2023 Honored Employees

25 Years of Service
Brian Adams
Craig Adelman
Luis Baez
Laura Cline
Jason Drinkwater
Mary Fayson
Brian Fearon
Debbie Moody

30 Years of Service
Kimberly Benson
Shawn Crook
Paolo Donisi
Sunshine Miller
Scott Molyneaux
Ross Torquato
Leslie Woodruff-Hughley

35 Years of Service
Tracy Jeffreys

Partnership Award

For the past 60 years, former Air Force Sergeant Al Boettjer has proudly focused his life on military, law enforcement, and correctional services.  In the law enforcement sector, he served the New York City Police department for 20 years prior to being hired by the Florida Department of Corrections.  While working for DOC at the Hamilton Correctional Institute, he was recognized by the Florida Police Benevolent Association as someone who could partner closely with their organization and others to improve working conditions.

As a 20-year employee of Coastal Florida PBA, Al served as a staff representative for deputy sheriffs, police officers and public employees throughout Brevard, Indian River and St. Lucie counties.

He is currently the chair of Recovery Ministries and of the ASIS Law Enforcement Awards.  He is also the Vice President of the Brevard County 10-13 Club and serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the National 10-13 Club.  Previously to these roles, Al assisted the Brevard County Public Safety charity and served as president of the Brevard 10-13 Club.  Rarely is there an event that supports our public service members in the Central Florida region where Al is not involved providing friendship, support and a partnership voice.

For his years of service and dedication, we are proud to recognize Al Boettjer with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office 2023 Partnership Award.

The Lucy Ross Award

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.

No one exemplifies these characteristics more than Frank Ross. Frank dedicated his life to public service in a career spanning nearly 40 years. He began as a police officer for the City of Titusville in 1966 and later served as Chief of Police from 1998 to his retirement in 2004. In addition to Titusville, Frank also served as Chief of Police for St. Cloud, Kissimmee and Waynesville, North Carolina.  At one point, Chief Ross even came out of retirement briefly to serve as interim Chief of Police for the towns of Brooksville and Orange City, Florida.  In addition to these communities, Frank also proudly served our country as a United States Marine.

Devoutly religious, Frank believed that children were our most precious resource and the most important facet of policing was service to the community and restoration of the victims of crime.  He believed every opportunity to repair the trauma suffered by a child victim should be the major goal of each investigation.  He was an innovator, a proponent of the Children’s Advocacy Center and fierce advocate for victims, in particular the victims of abuse.

During his career, he mentored many officers who rose through the ranks, eventually becoming Chiefs of Police within Brevard County.  Each of these law enforcement professionals took with them the lessons learned from Frank that victims of crime deserved every available resource necessary to heal their wounds, both physical and mental.  In retirement, he was used as a resource and consultant to officers throughout the country, providing his insight in the best practices for law enforcement organizations to operate.

This past September we lost not only an exceptional law enforcement officer, but a great friend to our agency.  However, his legacy lives on through the many officers he mentored, lives he touched, and citizens he served.  Chief Frank Ross truly embodies the qualities of Lucy and and we are honored to posthumously present him with this year’s Lucy Ross Award.

Volunteer of the Year

For the past five years, COP Linda Allen has been supporting the daily operations of North Precinct and Project Lifesaver.  Project Lifesaver is designed for “at risk” individuals with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Autism and Down Syndrome who are at constant risk to the life-threatening behavior of wandering.

This project requires consistent communication with the participant and their family members to ensure they are constantly protected.  At any given time, COP Allen is responsible for the deployment and maintenance of tracking devices provided to as many as 29 individuals living in north Brevard County from Port St. John to Scottsmoor.

During 2023, COP Allen volunteered approximately 200 hours while assisting both North Precinct and Project Lifesaver.  Even while out of the office for an extended period of time, she coordinated with each of the participants and their families to ensure they would not need to have a battery or bracelet replaced prior to her return.

North Precinct Commander Carlos Reyes could not be more complimentary of COP Allen’s work and determination.  He describes her as a valued member of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office who consistently provides a much needed service to the precinct and Project Lifesaver participants.

For her dedication and commitment to the citizens of our community, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is proud to recognize COP Linda Allen as our 2023 Volunteer of the Year.

Citizen of the Year

On a fateful Saturday night in November, Travis Furst was attending a sporting event with his family at Viera Regional Park.  He had no way of knowing that in the next few hours, his life would forever be changed.  Just down the street from the ball fields, a domestic disturbance was unfolding inside a vehicle parked at a nearby apartment complex.  During this disturbance, the male subject fired a shot as the female was leaving the vehicle.  While deputies were responding to the female’s call for assistance, the male fled the scene still armed with the handgun.

The male eventually made his way to the park where he brandished the firearm and began threatening harm to both spectators and participants.  Several of the victims fled from the area on foot while others barricaded themselves in bathrooms in an attempt to escape the armed assailant.  As the male continued through the park, he broke into a vehicle and attempted to start it up so he could drive away.  Unsuccessful, the male noticed another vehicle beginning to leave the parking area, this vehicle was being driven by Mr. Furst.  The armed subject headed towards Mr. Furst’s vehicle, displaying the firearm while threatening to shoot him.  Faced with no other option, Mr. Furst struck the armed male with his vehicle rendering him incapacitated stopping the threat to both himself and the other citizens in the park.

The actions taken in that split second likely saved not only his life, but possibly averted what could have been a mass casualty event and potentially saving multiple citizens from harm. The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is proud to recognize Travis Furst as our Citizen of the Year.

Special Recognition Award

Since joining BCSO in June of 2011, Corporal Lisa Vennard-Medeiros has embodied the very essence of excellence. In March of 2018, she was assigned to supervise the Jail Chain Gang and it was then, that her remarkable journey of service truly began to unfold.

Under her leadership, hundreds of projects have been completed, each contributing to the betterment of our community. From filling sandbags during storms, constructing trails, removing graffiti, to lending a helping hand in parades, her passion for service shines brightly. Lisa’s “can-do” attitude and formidable work ethic are not just evident, they’re inspirational.

But perhaps where Lisa’s impact is felt most profoundly is in her role as a mentor. She has become a beacon of hope and change for the inmates assigned to her, guiding them towards a path of positive transformation. Through presentations like “It’s Time To Be A Parent Again,” she encourages inmates to share their stories with parents to help them with their own children. Her influence extends beyond just the completion of projects, she is changing lives- motivating inmates to make lasting changes for themselves and their families.

This past year, Lisa, alongside her dedicated team, raised the bar even higher. When the Christmas Light Festival faced cancellation, they stepped in and partnered with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Charity. She worked tirelessly, changed her vacation plans, came in on her days off and went above and beyond to ensure that the event was not just saved but was a resounding success.

Lisa often says, “I love my job and I love this agency.” Tonight, we want her to know that the feeling is mutual. Her actions have set a high standard, serving as a source of motivation for all of us.

For her outstanding dedication, exceptional service, and profound impact on both our community and those she mentors, it is with great pride and deep gratitude that we present Corporal Lisa Vennard-Medeiros with the Sheriff’s Special Recognition Award.


This award signifies that the recipient displayed unusual thoroughness, determination, and/or initiative while carrying out his/her duties. This award is for service rendered in the line of duty where the employee, because of his/her diligence and perseverance, performs a difficult task in which a serious crime is prevented, significant property is protected, human life is protected, or causes the successful closure of a significant criminal case in which the criminal is apprehended.

Agent Bruce Connors
Agent Bruce Connors was assigned to lead the homicide investigation where three generations of females in the same family were murdered: a grandmother, a mother and a juvenile daughter. Using interviews, surveillance video and a neighborhood canvas, four suspects were quickly identified. As the interviews progressed, the suspect’s alibis were verified leaving one possible suspect; the ex-husband of the mother and biological father of the juvenile female.
Surveillance was conducted on the suspect’s residence where agents learned that he lived with a roommate. Agents approached the residence in an attempt to interview both occupants. The interview of the roommate provided information that led to the issuance of a search warrant. During the search, several items of evidence were seized that directly linked the suspect to the murders. Based upon the evidence collected and interviews conducted, the suspect was arrested for the murders of the females as well as the murder of the mother’s boyfriend who was present in the home at the time of the attack.
As a result of the investigative team’s efforts, this dangerous individual now faces the death penalty allowing justice for the victims and their families. For his accomplishment in leading this investigation that solved a mass murder in 14 hours, Agent Connors is being awarded a Bar of Merit.

Agent James Christoffel
Agent Christoffel responded to a residence in Cocoa after receiving information from the State Attorney’s Office that a witness did not show up for court. A well- being check was requested, as it was feared that the suspect in the case might be at the residence preventing the witness from testifying.
Upon arriving at the residence, Agent Christoffel heard a loud disturbance inside as he knocked on the front door. Looking through the front window, he observed a male holding a rifle and immediately ordered him to drop the weapon. The male, who was not the suspect in the court case, was detained and a protective sweep of the residence was conducted to confirm no other threats existed. During this search, several quantities of narcotics were observed. Agent Christoffel drafted and executed a search warrant which resulted in the seizure of methamphetamine, crack cocaine and fentanyl.

The quick decision making of Agent Christoffel, coupled with his investigative competence, led to the seizure of dangerous drugs and the arrest of the individuals within the residence who had been the source of numerous complaints from the community. For his performance during this call for service, he is receiving a Bar of Merit.

Corporal Tyler Peterson
The Indian Harbour Beach Police Department requested assistance in the investigation of a missing woman after determining multiple jurisdictions would be affected. Corporal Peterson, who at that time was a member of the Homicide Unit, assumed responsibility of the investigation.

Corporal Peterson and other members of the Homicide Unit developed information in reference to an ex-boyfriend of the female as a potential suspect. Information was obtained that the female was supposed to meet him on the day she reportedly disappeared.  Utilizing investigative resources, it was determined that after every interview, the suspect would travel late at night to an area known as “the Compound,” a desolate and abandoned area in southwest Palm Bay. Based on this pattern of activity, surveillance was set up and the suspect was interviewed again. As expected, the suspect was observed driving to the area where, after digging a large hole, he loaded an unknown object into his truck. Surveillance then observed him scattering what would later be determined as the burned remains of the missing female.

While the suspect was detained and interviewed, Crime Scene Investigators discovered various parts of the victim’s body that were then identified as the missing woman by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Identification Unit. Based upon the evidence collected, the suspect was arrested and charged with the victim’s murder.

Were it not for the dedication and determination of the members of Criminal Investigative Services, the remains of the missing female might not have been recovered and the person responsible for her murder may have never been held accountable. As a result of these efforts, closure was gained for the victim’s family. Corporal Peterson is being recognized for this investigation by receiving a Bar of Merit.

Investigative Analyst Laura Cline
During the span of 19 days, the Homicide Unit investigated five separate homicide cases involving a total of eight victims. Investigative Analyst Laura Cline was the sole analyst responsible for collecting and organizing information and coordinating the issuance of multiple  subpoenas  and  legal service. She also used her analytical skills to conduct in-depth background investigations and timelines that aided in the identification of the suspects in each of the investigations.

In each of these five cases, all of the suspects were identified and all but one was arrested. To investigate and identify the murderers of eight people in 19 days, most of which were arrested within less than 48 hours, was a staggering task that could not have been completed without the analytical work performed by Investigative Analyst Cline.

Lieutenant Jason Hart
For her hard work and dedication that was crucial to the success of these investigations, Investigative Analyst Laura Cline is being awarded a Bar of Merit.

While off-duty at a local high school football game, Lieutenant Jason Hart observed two Titusville Police officers who entered the bleachers where the spectators were seated. From their actions, he believed they were attempting to make contact with a person in some type of enforcement action.

As the officers approached, a male juvenile suddenly stood up and began running from the bleachers. Lieutenant Hart heard one of the officers yell “Zero,” a common code for firearm. As the officers made their way through the crowd, one of the officers fell down, which left only one officer giving chase after the suspect.

Lieutenant Hart, fearing the suspect posed a threat to the persons in attendance and the law enforcement officers, immediately became involved in chasing after the suspect. Lieutenant Hart identified himself to the officer and assisted in the apprehension efforts, climbing over several fences as the suspect ignored commands to stop. At one point the Titusville officer deployed his Taser, however it did not have the desired effect. As the suspect climbed one last fence, Lieutenant Hart was close enough to have a vantage point where he observed the suspect toss a firearm in the bushes. Lieutenant Hart immediately notified the officer of the firearm’s location as the suspect was apprehended by other assisting Titusville officers.

The firearm recovered was a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine loaded with 24 rounds of ammunition. The suspect was known to the Titusville Police Department and is suspected of multiple shootings and other violent crimes. The courage, determination and decisive actions taken by Lieutenant Hart assisted in the apprehension of an armed and dangerous suspect and may have prevented a violent crime from occurring that could have injured several innocent community members in attendance at the sporting event. Lieutenant Hart is being recognized in this incident by receiving a Bar of Merit.

Agent Tyler Harrell and Agent Dan Magill
During the investigation of a missing woman, homicide agents uncovered evidence that led them to believe she had been killed and disposed of in a desolate area of Palm Bay known as the “Compound.” A suspect was identified and information was developed that determined the suspect visited the “Compound” several times after being interviewed by agents. Members of the GAMEOVER Task Force setup a surveillance operation to follow the suspect in hopes that he would visit the area where the woman’s remains were believed to be located. Homicide agents again visited the suspect and during the late evening, hours after the meeting, the suspect was surveilled driving in the direction of the “Compound.” Agents Tyler Harrell and Dan Magill located the suspect near a secluded dead-end street and watched as he exited his truck and walked into the woods.

Agents Harrell and Magill were able to make their way through dense woods, close enough to observe the area the suspect had been. Once the suspect left the area, the agents continued surveillance of the area to maintain the security of a possible crime scene.

The suspect returned home, loading what appeared to be a shovel into the back seat of his truck. The suspect again left his residence, heading back towards the “Compound.” The suspect was again observed by Agents Harrell and Magill, who were able to get close enough to hear and see him digging while using a flashlight to illuminate the area. After approximately two hours, the suspect got back in his truck and drove to an area near a canal where he was detained. It was later determined that the areas where the suspect was observed by Agents Harrell and Magill contained the partial remains of the missing woman.

Without the tremendous efforts of Agent Harrell and Agent Magill, the suspect may have been successful in disposing of the missing woman’s body without being detected. For their efforts, Agents Harrell and Magill are being awarded a Bar of Merit.


This award is to recognize those employees, who under true emergency circumstances, act to prevent probable loss of life either by exercising appropriate first aid procedures or by direct intervention. It is awarded to an employee for competent and expedient action that is directly accountable for sustaining or saving a human life. Subsequent death of a victim after release to medical personnel will not preclude nomination.

K9 Deputy Lauren Donaldson
Upon responding to a suspicious person call, K9 Deputy Lauren Donaldson located a male sitting on the third-floor landing of the apartment complex. The male was intoxicated to the point that he could not advise his identity or apartment number but did not appear to be a threat to himself or others. Deputy Donaldson walked to her vehicle that was parked at the bottom of the stairs in an attempt to identify the male and where he lived. She maintained visual contact from her vehicle in order to monitor the male’s movements and behavior.

While at her vehicle, she observed the male suddenly and without warning stand up and attempt to climb over the third floor retaining wall. Knowing that a fall from this height would more than likely result in the man’s death, Deputy Donaldson immediately called for backup while running up the stairs to intervene. As the male was lifting his second leg over the wall, Deputy Donaldson grabbed the male by his belt loop and dragged him back over the wall to safety. Despite him being bigger and heavier than her, she was able to maintain control of him until additional deputies arrived.

After speaking to the male and his girlfriend, it was confirmed the male was attempting to jump over the wall to take his own life. The male was later transported to a mental health facility for treatment and evaluation.

Deputy David Guzman
Deputy David Guzman responded to a residence in Mims after receiving a call that the male in the residence was suffering a medical event and had become unresponsive. Upon arrival, Deputy Guzman retrieved his AED and entered the residence where he located the unresponsive male.

He immediately deployed the AED which delivered one shock to the male. Deputy Guzman continued life- saving efforts by performing CPR until the arrival of paramedics who took over medical care.

The male was transported to the hospital where he was eventually transferred to a home health care facility to continue his recovery. Medical personnel advised that without the initial life-saving efforts performed by Deputy Guzman, the male would not have survived. It was later learned that the male was a retired Brevard County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Deputy Guzman, under true emergency circumstances, acted without hesitation to provide the appropriate aid that was directly accountable in saving this man’s life. His actions did not just save the life of a citizen of Brevard County but a member of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office family.

Corporal Santiago Leme
While assigned to Merritt Island High School as a School Resource Officer, Corporal Santiago Leme responded to a call across the street from the school in regards to a possible suicide. Upon his arrival at the scene, Corporal Leme observed a male seated in a vehicle who had sustained a gunshot wound to his upper thigh. Corporal Leme immediately applied a tourniquet above the wound, and with the assistance of an off-duty paramedic, moved the victim from the vehicle to the ground.

Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived at the scene, taking over life saving efforts and the victim was transported to the hospital where he recovered from his wound. According to medical personnel, if not for the quick response and immediate care provided by Corporal Leme, it is quite possible that the victim would have bled out at the scene. For his actions during this incident, Corporal Leme is being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

FTO Kyle Fitzgerald
While on shift in Canaveral Precinct, FTO Kyle Fitzgerald responded to a medical call in reference to a male who had collapsed  while  working  in his yard. Upon arrival, FTO Fitzgerald located the male who  was  unresponsive  and not breathing. FTO Fitzgerald immediately began CPR, which he continued for several minutes until the arrival of Fire Rescue. The male was transported to the hospital where he received additional medical care and was upgraded to stable condition.

According to Fire Rescue, were it not for the immediate life-saving efforts performed by FTO Fitzgerald, the male would most likely have died at the scene. For his actions during this emergency medical event, FTO Fitzgerald is being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

Deputy Joe Batch
Deputies Joe Batch and Mark Rozecki responded to a local restaurant in reference to an elderly female who was choking and not breathing. Deputy Batch attempted the Heimlich maneuver, which was unsuccessful in dislodging any obstruction. Deputy Batch then laid the female down and opened her airway, at which time he could observe a foreign object in her throat. Performing a finger sweep, Deputy Batch was successful in removing the obstruction which turned out to be a piece of food.

Finding that the female still had no pulse, Deputy Rozecki initiated CPR until the female began to take shallow breaths. The female was transported to the hospital where she made a full recovery. The teamwork and quick actions take by these two deputies were responsible for saving this woman’s life. For their efforts Deputies Batch and Rozecki are being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

Agent Josh Ellison
While off-duty and enjoying a day poolside at a hotel in St. Augustine, Agent Josh Ellison became aware of a commotion in the pool. Agent Ellison quickly noticed that other guests were pointing at a small child who was floating face down in the water. Without hesitation, Agent Ellison ran over to the pool as one of the guests retrieved the child from the water. Noticing that the child was unresponsive, Agent Ellison and another guest performed CPR on the child for several minutes until the arrival of Fire Rescue. The child was transported to the hospital where it was later learned the child had survived and was recovering from the event.

Without question, Agent Ellison’s quick and decisive actions undoubtedly saved the life of this child. For his actions, he is being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

Sergeant Mark Halfhide and Corporal Vashon Berry
Corporal Berry was advised of a medical emergency occurring in the 100 pod of the Jail Complex. Upon responding to the area, she found an unresponsive inmate in the shower. After removing the inmate from the shower, Corporal Berry initiated CPR compressions while awaiting other personnel to respond. Sergeant Halfhide was first to arrive, relieving Corporal Berry in administering chest compressions. Sergeant Halfhide continued life saving measures for over 10 minutes until the arrival of paramedics.

Due to the quick response and lifesaving efforts undertaken by Corporal  Berry  and  Sergeant Halfhide, the inmate recovered from this medical emergency. For their actions during this incident, Sergeant Halfhide and Corporal Berry are being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

FTO Scott McCroskey
While on patrol in West Precinct, FTO Scott McCroskey responded to a medical call in reference to a male who was having trouble breathing. Upon arrival, FTO McCroskey located the male who was lying in bed with blood around his mouth and gasping for breath. FTO McCroskey, believing  the  blood  might  be inhibiting the man’s breathing, placed the man on his side in the recovery position. Shortly thereafter the man stopped breathing at which time FTO McCroskey immediately began chest compressions until the arrival of paramedics.

The male was transported to the hospital, where after further medical treatment, he was upgraded to stable condition. According to Fire Rescue, were it not for the immediate life-saving efforts performed by FTO McCroskey, the male would most likely have died at the scene. For his actions during this emergency medical event, FTO McCroskey is being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

Deputy Bruce LaBier
Deputy Bruce LaBier responded to the Pineda causeway on-ramp in reference to a vehicle with a driver that was unresponsive. Upon arrival, Deputy LaBier determined the driver did not have a pulse and observed white foam coming from his mouth. Deputy LaBier immediately began life saving measures that included an AED delivering a shock to the man. Chest compressions were continuously administered for over five minutes until the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue personnel who transported the male to the hospital. Once at the hospital, the male regained a faint pulse and was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit where he unfortunately passed away. For his efforts during this emergency medical event, Deputy LaBier is being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

Deputies John Hubinger and Mitch Hannon
Deputies John Hubinger and Mitch Hannon responded to a call involving an injured male who appeared to be “bleeding out,” according to the 911 caller. Upon arrival, the deputies located an unresponsive male in a vehicle with large lacerations to both arms. Deputy Hubinger was able to wake the male, who advised that he had harmed himself and wanted to be left alone. Due to the male being non-compliant and combative, Deputies Hubinger and Hannon escorted the male out of the vehicle and placed him on the ground. Deputy Hannon held down each of the male’s arms while Deputy Hubinger applied a tourniquet. They continued to detain the male on the ground until the arrival of paramedics who transported the him to an area hospital for further treatment and evaluation.
Were it not for the efforts taken by these deputies, it is likely the male would have perished due to the blood loss from his injuries. For their actions, Deputies Hubinger and Hannon are being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

Sergeant Matt Murphy and Sergeant Josh Williams
Upon being advised by citizens of a possible fire at a commercial building in Cape Canaveral, Sergeant Matt Murphy and Sergeant Josh Williams responded to find the building engulfed in flames. Knowing that there were residences very close, they ran to the back of the building and observed that the fire had spread to these residential structures. After arriving at the front door of the first residence, Sergeant Murphy and Sergeant Williams attempted to get a response from the residents by banging on the door. Receiving no immediate response, a decision was made to force entry as they could see the fire quickly spreading along the roof.
Once inside the residence, they located two adults who were unaware of the danger and assisted them toward the front door. Sergeant Murphy and Sergeant Williams were also able to locate the 7 and 9-year-old sons of the couple and successfully removed the entire family from the residence. While exiting the residence, Sergeant Williams learned that the family’s animals were still inside. He quickly reentered and rescued some of the animals until the intense heat forced him to abandon his efforts.
Once the first family was safe, the two deputies moved to the second residence and were successful in waking the occupant who exited the residence with his dog. Moments later, both units were entirely overtaken by the fire.
After the residents were safe, Sergeant Williams learned that the Red Cross would not be immediately responding to provide services for these families who had lost everything. Sergeant Murphy and Sergeant Williams immediately began calling local hotels and were able to find accommodations for the families. These hotels graciously partnered with our agency to provide the families with the rooms at no charge.
Sergeant Murphy and Sergeant Williams disregarded the potential risk of their own personal safety, and through their selfless actions, saved the lives of these families and their pets. For their response during this emergency, Sergeant Murphy and Sergeant Williams are being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

Deputies Chris Stahre and Christine Cea
While on patrol in North Precinct, Deputies Chris Stahre and Christine Cea responded to an accident where a pickup truck had gone off the roadway and into the woods. Upon arrival, they found that the top of the vehicle had been completely peeled back and the driver appeared to be seriously injured. As Deputy Stahre reached the vehicle, he observed the driver’s arm to almost be completely amputated and he was losing a large amount of blood. Deputy Stahre applied a tourniquet to the arm to stop the bleeding and supported the victim’s neck while Deputy Cea provided updates over the radio and assisted him in the vehicle. Once the driver was removed from the vehicle by fire personnel, Deputy Cea assisted in transporting him to the nearby landing zone where he was transported by helicopter to the hospital.

According to medical personnel on the scene, the actions of these deputies provided this victim with a “fighting” chance to survive. The teamwork and expedient actions by Deputies Stahre and Cea were directly responsible for saving the life of this severely injured driver. For their efforts in this incident, they are being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

Deputy Heather Matthews and FTO David Dixon
After receiving a concerning call from her ex-boyfriend, a female contacted the Sheriff’s Office asking for deputies to check his well-being.  Deputy Heather Matthews and FTO David Dixon responded to the hotel where the male was reportedly staying but received no answer from inside after knocking on the door to his room. After securing a key from management, the deputies entered the room to find the male lying on the bathroom floor with bedsheets tied around his neck. Deputy Matthews immediately loosened the sheets, while FTO Dixon retrieved emergency shears from his patrol vehicle. They were able to safely cut the sheets from the male’s neck, at which time he began to breathe normally.

The subject was transported to the hospital by paramedics to receive medical treatment and assistance with this mental health emergency. Without a doubt, the immediate intervention by Deputy Matthews and FTO Dixon saved his life. For their actions they are being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

Deputies Micah Navarijo and Benjamin Strait
Deputies Micah Navarijo and Benjamin Strait responded to a call involving an unresponsive male. Deputy Navarijo arrived first and entered the residence to find the male in obvious cardiac arrest. He moved the male to the floor as Deputy Strait arrived with his AED. Deputy Navarijo performed CPR until the AED delivered a shock. Paramedics arrived and assumed medical care of the male and transported to the hospital for further medical treatment.

Although the male perished at the hospital several days later, the lifesaving efforts of these deputies provided time for the family to arrive from out of town and say goodbye to their loved one. For their actions in this event, Deputies Navarijo and  Strait  are  receiving  a  Life  Saving  Bar.

Deputies Justin Nieves and  Joe Batch
The Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received multiple calls in reference to a male sitting on top of the Hubert Humphrey Bridge. The callers further stated the male looked like he wanted to jump from the bridge. Deputy Justin Nieves was first to locate the male along with a Cocoa Police Officer. Deputy Nieves approached the male in an attempt to gain a rapport to which the male vaguely responded.

Upon Deputy Joe Batch’s arrival, he received information from onlookers that gave him the belief that immediate, direct intervention was needed to avert the attempted suicide of the individual. Deputy Nieves continued to direct the male’s attention as Deputy Batch quickly approached the male from behind, wrapping both his arms around him, and bringing him off the ledge to the ground. The male was quickly secured and eventually transported to a mental health facility for evaluation and treatment.

It is highly likely that without the teamwork and direct intervention of Deputies Nieves and Batch, the male would have attempted to take his life that evening. For their efforts in safely bringing this life-threatening event to a successful conclusion, they are being awarded a Life Saving Bar.


Reserve Deputy James Hoffman

Since joining the agency in September 2020, Reserve Deputy James Hoffman has consistently demonstrated a level of service that sets him apart as a valuable asset.

Throughout 2023, Reserve Deputy Hoffman participated in an impressive 40 posted Reserve Unit details recording in excess of 884 hours of volunteer service. This selfless contribution not only reflects his dedication to the agency but also underscores his genuine commitment to making a positive impact within the community.

Deputy Hoffman’s successful completion of the BCSO Field Training and Evaluation Program is a testament to his professionalism and competence. This accomplishment has enabled him to seamlessly assist at various precincts, particularly during manpower shortages, thereby proving instrumental in supporting patrol operations. His versatility and willingness to step in when needed makes him a valuable asset to both the Reserve Unit and the agency. Deputy Hoffman’s positive attitude and collaborative spirit significantly contribute to fostering a supportive and cohesive work environment.

In recognition of his exemplary service, dedication and remarkable achievements, we are proud to honor James Hoffman as this year’s Reserve Deputy of the Year.



Public Safety Telecommunicator Lana West

PST West received a transferred call from an out of county agency. The distressed caller advised she had received a voicemail from a female friend asking her to call 911.  Her thorough questioning of the caller allowed her to obtain critical information for the deputies responding and led to the discovery of a person in distress. The individual was evaluated and transported to an area hospital for treatment.  


Public Safety Telecommunicator Logan Burkett

Communications Lead Burkett answered a 911 call in reference to a male who was standing outside his home, shooting a pellet gun at his neighbors.  Prior to the arrival of deputies, the subject barricaded himself inside the residence.  The incident resulted in a SWAT activation, wherein PST Burkett coordinated the response not only of SWAT, but additional units from other precincts.  For over seven hours, PST Burkett relayed updated information to the responding units and communications personnel.  Her efforts greatly contributed to the safety of the deputies and surrounding members of the community. 


Public Safety Telecommunicator Meghan Adyniec

Spotting a suspicious person who had breached security, PST Adyniec promptly called for assistance, notifying the North Precinct road supervisor and the Titusville Police Department. Swiftly dispatching a zone unit and alerting the Communications Supervisor, she ensured a coordinated response. The suspect was found to have gained access to the parking lot and confronted a Judicial Process employee, leading to a physical altercation with a deputy who had responded. PST Adyniec actions directly contributed to the suspect’s swift detainment within minutes.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Emily Sturgeon

PST Emily Sturgeon showcased exceptional professionalism and composure during a complex incident involving a suspicious male at a local apartment complex. Answering the 911 call and dispatching units, she provided crucial updates after the subject fled in a vehicle. PST Sturgeon, who serves as a Communications Lead, managed the ensuing pursuit with precision, coordinating all agency resources involved in the apprehension effort. In a high-stress environment, PST Sturgeon played a crucial role in the successful apprehension of the subject.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Hope Graham

While working North radio, PST Lead Hope Graham quickly dispatched deputies to a robbery at the Space Coast Credit Union. Recognizing the potential link to a recent robbery in Titusville, she coordinated with the Titusville Police Department by patching radio channels for seamless collaboration. For over 90 minutes, PST Graham meticulously documented the efforts of all agency personnel and ensured thorough coordination to apprehend the suspect.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Ashley Shinn

Answering a 911 call where the caller advised that a friend appeared unconscious on a Zoom call, PST Shinn was faced with limited information. Using online resources, she successfully identified a potential location in Springfield, Georgia and promptly contacted the local Sheriff’s Department. Coordinating efforts, PST Shinn ensured a well-being check for the friend was conducted. PST Shinn’s swift and effective actions in this challenging scenario made a significant impact by ensuring the safety and well-being of the individual appearing to be in medical distress. 


Public Safety Telecommunicator Madison Herold

While performing her duties as a Communications Training Officer, PST Herold overheard her trainee answer a call from a frantic female requesting an ambulance.  PST Herold took over the call and learned that the female’s son had been shot.  PST Herold was able to calm the woman and gain information in reference to the incident as well as the identity the location of the suspect.  The information she obtained assisted agents in successfully locating and arresting the suspect. 


Shift Supervisor Andrew LeBeau

Shift Supervisor LeBeau showcased exceptional response and coordination skills during a shooting incident. Obtaining crucial details within 45 seconds, he efficiently directed units to the priority call. Despite the evolving chaos, he calmly gathered information, coordinated with multiple agencies, and initiated emergency traffic. Supervisor LeBeau’s dedication ensured a seamless response, highlighting his vital role in managing a challenging situation. His quick thinking and effective communication contributed to the incident’s resolution. 


Public Safety Telecommunicator Tranae Robinson

A 911 call was received by PST Robinson in reference to a missing 5-year-old child.  PST Robinson’s attempt to obtain information for the responding deputies was hindered by the fact multiple people were passing the phone around.  PST Robinson was finally able to get the child’s mother on the phone and quickly gathered the information that enabled the first responding deputies to quickly locate the child. 


Shift Supervisor Nicole Bernhard

PST Bernhard was recognized by Major Cline for her quick response and notification to school security during multiple activations of the RAVE system.  The RAVE alert system is a mobile notification system used by the schools to contact 911 anytime there is an emergency that impacts the school community.  Her immediate notifications for each of the RAVE alerts allowed District Security to swiftly coordinate with school personnel and law enforcement to quickly investigate the reported incidents.  Her assistance during these activations were instrumental in keeping our students safe from any security threats. 


Public Safety Telecommunicator Aleasha Lewis

PST Lewis demonstrated exceptional professionalism and efficiency during a demanding shift where she dispatched multiple calls with varying priorities in Port St. John. She adeptly handled a reckless driver, a crash, a noise complaint, and multiple battery incidents. PST Lewis coordinated emergency radio traffic, ensuring swift responses from the deputies. Her quick thinking and the rerouting of deputies for an incident at a local sports bar showcased her outstanding abilities in managing high-priority calls.


Public Safety Telecommunicator Andrew Polk

PST Polk’s swift and decisive actions played a crucial role in locating the person associated with a Purple Alert. Taking a call transferred from the Florida Highway Patrol, he dispatched deputies within a minute, obtaining the subject vehicle’s tag for accurate confirmation. PST Polk’s stayed on the line with the caller for 10 minutes while providing updated information to the responding deputies which allowed them to locate and stop the vehicle. His quick response and effective coordination led to the safe resolution of the Purple Alert, ensuring the individual received the necessary care.


Shift Supervisor Andrew LeBeau

Shift Supervisor Andrew “Andy” LeBeau joined the BCSO Communication Center in July of 2013 as a Communications Officer and added the duties of Communications Training Officer and Lead Worker in August of 2021.

This year, Andy participated in multiple high-priority calls, demonstrating his commitment to excellence during each one. However, one particular call summarizes the professionalism and commitment to not only our agency but the citizens of Brevard County.

While covering West Melbourne Police Department’s City radio channel, Shift Supervisor LeBeau answered a 911 call in reference to a shooting incident. Within 45 seconds of receiving the call, he was able to ascertain enough information, although limited, to start dispatching units to this priority call.

He continued to ask questions regarding both the suspect and potential victim, as the caller was not with either and did not know their locations. Although the caller had little information to provide, Supervisor LeBeau was able to obtain descriptions for vehicles believed to be involved in the incident. Additionally, multiple calls were received by other Communications Center personnel regarding the same incident, requiring him to sort through the information and relay anything new to the responding units.

While the first units were arriving on scene, Supervisor LeBeau continued to coordinate with surrounding precinct dispatchers and agencies to have additional units respond and look for the vehicles involved. He coordinated a radio patch to bridge the communication gap while the agencies worked together. For the next 30-minutes, Supervisor LeBeau worked this incident and provided detailed pass-on to the dispatcher taking over the radio.

Managing a chaotic incident, either on the phone or dispatching it on the radio, is not foreign to Supervisor LeBeau. He thrives under pressure and always maintains a very calm and collected demeanor, even in the most stressful of situations.

Through his excellent performance, it is evident that Andy demonstrates unwavering devotion to his colleagues, the deputies of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Brevard County with each passing year.  The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is proud to name Andrew LeBeau as this year’s Public Safety Telecommunicator of the Year.



Senior Administrative Assistant Keri Francis

As Senior Administrative Assistant at the Jail Complex, Keri Francis has gone above and beyond. Regardless if it’s performing her assigned responsibilities or filling in for colleagues on extended leave, she ensures seamless operations. Keri excels in managing order requests and purchase orders, guaranteeing timely payments and a facility that has everything it needs. Additionally, Keri orchestrates retirement ceremonies, creating memorable events for the personnel who have served the agency. Her commitment to supporting the needs of the Jail Command Staff is unwavering, and she approaches her responsibility with the utmost professionalism. Keri’s dedication and resourcefulness make her an invaluable asset.


Human Resources Specialist Debbie Moody

Debbie is usually the first to answer Human Resources phone calls and welcome visitors, a task she accomplishes with unwavering positivity. She also takes on the crucial task of coordinating Sheriff’s Office swear-in ceremonies. Debbie ensures each ceremony’s success by meticulously organizing details, uniforms, credentials, and awards. During 2023 she orchestrated twelve ceremonies, many times facing last minute changes or additions. Her ability to provide an amazing experience for not only our employees but their families during these ceremonies is a testament to her organizational expertise and adaptability.


Investigative Analyst Laura Cline

Investigative Analyst Laura Cline of Criminal Investigative Services, is being recognized for her exceptional dedication and analytical expertise during a challenging 19-day period encompassing eight homicides from February 23 to March 13, 2023. Facing intricate investigations, Laura coordinated the issuance of a multitude of subpoenas and provided vital analytical services. Her meticulous work extended to conducting in-depth suspect background investigations and timelines which proved crucial in the identification of each suspect. Amidst the operational tempo, Laura’s analytical skills played a pivotal role in the swift arrest of all but one suspect, helping to achieve justice for the victims and their families.


Animal Enforcement Officer Hunter Kaufman and Animal Enforcement Officer Joshua Maldonado

Upon arriving to investigate an allegation of animal neglect, Animal Enforcement Officers Hunter Kaufman and Joshua Maldonado observed two deceased dogs and one extremely emaciated canine on the property.  They located a male, who although living at the property, denied ownership of the dogs.  Through their initial investigation, information was gained that contradicted his statement and placed the male in care and custody of the animals.  This information was passed on to investigators as Officers Kaufman and Maldonado collected the deceased animals and transported the one still alive to our Animal Services facility for immediate medical treatment.  Due to the quick actions of these two officers and their initial investigation at the scene, the male was ultimately charged with Aggravated Animal Cruelty. 


Victim Advocate Kim Simeroth

Victim Advocate Kim Simeroth demonstrated exceptional commitment while responding to a distressing incident involving two children who were the sole survivors of a fatal shooting that claimed their family. As a Victim Advocate, Kim provided sustained support during the investigation and assisted with facilitating their forensic interviews at the Children’s Advocacy Center. Furthermore, she played a pivotal role in coordinating a community fundraiser, resulting in substantial assistance in the form of gift cards, Easter candy, toys, video games, and clothing—for the children. Kim’s compassionate dedication and organizational skills significantly alleviated the impact of this tragic event on these two young survivors. 


Human Resources Officer Roxanne Van Camp

Roxanne is a vital asset to the agency, especially in welcoming and assisting new employees. As a facilitator for employee orientations, she passionately guides each of them through benefits, policies, and the required agency paperwork. Roxanne’s flexibility is evident as she rearranges schedules for individual sessions, ensuring trainees receive personalized attention. Quick to respond and empathetic, she resolves issues with a positive attitude. Serving as a liaison with Brevard County’s Human Resources Office, Roxanne effectively bridges communication gaps while maintaining a harmonious relationship.


Paralegal Karen Citino

Due to an agency retirement, Karen Citino has stepped into the role of managing litigation responsibilities for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. Despite limited time for the transition, Karen seamlessly integrated external litigation support duties and established modern, organized records management. In addition to her new duties, she took on the role of primary trainer for a new Legal Assistant, demonstrating exceptional dedication. Karen’s selflessness and diligence in maintaining case deadlines and high-quality work products make her an invaluable asset to the Sheriff’s Office.


Booking Technician James Sexton and Booking Technician Mark James

Booking Technicians James Sexton and Mark James always demonstrate exemplary attention to detail while working at the Jail Complex. In one particular incident, they were processing a juvenile for intake when they identified a significant discrepancy between the arrest affidavit and fingerprints.  This discrepancy led them to uncover the juvenile was attempting to provide a false identify during the booking process. The individual claiming to be a juvenile was actually an adult with an outstanding warrant. Thanks to James and Mark’s attention to detail, potential release errors were averted, and the individual was booked on multiple felony charges. Their meticulous work is a testament to their commitment and dedication to the efficient operations within the Jail Complex. 


Desk Officer Marianne Croft and Desk Officer Linda Mirowsky

Desk Officer Marianne Croft and Desk Officer Linda Mirowsky displayed exceptional dedication and professionalism when they were tasked with fingerprinting over 111 firefighters from Palm Bay Fire Rescue and Brevard County Fire Rescue. Despite the increased workload spanning a period of two weeks, they approached the task with a positive attitude, ensuring the seamless completion of their assigned duties. Their commitment to the Sheriff’s Office and the South Precinct is reflected in their commendable actions and their positive representation of the agency.


Animal Enforcement Investigator Chris Hahn

Throughout the months of October and November, Animal Services Investigator Chris Hahn demonstrated extraordinary commitment and teamwork. Beyond his regular duties, he voluntarily trained three new Animal Enforcement Officers, covered on-call shifts, and responded to active calls beyond his role as an investigator. Chris’ dedication, passion and willingness to assist in the resolution of calls for service significantly boosted the morale of the entire unit.


Senior Judicial Technician Paige Palmer and Shift Supervisor Tiffany Groen

While reviewing a bench warrant, Senior Judicial Technician Paige Palmer exhibited exceptional attention to detail when she noticed discrepancies in the FBI and SID numbers. Bringing it to the attention of her supervisor, Tiffany Groen, the two worked together to discover that the subject was using an alias to evade arrest. Their efforts resulted in the confirmation that the individual was as an absconded sex offender with warrants from Minnesota. Based upon this critical information, agents assigned to the Sexual Offender Registration and Tracking Unit were able to arrest the individual. Their actions directly impacted the safety of our community by removing a potential threat from the streets of Brevard County. 

Crime Scene Investigator Marjhiny Contreras and Crime Scene Investigator Conrad Schneider

CSI Marjhiny Contreras and CSI Conrad Schneider demonstrated exceptional teamwork and efficiency during their crime scene investigation of a burglary to a local pawn shop. Their meticulous processing yielded vital evidence leading to the identification of two potential suspects. Despite the overwhelming nature of the scene, CSI Contreras, who was relatively new to the agency, remained poised and professional while following the guidance CSI Schneider who was training her. Together, their efforts significantly contributed to advancing the investigation.


Human Resources Support Specialist Debbie Moody

Human Resources Support Specialist Debbie Moody serves as one of the friendly faces of our Human Resources team, where her positive and helpful demeanor shines through in every interaction. On a monthly basis, she handles an impressive workload responding to approximately 1,000 phone calls, accommodating over 200 in-person visitors, and managing a significant volume of email correspondence. Despite the demanding nature of her responsibilities, Debbie remains consistently polite, friendly, and always willing to go the extra mile to assist anyone in need.

One of Debbie’s significant responsibilities is the coordination and facilitation of the agency’s swear-in ceremonies, a task she executes with utmost precision and dedication. Ensuring the success of each ceremony, Debbie meticulously manages every detail from participant coordination to event logistics. Her ability to organize and oversee these ceremonies is truly commendable, especially considering the challenges that occasionally arise that require her to adapt swiftly to changes in dates, times, or venues. In 2023 alone, she skillfully organized a dozen ceremonies, successfully recognizing over 300 agency members who were newly hired, changed assignment, or had received a promotion.

Debbie’s remarkable 25-year tenure with BCSO reflects her longstanding commitment to supporting the agency in various capacities. Throughout her career, she has worked in both Human Resources and Career Development performing duties ranging from employment records, benefits, recruitment, background investigation and the coordination of the on-boarding of new agency members.  Debbie approaches every role with enthusiasm, professionalism, and an unwavering dedication that sets a high standard for all team members. Her positive attitude is contagious, creating a workplace environment where everyone feels valued and supported.

Debbie’s impact on the Human Resources Unit and this agency as a whole is immeasurable, and she truly deserves this recognition as the 2023 Employee of the Year.



Corrections Corporal Michael Peterson

Corporal Michael Peterson is being recognized for his expertise as a K-9 handler during the search for a missing autistic child. Due to the conditions, Corporal Peterson utilized both K-9s Jenks and Groot, at different times, effectively tracking through diverse terrains, ensuring a thorough search. Despite the challenges faced by both him and his K-9 partners, Corporal Peterson’s expertise and teamwork led to the successful location and identification of the child. His dedication and use of specialized training were directly responsible in the reunification of this special needs child with their family.


Corrections Deputy Shanoy Clayton

Corrections Deputy Shanoy Clayton was alerted to an inmate experiencing a possible seizure in their cell.  Deputy Clayton responded and quickly initiated life-saving measures to include chest compressions. Her swift and effective actions and coordination with medical staff, played a crucial role in stabilizing the inmate. Deputy Clayton’s commitment to the well-being of those under her care is commendable, showcasing her dedication to maintaining a safe and secure environment within the Jail Complex.


Corrections Deputy Chloe Deaton and Field Training Officer Nathaniel Elliott

Field Training Officer Nathaniel Elliott and Corrections Deputy Chloe Deaton demonstrated exceptional composure and teamwork during a critical medical emergency within the Jail Complex. Their swift response and coordinated efforts, including chest compressions and AED application, played a vital role in providing life-saving measures to an inmate. It is with great honor that we recognize Field Training Officer Elliott and Corrections Deputy Deaton for their outstanding performance during this incident.


Corrections Corporal Jose Ortiz

While booking an inmate at the Jail Complex, Corporal Jose Ortiz successfully stopped an attempt to smuggle contraband into the facility. Despite the inmate’s resistance, Corporal Ortiz’s quick response prevented the ingestion of the concealed contraband leading to the recovery of four baggies of suspected narcotics. In another incident, Corporal Ortiz learned of information regarding the confession to a crime for which the inmate was not being detained.  He shared the information learned with the appropriate law enforcement agency who initiated an investigation that concluded with the charging of the inmate.  These two incidents showcase Corporal Ortiz’s dedication to maintaining security and addressing potential criminal activity within the Jail Complex.


Corrections Corporal Alysha Rich

While assigned to Booking, Corporal Alysha Rich demonstrated exceptional vigilance and attention to detail in preventing the entry of dangerous substances into the facility. In three separate incidents, she discovered concealed contraband to include Crystal Methamphetamine, Heroin, Fentanyl, and Clonazepam that was attempting to be smuggled in by inmates. Corporal Rich’s diligence and commitment to maintaining the safety and integrity of the facility are commendable. Her exemplary actions reflect the highest standards of professionalism, contributing significantly to the security of our correctional facility and the well-being of the inmates.


Field Training Officer Nathaniel Elliott

Field Training Officer Nathaniel Elliott, through keen observation and thorough examination, prevented a potential misidentification of an inmate. While booking an arrestee for a warrant, he recognized discrepancies between the wanted person and the person who was arrested. FTO Elliott investigated further, and after conducting fingerprinting, he was able to confirm the individuals true identity.  FTO Elliott’s diligence led to the discovery that the wrong individual had been detained. His prompt actions and attention to detail averted an erroneous booking, preventing the wrongful detention of an innocent individual.


Sergeant Mark Halfhide and Corrections Deputy Vashon Berry

During a medical emergency at the Jail Complex, Corporal Vashon Berry and Sergeant Mark Halfhide’s quick response directly contributed to an inmate surviving the event. Working together, they sustained life-saving measures for over 10 minutes until Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived and took over medical treatment. Corporal Berry and Sergeant Halfhide’s exemplary performance in this situation displayed their commitment to the inmate’s wellbeing and is an example of the professionalism of those assigned to work at the Jail Complex.


Corrections Deputy Antonio Saunders

Corrections Deputy Antonio Saunders demonstrated exceptional vigilance during a routine walk to the recreation yard. Identifying irregularities in an inmate’s clothing, he initiated a pat down search. When confronted with resistance, Corrections Deputy ultimately uncovered a concealed weapon inside the inmate’s waistband. A further search of the inmate led to the discovery of several other weapons.  Upon the completion of an investigation, it was determined inmates were obtaining metal pieces from chairs in the contact visitation areas. Corrections Deputy Saunders’ quick and decisive actions ensured the safety of the Jail Complex, emphasizing his commitment to detail and professionalism.


Corrections Deputy Sheila Facemyer

While serving as Booking Deputy, Corrections Deputy Sheila Facemyer was responsible for stopping contraband from entering the Jail Complex. On three separate occasions, her searches revealed substances concealed on inmates being received at the facility. During the first incident, a pat down search exposed a white powdery substance in foil.  The second involved a body scan, which led to the discovery of drug paraphernalia. Corrections Deputy Facemyer’s attention to detail was crucial in the final incident where she discovered four clear plastic baggies with narcotics, concealed by the inmate. These incidents showcase Corrections Deputy Facemyer’s commitment to maintaining the Jail Complex’s security and preventing the introduction of dangerous illicit substances into the facility.


Sergeant Stephanie Smith

While attending a middle school basketball game, Sergeant Stephanie Smith exhibited exceptional leadership. When the opposing coach had a seizure, Sergeant Smith quickly responded, called for paramedics and directed the players to safety. She ensured the coach’s well-being, recorded the duration of his seizures, and stayed with him until paramedics arrived. Her calm and decisive actions, coupled with comforting the affected basketball team, showcased her outstanding leadership and compassion during a challenging and emotional situation.


Corrections Deputy Thomas Bealer

After receiving information that an inmate was choking, Corrections Deputy Thomas Bealer responded and performed abdominal thrusts that successfully dislodged an obstruction. Corrections Deputy Bealer’s quick and effective actions averted a potentially life-threatening situation. His dedication to duty and ability to remain calm under pressure is another example of the professionalism he displays while working at the Jail Complex.


Corrections Deputy Shanna Joca

While working at the Jail Complex, Corrections Deputy Shanna Joca responded to a housing unit where an inmate had suffered a medical event.  After evaluation, it was determined the inmate needed to be taken to medical for further evaluation. As Corrections Deputy Joca was pushing the inmate in a wheelchair towards the main complex, the inmate jumped from the wheelchair and began running towards the main gate in an attempt to escape. Corrections Deputy Joca was able to tackle the inmate and keep her restrained until additional officers responded to assist.  Corrections Deputy Joca’s quick reaction prevented the attempted escape of the inmate.


Corrections Corporal Jose Ortiz

Corporal Jose Ortiz joined the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office as a Corrections Deputy in August of 2016.  He became a member of the Crisis Response Team in March of 2018, was assigned as a Field Training Officer in May of 2018 and promoted to Corporal in October of 2022.

While processing an inmate and watching as he changed into a jail issued uniform, Corporal Ortiz recognized the subtle acts of an inmate trying to bring an illegal substance into the Jail Complex.  Due to the inmate’s refusal to cooperate by not opening his hand to allow him to inspect for contraband, Corporal Ortiz immediately had the inmate turn and face the wall to handcuff him.  During the handcuffing procedure, the inmate attempted to ingest what he had been concealing.  Corporal Ortiz was able to stop the inmate and recover the contraband, which was found to be four small baggies that contained what he believed to be narcotics.  Upon further questioning, the inmate admitted that the baggies contained “molly” and heroin.

Due to Corporal Ortiz’s extensive experience, his fast response to the situation stopped the illegal substance being brought into our facility.

On another occasion, Corporal Ortiz was escorting an inmate when the inmate began to tell Corporal Ortiz that he “needed forgiveness” for something he had done.  The inmate told Corporal Ortiz that while babysitting, he had sexually abused a member of his family.

Corporal Ortiz checked the booking documents of the inmate and learned that he may have admitted to an undiscovered crime.  Due to this incident occurring in another jurisdiction, Corporal Ortiz immediately contacted that local agency with the information he had obtained and an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse was initiated.  Corporal Ortiz provided a sworn video/audio recorded statement attesting to the inmate’s statement.  Based on the results of the criminal investigation, the inmate was charged with two counts of Lewd or Lascivious Conduct.

These two incidents exemplify the dedication, experience and professionalism Corporal Ortiz displays on a daily basis.  Through his actions, dangerous drugs were intercepted before they could enter the facility and a child molester was identified and prosecuted allowing the healing process to begin for the child victim.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is proud to recognize Corporal Jose Ortiz as our Corrections Deputy of the Year.



Corporal Tyler Peterson, Agent Tyler Harrell and Agent Dan Magill

Faced with a daunting challenge when a woman went missing, spanning multiple jurisdictions, the Indian Harbour Beach Police Department requested the assistance of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.   Corporal Peterson, as a member of the Homicide Unit, was assigned as the lead agent in charge of the investigation.

Through meticulous work, Corporal Peterson and the Homicide Unit identified a potential suspect – an ex-boyfriend of the missing woman. Their investigation discovered a pattern of activity by the suspect leading to a desolate area known as “the Compound.” With the assistance of the GAMEOVER Task Force, a surveillance operation was initiated.  Agents Tyler Harrell and Dan Magill observed the suspect’s suspicious activities, including late-night visits to the “Compound”. Moving through the dense woods on foot, Agents Harrell and Magill tracked the suspect to a secluded location, where they witnessed him digging and later discovered the partial remains of the missing woman.

Thanks to the relentless efforts of Criminal Investigative Services, particularly Corporal Peterson, Agent Harrell and Agent Magill, the missing woman’s body was recovered and justice was served. Tonight, we salute their exceptional commitment and their pivotal role in solving this heinous crime.


Field Training Officer David Guzman

Deputy David Guzman responded to a residence in Mims after receiving a call that a male inside the residence was suffering a medical event and had become unresponsive. Deputy Guzman retrieved his AED and entered the residence where he located the unresponsive male.  After delivering one shock to the male utilizing the AED, Deputy Guzman continued life-saving efforts by performing CPR until the arrival of paramedics.

The male was transported to the hospital where medical personnel advised that without the initial life-saving efforts performed by Deputy Guzman, the male would not have survived. It was later learned that the male was a retired Brevard County Sheriff’s Office deputy. Deputy Guzman, under true emergency circumstances, acted without hesitation to provide the appropriate aid that did not just save the life of a citizen of Brevard County but a member of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office family.


Agent Bruce Connors

Agent Bruce Connors was assigned to lead a homicide investigation into the tragic murders of three generations of family members: a grandmother, mother and a juvenile daughter. Through interviews, surveillance, and neighborhood canvassing, four suspects were initially identified. As interviews were conducted, focus turned to the ex-husband. Surveillance on his residence led to a crucial interview with his roommate, resulting in a search warrant being served.  Evidence seized while searching the residence directly linked the suspect to the murders, including the killing of the mother’s boyfriend. Thanks to the dedicated investigative team, led by Agent Connors, justice was served for the family and as this dangerous individual now faces the ultimate penalty.


Deputy John Hubinger and Deputy Mitch Hannon

Deputies John Hubinger and Mitch Hannon responded to a distress call involving an injured male who was reported to be “bleeding out.” Upon arriving at the scene, they discovered an unresponsive male in a vehicle with severe lacerations to both arms. Deputy Hubinger managed to wake the male, who confessed to self-harm and expressed a desire to be left alone. Despite the non-compliance and combativeness of the individual, Deputies Hubinger and Hannon took immediate action.

Deputy Hannon held down each of the male’s arms while Deputy Hubinger skillfully applied a tourniquet, preventing further blood loss. They maintained control until paramedics arrived and transported the individual to the hospital for further treatment and evaluation.   Deputies Hubinger and Hannon, are being recognized for their unwavering dedication, quick thinking, and heroic actions that saved a life.


Agent James Christoffel

Agent James Christoffel, conducted a well-being check at a residence in Cocoa after the State Attorney’s Office advised a crucial witness failed to appear in court. Encountering a loud disturbance upon his arrival, Agent Christoffel observed a male with a rifle inside the residence. He immediately challenged the armed male, who promptly dropped the weapon. A subsequent protective sweep uncovered narcotics, leading to a search warrant, resulting in the seizure of methamphetamine, crack cocaine, and fentanyl. Agent Christoffel’s decisive actions not only removed a potential threat to a witness but also resulted in the arrest of individuals tied to multiple community complaints.


Agent Josh Ellison

While off-duty and enjoying a day poolside at a local hotel in St. Augustine, Agent Josh Ellison displayed extraordinary heroism. Sensing a commotion by the pool, he discovered a small child in distress. Without hesitation, Agent Ellison sprang into action, assisting in the rescue and performing CPR until Fire Rescue arrived. The child, initially unresponsive, survived and is now recovering. Agent Ellison’s swift and decisive actions undeniably saved a precious life. His courage and selflessness are a testament to his willingness to assist our citizens both on and off duty.


Field Training Officer Kyle Fitzgerald

While on shift in Canaveral Precinct, FTO Kyle Fitzgerald exemplified unparalleled dedication during a medical emergency. After responding to a call of an unresponsive male laying in a yard, he located the male who was in fact unresponsive and not breathing. FTO Fitzgerald immediately began life-saving CPR for approximately 2 minutes until Fire Rescue arrived on scene. The Canaveral Fire Captain stated the initial life-saving efforts from FTO Fitzgerald more than likely saved the victim’s life. The male, who survived the event, owes his life to FTO Fitzgerald’s immediate and decisive actions. Tonight, we recognize FTO Kyle Fitzgerald for his unwavering commitment to public safety and commend him for his life-saving efforts.


Sergeant Matt Murphy and Sergeant Josh Williams

After being advised by citizens of a possible fire, Sergeant Matt Murphy and Sergeant Josh Williams responded to commercial building in Cape Canaveral that was fully engulfed in flames. Realizing nearby residences were at risk, they sprang into action, forcefully entering homes in the immediate area to rescue families and pets trapped by the flames. Once the families were safe, the two sergeants worked to secure accommodations for the displaced families, ensuring their immediate needs were met. Their selfless heroism not only saved lives but showcased the true spirit of community service.


Lieutenant Jason Hart

While off-duty at a local high school football game, Lieutenant Jason Hart witnessed two Titusville officers entering the bleachers.  Sensing they were about to take some type of enforcement action, a sudden commotion unfolded and he observed a juvenile fleeing from the area. He heard one officer shout “Zero,” which he knows means the suspect is in possession of a firearm. Fearing the suspect posed a threat to the persons in attendance and the law enforcement officers, Lt. Hart joined the pursuit, climbing over several fences in the chase.

As the suspect climbed the last fence, Lieutenant Hart was close enough to have a vantage point where he observed the suspect toss a firearm in the bushes. Lieutenant Hart immediately notified the officer of the firearm’s location as the suspect was apprehended by other Titusville officers who were assisting. The firearm recovered was a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine loaded with 24 rounds of ammunition. The suspect is believed to be involved in multiple shootings and other violent crimes. The courage displayed by Lieutenant Hart in assisting in the apprehension of this armed and dangerous suspect potentially averted a tragedy at the sporting event, protecting the community from harm.


Deputy Chris Stahre and Christina Cea

North Precinct Deputies Chris Stahre and Christine Cea responded to a traffic accident where they found a mangled vehicle and a seriously injured driver. Deputy Stahre, applied a tourniquet to the driver who had suffered a near-amputation and critical blood loss. Deputy Cea orchestrated crucial updates and aided Deputy Stahre with providing medical care to the victim. Their teamwork didn’t stop there—once the victim was extracted from the vehicle, they played a pivotal role in transporting the victim to a nearby landing zone. Medical experts credit their swift and collaborative efforts for providing the victim a “fighting” chance at survival. Tonight, we honor Deputies Stahre and Cea for their unwavering commitment and life-saving heroics that saved the life of this severely injured driver.


Field Training Officer David Dixon and Deputy Heather Matthews

After receiving a concerning call from her ex-boyfriend, a female contacted the Sheriff’s Office asking for deputies to check his well-being. Deputy Heather Matthews and FTO David Dixon responded to a hotel where the male was reportedly staying but received no answer after knocking on the door to his room. After securing a key from management, the deputies entered the room to find the male lying on the bathroom floor with bedsheets tied around his neck. Deputy Matthews immediately loosened the sheets, while FTO Dixon retrieved emergency shears from his patrol vehicle. They were able to safely cut the sheets from the male’s neck, at which time he began to breathe normally.  Their heroic efforts in this mental health emergency undoubtedly saved a life. We commend Deputy Matthews and FTO Dixon for their dedication to protecting and serving our community.


Deputy Joe Batch and Deputy Justin Nieves

Deputies Justin Nieves and Joe Batch showcased exceptional courage and teamwork during their response to distress calls about a potential suicidal individual on the Hubert Humphrey Bridge.   Deputy Nieves attempted to establish a rapport with the individual who was sitting atop the bridge. Recognizing the urgency, Deputy Batch swiftly approached the male from behind, grabbed him, and moved him to a safe location preventing a tragic outcome.

Deputies Nieves and Batch’s synchronized efforts not only averted a crisis but ensured the individual’s safety. Their quick thinking and dedication to preserving life underscore the vital role law enforcement plays in our community’s well-being. Tonight, we honor these deputies for their unwavering commitment to the safety and mental health of our citizens.


Sergeant Matt Murphy and Sergeant Josh Williams

In a heartening display of bravery and selflessness, Sergeant Matt Murphy and Sergeant Josh Williams demonstrated exceptional courage on the morning of August 19, 2023. Responding to a distress call from citizens who spotted smoke billowing out of a commercial building on North Atlantic Avenue in the City of Cape Canaveral, these two deputies immediately acted, ultimately saving multiple lives and animals.

Upon arriving at the scene, Sergeants Murphy and Williams observed the commercial building’s roof engulfed in flames. Realizing the gravity of the situation, they sprinted to the back of the building, discovering that adjacent residences were also on fire. With flames reaching a height of thirty feet and entering the eaves of the nearby residence on Madison Avenue, the officers knew immediate action was required.

Undeterred by the intensifying fire, Murphy and Williams banged on the doors of the adjacent units. When receiving no response, they made the split-second decision to force entry into apartment #1, where they found the occupants asleep and unaware of the impending danger. Despite the rapidly spreading fire, the officers successfully woke and evacuated the adults and their two sons, aged seven and nine.

As the family was being led to safety, the mother informed Sergeant Williams of several hamsters and cats still inside the residence. Despite the increasing danger, Sergeant Williams re-entered the burning building, successfully rescuing the hamsters, though the cats were unfortunately unreachable due to the fire’s intensity.

Moving swiftly to unit #2, Murphy and Williams alerted the occupant and his dog, evacuating them just moments before both units were fully engulfed in flames.

Learning the Red Cross would not be able to provide immediate assistance, Sergeant Murphy and Sergeant Williams took it upon themselves to secure accommodations for the families who were displaced by the fire. Through their efforts, accommodations at a local hotel were arranged at no cost to the families, offering them a temporary respite during this critical time.

In the days following the fire, one of the occupants shared her experience in an interview that highlighted the confusion and devastation she felt during the incident and expressed gratitude for the timely rescue.

Sergeant Murphy and Sergeant Williams exhibited quick thinking, disregard for personal safety, and selfless actions that undoubtedly saved lives. The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office recognizes and honors these brave officers for their heroic efforts by recognizing them as our Deputies of the Year.