regarded by her coworkers and her peers and is deserving of recognition.

The 2023 Employee of the Year award was presented to Susan Lambert, above center. Lambert is tasked with keeping up with inventory and budget. She has extensive knowledge with these subjects and assists those in the police department with budget planning. Susan has a great attitude and is willing to help anyone at any time without hesitation. (Cocoa PD image)

The 2023 Employee of the Year award was presented to Susan Lambert.

Lambert is tasked with keeping up with inventory and budget. She has extensive knowledge with these subjects and assists those in the police department with budget planning. Susan has a great attitude and is willing to help anyone at any time without hesitation.

Ms. Lambert is a valued member of the Cocoa Police Department.

The 2023 Volunteer of the Year award was presented to John Sauter. Sauter is a dedicated public servant and is always available when called upon.

He has been instrumental in coordinating and communicating information regarding the department’s outreach programs including the Chief’s Community Walks and Chief’s Watch.

He takes great pride in representing the agency and consistently goes above and beyond to help improve the level of service provided by the city.

Other award categories and recipients are as follows:

Unit Citations:

■ Officer Joshua Roane, Officer Brian Fredette, Officer Edward Hartzell

■ Sgt. Nick Moon, Sgt. Christopher Moderson, Officer Donald Tabor, Officer Eric Myny, Officer Trevor Denham, Communications Supervisor Kathleen Dorans, Communications Officer Tabatha Allen

■ Sgt. Anthony Colombo, Detective Christopher Zuniga, Detective Michael Cox, Detective Amanda Torello, Detective Salvatore Fogu, Agent Benjamin Erskine, Agent Sayge Gray, Joanna Tabor, Dalaity Henson

■ Commander Anthony Marchica, Lt. Michael Dellatorre, Lt. William Mills, Sgt. Amy Moon, Sgt. Nick Moon, Sgt. Anthony Colombo, Sgt. Christopher Moderson, K-9 Officer Brian Delos Santos, Officer Jeff Taylor, K-9 Officer Dan Rhoades, Agent Benjamin Erskine, Officer Theodoros Yakarys, Detective Amanda Torello, Detective Michael Cox, Officer Joshua Roane, Agent Sayge Gray, Detective Christopher Zuniga, Officer Eric Myny, Officer Joseph Lavelle, Detective Salvatore Fogu, Officer Trevor Denham, Officer Rafael Benitez-Sifontes, Officer Bryan Baylis, Officer Nicholas Todd, Communications Supervisor Kathleen Dorans, Lead Communications Officer Michelle Perry, Loshwanda Lane, Yvonne Martinez

Meritorious Service Ribbon:

■ Lead Communications Officer Erin Gutierrez

■ Sgt. Christopher Moderson

■ Sgt. John Picheco

■ Volunteer Award: Reserve Officer Matthew Houchens

VCOP 1st Quarter: John Sauter

VCOP 2nd Quarter: Andy Clay

VCOP 4th Quarter: John Sauter

Employee 1st Quarter: Victoria Stullenburger

Employee 2nd Quarter: Penny Costin

Employee 3rd Quarter: Dalaity Henson

Employee 4th Quarter: Susan Lambert

Communications Officer 1st Quarter: Lynn Conley

Communications Officer 2nd Quarter: Brittany Perdieu

Communications Officer 3rd Quarter: Lead C/O Michelle Perry

Communications Officer 4th Quarter: C/O James Supinski

Officer 1st Quarter: Officer Donald Tabor

Officer 2nd Quarter: Sgt. Christopher Moderson

Officer 3rd Quarter: Sgt. Anthony Colombo

Officer 4th Quarter: Officer James Salley

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