Sheriff's Office Promotions

News Release #: 17-110

Promotions photo 5-4-17
From left: Sergeant Derek Baker, Lieutenant Chris Perz, Captain Debra Kaspar and Sheriff Tom Knight.

Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight is pleased to announce the promotion of three Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office members.

Lieutenant Debra Kaspar is promoted to the rank of Captain assigned to the Courts and Corrections Division. Kaspar began her career at the sheriff’s office in 1988 as a Public Service Aide. In 1997, she earned her law enforcement certification and became a patrol deputy. While working fulltime, Kaspar earned her bachelor’s degree from Saint Leo University. Throughout her career she worked in various areas including Community Policing, Youth Services, Criminal Investigations and the Pharmaceutical Diversion Unit. In 2006, she was recognized as Deputy of the Year and in 2007, she was nominated by the Attorney General’s Office as School Resource Deputy of the Year. Kaspar earned several other awards and recognitions however, most noteworthy is her distinction as the first female Captain in the history of the sheriff’s office to complete the entire competitive promotional process at the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant and captain.

Sergeant Chris Perz is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant assigned to the Patrol Bureau. Perz started his law enforcement journey in 1999 by attending basic corrections school and earning his law enforcement certification. Hired by the sheriff’s office that same year, Perz worked as a patrol deputy and soon transferred into the K-9 Unit. In 2004, Perz earned a spot on the agency’s SWAT team where he has continued to hone in on advanced training and tactics. During his career, Perz was also assigned to the Training Section, Aviation and Fugitive Apprehension units. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Florida SWAT Association and has received recognition from several surrounding law enforcement agencies for his professionalism and hard work. Perz is also a founding member of the Sarasota K-9 Search and Rescue team.

Deputy Derek Baker is promoted to the rank of Sergeant assigned to the Patrol Bureau. In 2006, Baker was hired by the sheriff’s office as a patrol deputy. In 2010, Baker became a field training officer and soon transferred to the Tactical Unit. In 2014, Baker was assigned to the Special Investigations Section where he worked on several high-profile drug cases. Throughout his career, Baker has been recognized with a Unit Citation Award, Combat Cross Award and commendation letters from surrounding agencies. Baker earned his bachelor’s degree from Hodges University.

“This is a very exciting day for the sheriff’s office,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “These three members are an exceptional representation of our agency and of law enforcement in general. They understand and practice our values of integrity, service, fairness and respect on a daily basis, and I have no doubt they will continue to make this community very proud.”