WATCH REPLAY: Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Award Ceremony Honors Outstanding Performance

BCSO DEPUTIES OF THE YEAR: Deputy Brian Potters and Agent Tyler Thoman

SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Sheriff Wayne Ivey and his Command Staff hosted the annual Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Awards Ceremony at the Church of Viera on Friday night.

ABOVE VIDEO: 2022 Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Award Ceremony Red Carpet interviews.


BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Sheriff Wayne Ivey and his Command Staff hosted the annual Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Awards Ceremony at the Church of Viera on Friday night.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey issued this statement about the awards ceremony:

On behalf of the nearly 1,700 members of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to personally thank the family members, friends and community leaders that have taken the time to join us tonight for our Annual Awards Ceremony.

Your attendance and continued support for the outstanding men and women of our law enforcement profession is greatly appreciated by all of those who serve this community.

Tonight is an opportunity to recognize the truly impressive actions of our agency members, volunteers and citizens who work each and every day to make Brevard County a safe place to live and raise our families.

BREVARD COUNTY SHERIFF WAYNE IVEY: Each year, hundreds of deputies, employees and volunteers come together with their families, along with leaders of the community, to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments throughout the year.

While tonight’s recipients are being recognized for their outstanding achievements, they represent only a small percentage of the amazing work that the members of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office collectively accomplish each year.

As Sheriff of Brevard County, I get to see firsthand the incredible accomplishments that our team members achieve, but tonight it is our privilege to share with you how each act of courage, valor and passion made a difference in someone’s life.

I hope you enjoy the event and remember, it takes a community to protect a community!! Tonight’s award recipients are nothing less than your community’s real-life Super Heroes!!!

Thank you again for being here tonight and for all of the tremendous support you continue to give our agency.

DEPUTIES OF THE YEAR: Deputy Brian Potters and Agent Tyler Thoman

DEPUTIES OF THE YEAR: Deputy Brian Potters and Agent Tyler Thoman

While on special detail, Deputy Tyler Thoman conducted a traffic stop in the area of I-95 and State Road 192 on a vehicle occupied by three individuals and an infant. As Deputy Thoman spoke with the female passenger, Deputy Potters arrived and began a conversation with an adult male seated in the rear passenger seat.

The male was asked to exit the vehicle, at which time he immediately opened the door armed with an assault rifle and began shooting at both deputies. Deputies Potters and Thoman immediately returned fire. During the exchange of gunfire, Deputy Potters was wounded in the lower leg.

Eventually, the suspect (whose rifle had become disabled) was able to move to a position behind the deputies where he then violently attacked Deputy Potters, striking him multiple times in the head with the butt of the rifle. Deputy Thoman was able to end the violent assault by discharging his firearm and using deadly force to neutralize the threat.
For their actions during this life-threatening violent encounter, Deputies Potters and Thoman are receiving a Bar of Merit.

MEDAL OF VALOR: FTO Kelly Kennedy and FTO Don Flammio

WOUND BAR: Deputy Kaitlyn Applegate and Deputy Jason Lewis



This year’s recipient began their employment with the agency in 2015. Due to their exemplary performance, they were promoted to the rank of Corporal in 2017. Corporal Mirena Croom performs her duties with the highest level of dedication and professionalism each and every day. In 2021, she distinguished herself by her response to an inmate who was having a serious medical event.

While working her shift at the Jail Complex, Corporal Croom was alerted to a housing area by loud banging and continued cries for help. As she entered, Corporal Croom was summoned to a cell where she found an inmate in extreme distress, having difficulty breathing and gasping for air. Corporal Croom quickly radioed for assistance and placed the inmate on her side in a recovery position. Within seconds, the inmate stopped breathing and went completely unresponsive.

Without hesitation, Corporal Croom began to administer CPR. The emergency aid provided by Corporal Croom was successful, as the inmate responded by taking shallow breaths. Corporal Croom maintained watch over the inmate until the arrival of jail medical personnel, who with assistance, were able to place the inmate on a gurney and transfer her to the medical unit. Once in medical, the inmate’s condition continued to decline at which time she was transported to an area hospital. Once admitted, she received advanced medical treatment and was able to make a full recovery.

There is no greater achievement than saving the life of another who is in the midst of a life-threatening medical emergency. Without the immediate emergency medical intervention performed by Corporal Croom, this inmate likely would have perished during this medical event. For her response in preventing the death of this inmate, we are proud to recognize Corporal Mirena Croom as our Corrections Deputy of the Year.



Since starting her employment with the agency in 2010, Investigative Support Specialist Laurie Wilson has been an integral part of our agency accomplishing both its internal mission and external community outreach. Her ability to coordinate and serve in both of these important roles is worthy of commendation. Laurie provides administrative support for the East Precinct General Crimes Unit and her office is a crossroads of investigative agents, analysts, deputies and supervisors working on criminal investigations.

Having a “never say no” attitude, Laurie always stops to assist her personnel in meeting the task at hand, and often at the expense of her own personal time. Laurie regularly assists with functions that fall well outside of her job description in order to contribute to the overall success of the Sheriff’s Office. One such example of this occurred in 2021, when East Precinct was hit with a shortage in some positions of civilian staffing.

Although already tasked with supporting the Investigative Unit, Laurie took on the additional duties of Command Staff Assistant for both East Precinct and Operational Services. Handling an already generous caseload of investigative files, she now added the duties of supporting these two commanding officers. As if this wasn’t enough, she also took on the additional task of training other new civilians recently assigned to the precinct. Keenly aware of the impact that COVID-19 was having on the workforce, Laurie also made sure she arrived early on a daily basis to assist with the sanitation efforts required to safeguard the employees.

Laurie believes in giving back to the employees of the agency as well as the community she serves. She can be found assisting with the yearly Awards Ceremony, selling tickets at the Speedy Dewitt Tactical Firearms Challenge or coordinating the retirement of long-term employees, making sure they gain the recognition they deserve.

Laurie never asks to be recognized, consistently demonstrating a humble and thankful attitude. She does all this because she truly cares about her community and the agency. Laurie’s outstanding motivation and dedication to duty reflect positively upon herself and continues to keep with the highest traditions of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. We are proud to recognize Laurie Wilson as the agency’s Employee of the Year.



Our recipient joined the BCSO Communications Center in May of 2019. In this short amount of time, she has become an excellent Public Safety Telecommunicator. Aleasha Murphy currently trains new Public Safety Telecommunicators and has recently been appointed to a leadership role as a Communications Lead.

In 2021, she participated in multiple high-priority calls throughout the year that demonstrated her professionalism and dedication to service.

On August 21, 2021, while assigned to our East radio channel, PST Murphy handled multiple priority calls throughout the course of her shift. At 9:30 p.m. she quickly dispatched a report of two males and an armed female who were in a physical altercation.

As calls from frantic citizens continued to come in from the surrounding area, she provided updates to the responding units and initiated emergency traffic so they could coordinate their response efforts. Her quick action and attention to detail assisted deputies in removing the subjects from the location without further incident.

Less than 10 minutes after clearing emergency traffic from the battery call, she dispatched another priority call. This caller stated they had received a text from a friend who said she had an injunction against a person who was at the apartment trying to kill her.

When the deputies arrived on the scene, the suspect ran and a foot pursuit ensued. She quickly responded to the action, sending additional units to aid in the pursuit. Deputies were able to apprehend the suspect without further incident.

While units were completing the investigations for the previous calls, our recipient received a third priority call of a submerged vehicle in the Banana River. The callers could not say if the vehicle was occupied. Fortunately, after an investigation by our BCSO Dive team members, no one was found inside of the vehicle.

These calls are only a small portion of the priority calls that PST Murphy has dispatched and effectively managed this year. For her dedication to her colleagues, the citizens of this great county and the deputies of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, we are proud to recognize Aleasha Murphy as our Public Safety Telecommunicator of the Year.

RESERVE DEPUTY OF THE YEAR: Reserve Sergeant Chris Hendrix

RESERVE DEPUTY OF THE YEAR: Reserve Sergeant Chris Hendrix

Reserve Sergeant Chris Hendrix retired from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in July of 2016, with over 30 years of dedicated service. He was rehired in 2017 before leaving full-time deputy status in 2019. With a desire to continue his service to the citizens of Brevard, he immediately became a member of the Reserve Unit.

Sergeant Hendrix had previously served on the SWAT Team, as a Field Training Officer and Patrol Corporal. As a member of the Reserve Unit, he served as a deputy until accepting a promotion to the rank of Reserve Sergeant where he now serves as a supervisor for a squad of reserve deputies.

During the past year, Reserve Sergeant Hendrix has volunteered nearly 500 hours for our agency and citizens. Efforts that include charity events, traffic enforcement and scene security, all at no cost to our citizens. Additionally, as a certified deputy, who has completed the Field Training program, he has assisted road patrol and the Motor Unit on many occasions.
Reserve Sergeant Hendrix is always in the background, never seeking attention or recognition and proudly provides his services and expertise to assist in the operations of the Sheriff’s Office and in service to his community. It is with great pride we recognize Reserve Sergeant Chris Hendrix as Reserve Deputy of the Year.



Jim Bell has been a COP since 2012 and currently serves as the COP coordinator for North Precinct. Jim has volunteered nearly 800 hours each year since becoming involved in the COP program. He is extremely proud of the impact Project Lifesaver has made in the senior community and takes an active role in working with the individuals who take part in the program. Jim is responsible for scheduling COP training, coordinating COP meetings, and maintaining all documentation for the COPs.

COP Bell coordinates with the North Precinct Lieutenants on community events that need support and he has received numerous compliments from citizens and neighbors alike who have expressed appreciation for the visibility he brings to the community.

His level of performance sets the standard for others to emulate. We are very proud to recognize Jim Bell for his dedicated service by awarding him the Volunteer of the Year award.

LUCY ROSS AWARD: Corporal Vicki Sumlin

LUCY ROSS AWARD: Corporal Vicki Sumlin

The Lucy Ross Award is presented to the Sheriff’s Office employee who best exemplifies the outstanding qualities and spirit of our lost family member, Sergeant Lucille Ross. Throughout her career, Lucy demonstrated an unwavering dedication to community service and excellence in her profession. Lucy was a genuinely compassionate person who never hesitated to assist others in need regardless of the situation.

Her talents really became obvious when she was helping crime victims and their families. Despite the rigors and demands of her work, Lucy could always be counted on to arrive with sincere compassion and an always cheerful disposition. Lucy made people feel better, regardless of their circumstances. Lucy’s high level of caring was probably the reason children loved her so much.

This award recognizes the Sheriff’s Office family member, who throughout their career, has best honored Lucy’s memory by the consistent demonstration of these same qualities.

Corporal Vicki Sumlin began her career with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in 1996. Since that time, she has held numerous positions within the agency including being an agent in the Special Victim’s Unit, investigating crimes where children have been victimized. The time spent in the unit prepared her for a future assignment where she would impact the lives of children in an even more direct and meaningful way.

In July 2019, Corporal Sumlin accepted a position at Fairglen Elementary as a School Resource Officer, where she began to make an immediate impression. A School Resource Officer’s first task is the safety and security of the school. However, the long-lasting impact comes with day-to-day contact with the children. Corporal Sumlin has not only demonstrated these qualities, but she has also made a profound personal and professional sacrifice requiring special recognition.

Catherine Murphy, Principle of Fairglen, penned a letter that recognized Vicki for not only mentoring students, assisting them with weekly goals and helping them focus on their behavior and self-esteem but going beyond this by holding bike drives for students in need, purchasing gift cards for the student of the month and having a holiday food drive for families who were struggling to provide a festive meal that we all too often take for granted. Principle Murphy felt so strongly about the work that Corporal Sumlin had done, that she nominated her for Employee of the Year, which she was awarded.

The following are just two examples of the sacrifice, compassion, love and charity, Corporal Sumlin has shown to the community. In April of 2021, Corporal Sumlin learned of a female student who was the likely victim of sexual exploitation, living in numerous strange houses and wooded areas. Corporal Sumlin helped initiate efforts in what amounted to a community drive that allowed a reunion with the child’s father and them to obtain a fully furnished residence with amenities.

Agent Corey Jackson recognized Corporal Sumlin for her assistance in a child neglect investigation. Agent Jackson advised that the children were in need of medical care as well as adequate food and shelter, which was not being provided by the mother. Corporal Sumlin tried to assist the mother who refused and at one point sent her two daughters to school with shaved heads due to head lice, rather than obtaining medication for the girls.

Corporal Sumlin worked tirelessly to build the girl’s self-esteem, even seeking out child-sized wigs to make them more comfortable attending school. Agent Jackson learned that Corporal Sumlin had donated bags of clothing to the male children in the family. When the four-year-old brother was too young to register for school, Corporal Sumlin worked alongside staff to have him enrolled in VPK, so he could have at least one meal a day.

As concerns arose that the family was living homeless, she attempted to find suitable housing for them. Since that time, the mother has been criminally charged, using information Corporal Sumlin provided and the children have been moved to foster care where they are now thriving with their new foster parents.

Corporal Sumlin gives of her time without hesitation. She can be found coaching softball, volunteering at her local Taekwondo/Karate school, or teaching children’s church, providing children with something that goes far beyond their physical needs. She truly embodies the qualities of Lucy and we are honored to recognize her as this year’s Lucy Ross Award recipient.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Corporal Jennifer Straight

SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Corporal Jennifer Straight

Corporal Jennifer Straight was hired by our agency in August of 2005. Over the past 16 ½ years Corporal Straight has had a distinguished service history serving this agency in a variety of roles including uniform patrol, investigative assignments in General Crimes, Special Investigations, Sex Crimes, and Homicide.

On May 29th, 2021, Corporal Straight was assigned to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Unit with a focus on conducting criminal investigations involving the abuse of animals. Since taking on this new role, Corporal Straight has once again demonstrated her tenacity to grasp, understand, and immediately elevate the position she holds within the unit.

Within days of being assigned to the unit, Corporal Straight conducted several criminal investigations regarding the abuse of animals. Given her previous investigative experience, Corporal Straight easily navigated these complex investigations and was able to make several arrests, allowing the courts the opportunity to hold the suspects accountable.

With her reputation and credibility throughout the community, Corporal Straight maintains professional relationships with animal enforcement officers, veterinarians, deputies, prosecutors, and judges, seamlessly and without the need of oversight. In addition, her ability to understand the nuances associated with conducting criminal animal investigations is remarkable.

During this short period of time, Corporal Straight’s ability to foster positive relationships has enabled her to forge stronger bonds with a wide range of outside entities. In particular, Corporal Straight has secured a level of cooperation with the State Attorney’s Office far surpassing previous levels. Additionally, Corporal Straight has established a strong relationship with the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, at Gainesville which performs the forensic examinations involving our criminal cases.

Recently, both the Animal Enforcement Officers’ supervisors went out on extended medical leave. Given Corporal Straight’s all-around abilities and the need to oversee between 40-50 Animal Services calls a day, Corporal Straight was assigned additional duties assisting in the supervision of our Animal Enforcement Officers and has performed in an exemplary fashion.

And if she wasn’t busy enough… Corporal Straight co-wrote legislation that strengthens and enhances punishment for criminals who abuse animals in the State of Florida. This bill, SB 420, passed into law unanimously. For those of us that are familiar with the process, this is a tremendous feat that required patience and perseverance.

In summary, Corporal Straight has elevated the Animal Services Unit to a higher level. Her self-motivation, work ethic, and willingness to always help, have served as a shining example for others to follow.



The Citizen of the Year Award recognizes a member of the community who has provided outstanding service and commitment to the citizens of Brevard County and for the continued support of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

As the On-Premise Sales Manager for Carroll Distributing in Melbourne, Ron Chabot has provided support and resources to the community for many years and is a regular contributor to several local organizations, such as Folds of Honor, the Joe Realino Memorial Fund, Aging Matters, and Promise in Brevard, just to name a few.

As a former U.S. Army MP, Ron has been a great friend to the law enforcement community. He has generously donated meeting space for multi-agency meetings and is an avid supporter of the Public Safety Charity which supports public safety members in their time of need. He is an active volunteer with several charitable organizations, especially those that benefit Vietnam Veterans and their families, and hospitality workers. Ron additionally volunteers untold hours and support to the Space Coast Honor Flight.

After more than 40 years, Ron will be retiring from Carroll Distributing in June. With passion in his heart for helping others, he plans to continue to serve the community by supporting Veteran Suicide prevention programs.



Patrol K-9s have become an integral part of our agency. These K-9 partners detect substances, search for suspects and missing persons and apprehend violent subjects, decreasing the chance of deputy injury during a physical confrontation. K-9s face the same risk of injury as their human partner and as such, wear protective vests that are heavy and shorten the amount of time the K-9 can work without rest during critical and dangerous incidents.

A generous donation by Cindy Johnson of the Merritt Island Surgery Center has provided state-of-the-art, ballistic vests, for our K-9 unit. Originally, Cindy had saved money for a vacation, however, due to travel restrictions faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, Cindy decided to use that money to assist the K-9 unit after learning of the limitations of the older vests.

Using her own money, along with donations from the Brevard Ear, Nose, and Throat Center and Space Coast Orthopedic, new ballistic vests were purchased for the unit. These vests are lightweight and designed to be worn throughout the entire shift while still offering the same level of ballistic protection for our K-9 partners.
She could not have known that these vests would save the life of a K-9 under an entirely different set of circumstances. During a building search of residential burglary, a K-9 was sent in to search for a possible suspect.

When the K-9 did not return, the handler entered, finding that the rear door was open to the screen porch and the K-9 had fallen into the pool. The K-9 was struggling to tread water as he was pulled to safety. Due to the buoyancy of the vest, the canine stayed near the surface allowing the handler to quickly locate and rescue him. It is quite likely that if the K-9 had been wearing the old vest, the weight would have taken him under, making the rescue much more difficult, possibly leading to a tragic outcome.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Cindy for her passion to protect those who protect us. We would also like to thank those medical facilities that partnered with Cindy making this purchase become reality. For her support of our K-9 unit and our agency, we are recognizing Cindy Johnson with our Partnership Award.


January: Corporal Linda McLaughlin and Deputy Kelly Kennedy

Corporal Linda McLaughlin and Deputy Kelly Kennedy responded to a suspicious person call in Cape Canaveral.  As they responded, the caller advised that the male would hide behind a wall or in the bushes every time a vehicle drove by.
As Deputy Kennedy arrived, he observed the male hiding behind a fence, before fleeing on foot as he approached.  Corporal McLaughlin was able to place herself in a position where she came in contact with the male as he exited a fenced condominium complex.

Corporal McLaughlin gave verbal commands which were ignored, before attempting to physically detain the male.  Upon taking hold of the male’s shoulder, the male reached into the pocket of his sweatshirt, producing a firearm which he discharged twice at point-blank range near Corporal McLaughlin’s head, causing her to step away due to being temporarily blinded by the muzzle blast.

With the male now firing his weapon in Deputy Kennedy’s direction, Deputy Kennedy without hesitation responded to the threat by firing several rounds at the male, one of which struck the suspect, causing him to fall.  Deputy Kennedy advanced to ensure that the threat had ended and to assess Corporal McLaughlin’s condition.

As Deputy Kennedy approached, the suspect turned the gun on himself, discharging a single round into his head.  After confirming Corporal McLaughlin had not sustained a life-threatening injury, they both secured the suspect and began providing life-saving measures to prevent further injury.

These deputies performed heroically when faced with a violent offender who attempted to take the life of a deputy sheriff.  For their actions in this violent, life-threatening incident, they are both being recognized with a Bar of Merit.

February: Deputy Marissa Wright and Deputy Chris Maloy

Deputies Marissa Wright and Chris Maloy responded to a residence in Merritt Island in reference to a child drowning. Upon arrival, they found a three-year-old child wet and unresponsive at the entrance to the residence. Deputies Wright and Maloy immediately began CPR, which they continued until the arrival of paramedics. The child was later transferred to a medical facility in Orlando where additional care could be provided. Without the lifesaving efforts of these deputies, the child most likely would have died due to the lack of oxygen as a result of the drowning. They are each receiving a Life Saving Bar.

March: Agent Don Reynolds

Agent Don Reynolds was assigned as the lead homicide agent in a home invasion robbery that occurred at a Merritt Island residence which ended with the intruders shooting and killing one of the residents, along with his dog. Home surveillance video showed that the robbery was carried out by five individuals, wearing tactical gear, who were heavily armed and arrived and departed from the area in a U-Haul van.

Using this information as a starting point, with little other evidence, Agent Reynolds embarked on a two-month investigation conducting multiple interviews, reviewing surveillance video and phone records to identify and develop connections between the suspects.

During the investigation, Agent Reynolds learned that the suspects were also part of an ongoing narcotics investigation. Combining information from that investigation with information from the homicide investigation, Agent Reynolds was able to draft five search warrants that assisted in developing enough evidence to arrest not only those suspects who entered the residence but two other persons who acted as lookouts during the incident.

His thorough investigation led to successful indictments on charges of First-Degree Murder for those responsible in the Homicide. Through his dedicated investigative efforts, multiple violent felony offenders were brought to justice. Agent Reynolds is being recognized for this investigation by receiving a Bar of Merit.

April: Deputy Joe Batch

Deputy Joe Batch responded to a 911 hang-up that was plotting in the area of the Merritt Island Causeway. Upon his arrival, Deputy Batch observed a vehicle parked in the area with a female leaning into the vehicle from the outside. As he approached the female, she immediately jumped into the vehicle and closed the door, refusing to communicate with the deputy.

After getting no response from the female, Deputy Batch opened the driver’s door in an effort to start a line of communication. The female then suddenly stated, “I just want to die,” as she leaned toward the passenger seat and attempted to pick up a handgun.

Observing this action, Deputy Batch immediately lunged into the vehicle, grabbing both of the female’s hands while at the same time calmly communicating with dispatch the need for backup. He continued to speak to the female, eventually gaining her cooperation in exiting the vehicle. She was later transported to a medical facility for treatment of her emotional distress.

Were it not for the quick response of Deputy Batch, coupled with his effective and calming communication, this female may have used the firearm to take her own life. Deputy Batch placed himself in danger in order to save this female’s life and he is being recognized for his bravery and professionalism with a Life Saving Bar.

May: K-9 Deputy Tyler Habart

K-9 Deputy Tyler Habart initiated an investigation in reference to locating a suspect who was wanted for three active felony warrants as well as pending charges for manslaughter stemming from a drug overdose. On several occasions, the suspect was observed, however, would flee the area in his vehicle at dangerous speeds, precluding deputies from taking him into custody. The suspect went so far as to paint his vehicle a different color to conceal himself from deputies.

Through his efforts, Deputy Habart made numerous valuable contacts in the community that provided information that led to the arrest of several individuals and a possible location of the suspect. Deputy Habart contacted the Titusville Police Department who observed the suspect and began chasing him into a wooded area. Deputy Habart responded to the scene with his K-9 “Colt” who began a track of the suspect.

“Colt” tracked to a construction trailer which was located next to some paving machinery. Deputy Habart and a Titusville officer observed the suspect concealing himself inside the machinery where he ultimately surrendered and was taken into custody.

Although this investigation was a team effort, Deputy Habart spearheaded the investigation from beginning to end with tremendous thoroughness and determination. His efforts culminated in numerous arrests that likely prevented further crimes and injuries to others in the community. He is being recognized for this investigation with a Bar of Merit.

June: Agent Aja Stake

Agent Aja Stake was contacted by the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who advised that they had received information that a male, located in Brevard County, was actively abusing a child and producing child pornography. Recognizing the urgency of the information, Agent Stake used her investigative skill and knowledge of internet crimes to quickly identify and locate the suspect.

A search warrant was drafted and an operational plan was developed to make contact with the suspect, while at the same time locating and protecting the child victim. Agent Stake contacted the suspect who admitted to sexually abusing his five-year-old daughter.

During the search of the residence, evidence was obtained that proved the suspect had uploaded images of the abuse on the internet. Agent Stake was able to also provide the location of the victim who was safeguarded and provided a medical evaluation. The case was accepted by the US Attorney’s Office who will pursue the case in Federal Court.

Agent Stake arrested the suspect and safeguarded the child all within five hours of being notified of the abuse. Her immediate actions successfully ended years of potential future sexual abuse of this child victim by her biological father. For her dedication and desire to protect children from harm, Agent Stake is receiving a Bar of Merit.

July: Deputy Anibal Contreras

The Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call in reference to a traffic crash involving several vehicles on I-95 in Melbourne. Deputy Anibal Contreras was the first to arrive on the scene, locating two individuals that had been ejected from an overturned pickup truck. One of the individuals was bleeding profusely from a severe laceration to the neck.

Deputy Contreras immediately began to field dress the wound with gauze and applied enough pressure to lessen the bleeding without interrupting the victim’s breathing. Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived on the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital where they made a full recovery.

The actions taken by Deputy Contreras enabled the full recovery of the victim from their injuries. Deputy Contreras is receiving a Life Saving Bar for providing the emergency care that assisted in saving this victim’s life.

August: Brian Potters & Tyler Thoman

While on special detail, Deputy Tyler Thoman conducted a traffic stop in area of I-95 and State Road 192 on a vehicle occupied by three individuals and an infant. As Deputy Thoman spoke with the female passenger, Deputy Potters arrived and began a conversation with an adult male seated in the rear passenger seat.

The male was asked to exit the vehicle, at which time he immediately opened the door armed with an assault rifle and began shooting at both deputies. Deputies Potters and Thoman immediately returned fire. During the exchange of gunfire, Deputy Potters was wounded in the lower leg.

Eventually, the suspect (whose rifle had become disabled) was able to move to a position behind the deputies where he then violently attacked Deputy Potters, striking him multiple times in the head with the butt of the rifle. Deputy Thoman was able to end the violent assault by discharging his firearm and using deadly force to neutralize the threat.

For their actions during this life-threatening violent encounter, Deputies Potters and Thoman are receiving a Bar of Merit.

September: Agent Daniel Hammond

Agent Daniel Hammond has been assigned to the Digital Forensics Unit as a Forensic Examiner since August of 2018. In 2021, the Orlando Field Office ranked third in the nation in the number of forensic exams completed in cases.

Agent Hammond was recognized by the National Computer Forensic Institute as he ranked fourth in the top examiners at the Orlando Field Office and twenty-fifth out of 2,442 examiners throughout the nation. With his assistance, the Orlando Office completed 6,191 examinations this year with a total of over 930 terabytes of data forensically examined.

His initiative, dedication and expertise assisted in the successful closure of multiple high-profile cases in both state and federal courts. Agent Hammond is being recognized for his significant contribution with a Bar of Merit.

October: Agent Taylor Barrett and Agent Ben Brown
Agents Taylor Barrett and Ben Brown began an investigation into the drug trafficking activities of a career criminal. For the next six months, these agents used various investigative techniques to identify members of the organization including the source of supply for the cocaine being distributed within Brevard County.

The investigation culminated with the execution of multiple search warrants on residences associated with the organization. During these warrants, approximately one and a half kilograms of cocaine and $467,000 of drug-related proceeds were seized. The investigation led to the arrest of four suspects for crimes ranging from drug trafficking to racketeering.

The efforts of Agents Barrett and Brown led to a major drug trafficking ring being dismantled and the removal of a significant amount of dangerous drugs from the streets of Brevard County. They are both being recognized with a Bar of Merit.

November: Agent Justin Wood

Agent Justin Wood of the Economic Crimes Task Force began an investigation into two reported fraud cases. During the first investigation, Agent Wood was able to track the money which had been invested into Cryptocurrency to four different wallets that contained over $276,000 in illegal gains from the fraudulent activity.

In the second investigation, it was determined that the suspect(s) gained access to the victim’s computer and bank accounts, which they in turn used funds to open Cryptocurrency wallets. The victim reported a total loss of $294,000. The investigation of this case led to the identification of the Cryptocurrency wallet containing over $368,000, which was seized due to the fraudulent activity. In total, nearly $645,000 in Cryptocurrency was seized through the combined efforts of Agent Wood.

These seizures were the first of their kind involving funds diverted into cryptocurrency. Agent Wood is being recognized for these investigations by receiving a Bar of Merit.

December: K-9 Deputy Craig Carson and Deputy Michael Allred

On Christmas Eve 2021, a concerned citizen called in reference to a vehicle that was driving erratically in the area of Cape Canaveral. As K9 Deputy Craig Carson located the vehicle traveling on State Road 528, he observed the vehicle suddenly accelerate, jumping the curb and crashing into a pond.

Deputy Carson notified dispatch of the crash, then immediately entered the water and swam out to the sinking vehicle. Deputy Carson was able to remove the passenger and return her to the shoreline. Deputy Carson then returned to the vehicle where he was assisted by former Deputy Michael Allred in removing the driver and bringing her back to shore.

Once both occupants were safely on shore, Deputy Allred obtained a diving mask and returned to the vehicle where he was able to free their dog and safely bring it to shore. It was determined that the driver was suffering from a medical episode that had caused the crash. The immediate response to this crisis by these two deputies led to the rescue of the occupants of the vehicle and their dog. For their selfless actions, they are receiving a Life Saving Bar.


Agent Hannah Polito, Field Training Officer Don Flammio, Deputy Tyler Thoman and Deputy James Christoffel

While conducting a traffic stop in the city of Cape Canaveral, Deputy Tyler Thoman observed an unrelated vehicle pull into the parking lot, and drive towards him at a high rate of speed. The Deputy could see that the driver appeared frantic and quickly realized a female passenger in the vehicle was unresponsive.

Deputy Thoman removed the female from the vehicle and began CPR. Agent Hannah Polito, FTO Don Flammio and Deputy James Christoffel arrived at the scene and immediately began to assist in providing medical aid. Agent Polito assisted with CPR while FTO Flammio and Deputy Christoffel attached an AED.

Fire Rescue arrived and transported the female to the hospital where she recovered from what was discovered to be a unique heart arrhythmia. The quick response of Deputy Thoman along with the assistance of Agent Polito, FTO Flammio and Deputy Christoffel directly resulted in the saving of this woman’s life.

Sergeant John Jennings, Deputy Marissa Wright and Deputy Kyle Fitzgerald

Sergeant John Jennings, Deputy Marissa Wright and Deputy Kyle Fitzgerald responded to a Merritt Island residence in an attempt to contact an individual who had not been seen or heard from in two days. Upon arrival, the deputies did not see any movement inside except for an aggressive dog. All windows and doors were secure and none of the neighbors had a key to the residence.

Deputies were able to contact a roommate who gave permission for them to enter the residence. Animal Services responded and took control of the dog while the deputies entered the residence, finding a male on the floor of the bedroom unresponsive, with a faint pulse.

Based on the man’s cell phone, it appeared that he had been on the floor for approximately 24 hours prior to their arrival. The male was transported to the hospital where it was determined that he had suffered a massive stroke. Had these deputies not continued their efforts to enter the home and find the male, he would most likely have died from this serious medical event.

Field Training Officer Kelly Kennedy and Deputy Thomas Farragher

While on patrol, Field Training Officer Kelly Kennedy observed a bicycle with an illuminated headlight, parked near beach access in Cape Canaveral with no one in the vicinity. Deputy Thomas Farragher responded to the area, and during a search around the boardwalk, the deputies discovered a female sitting with what appeared to be a bottle of liquor beside her.

Upon making contact with the female, the deputies observed the bottle was nearly empty and there was a firearm in a holster next to her. The female advised that she was going to finish the bottle and then commit suicide.

The deputies were able to calm the female, eventually encouraging her to be taken to a medical facility for further psychiatric evaluation and treatment. The thoroughness and initiative of FTO Kennedy and Deputy Farragher led to their direct intervention in preventing this female from taking her life.

Field Training Officer Aaron Becker, Deputy Ryan Ferrell and Former Deputy Bobby Smith

Field Training Officer Aaron Becker along with Deputy Ryan Ferrell and Former Deputy Bobby Smith responded to the scene of a traffic crash involving an overturned vehicle. Upon arrival, they discovered the female driver was still in the vehicle, unresponsive with no pulse.

Deputy Smith began CPR on the female inside the vehicle until a faint pulse was restored. The three deputies removed the female from the vehicle and continued rescue efforts until the female regained a stronger pulse and began breathing again. The female was transported to the hospital where she made a full recovery. The lifesaving efforts of FTO Becker and Deputies Ferrell and Smith directly contributed to the survival of this victim.

Lieutenant Jesse Forrest and Deputy Austin Walsh

While traveling north on I-95, Lieutenant Jesse Forrest observed a vehicle driving recklessly at a high rate of speed. After passing him, the vehicle lost control and left the roadway crashing into the woods. As Lieutenant Forrest approached the vehicle, he noticed that flames were coming from the front of the vehicle and the driver was screaming for help. The driver was trapped in the vehicle with his legs pinned under the steering wheel.

Lieutenant Forrest broke the driver’s side window in an attempt to remove the driver, however, the heavy brush prevented the male from exiting through the window. Deputy Austin Walsh had arrived on the scene and quickly made his way to the passenger side of the vehicle.

With the vehicle rapidly becoming engulfed in flames, Deputy Walsh forcefully pulled the passenger door open, allowing the male to crawl out. Deputy Walsh and Lieutenant Forrest were able to move the male safely away from the vehicle where he was treated by Fire Rescue.

Moments later, the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames as well as the brush surrounding the vehicle. Due to selfless and immediate actions taken by Lieutenant Forrest and Deputy Walsh, the male was able to escape what would have certainly been a life-ending event.

Deputy Russell Van Camp

Deputy Russell Van Camp responded to a medical call at a local restaurant whereupon entering the business, he found a female who was unresponsive. Deputy Van Camp immediately began CPR and continued for approximately four minutes until the arrival of paramedics. The female was transported to the hospital where she was determined to be in stable condition. Due to the quick interventions of Deputy Van Camp the female recovered from this life-threatening medical event.

Deputy Austin Walsh and Deputy Ruanny Morillo

In March of 2021, Deputy Austin Walsh arrived at the scene of a traffic crash involving a motorcycle. Deputy Walsh located the driver of the motorcycle unresponsive and suffering from multiple leg fractures and deep lacerations, which had almost completely severed his foot. Deputy Walsh attempted to apply a tourniquet, however, was unsuccessful.

With the assistance of Deputy Ruanny Morillo, a tourniquet and direct pressure was applied to the wounds to slow the bleeding. During the initial course of treating the driver, Deputy Morillo discovered the individual was a Brevard County Sheriff’s Office employee.

Even though they were providing aid to a coworker, the deputies maintained their composure and worked diligently to render lifesaving medical aid. Fire Rescue arrived, taking over medical care and transported the victim to the hospital. If not for the professionalism and efforts of both deputies, this employee could have perished from his injuries.

K-9 Deputy David Dixon and Deputy Tyler Patterson

K-9 Deputy David Dixon was dispatched to an address in unincorporated Cocoa after the Communication Center received a call in reference to multiple people fighting in front of a residence.  During his response, further information was received advising that several gunshots were heard coming from the area of the disturbance.

As K-9 Deputy Dixon arrived, he observed two males standing in the roadway and another male laying in the road.  Upon addressing the two males, he observed a firearm in the waistband of one, which he immediately secured.  Deputy Dixon maintained control of the scene and the involved subjects while waiting for backup units to arrive.

Once the two males were detained, K-9 Deputy Dixon began to assist the male victim who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds.  With the assistance of Deputy Tyler Patterson, they provided medical assistance to the victim by applying direct pressure to the wounds, as well as CPR, until paramedics arrived and transported the victim to the hospital.  It was later learned that the victim recovered from the injuries sustained during the shooting incident.

For Deputy Dixon’s decisive actions that led to an armed suspect being detained and the crime scene preserved, he is receiving a Bar of Merit.  Both Deputies Patterson and Dixon are receiving a Lifesaving Bar for providing medical care to a gravely injured victim that resulted in the saving of the victim’s life.

Deputy Carlos Roman

Deputy Carlos Roman responded to the Pineda Causeway train overpass in reference to a suspicious person. According to an anonymous caller, it looked as if the person on the overpass was about to jump. Upon arrival, Deputy Roman observed a male standing on the outside ledge of the overpass, approximately 70 feet off the ground. The male yelled to Deputy Roman he wanted to be left alone.

Deputy Roman began a conversation with the male, while slowly moving toward him. He continued to engage the male in conversation until the perimeter could be secured, fearing that any attempt to grab him could cause them both to fall. After approximately 20 minutes, the male threw his hands up and slowly climbed back over the barrier. Deputy Roman quickly secured the male who was taken to a care facility where he was further evaluated.

The patience and compassion displayed by Deputy Roman during this incident provided the direct intervention in preventing this male from taking his life.

Deputy Matt Bialobrzeski

Deputy Matt Bialobrzeski responded to a traffic crash near the Banana River in Merritt Island, where witnesses stated a vehicle had failed to negotiate a curve. The vehicle ended up on an incline at the edge of the river, with the driver reportedly trapped inside the vehicle. Upon arrival, Deputy Bialobrzeski noticed that the driver was slumped over the wheel, unconscious with the driver’s side of the vehicle on an angle, facing the incline.

Deputy Bialobrzeski attempted to enter the vehicle from the passenger side but found the doors locked and the windows rolled up. Utilizing his issued vehicle rescue tool, Deputy Bialobrzeski broke out the rear passenger window allowing him to unlock the front passenger door.

Upon assessing the driver and determining that he did not appear to be breathing, Deputy Bialobrzeski quickly pulled him across the seat and out of the vehicle where he immediately began providing CPR, until the arrival of paramedics. Once stabilized, the male was transported to the hospital where he was expected to make a full recovery.

Deputy Bialobrzeski placed his own well-being in danger to provide lifesaving aid to this victim. Without his heroic actions and quick thinking, the victim of this crash may not have survived.

Deputy Brandon McIntyre and Aviation Mechanic Keith Hamant

The Aviation Unit responded to the area of the Canaveral Sea Shore to assist the Coast Guard in the search for two teenagers who had been blown approximately a mile and a half offshore in very rough waters, while on paddleboards. Upon arriving at the area, the teenagers, through hand signals, advised that they were in distress and needed assistance.

Due to the windy weather, rough seas, and fearing that the two teenagers could become separated from their paddleboards, the decision was made to deploy Rescue Swimmers, Deputy Brandon McIntyre and Aviation Mechanic Keith Hamant into the water.

Deputy McIntyre and Mechanic Hamant safely deployed from the helicopter and were able to make their way to the teenagers where they stabilized the scene for an extended time until the arrival of a boat that transported the teenagers safely back to the port.

The actions taken by Deputy McIntyre and Mechanic Hamant displayed great skill in jumping from the helicopter and navigating the rough seas to rescue these teenagers.

Deputy Michael Neill and Deputy Alissa Blassingame

Deputies Michael Neill and Alissa Blassingame responded to a residence in Micco in reference to an unresponsive male. Upon arrival, they found the male who displayed no signs of life. Immediately, Deputy Blassingame began performing CPR while Deputy Neill deployed an AED.

The deputies continued providing life-saving care to the victim until the arrival of paramedics. As the paramedics transitioned to care for the victim it appeared that he had regained a pulse and began breathing. The victim was transported to the hospital where he was expected to recover.

Without the lifesaving efforts of these deputies the male most likely would not have survived this life-threatening medical event.

Deputy Santiago Leme and Corporal Norma Castillo

Deputy Santiago Leme and Cpl. Norma Castillo responded to a residence in Melbourne in reference to an elderly male who was unresponsive and not breathing. Upon arrival, the male was found on the bathroom floor, unresponsive without a pulse.

Corporal Castillo immediately started CPR as Deputy Leme entered the residence with an AED. The AED was deployed, advising that CPR needed to continue. Deputies Leme and Castillo continued to administer CPR switching places with each cycle until the arrival of paramedics. Paramedics were able to locate a faint pulse and some shallow breathing as they transported the victim to the hospital in stable condition.

According to medical personnel, without the medical interventions performed by Deputy Leme and Corporal Castillo, the victim would not have survived the trip to the hospital.

Deputy Dalton Farrington and Deputy Ryan Ferrell

Deputies Dalton Farrington and Ryan Ferrell responded to a residence in Indialantic in reference to an unresponsive female. Upon arrival, the female was found lying on the ground, unresponsive without a pulse.

Deputy Farrington immediately started CPR until he was relieved by Deputy Ferrell. Deputy Farrington then attached an AED and delivered one shock to the unresponsive female. After the shock, CPR was continued until the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue who took over medical care and transported the female to the hospital.

Due to the emergency medical interventions taken by Deputies Farrington and Ferrell the victim survived this potentially fatal medical event.

Deputy Gerry Ryan

BCSO dispatch received a call regarding a suspicious male hanging from the balcony of a local condominium. The caller advised the male was on the exterior side of the railing and appeared to be suicidal. Deputy Gerry Ryan arrived on scene and observed the man making threats of jumping to his death.

Deputy Ryan went to the sixth floor where he immediately started talking with the male and developed such a rapport, that he allowed Deputy Ryan to approach and shake his hand as a goodbye gesture. Upon reaching him, Deputy Ryan was able to reach out and pull him close to the railing.

At that moment, the man changed his mind and decided not to jump. With assistance from Deputy Ryan, the man climbed back over the rail at which time he was secured and transported to a medical facility.

In an attempt to deter this man from ending his life, Deputy Ryan placed his own safety in peril. His direct intervention led to a successful conclusion of this incident.

Agent Taylor Dunn, Deputy Joe Batch, Deputy Andrew Weston and Deputy Heiden Irizzary-Rodriguez

Deputies Joe Batch, Taylor Dunn, Andrew Weston and Heiden Irizzary-Rodriguez responded to a traffic crash where a vehicle had driven into the side of a building. Upon reaching the vehicle, they observed the driver was trapped inside and unresponsive.

Deputy Batch used a window punch to shatter a window, allowing Deputy Irizzary-Rodriguez to unlock the door and gain entry into the vehicle. All four deputies then worked as a team to extricate the driver from the vehicle, placing him on the ground. Finding no pulse, Deputy Dunn began CPR while Deputy Batch attached an AED which administered one shock.

After the initial shock, Deputy Dunn continued to administer CPR until the arrival of medical personnel, who transported the man to the hospital for further medical evaluation. The immediate intervention and cooperative teamwork taken by these deputies was responsible for saving the life of this accident victim.

Deputy Karlos Diaz-Delgado

Deputy Karlos Diaz-Delgado arrived at the scene of a possible drowning where he entered a swimming pool and removed a female, who was on her back, under the water. Quickly determining that the female was not breathing and had no pulse, Deputy Diaz-Delgado placed her on her side to drain fluid from her lungs and then began administering CPR.

He continued CPR until the female regained a faint pulse and began breathing, expelling the rest of the water from her lungs. Upon the arrival of paramedics, Deputy Diaz-Delgado utilized a translation application on his phone to communicate with the family, gaining the identity of the victim and details of the incident that proved valuable for her subsequent medical care.


January Corporal Michael Peterson and Corrections Deputy Stephanie Fort

While on shift, Corrections Technician Jasmin Russell observed an inmate tie a sheet around the top tier railing and attempt to hang himself. She immediately contacted Corporal Michael Peterson who responded to the area with Corrections Deputy Stephanie Fort.

The inmate was taken down from the railing and placed on the floor at which time Corporal Peterson noticed that the sheet around the inmate’s neck was still pulled tight and restricting his breathing. Corrections Deputy Fort and Corporal Peterson worked together to remove the sheet from the inmate’s neck.

Corporal Peterson administered sternum rubs to the inmate who responded by regaining consciousness, however, was still unable to communicate verbally. Brevard County Fire Rescue responded and transported the inmate to an area hospital where he made a full recovery.

Were it not for the quick response of Corporal Peterson and Corrections Deputy Fort, this inmate may have successfully committed suicide. For their actions, they are being recognized for their professionalism with a Life Saving Bar.

February: Field Training Officer Shunice Kutch

While providing security for an inmate being treated at the hospital, FTO Shunice Kutch observed the inmate acting suspiciously while using the restroom. Sensing that something was not right, she conducted a search of the inmate and her hospital bed. During the search, scissors were located hidden in a box of wipes. FTO Kutch’s keen awareness and diligence prevented a possible escape attempt or staff injury from occurring.

March: Sergeant Carissa LaRoche

During a concert at a local high school, one of the students suddenly had a seizure and collapsed on stage. Sergeant Carissa LaRoche, who was in attendance, quickly rushed to the stage to assist. Upon approaching the student, she noticed that the student’s mother was performing CPR, which in this case could have caused further injury since the student was breathing and had a pulse.

Sergeant LaRoche calmly instructed the mother to stop CPR and instead, placed the student in the recovery position until the arrival of medical personnel. Sergeant LaRoche’s actions helped prevent further injury to the student while providing a sense of calm to the student’s mother and others in attendance.

April: Field Training Officer Nathaniel Elliott

During a one-week period, Booking FTO Nathaniel Elliot located narcotics on five separate inmates who were attempting to bring them into the Jail Complex. In each of the incidents, he either discovered the narcotics during a search or recovered the contraband after an attempt to discard it had been made by the inmate.

In those incidents where the narcotics were discarded, FTO Elliot, through investigation, was able to identify the inmate responsible for possessing the drugs. FTO Elliot’s keen observations, investigative skills and attention to detail ensured that dangerous narcotics did not enter the Jail Complex.

May: Corporal Gary Nichols

During a security check, Corporal Gary Nichols detected the distinct smell of smoke and observed an inmate manipulating a light switch causing a spark. Because of this incident and his knowledge of recent issues of inmates smoking pieces of mail soaked in illegal substances, Corporal Nichols conducted further investigation.

His investigation would assist in determining the sender and recipients of the mail and revealed, in detail, how the inmates were paying for and ultimately smoking the substance. Corporal Nichols’ perseverance led to findings that assisted in halting the further introduction of contraband into the Jail Complex.

June: Corrections Deputy Robert Brown

While working at the Jail Complex, Corrections Deputy Robert Brown was advised that an inmate appeared to be having a medical issue. Upon checking the condition of the inmate, he was found to have a weak pulse and labored breathing.

Corrections Deputy Brown notified the Medical Unit and began a sternum rub on the inmate until nurses arrived and took over care. The inmate was ultimately transported to the hospital where he recovered from this medical event. Corrections Deputy Brown is commended for his prompt action to provide lifesaving measures to aid an inmate in distress.

July: Corrections Deputy Scott Lahodik

While traveling home at the end of his shift, Corrections Deputy Scott Lahodik observed a vehicle apprehension in progress. As the vehicle apprehension came to an end, he noticed the deputy was alone on the stop without backup.

Knowing the potential danger to the deputy, he pulled up to the location and assisted the deputy by acting as the secondary unit, handcuffing the subject and holding him while the deputy conducted a search of the vehicle. Corrections Deputy Lahodik maintained custody of the male until additional deputies arrived.

Even though off-duty, he acted without hesitation to assist in this high-risk law enforcement action.

August: Corporal Kris Isbell, Corporal Heather Thomas and Corrections Deputy Zachary Sornberger

While on shift at the Jail Complex, inmates in one of the housing units advised corrections personnel that a female inmate had hung herself in an attempt to commit suicide. Corporal Heather Thomas and Corrections Deputy Zachary Sornberger immediately responded and worked together to remove the inmate from the makeshift noose.

Finding the inmate unresponsive and not breathing, Corporal Thomas immediately began chest compressions while Deputy Sornberger retrieved an AED. Corporal Thomas, Corrections Deputy Sornberger and Corporal Kris Isbell continued to perform CPR and monitor the vital signs of the inmate.

By the time medical staff arrived, the inmate was breathing and had regained a pulse. Brevard County Fire Rescue transported the inmate to the hospital where she was expected to make a full recovery.

The immediate intervention taken by these corrections deputies were responsible for this inmate surviving this attempt to take her own life. For their actions, they are being recognized with a Life Saving Bar.

September: Corrections Deputy Ray Short

The Haunted Jail Trail is a one-of-a-kind event held over two weekends in October. It provides a family-friendly night of spooky fun while benefiting local charities. Corrections Deputy Ray Short spent countless hours preparing the Haunted Jail Trail and building multiple structures which assisted in making the event a success.

He also spent many hours working during the event to ensure that the volunteers were prepared and stationed where needed, often adjusting as necessary to ensure all event needs were met. Once the event was over, Corrections Deputy Short worked for several days to ensure the props and structures were properly disassembled and stored for future use.

October: Field Training Officer Tyler Turner

Members of the Jail Complex K9 Unit responded to assist Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to search a wooded area to locate missing bones from recently found human remains. Due to the amount of time that had passed since the subject had died, his personal effects and remains were scattered over a large area.

FTO Tyler Turner deployed Cadaver K9 Tito and was successful in locating additional remains. The teamwork of FTO Turner and Tito ensured that closure was brought to the families affected by this tragedy.

November: Corporal Mirena Croom

While working at the Jail Complex, Corporal Mirena Croom was alerted by the sound of loud banging and screams for help coming from a nearby cell. Upon entering one of the cells, Corporal Croom discovered an inmate who was having trouble breathing and gasping for air.

Within seconds, the inmate stopped breathing at which time Corporal Croom began to administer CPR. As the inmate began to respond, medical personnel also arrived, taking the inmate first to the Medical Unit before transporting her to the hospital where she eventually made a full recovery.

For her life-saving response during this critical medical event, Corporal Croom is receiving a Life Saving Bar.

December: Sergeant Kevin Landis and Corrections Deputy Roman Bermudez

While working in the Jail Complex, Corrections Deputy Roman Bermudez was alerted by several inmates that another inmate was having a medical emergency. Upon making contact with the inmate who was unresponsive, Bermudez radioed for assistance and moved the inmate to the floor while securing the area to provide room for the medical staff to provide care.

As the nurses were arriving, Corrections Deputy Bermudez deployed an AED, which advised for CPR to be administered. Due to the inmate not responding, Sergeant Kevin Landis administered two doses of NARCAN. After receiving the second dose, the inmate began to respond and answer questions.

Fire Rescue arrived and transported the inmate to the hospital for further evaluation. The life-saving measures taken by Sergeant Landis and Corrections Deputy Bermudez were instrumental in preventing the death of this inmate. They are both receiving a Life Saving bar for this incident.


Sergeant Chris Castiello, Corporal Willard Freeman, Deputy Dale Fountain-Trinidad, Deputy Tony McDonough and Deputy Matthew Cianfichi

Deputies Tony McDonough and Matthew Cianfichi responded to a residence in Mims in reference to a male who was having a psychotic episode. The male was armed with a hammer and threatened to harm two females at the residence. Once on scene, the deputies could hear the 2 women screaming. They tried to force open the door but were unable to gain access.

While searching for another entry point, Deputy McDonough observed one of the females looking out a window. After having her unlock the window, Deputy McDonough, Deputy Cianfichi and Deputy Dale Fountain-Trinidad were able to evacuate the female from the residence. They began helping the second female out through the window when the male grabbed her, pulling her back into the residence.

The male, who weighed over 400 pounds, sat on the bed, placing her in a bear hug, squeezing her to the point where she began to scream that she could not breathe. Fearing for the safety of the female, Sergeant Castiello deployed his Taser causing the male and female to roll off the bed with the male still on top squeezing the female.

The deputies then gained control of the male and safely remove the female from the residence where she received medical attention.

These deputies were faced with a situation that could have ended with a loss of life. They did not hesitate to place themselves at risk to save the victim and take the suspect into custody. Their quick actions and appropriate use of force successfully resolved this dangerous incident.

Major Rob Vitaliano and Corporal Jennifer Straight

Over the past several years, Major Rob Vitaliano ad Corporal Jennifer Straight served the Homicide Unit with distinction and honor.  Each has been tasked with investigating some of the highest-profile cases the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has conducted.  The investigations were stressful and demanding, impacting the personal lives of each.

These investigations included hundreds of interviews, reviewing hundreds of hours of video and audio recordings, the collection of evidence and submission of comprehensive reports; all while directing the course of the investigations, their other cases and the support of the other members of the unit.  The evidence and facts uncovered proved to be monumental in securing the truth, all while avoiding unprofessional and unethical criticism by external efforts designed to thwart and influence the investigative findings.

As a result of their extraordinary efforts, these investigations were successfully concluded.  The investigations received significant external reviews from experts, attorneys and independent investigators who supported their respective conclusions.  For their dedication, investigative expertise and professionalism, Major Vitaliano and Corporal Straight are both receiving a Bar of Merit.

Lieutenant Jim Haman and Sergeant Patrick Hanigan

Lieutenant Jim Haman and Sergeant Patrick Hanigan began an investigation into the theft of approximately 15,000 feet of copper wire from Florida Power and Light. Using surveillance video and information from local recyclers, the two were able to identify a suspect vehicle and possible suspects. As the investigation continued, they learned of similar thefts in Cocoa and Rockledge.

Through the cooperation of the recycling centers, Lieutenant Haman and Sergeant Hanigan learned that a suspect was present at one of the centers, attempting to sell copper wire. Upon gaining this information, they responded to the location, identified the wire as stolen and arrested the suspect who had been classified as a career criminal.

After conducting numerous interviews, reviewing hours of surveillance video and drafting two search warrants; the investigation culminated with the arrest of four suspects for multiple thefts and the successful recovery of approximately $20,000 in stolen copper wire that was returned to FP&L.

Agent Timothy Liston

During the early stages of a drug-related, home invasion homicide investigation, it was discovered the alleged suspects had ties to a local drug trafficking organization. Special Investigations Unit Agent Tim Liston immediately began working with the homicide agents, utilizing several investigative techniques to assist them with their case.

Through his collateral investigation, Agent Liston was able to obtain a search warrant for the residence of two of the suspects in the homicide. During the execution of the warrant, several valuable items of evidence were uncovered that assisted the Homicide Unit in linking the suspects to the crime. These items of evidence were paramount in securing indictments for the homicide.

K9 Deputy Tyler Smith

K9 Deputy Tyler Smith responded with his bloodhound to assist the Palm Bay Police Department in a search for a suicidal male, who was also a suspect in a homicide that had occurred in Martin County. As the search continued, the male was observed by STAR walking down a roadway with a firearm in his hand.

K9 Deputy Smith, along with Palm Bay officers, responded to the area to obtain a visual of the male. After being confronted by officers, the male turned and began to raise his firearm. Palm Bay officers and K9 Deputy Smith fired their duty weapons at the suspect who fell to the ground yet continued to shoot. Officers returned fire, striking the male, who dropped the gun, thus stopping the threat.

For his actions in this encounter with an armed, suicidal, homicide suspect, Corrections K9 Deputy Smith is being recognized with a Bar of Merit.


: Lead Public Safety Telecommunicator Laura Neville

Lead Public Safety Telecommunicator Laura Neville answered a call where a commercial airboat had crashed in the St. John’s Marsh. The initial report stated that ten people had been thrown from the boat into the water; that the boat was sinking and there were alligators present in the area.

Lead PST Neville quickly began to gain as much information as possible to direct units from patrol, Ag Marine and Aviation to the location of the crash. Eventually, with her assistance, units were able to locate the crash site and rescue the passengers from the water. The supervisor from BCFR contacted our agency to express his respect for the professionalism shown by her in this life-threatening situation.

February: Public Safety Telecommunicator Shelby Kochendorfer

A distraught male contacted the Communications Center advising that he had become lost in the woods. The caller had been recently reported missing and units were responding to the area to conduct a search. The missing person’s report also advised that the male was mentally challenged.

Upon learning this information, Public Safety Telecommunicator Shelby Kochendorfer communicated with the male at a level he could understand while also gaining a GPS location to direct deputies to the male’s location. She also provided the male with step-by-step instructions on how to turn on the flashlight on his cell phone to assist deputies in finding him. Within two hours of the report, deputies were able to successfully locate the male and get him medical attention.

March: Communications Training Officer Andrew LeBeau

Training Officer Andrew LeBeau answered a 911 call where the male caller advised that his wife had been shot. CTO LeBeau remained calm and engaged the caller with questions about the shooting while transferring the call to BCFR.

He remained on the call updating dispatch with call comments that provided valuable information for the responding deputies. The information gained from the caller by CTO LeBeau, both from the initial call and through the transfer to BCFR, proved extremely valuable in bringing this investigation to a successful conclusion.

April: Shift Supervisor Nicole Bernhard

Shift Supervisor Bernhard received a 911 call from a male who advised that he was on an overpass and intent on committing suicide. Supervisor Bernhard immediately began to communicate with the male in an attempt to calm him, while trying to convince him not to jump off the structure.

She was able to keep him talking long enough to enable responding deputies to reach the area where he was detained and taken to a medical facility for mental health evaluation. Supervisor Bernhard’s experience and calm demeanor was instrumental in enabling this suicidal individual to gain the help that he needed.

May: Public Safety Telecommunicator Lana West

While working the radio, Public Safety Telecommunicator Lana West became aware of a stolen vehicle that was entering Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. PST West advised the Precinct Sergeant and provided updates while maintaining her primary radio channel.

Once deputies obtained a visual of the vehicle, she initiated emergency traffic and patched all responding agencies together via the countywide radio channel to assist in coordinating the pursuit. As the suspect pulled into a residence, PST West searched the address, providing significant intelligence to the units about the suspect and persons associated with the residence.

June: Public Safety Telecommunicator Logan Burkett

Public Safety Telecommunicator Logan Burkett received a call stating that unknown suspects were shooting into a business. She immediately initiated emergency radio traffic while dispatching units to the scene. As the incident progressed, she relayed information from the scene to units from West Melbourne and Melbourne Village who responded as backup.

Additionally, she reached out to the surrounding agencies in an effort to gain assistance for a canine track. Throughout this incident, PST Burkett showed extreme professionalism and calm while coordinating the response of units from multiple agencies.

July: Public Safety Telecommunicator Eric Williams

While working the radio, Public Safety Telecommunicator Eric Williams received a call in reference to a reckless driver traveling southbound on I-95. As deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver refused to stop and continued traveling south along the interstate. PST Williams coordinated a patch with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office until the vehicle was disabled and the subject was taken into custody.

August: Public Safety Telecommunicator Delaney O’Brien

Public Safety Telecommunicator Delaney O’ Brien answered a 911 call from a female stating she had shot her boyfriend. PST O’Brien was able to keep the caller calm and focused while still ascertaining vital information. She also located information related to the residence that indicated prior domestic violence incidents, which was provided to the responding units.

September: Lead Public Safety Telecommunicator Aleasha Murphy

While working at East Radio, Lead Public Safety Telecommunicator Aleasha Murphy received multiple emergency calls within a short period of time. The first involved a disturbance with weapons and multiple individuals. Less than ten minutes later, she dispatched deputies to a location where the caller stated there was someone outside of his residence wanting to kill him. When deputies arrived on the scene, they began chasing a suspect on foot. While these two calls were actively being worked, an additional call came in regarding a vehicle submerged in the Banana River which she also coordinated the response. For her efforts in coordinating multiple emergency calls, and directing the appropriate resources to each.

October: Public Safety Telecommunicator Meghan Adyniec

While in training, Public Safety Telecommunicator Meghan Adyniec answered a 911 call from a female who was providing vague information. Eventually, she was able to determine that the female’s husband was armed with a knife and threatening to harm himself. Not only did she gain valuable information from the caller, but she was also able to respond to questions from the radio dispatcher for information patrol needed, while at the same time documenting all background conversations. This information was vital in assisting the deputies in gathering enough evidence to determine the male needed mental health treatment.

November: Public Safety Telecommunicator Ashley Shinn

Shortly after a vehicle fled from an attempted traffic stop by East Precinct deputies, Public Safety Telecommunicator Ashley Shinn received a 911 call in reference to a vehicle crash. Upon responding to the area, deputies advised that the vehicle involved was the same vehicle that fled from the earlier traffic stop. Deputies advised that the vehicle was unoccupied and began a search to locate the occupants. During the nearly 50 minute search, PST Shinn monitored the radio and provided updates to all units involved. Her efforts greatly assisted the deputies in the eventual apprehension of the two suspects.

December: Public Safety Telecommunicator Andrew Polk

Public Safety Telecommunicator Andrew Polk dispatched units to a location where a victim had been stabbed. As units were arriving on the scene, PST Polk continued to gather information from the caller which was relayed to the responding units. For approximately thirty minutes, PST Polk relayed updated information, documented locations and directed additional resources responding to the incident. The assistance provided by PST Polk was instrumental in leading to the apprehension of the suspect, treatment of the victim, all while ensuring the safety of the deputies and other citizens involved in the incident.


January: Corrections Technician Jasmin Russell

During her shift at the Jail Complex, Corrections Technician Jasmin Russell observed an inmate tie a sheet around the top tier railing, then crawl through in an attempt to hang himself. She immediately contacted corrections deputies who responded to the scene.

Due to her attentiveness, they were able to remove the inmate from the railing, move him to the floor and provide immediate emergency medical care that resulted in the inmate surviving the attempt to take his own life. For her actions, CT Russell is being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

February: Maritime Security Officer Fiorella Travi

While performing a security check, Maritime Security Officer Fiorella Travi encountered a suspicious male in an unauthorized area of the port. The male began speaking incoherently, which raised a concern with MSO Travi, who covertly keyed up her radio to summons deputies who responded to assist.

After a thorough investigation, it was determined the suspect had recently been located on Kennedy Space Center property where he attempted to gain entry to the complex and was photographing the area before being removed by KSC Police. It was also revealed that during a previous law enforcement encounter, the suspect had pulled a concealed Taser out of his pocket threatening an off-duty Deputy Sheriff in Palm Beach County. The male was transported without further incident to a local hospital for evaluation.

March: Crime Scene Investigator Phillip Miranda

Crime Scene Investigator Phil Miranda was assigned as the lead Crime Scene Investigator for a home invasion homicide that occurred on Merritt Island. CSI Miranda was responsible for the coordination of the overall processing of the crime scene which included a large residence that had been subdivided into three separate apartments, all of which were included in the search for evidence.

During the initial investigation, home surveillance video revealed that a rental vehicle had been used to transport the suspects who were dressed as law enforcement personnel, to and from the crime scene. Upon the identification and recovery of the rental vehicle, CSI Miranda recovered latent evidence that lead to the identification of two of the suspects.

CSI Miranda also received several items from a linked, but separate, Special Investigations Unit case. One of the items sent was a tag for a pair of pants purchased from a sporting goods store. Taking the initiative, CSI Miranda researched the pants through the store’s website and noted the pants were consistent with those worn by the suspects in the homicide case.

CSI Miranda accompanied Agent Reynolds from the Homicide Unit to the store where they were able to obtain information regarding the purchase of the pants, as well as shoes and rifle slings consistent with those used in the homicide. During a subsequent search warrant, CSI Miranda was able to identify items from this purchase that provided probable cause for the Homicide Unit to obtain a search warrant that led to the discovery of a hand-drawn map of the victim’s residence.

CSI Miranda worked in excess of 200 hours on this case and processed well over one hundred items of evidence. His initiative, dedication and expertise assisted in the successful closure of this case and the indictment of all six suspects. CSI Miranda is being recognized for his significant contribution with a Bar of Merit.

April: Aviation Mechanic Keith Hamant

Aviation Mechanic Keith Hamant was part of a four-man crew with the Aviation Unit involved in the search for teenagers who had ventured too far in the surf on their paddleboards. Due to the windy weather, rough seas, and fear that the two teenagers could become separated from their paddleboards, the decision was made to deploy Rescue Swimmers, Aviation Mechanic Hamant and Deputy McIntyre.

Mechanic Hamant was able to make his way to the teenagers until the arrival of a boat that transported the teenagers safely back to the port. Mechanic Hamant displayed great skill in jumping from the helicopter and navigating the rough seas to rescue these teenagers. For his actions in this incident, he is receiving a Life Saving Bar.

May: Records Supervisor Corrine Manley

Due to the retirement of the former records manager, Corrine was elevated to the position of Supervisor of the BCSO Records Unit. This role presented Corrine with the challenge of moving from employee to supervisor, taking a leadership role in the unit and attending training to gain knowledge and understanding of the vast intricacies of public records law.

As if this was not daunting enough, she would need to accomplish this while moving the entire unit to a temporary office while a massive remodeling project was being completed at the Parkway complex.

Corrine has handled these challenges with grace, patience and understanding. As a result of her leadership, she has fostered an environment where the employees are motivated to work as a team to fulfill numerous requests made every day. Corrine has streamlined processes and simplified the workflow. Her initiative and hard work have made noticeable improvements to this vital unit.

June: Investigative Support Specialist Laurie Wilson

During the early part of 2021, East Precinct and Operational Services experienced staffing concerns in key administrative positions. Although already tasked with supporting an investigative unit, Investigative Support Specialist Laurie Wilson additionally took on the duties of Command Staff Assistant for both East Precinct and Operational Services.

While performing the duties of all three positions to the highest standard, she took on the task of training the new civilian support staff assigned to the precinct as well. As if this was not enough, Laurie would make sure she arrived early on a daily basis to assist with the sanitation efforts required to safeguard all of the employees assigned to the precinct and Operational Services.

Support Specialist Wilson is an essential asset to the agency whose dedication to duty was vital in assuring operations were uninterrupted by the staffing shortage.

July: Property Control Agent Mary Battle-James

While assigned to the mailroom at the Brevard County Jail Complex, Property Agent Mary Battle-James came across a suspicious legal letter addressed to an inmate. Upon opening the envelope, she noticed an odor of what she believed to be marijuana. She also noticed that the paper had a noticeable color difference from normal paper.

Upon further investigation, it was learned that the paper had been soaked in a substance that tested positive for THC. The investigation concluded with felony charges being placed on the inmate. Property Agent Battle-James’ attention to detail prevented this harmful contraband from being distributed throughout the Jail Complex.

August: Victim Advocate Cynthia Matthews

The role of a Victim Advocate is to provide support services to the victims of violent crime. Most of the time their hard work goes unnoticed. This was not the case for a victim of domestic violence who received the support of Victim Advocate Cynthia Matthews. In a letter received from the victim, she wrote, “Cynthia Matthews took control of what I thought was a hopeless situation.

She gave me direction, faith and hope. I truly feel I would not be alive today if she had not helped me.” The continuous encouragement provided by Victim Advocate Matthews has helped this victim feel like she is personally a success, by being able to return to her home, rebuild her business and reconnect with friends and family.

September: Records Manager Jessica Vanatta

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Jessica has worked tirelessly with judges, judicial assistants and attorneys to ensure the continued seamless processing of inmate court cases. Her collaboration with the judicial system has made it possible to proceed with the inmate’s legal process despite the pandemic-related restrictions on inmate transport.

She worked closely with Jail Oversight to address and/or dispose of non-violent misdemeanor cases and assisted with program placement for qualified inmates. These actions not only benefitted the jail population but also reinforced the mission of creating a safer community.

October: Human Resources Specialist Michelle Cochran, Command Staff Assistant Amy Craddock and Human Resources Officer Roxanne Van Camp

Due to the emergency absence of a senior member of the Human Resources Unit, Michelle, Amy and Roxanne, voluntarily took on additional duties to make sure the mission of the unit was not interrupted. HR Specialist Michelle Cochran took over the task of all on-the-job injuries and light-duty accommodations, quickly learning as much as possible in order to carry out these critical and demanding responsibilities.

HR Officer Roxanne Van Camp stepped in to coordinate and maintain all pre-employment, random and other drug testing. Command Staff Assistant Amy Craddock assumed the position of the main contact for general COVID-19 questions. By assuming these additional duties, the HR Unit was able to maintain its high level of customer service.

November: Maintenance Worker Dennis Morosky

Dennis Morosky is a part-time maintenance worker assigned to Criminal Investigative Services. Throughout the year, he has taken it upon himself to identify and update many of the deficient light fixtures, power outlets and fire extinguishers throughout the facility.

Dennis also noticed that certain areas of the building were in need of repair due to poorly insulated walls allowing cool air to escape. Repairs made by Dennis created a more comfortable workspace for the agents and civilian employees. Dennis spends his workdays continuously seeking out ways to improve the CIS facility with little to no direction.

December: Automotive Technician Austin Severson

While off-duty at his residence, Fleet Employee Austin Severson noticed a Facebook post about a missing elderly man that patrol units were actively trying to locate in a nearby heavily wooded area. Severson took the initiative to search the wooded bike trails on his four-wheeler and located the man lying in a ditch dehydrated, confused and extremely exhausted.

Severson contacted the Communications Center and directed family members and deputies to his location who were able to assist the male out of the woods. Brevard County Fire Rescue treated the man on the scene and then transported him to the hospital for further evaluation.

The decision by Severson to search for a citizen who was in a life-threatening situation was directly responsible for averting what could have been a tragic outcome. For his initiative and expedient actions, he is being recognized with a Life Saving Bar.

25 Years of Service

■ Agent Mary Adams
■ Deputy Patricia Borsanyi
■ Evidence Technician Robyn Brant
■ Deputy Barrett Bright
■ Evidence Technician Shannon Fisette
■ Major Ron Little
■ Major Linda Moros
■ Lieutenant Thomas “Moose” Mosebach
■ Lieutenant Bret Nicholas
■ Sergeant Darryl Osborne
■ Aviation Mechanic Mike Ryle
■ Chief Dan Singleton
■ Corporal Vicki Sumlin
■ Jail Records Manager Jessica Vanatta
■ Agent John Whigham

30 Years of Service

■ Sergeant Marlon Buggs
■ Chief Deputy Mike DeMorat
■ HR Administrative Coordinator Ron Forknall
■ Agency Receptionist Kristy Moore

35 Years of Service

■ Reserve Deputy Lieutenant Fran Cirillo
■ Polygraph Specialist Fernando Dominicis
■ Public Information Officer Tod Goodyear
■ Judicial Technician Brittenna Hart
■ Crew Supervisor Charles “Skip” Mack
■ Facilities Project Director Alan Moros
■ Reserve Deputy Lieutenant Charlie Nash
■ Reserve Deputy Paul Ring
■ Undersheriff Doug Waller

40 Years Of Service

■ Deputy Terry Worthy

HOT OFF THE PRESS! March 28, 2022 Space Coast Daily News – Brevard County’s Best NewspaperRelated Story:
HOT OFF THE PRESS! March 28, 2022 Space Coast Daily News – Brevard County’s Best Newspaper

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