2022 Honored Employees

25 Years Of Service
Charles Banks
Mary Battle-James
Todd Calhoun
Tisha Drinkwater
Keith Grosse
Christopher Krechting
Lisa Myer
Brian Neal
Veronica Shinholster
Troy Skinner
Ron Spangler

30 Years Of Service
Tamara Gross
Margaret Hargis
Rob Lape

35 Years Of Service
Alex Fischback
Larry Primavera
Robert Wagner


The recipients were selected from the 28 Communications Officers who handle all emergency radio dispatch for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Ashley Shinn

PST Ashley Shinn answered a call from a victim who advised they had just been physically attacked and were currently detaining their attacker on the ground.  Remaining calm, PST Shinn obtained information on both the victim and the attacker and determined that both were currently safe.  She continued to speak with the victim until the arrival of deputies on scene.  It was later learned that the attacker had been stalking the victim for weeks and planned on committing a murder.  The actions of PST Shinn during this call assisted in the peaceful arrest of this potential violent offender.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Jessica Heath

While working dispatch, PST Jessica Heath was alerted to a call for assistance from Cocoa Beach Police in reference to a driver who had fled from a traffic stop.  Hearing the direction of travel, PST Heath was aware that the subject was running in the direction of two of our K-9 units that were on beach patrol.  PST Heath provided these units with the information and monitored the incident via Countywide where both agencies were patched together. Almost immediately, the units came into contact with the subject and took him into custody without incident.  Due to her awareness and quick actions, PST Heath assisted in the arrest of a subject who was later determined to have been wanted by the FBI and FDLE for four felony warrants.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Sarah Codding

While working South Radio, PST Sarah Codding dispatched an in-progress burglary call at a residence in Melbourne Beach.  Due to the proximity of the call, units from Melbourne Beach also responded.  For over three hours, PST Codding worked this priority call that involved multiple agencies.  PST Codding handled herself in a professional manner, providing updated information to all units on scene. PST Codding assisted in bringing this call to a successful conclusion through the arrest of at least one of the suspects.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Eric Williams

PST Eric Williams distinguished himself in the handling of two in progress violent felony calls.  The first was the carjacking of a pizza delivery driver in the Cocoa area.  As the victim advised he had been dragged down the street by the suspects, PST Williams obtained the necessary information that led responding deputies to the vehicle and enabled them to apprehend the suspect.  In the second incident, a male called advising that he had been stabbed in the chest.  Assuring the safety of the victim, who had managed to drive himself to the hospital, PST Williams coordinated the response of deputies to the area where the suspect was last observed.  With his assistance, deputies were able to locate and take into custody this violent offender.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Andrew Polk

For his actions in handling two separate shooting incidents, PST Andrew Polk is being recognized.  The first occurred at a house party in Malabar where four persons were injured.  For the next three hours, Andrew not only kept up with back to back radio traffic, he also assisted with multiple requests from deputies and assisting units from Palm Bay.

The second incident involved a male who called 911 reporting that he had been shot.  Not only did PST Polk receive the call, he was also responsible for the radio and response of deputies to the scene.  His professionalism during this violent event not only assisted the responding deputies at the scene but also the deputies who ultimately located and arrested the suspect.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Erin Northcutt

PST Erin Northcutt answered a call from a female who advised that her husband had retrieved a gun from his vehicle and fired it twice.  After ascertaining that no one had been targeted or injured, PST Northcutt remained on the phone with the female for forty minutes, keeping her calm and obtaining a full layout of the house to assist units on the perimeter.  With her assistance, deputies were able to safely remove the female and her children from the residence, obtain a protection order and remove the firearms from the residence.


Communications Center Shift Supervisor Andrew LeBeau

As deputies were responding to a large apartment complex where a male was threatening to commit suicide, the caller abruptly disconnected before advising the exact location this was happening.  Shift Supervisor Andrew LeBeau cross referenced the phone number and was able to determine the exact location.  Based on previous calls, Shift Supervisor LeBeau was able to direct the responding deputies to where the incident was occurring in the large apartment complex.  Using this information, deputies were successful in finding the male and providing lifesaving medical interventions that ultimately saved the male’s life.  Without the information provided by Shift Supervisor LeBeau, deputies would not have located the male in the apartment complex in time to successfully intervene and save his life.


Communications Center Shift Supervisor Nicole Bernhard

After answering a 911 call from a suicidal male, Shift Supervisor Nicole Bernhard realized that the voice of the caller sounded familiar.  Nearly three years earlier, Nicole had prevented this same male from committing suicide by keeping him on the phone until deputies arrived, successfully pulling him back over the rail he intended to jump from.   Faced with a similar situation, Shift Supervisor Bernhard spoke with the male for ten minutes, keeping him engaged on the call until deputies arrived and safely detained him for a mental health evaluation.  Nicole is no stranger to handling priority calls, however this is the first time in her career she has convinced the same person twice that his life was worth living.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Andrew Polk

PST Andrew Polk is being recognized for two incidents, the first regarding an escaped prisoner from the Florida Department of Corrections Work Release facility. PST Polk coordinated the response of not just patrol units, but also Agents from General Crimes and Homicide as well as members of the GAMEOVER Task Force.  At the height of the incident there were over thirty units involved and he seamlessly fulfilled their requests and continually provided updated information to assist in the search.

The second incident involved a traffic stop where a suspect attempted to attack a deputy with a hammer before fleeing the scene.  The ensuing pursuit involved multiple agencies and units from several precincts.  He coordinated the activities of all units, using Countywide radio to patch the units together.  During the final stop the suspect jumped from an overpass sustaining serious injuries.  PST Polk quickly contacted emergency medical personnel to respond.  Due to his efforts, the suspect’s movements were accounted for during the entirety of the call and all deputies involved were uninjured.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Darian Dovgan

A 911 call was received from an eight-year-old boy who reported that his parents were involved in a physical altercation.  PST Darian Dovgan answered the call and began gathering information while at the same time calming the child who was extremely upset.  Throughout the call, she reassured the boy that help was on the way.   PST Dovgan stayed on the line with the child until deputies arrived at the residence.  Her actions in this incident led to a quick response by responding deputies and ensured the safety for the child and the other involved family members.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Lana West

PST Lana West dispatched deputies to a disturbance where the caller advised that his son had pointed a gun at him, threatening to shoot.  PST West continually updated deputies with additional information as she spoke with the call taker, prompting additional questioning, as to the layout of the residence and where all parties were at in the house.  PST West was able to provide clear, accurate information that allowed deputies to position themselves safely to begin addressing the situation.  Her actions ultimately made the incident much safer for all individuals at the scene and led to a successful conclusion of the call with no injuries to any personnel.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Shelby Kochendorfer

Units from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office participated in a search for a murder suspect who was wanted out of another county.  The suspect had crashed their vehicle in Brevard County, fleeing the scene of the accident on foot.  Over 70 units from multiple agencies participated in the search that lasted over three and one-half hours.  PST Shelby Kochendorfer coordinated communications for these units, providing updated locations and information as well as coordinating the response of Aviation and K-9.  Her ability to handle ever changing information during this chaotic event assisted in the capture of this violent suspect without further incident.



 The recipients were selected from the 375 civilians who serve in numerous capacities throughout the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.


Logistics Specialist Tracy Wilson                    

In the past, agency plaques were obtained through outside vendors.  In order to cut costs and be more efficient, Central Logistics took on the role of making all agency issued plaques.  The Annual BCSO Awards Ceremony and Speedy Dewitt Tactical Firearms Challenge make up the bulk of these requests.  Last year, Tracy produced over 100 plaques for these two events alone.  In addition, she produced plaques requested by multiple units and precincts for personnel transferring, leaving the agency, or retiring.  Although this is just one part of her varied job responsibilities at Central Logistics, Tracy always has a positive attitude and a willingness to get the job done.


Accreditation Coordinators Cheryl Sink and Christine Bean                       

The Accreditation Unit monitors and maintains all agency policies and procedures as well as all forms, affidavits and printed guides and manuals used daily by agency personnel. With the decline in use of Internet Explorer, we began receiving many employee complaints regarding the inability to access and navigate within many of our critical agency fillable forms and documents.

Research was conducted by Cheryl and Christine to develop a solution to the forms and documents dilemma.  A solution to most of our agency forms access was satisfied with the use of certain software, which was already in use by some members of our agency, and was available for implementation at no further cost.

This resulted in the development of the Agency Forms Library now available to all personnel on the portal. Cheryl and Christine went further to develop training and step-by-step direction to all personnel. Since the implementation of Forms Library, employee access issues have been resolved resulting in increased agency productivity.


Validations Technician Nena Carmany                   

Nena’s persistence, thoroughness and investigative knowledge led to the arrest of two wanted fugitives whose warrants had been outstanding for over thirty years.  Through her investigative efforts, Nena uncovered a possible address in Columbia County (FL) for a fugitive with a Violation of Probation warrant issued in 1986.  Using this address, deputies located and arrested the fugitive.  Several days later, Nena found a possible address in Marion County (FL) for another fugitive who had violated probation with his warrant issued in 1989.  Once again, Nena’s information led to the arrest of a fugitive, who had evaded capture for three decades.  Her determination led to the successful conclusion of these long-standing open cases, both culminating in the arrest and prosecution of the offender.


Animal Enforcement Supervisor Olivia Williams

Olivia has served this agency in a variety of roles, to include Animal Care Specialist, Animal Enforcement Officer, Training Officer, Animal Enforcement Bite/Dangerous Dog Investigator, and currently as an Animal Services Enforcement Supervisor.

Due to Olivia’s dedication and great understanding of the court system, county ordinances, state laws, and rabies protocols, her supervisors received multiple accolades from the victims of her investigations, and their thankfulness for her outstanding court presentation and the time she took with each and every one of them. On multiple occasions, the defendants in the cases would often reach out to Olivia’s supervisors, praising Olivia for treating them with respect, professionalism, and dignity.

This past year, Olivia was promoted to the position of Animal Enforcement Supervisor. Shortly thereafter, one of our Enforcement Supervisors left the agency, leaving only her to fill this role. Olivia immediately stepped up and assumed the responsibility of supervising all twelve of the Animal Enforcement Officers, monitoring between 50-100 Animal Services’ calls a day, all while maintaining the safety and supervision of their activities.

Without Olivia’s dedication to the entire Animal Services Team, and her passion for animals, we would not be as successful and progressive as we are today.


Automotive Technician Austin Severson

While travelling north on I-95, Automotive Technician Severson observed what he believed to be a traffic crash with a possible ejection.  As Austin stopped and neared the vehicle, he observed the driver laying on the ground, next to the vehicle, on the side of the roadway.  Austin immediately went to provide medical aid and stayed with the driver until deputies arrived at the crash site and took control of the scene.


Latent Print Examiner Karlie Kasznay          

As part of her training program, new employee Karlie Kasznay was tasked with re-examining latent cases from 2020. The goal of this particular training task was to familiarize her with the analysis portion of latent examination as well as with the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) when a latent of value was observed.

In one of the first cases she examined, Karlie successfully located a fingerprint of value and began an AFIS search of the fingerprint, which resulted in a potential hit. Prior to this, there were no leads in the case and it was closed pending further investigative information.  In a second case, LPE Kasznay was also able to successfully locate a latent fingerprint of value and begin a search in AFIS of the fingerprint, which resulted in a potential hit.  Sergeant Fletcher advised that the new lead was for a subject not previously known in this case. He further advised that the second identification was for a known subject in that case.

It should be noted that LPE Kasznay had no previous experience as a latent print examiner with another law enforcement agency. Yet, within one month of starting her employment with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, she has already assisted by contributing two substantial new leads in separate cases.


Animal Care Center Supervisor Emily Gilbert

Emily started her career with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services as an Animal Care Technician and has continually progressed to the position of Animal Welfare Coordinator where she coordinated special events and our volunteer program, to this year becoming one of our Shelter Supervisors.

As Shelter Supervisor, Emily made an immediate impact on the shelter staff by gaining the staffs trust and respect as a leader.  In addition to the 27 employees assigned to the shelter, she also coordinates the efforts of 60 volunteers.  She also participates in outside events, facilitates weekly obedience classes, as well as many other activities all while supervising the shelter operation- An impressive feat for a seasoned supervisor, let alone a newly promoted one.

Our team could not be more proud of what Emily has accomplished in her career here at BCSO Animal Services. Her dedication and commitment to this organization, and to the animals we are entrusted to care for is simply amazing.


Chief Legal Counsel Laura Moody and Payroll Coordinator Julie Nycum          

Due to the challenges of recruitment, the utilization of a hiring bonus and academy sponsorships has become a vital tool to hire candidates, each of which results in an employee contract.  During the past two years, over one hundred contracts have been awarded requiring a substantial financial obligation from the agency, whereby it becomes imperative to recoup these funds if the contract is not upheld by the employee.

Over the course of several months, Chief Legal Counsel Laura Moody and Payroll Coordinator Julie Nycum worked collectively to review employee contracts.  Each brought a unique perspective in reviewing the contracts resulting in a more comprehensive contract. Chief Legal Counsel Moody ensured the rewritten contract language is clear and concise. Payroll Coordinator Nycum reviews the contracts if any employee leaves prior to fulfilling the terms of the contract and must determine what the employee will need to do in order to satisfy the contract.

The contracts have been revised to provide a clearer understanding of the agreement being entered into between the two parties.  The attention to detail and team work exhibited by all has resulted in contracts that employees can easily understand and seamless enforcement of contracts when necessary.


Desk Officer Jaclyn Flake  

During the months of September and October, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office was tasked with fingerprinting all of the Brevard County Fire and Rescue personnel. During a few short weeks, Jaclyn fingerprinted almost two hundred and fifty of the four hundred and seventy BCFR employees. This task was completed quickly and efficiently while still keeping up with all of her other daily responsibilities.

It should also be noted that Jaclyn readily volunteered in assisting the Brevard County School Board when they were short staffed. In the few days helping out, she completed nearly three hundred fingerprints on school board employees, contractors and volunteers.

Within a few days of fingerprinting the BCFR personnel, many of the fire stations from outside the West Precinct’s geographical boundaries were being directed to visit West precinct due to the level of professionalism and prompt and friendly service they were receiving from Jaclyn. District Chief Chris DiSciascio took the time to write a letter stating he greatly appreciated Jaclyn’s hard work and dedication.


Booking Technician Kaylen Brooks

Booking Technician Brooks has been a vital member of the Booking team at the Jail Complex. In addition to her assigned duties, she has taken on the additional assignment as a Civilian Training Officer, making her responsible for training new Booking Technicians. Kaylen also created a training manual for booking technician procedures.  She has demonstrated outstanding job performance and can be relied upon to exceed standards with regards to arrest affidavits and other various documents.  With just over three years of experience, Booking Technician Brooks has proven to be an asset to the Jail Complex.


Aviation Mechanic Mike Ryle

As Hurricane Nicole impacted the east coast of Florida, the Communications Center received a call from a male who was riding out the storm on his 36-foot sailboat. The male advised that his sailboat had broken free from its mooring and was now sideways in the Indian River beginning to fill with water. Chief Pilot John Coppola and Aviation Mechanic Michael Ryle responded to the area with an aviation truck and inflatable Zodiac boat.

Chief Pilot Coppola and Mechanic Ryle deployed the inflatable boat and battled the rough conditions while they made their way to the sailboat. Once they arrived at the sailboat, they made contact with the male and were able to safely bring him aboard their inflatable boat. The three then proceeded to battle the rough conditions, finally reaching the shore where Cocoa Fire and Brevard County Fire Rescue was waiting to provide medical care.

During this event, Chief Pilot Coppola and Mechanic Ryle placed their own safety in danger in order to complete this water rescue, which most likely saved the life of this boater in distress.


Corrections Technician Steven Durso                

During a shift at the Jail Complex, Corrections Technician Durso noticed that an inmate was attempting to jump over the railing of the second floor in a housing unit. The inmate had tied one end of a bed sheet around his neck and the other end on the top rail. Corrections Technician Durso immediately informed corrections deputies who immediately responded and were able to safely secure and handcuff the distraught inmate during a stressful and chaotic incident.

Corrections Technician Durso displayed the professionalism, calm demeanor and the command presence it took to ensure a safe resolution of this incident.  His actions no doubt prevented serious injury and preserved a life.


The recipients were selected from the 280 Corrections Deputies who serve in the Jail Complex.


Corporal Michael Oldham, Corporal Anthony Moore and Field Training Officer Corey Grubbe

While working at the Brevard County Jail Complex, Corporal Michael Oldham and Field Training Officer Corey Grubbe were alerted to a possible medical issue with an inmate in one of the cells.  As they arrived at the cell, they observed an inmate laying on the ground unresponsive.  Corporal Oldham requested medical assistance while FTO Grubbe placed the inmate in the recovery position and attempted to clear their airway.  Corporal Anthony Moore responded and assisted with CPR on the inmate.  In addition to CPR, an AED was also utilized to deliver four shocks to the unresponsive inmate.  Brevard County Fire Rescue responded and transported the inmate to an area hospital where additional medical care could be provided.

Due to the quick response, poise and teamwork of these corrections deputies, the inmate was able to survive this emergency medical event.


Corrections Corporal Heather Thomas

Corrections Corporal Heather Thomas obtained information pertaining to inmates smuggling narcotics laced on papers into the jail complex utilizing legal paperwork. She learned the suspect was coordinating with other inmates to bring the drug laced paperwork back for him from their court hearing.  The suspect would contact his girlfriend to coordinate the drop off of the paperwork based on the inmate’s court date, who then transported the documents back to the jail.  Corporal Thomas contacted Special Investigations who conducted the investigation that culminated in the arrest of the inmate and his girlfriend.

It is without a doubt that the actions and attention to detail of Corporal Thomas saved many inmates from potential drug overdose or other issues related to the narcotics that were seized before they could be distributed throughout the jail complex. This case has also set a precedence on how the jail complex processes all legal mail with the inmate being provided a copy, not the original.


Corrections Deputy Shauna Dankins

Corrections Deputy Shauna Dankins was recently placed on a night shift rotation in facility maintenance, where her duties included supervising inmate workers in the performance of their jobs, assisting shifts with various maintenance needs and ensuring the Jail Complex maintained an inspection ready level of cleanliness.

After attending a tour of another facility, Corrections Deputy Dankins learned new techniques to build upon and improve the appearance of the Brevard County Jail Complex.  She was able to take what was learned from the experience and immediately apply it.  She has since overseen the cleaning, stripping and waxing of floors within the Jail Complex, which has greatly improved the appearance of the jail in a short amount of time. Corrections Deputy Dankins demonstrated exceptional personal initiative and increased efficiency for the personnel of facility maintenance.


Corrections Corporal Travis Cooper and Corrections Deputy Shavonne Cook

While working at the Brevard County Jail Complex, Corrections Corporal Travis Cooper and Corrections Deputy Shavonne Cook were alerted to an issue in one of the housing units by inmates asking for assistance. Corporal Cooper and Corrections Deputy Cook immediately responded and found an inmate hanging from the top tier with a sheet tied around her neck. They immediately grabbed the inmate’s legs and lifted her up, relieving the pressure from her neck.

While Corporal Cooper continued to hold the inmate’s legs, Corrections Deputy Cook quickly ran up the stairs and successfully removed the sheet allowing Corporal Cooper to gently lower the inmate to the ground where he immediately initiated CPR until the inmate became responsive.  The Jail Complex medical team took over care until the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue.  The inmate was transported to an area hospital where she was medically cleared and returned to the Jail Complex with no significant injuries. The quick response and immediate life saving measures taken by Corporal Cooper and Correction Deputy Cook directly resulted in saving the inmate’s life.


Corrections Sergeant Kristina Isbell, Field Training Officer Brian Claudius and Corrections Deputy Brian Stevens              

When a brush fire erupted east of the Jail Complex and quickly spread to the north with many homes in its path, the Communication Center called for any available units to respond and assist with evacuating homes in the path of the fire. Corrections Sergeant Kristina Isbell, Field Training Officer Brian Claudius and Corrections Deputy Brian Stevens responded to the area.

While on scene, Sergeant Isbell and Corrections Deputy Stevens assisted other patrol deputies and Brevard County Fire Rescue with evacuating homes, helping citizens with special needs and directing traffic away from the affected area. FTO Claudius (a volunteer firefighter himself) assisted BCFR with extinguishing structure fires and saving several other structures from fire damage.

Due to the quick actions of Sergeant Isbell, FTO Claudius and Corrections Deputy Stevens, they were able to help prevent any further loss of property and assist our citizens to safety.


Corrections Corporal Jose Rodriguez

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office with a missing person investigation. Corporal Jose Rodriguez responded to their call for assistance along with his cadaver K9 partner, Tito.

The search for the missing person involved multiple first responders from nine different agencies. At one point, everyone involved in the search was asked to search east of where the missing person’s SUV was located. Corporal Rodriguez felt the missing person would have had a difficult time walking directly east from her original location due to the amount of brush in the area and lack of trails. Corporal Rodriguez suggested he begin to search in an area northeast of where the vehicle was found.

Corporal Rodriguez and K9 Tito were the first to locate remains of the missing person and the search was then concentrated in the area he focused on. Corporal Rodriguez and K9 Tito have proven to be a valuable asset to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and several other counties throughout the state of Florida.


Corrections Deputy Dashawn Edward                                   

Upon receiving a tip from an informant, Corrections Deputy Deshawn Edward initiated an investigation in regards to an inmate who was possibly in possession of fentanyl within the Jail Complex.  Corrections Deputy Edward began to monitor the movements of the inmate and observed him meeting with, and handing off a pair of socks to another inmate.  He then made contact with the second inmate and searched the socks leading to the discovery of a clear baggie containing a white powdery substance which field tested positive for the presence of fentanyl and heroin.

 His investigation led to criminal charges against the inmate for possession and trafficking of the illegal narcotics.  The actions taken by Corrections Deputy Edward stopped the fentanyl and heroin from being consumed and distributed within the jail.


Field Training Officer Elizabeth Hamilton

Field Training Officer Elizabeth Hamilton has selflessly purchased school supplies for many of her coworkers who were needing help obtaining the necessary supplies for their children for the upcoming school year.  She met with each and every one of the employees who reached out to her and delivered school supplies to them.

As if this was not enough, FTO Hamilton generously purchased and donated enough school supplies to assist close to 800 children within the community.  Without her generosity and selfless actions, these children along with the children of her coworkers, would not have had the supplies needed to start and successfully make it through the school year.


Corporal Michael Peterson and Field Training Officer Ryan Hummel                                                

While working at the Jail Complex, Corporal Michael Peterson was alerted to a possible medical emergency in one of the housing units.  Field Training Officer Ryan Hummel responded to the area where he found an inmate displaying labored breathing and unresponsive to verbal commands. FTO Hummel delivered a sternum rub which also was met with no response. With the assistance of Corporal Peterson, the inmate was repositioned and CPR was administered.  Corporal Peterson provided rescue breaths while FTO Hummel delivered chest compressions.

The teamwork of these two correctional deputies ultimately resulted in the inmate beginning to regain consciousness.  The inmate was transported to the hospital where he made a full recovery.  During this incident, Corporal Peterson and FTO Hummel utilized their training and experience to provide the inmate with life-saving care.


Corrections Corporal Michael Peterson, Corrections Corporal ShaRhonda Haynes, Corrections Corporal Adam Turco, Corrections Deputy Brianna Figner and Corrections Deputy Lindsey Martinez                

While working at the Jail Complex, Corrections Deputy Brianna Figner was alerted to a possible medical emergency in one of the housing units. Upon responding to the area, Corrections Deputy Figner found an unresponsive inmate that was blue in the face and appeared to not be breathing. Corrections Deputy Figner performed multiple sternum rubs before requesting medical assistance.

After moving the inmate from his assigned top bunk to the floor where life-saving efforts could be conducted, Correction Deputy Figner began providing chest compressions. Corrections Corporal Adam Turco responded with, and applied the AED as Corporal Peterson, Corporal Turco, Corporal ShaRhonda Haynes and Corrections Deputy Lindsey Martinez all performed life-saving measures which ultimately resulted in the AED administering one shock to the inmate.

The collective efforts of these corrections deputies resulted in the inmate receiving additional medical care and ultimately making a full recovery.


Field Training Officer Kevin Tesmacher

While off duty, Field Training Officer Tesmacher responded to a medical emergency which involved a long-time friend of approximately 20 years. During a pool tournament, the friend suddenly collapsed and began to have a seizure. FTO Tesmacher quickly placed the male onto his side, and in the recovery position. After a few minutes, the friend’s health declined and he stopped breathing. FTO Tesmacher immediately began administering CPR until Brevard County Fire Recue arrived on scene. Due to FTO Tesmacher’s quick response, the life of his dear friend was saved.


Corrections Deputy David Dew and Field Training Officer Melody Hunter                                                                                                                                    

After information was received that there were possible narcotics in a housing unit, a plan was developed to search the area. During the search, Field Training Officer Melody Hunter located a white, powdery substance inside folded-up court paperwork. The substance was field tested and determined to be heroin.

After the search had been completed and all inmates were removed from the housing unit, Corrections Deputy David Dew conducted a walk-through of the dayroom area to ensure no other contraband was present. In the process, he located a piece of tissue paper balled up that contained a large number of pills that were later identified as narcotics. A follow up investigation was conducted and the inmate who tried to conceal the pills in the tissue was identified.

As a direct result of FTO Hunter’s and Corrections Deputy Dew’s attention to detail, a large amount of narcotics were seized and the inmates responsible were charged.


The recipients were selected from the 510 Sheriff’s Deputies who work as Patrol Deputies, Court Deputies and Investigative Agents throughout the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.


Deputy Josh Chamberlain

Deputy Josh Chamberlain was dispatched to a wooded area in Grant in reference to an off-road vehicle crash site that was located deep in the woods.  Knowing that an emergency vehicle could not reach the scene due to the terrain, Deputy Chamberlain entered the woods on foot in an effort to find the victim.  After several minutes, he was able to locate the crash site after observing the headlights of the overturned vehicle.

Deputy Chamberlain observed that the victim’s left arm was maimed to the point of near amputation.  Deputy Chamberlain immediately applied a tourniquet to the victim’s injured arm to stop the bleeding and placed him in the back of a modified off-road jeep that was at the scene.  He then transported the victim out of the woods to the roadway where emergency medical personnel were waiting.

The quick response and immediate life saving measures taken by Deputy Chamberlain directly resulted in the saving of this man’s life.


Agent Mike Spadafora

Agent Mike Spadafora began investigating a CyberTip received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, reporting that a user of Yahoo e-mail had uploaded over 600 images and videos of suspected child abuse material to their servers.

Agent Spadafora suspected these images were being produced by a suspect living in Merritt Island.  Further investigation revealed the suspect had access to a 3-year-old and 5-year-old, who were believed to be the children in the images.  Due to the immediate need to protect these children from further abuse, a search warrant was obtained and served at the suspect’s residence.  Based upon the evidence collected from the search, the suspect was arrested.  As a result of Agent Spadafora’s investigation, the suspect has pled guilty and will soon be sentenced.

Through his efforts and dedication, Agent Spadafora saved two young children from further abuse by their family member and was able to provide them with counseling and other services needed.


Agent Gary Haas

Agent Gary Haas and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement initiated a joint investigation into a potential human trafficking ring affecting multiple jurisdictions. As a result of the very complex investigation, agents found evidence the suspects had recruited three juvenile females to perform sex acts with them for money. Further investigation also revealed the suspects, on multiple occasions, had video recorded the sex acts being performed with the victims.

As a result of the investigation, both suspects were arrested for multiple counts of human trafficking, use of a minor in a sexual performance and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.  The proficiency of Agent Haas in investigating this case removed two dangerous sexual predators from the community and allowed the healing process to begin for the juvenile victims.


Deputy Thomas Farragher

During the past year, Deputy Thomas Farragher has conducted numerous traffic stops resulting in one hundred Driving Under the Influence arrests as well as several arrests for the possession of illegal narcotics.  Deputy Farragher’s passion for DUI enforcement is so evident, he has taken it upon himself to attend advanced DUI trainings to help with his own education and experience.  The State Attorney’s Office is also recommending Deputy Farragher to submit his application to the Drug Recognition Expert School, which requires State Attorney’s Office approval. Currently, there are no Drug Recognition Experts employed with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Because of his actions, over 100 impaired and potentially dangerous drivers were apprehended and removed from the streets of Brevard County. The last time a BCSO Deputy has completed 100 Driving Under the Influence arrests within a single year was in 2017.


Agent Dan Magill

East Precinct deputies responded to a residence in Merritt Island in reference to a mailbox that had been blown up with an improvised explosive device. Agent Dan Magill was contacted and began an investigation into the incident.

He learned the victim had just moved into the residence 48 hours prior and the landscaper for the property was owed money by the prior tenant. Agent Magill obtained residential video surveillance which showed a black sport utility vehicle, driven by a white male with a beard, exit the truck at the neighbor’s residence. Agent Magill was able to identify the owner of the SUV who was on felony probation.

Throughout the night and into the early morning hours, Agent Magill developed probable cause and drafted an arrest warrant for the suspect and a search warrant for his residence. Later that morning during the execution of the search warrant, the suspect was located and arrested.  Agent Magill’s efforts led to the arrest of the suspect and the recovery of evidence to substantiate the initial crime as well as the recovery of additional improvised explosive devices.


Deputy Sean Maze

Deputy Sean Maze responded to the area of Via Salerno Court, Merritt Island, in reference to a report that two female juveniles had been struck by lightning.  As Deputy Maze approached the girls, he observed one was responsive and gasping, “help me.” The other juvenile’s face was blue in color and she had blood around her mouth. Deputy Maze immediately assessed the unresponsive juvenile and found she had no pulse and was not breathing.

Deputy Maze retrieved an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) from his patrol vehicle and returned to the victim to render aid. Deputy Maze then initiated CPR until he observed the lips of the victim begin to move.  Upon the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue, the victims were transported to an area hospital for medical treatment.

The swift response and life saving measures employed by Deputy Maze were essential in preserving the life of the juvenile female initially found to be unresponsive at the scene.


Deputy Joe Batch, Deputy Christina Cea, Field Training Officer Matt Bialobrzeski

East Precinct deputies responded to an apartment complex in Merritt Island in reference to a frantic call to 911 about a male that was actively hanging himself while the caller was on the phone. Based on previous calls, dispatch was able to direct deputies to the location where the incident was occurring in the large apartment complex.

Deputy Joe Batch responded to the location and quickly located the residence in the complex.  As he entered the residence, he observed a female yelling and moving frantically, telling him the father to her child was hanging in the living room. As he approached the male, he observed him hanging from a bed sheet that was attached to the second floor bannister. Deputy Batch checked the male and was able to detect a faint pulse. Deputy Batch then positioned himself where he could pick the male up to relieve some pressure from the knot around his neck, holding him in this position until other deputies arrived.

Deputy Christina Cea arrived on scene and assisted Deputy Batch with holding the male while Field Training Officer Matt Bialobrzeski cut the sheet. They lowered the male down to the floor where he started to breathe but was still unconscious.  Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived and transported the male to an area hospital where he eventually made a full recovery.

There is no doubt the actions of Deputy Batch, Deputy Cea and FTO Bialobrzeski directly attributed to the successful outcome and preservation of life.


Lieutenant Brandon Gish, Corporal Jose Santos, K-9 Deputy Andrew Johnson, K-9 Deputy Josh Hardy and Deputy Kirby Gobeli

On the evening of June 25, 2022, South Precinct deputies received radio notification the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office was pursuing a vehicle being driven by an individual who had taken two hostages and had discharged a firearm several times at their deputies. Several Brevard County deputies responded to the area to assist in apprehending the suspect and rescuing the hostages.

The suspect’s vehicle ultimately came to a stop in the area of Foley Lane in Grant ­ Valkaria. Lieutenant Brandon Gish, Corporal Jose Santos, K-9 Deputy Andrew Johnson, K-9 Deputy Josh Hardy and Deputy Kirby Gobeli arrived on scene, becoming involved in the standoff that ensued.

After a brief time of failed negotiations, the suspect emerged from the vehicle with one of the hostages being held closely to his body with a firearm pushed against the female hostage’s head. The suspect was able to retreat with the hostage into the wood line under the cover of darkness.

These deputies, along with personnel from the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and Sebastian Police Department, formed a hostage rescue team and pursued the suspect on foot into the woods.

As the pursuit continued, the rescue team came into contact with the suspect and his hostage in a clearing. Once the suspect was illuminated by the light of STAR, gunshots were exchanged by Corporal Santos, the suspect, and other members of the rescue team, resulting in the suspect being killed and the hostage being rescued. Deputy Gobeli immediately began to render medical aid to the rescued hostage who was relatively unharmed and escorted her away from the scene to safety.

Throughout the entirety of the incident, in spite of being fired upon and having limited to no visibility in the darkness, these deputy sheriffs displayed a calm and collected demeanor which directly contributed to the success of the rescue mission described.  Because of their resolve, bravery, and fearlessness, there was no further injury or loss of life to the hostages.


Sergeant Cory Jackson

While serving in the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Special Victim’s Unit as an investigative agent, Sergeant Cory Jackson was assigned an investigation in which Department of Children and Families alleged that an adult male suspect engaged in sexual intercourse with a fourteen-year-old female.

Sergeant Jackson’s investigation revealed the suspect met the victim and established an online relationship with the intent to groom her for future sexual encounters. On one occasion, the victim agreed to meet the male at a local park. The male lured the victim into his van and drove her to an abandoned warehouse.  While at the warehouse, the male provided the victim with drugs and engaged in sexual relations with her throughout the night, during which he photographed and video-recorded the sessions.

During the course of the 22-month investigation, Sergeant Jackson drafted and served multiple search warrants and conducted multiple interviews to ensure he could obtain as much evidence as possible to prove the multiple sexual attacks of the 14-year-old victim. Sergeant Jackson ultimately presented the case to the State Attorney’s Office to ensure the suspect would not be free to victimize any other children in the future.


Deputy Andrew Schoener, Field Training Officer Christian Portocarrero, Deputy Tyler Conway

Deputy Andrew Schoener, Field Training Officer Christian Portocarrero and Deputy Tyler Conway responded to an accident where a golf cart had crashed into a canal.  Dispatch further advised an elderly female was trapped under water, under the golf cart, and an elderly male was trying to get her out.

FTO Portocarrero was first to arrive on scene and was directed to a canal, filled with water and steep sides, making ascent or descent into the canal very difficult. FTO Portocarrero noticed an elderly male sitting in the water, with water rising to the level of his upper chest and an elderly female submerged, face down in the water, at the front of the golf cart. FTO Portocarrero did not hesitate and descended into the canal to render aid.

FTO Portocarrero approached the elderly female and quickly discovered her right shoulder was pinned under the golf cart and her right arm was stuck underneath the floorboard area. FTO Portocarrero lifted the front end of the golf cart, high enough to free the elderly female’s shoulder and arm. After freeing her, FTO Portocarrero rolled the female over and observed her eyes were open but she was not breathing and did not have a pulse. At this time, Deputy Schoener arrived on scene and descended into the canal without hesitation, and immediately assisted FTO Portocarrero in moving the female to the bank of the canal. Once on the bank, they began life saving measures by performing CPR.

Deputy Conway soon arrived on scene, assisting Deputy Schoener and FTO Portocarrero in moving the elderly female up the steep embankment until the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue, who assumed the lifesaving measures on the elderly female. As this was occurring, Deputy Schoener descended back into the canal to assist the elderly male that was still in the water.

Deputy Schoener discovered the elderly male was injured and did not have the strength to ascend out of the steep canal. Deputy Schoener held the male up, until FTO Portocarrero, and a medic with BCFR, assisted him in lifting the elderly male out of the water, carrying him up the steep embankment to safety.

FTO Portocarrero, Deputy Schoener, and Deputy Conway displayed outstanding abilities by effectively working together, as a team, to assist in providing lifesaving measures for the two elderly citizens, by removing them from harm’s way where they could receive proper medical treatment.


Chief Pilot John Coppola and Aviation Mechanic Mike Ryle      

Hurricane Nicole impacted the east coast of Florida causing severe wind, rain and intense surf conditions in the Atlantic Ocean, Banana River and Indian River.

During the height of the storm, the Communications Center received a call from a male who advised that his sailboat had broken free from its mooring and was now beginning to fill with water.  Hearing the call for assistance, Chief Pilot John Coppola and Aviation Mechanic Mike Ryle responded to the area with an inflatable Zodiac boat.

Upon arriving in the area, Chief Pilot Coppola and Mechanic Ryle launched the inflatable boat and battled the rough conditions while making their way to the sailboat.  Once at the sailboat, they were able to safely bring him aboard and return to the shoreline while continuing to battle the rough conditions.  The male was turned over to the Cocoa Fire Department and Brevard County Fire Rescue who provided medical care.

During this event, Chief Pilot Coppola and Mechanic Ryle placed their own safety in danger in order to conduct the water rescue.  Their efforts most likely saved the life of this boater during a natural disaster.


Agent Kyle Pemberton

Agent Kyle Pemberton initiated an investigation into a major drug trafficking organization that would span six months. Based on his investigative efforts, the Drug Enforcement Administration adopted the case federally. The case was brought before a Federal Grand Jury where an indictment was issued for multiple federal charges related to the distribution of dangerous narcotics.

Immediately following the indictment, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team executed the federal search warrant at the suspect’s residence.  During the search of the residence, fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine were located.  Multiple handguns were also recovered with one being reported stolen from Titusville.

Because of his hard work, Agent Pemberton removed a dangerous convicted felon off the streets of Brevard County who was poisoning the citizens and contributing to the drug pandemic we face in our country every day.