Sheriff Tom Knight Honors 2013 Employees of the Year

News Release #: 14-045

Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight today recognized the 2013 Employees of the Year.

Law Enforcement Deputy of the Year, Dep. Ray Vleck, was honored for being a valuable asset to the agency. He is assigned to the Patrol Bureau and has responsibilities as a Field Training Officer (FTO), Tactical Flight Officer (TFO), and for the majority of the year, a Mounted Patrol Deputy. Vleck is recognized for his proficiency in his various assignments. Specialty units routinely rely on him to help locate suspects because of his vast knowledge of prolific offenders in this community.

Corrections Deputy of the Year, Dep. Donald Bennett, has a vast knowledge of jail operations and a tireless work ethic that is emulated by his squad. Bennett mentored several new deputies last year and continually makes suggestions to help Corrections operate efficiently and in a safer manner. Bennett is also a senior member of the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) and is a training coordinator.

Civilian Employee of the Year, Investigative Aide Lynn Thomson, was recognized for her dedication to the Pharmaceutical Diversion Investigative Unit (PDIU) and the professional dedication and dogged determination that led to the arrest of the ringleader and 75 local defendants in Operation Main Pain. This 2 ½ year investigation included 220 fraudulent prescriptions for 19,980 Oxycodone pills that were diverted from legitimate medical use, with a street value of about $300,000.

Emergency Medical/Emergency Fire/Emergency Police Dispatch Quality Assurance Award was given to Operator Stephanie Franklin. The award is based on the combination of overall quality assurance scores, the number of calls audited and scores on pre-arrival instructions. Franklin demonstrated outstanding performance while handling emergency medical and fire calls, scoring 99.95% on all calls reviewed by quality assurance coordinators.

Sheriff Knight said, "It is difficult to distinguish yourself in an agency with nearly 1,000 employees, but these four people have performed exemplary service and it is an honor to recognize them for their hard work, dedication and leadership."

SSO 2013 Employees of the Year 1280x853

From left: Dep. Ray Vleck, Investigative Aide Lynn Thomson,
Operator Stephanie Franklin, Dep. Donald Bennett and Sheriff Tom Knight