Sheriff Tom Knight Holds Award Ceremony

NEWS RELEASE #: 16-151

Sheriff Tom Knight presented several awards during a ceremony Thursday to recognize employees who have demonstrated exemplary service to the community.

Deputies Ben Smith and Clark Davidson received the Heroic Achievement Award for their selfless acts of bravery after responding to a home engulfed in flames and smoke. When deputies arrived, they were advised that two people could still be inside, so when they couldn't gain access to the front of the residence, they ran to the back of the home and attempted to make entry. The deputies heard a woman screaming and were able to guide her to the back door to release the lock. While the home continued to engulf in fire and smoke, Deputy Smith safely guided the woman outside while Deputy Davidson ran to the back of the house to save the woman's elderly, wheelchair-bound mother. Deputies Smith and Davison are credited with preserving the life of a mother and daughter who were in imminent danger.

Deputies James Achille and Mariah Piper received the Life Saving Award for saving the life of a man who overdosed on heroin. Deputy Achille was first to arrive and assed the patient for signs of life. After observing the man's lack of breathing and lack of pulse, Deputy Achille deployed his agency-issued Naloxone injector and immediately began administering CPR. When Deputy Piper arrived on scene, the patient was still non-responsive. Deputy Piper then administered a second injection, but it did not deploy properly due to the patient's positioning. The deputies continued to administer CPR and since the man still wasn't showing signs of life, Deputy Piper administered a third Naloxone injection. They continued to render CPR to the patient until EMS arrived. As the victim was transported to the hospital, he regained consciousness. The Sarasota County Fire Department credits Deputies Achille and Piper for their efforts in saving the man's life.

Deputy Stephen Brown received the Life Saving Award for stopping a man's attempt to commit suicide. While Deputy Brown was working along the University Parkway corridor, he came across a man in a parking lot who was leaning against a bike rack with a large knife in his right hand. When the man slumped over and dropped the knife, Deputy Brown noticed several self-inflicted cuts on his arms and legs. The man advised he had consumed two 5ml bottles of Delsym prior to cutting himself. Deputy Brown continued rendering aid and kept the man awake until EMS arrived. The man was transported to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center where doctors confirmed Deputy Brown's efforts helped preserve his life.

Deputies Adam Maio and Dustin Bell received the Life Saving Award for successfully intervening in a man's attempt to commit suicide. Deputies responded to a welfare check after the victim's girlfriend reported he made suicidal statements. When deputies arrived, and no one answered the front door, they made entrance through the rear of the home. Deputies searched room by room and finally found the victim in the last bedroom's closet. When deputies saw the victim had already acted on his suicidal threats by hanging himself, they rushed to safely bring the unconscious man to the ground. As the deputies removed the victim's restraint, he appeared to begin breathing, but also began seizing for a few seconds. Shortly after, he regained full consciousness and was taken by EMS to the hospital. Deputies Maio and Bell are credited with giving the man a second chance at life.

Deputies Wayne Murphy and Carrie Luce received the Life Saving Award for saving a man who overdosed on heroin. While Deputy Wayne Murphy was working a traffic crash on Cattlemen Road in Sarasota, he was summoned by a gentleman in a nearby parking lot who came across an unconscious man in a car. Deputy Murphy, with the witness' help, was able to quickly remove the man from the car and begin administering CPR. He also contacted the Sarasota County Fire Department, called for backup, and communicated with the victim's girlfriend. Deputy Murphy learned that the patient was addicted to opiates and had recently used heroin. Deputy Carrie Luce arrived and assisted by deploying her agency-issued Naloxone auto-injector. The patient quickly regained consciousness and was transported to Doctor's Hospital. Deputies Murphy and Luce are credited with helping save the man's life.

Civil Sergeant Ricky Beasley and Supervisor Lori Callahan received the Meritorious Achievement Award for developing a more time efficient, secure method to issuing subpoenas. Over the past several months, they have been researching a more efficient way to serve subpoenas to law enforcement personnel so they could, in turn, issue the subpoenas in a more secure and timely manner. In the past, subpoenas for law enforcement agencies were delivered by Civil Unit Process Servers and then picked up once they were served by agency members. While this method worked, Sgt. Beasley and Callahan recognized there was room for improvement. Their idea to digitalize this process via electronic delivery led to a pilot program where State Attorney's Office subpoenas are now served to SCSO personnel via email. This program was launched in February 2016 and has been met with great success. In the future, the electronic service of subpoenas will be expanded to include the Public Defender's Office and eventually to all law enforcement agencies operating in Sarasota County.