Sheriff Tom Knight Holds Awards Ceremony

NEWS RELEASE 18-177 - NOVEMBER 1, 2018 
Property Group Photos    Training Group Photo
Property & Evidence Section                                                                                              Training Unit
Sheriff Tom Knight presented two Unit Citation awards during a ceremony Wednesday to recognize employees who have demonstrated exemplary service to their colleagues and community.
The Property and Evidence Section received the Unit Citation Award for their efforts to relocate and completely reorganize approximately 100,000 pieces of property and evidence into the new sheriff's office headquarters in the fall of 2017. To ensure the move was successful, personnel worked to research, destroy, organize and inventory all items within the property section, which included condensing 133 homicide cases. Property officers boxed more than 6,300 items of homicide evidence for long-term storage and inventoried nearly 2,500 cold case homicide items. Property officers were also tasked with the closing of the south county property office which required a mass purging of items approved for disposal. In addition, personnel inventoried, purged and relocated items from five storage units which saved the agency more than $6,000. In 2017, personnel received more than 24,000 items and released more than 12,000 items, which is almost 10,000 more than the previous year. The Property and Evidence Section is recognized for their dedication and commitment of duties while continuing to provide service internally, to the State Attorney and Public Defender’s offices, as well as the citizens of Sarasota County.
The Training Section also received the Unit Citation Award for their outstanding efforts in 2017 to accomplish several major projects including: the hosting of two full semesters of in-service training; facilitating two separate firearms qualifications for more than 150 retirees; hosting more than 60 children during the agency’s Rightful Policing Strategy Workshop programs; facilitating two rifle schools, a firearms instructor course, a PIT training and two ATV classes; participating in two presentations for the Citizen’s Law Enforcement Academy; instructing 10 new hire driver training and crash avoidance classes; teaching nine Crisis Intervention Training classes; coordinating the Special Olympics Torch Run; expanding availability for PAT testing and open shoot events; facilitating voluntary fitness testing for nearly 600 employees, and much more. All of these accomplishments took place while the Training Unit experienced the relocation and remodeling of the agency’s south office along with the closing and condensing of the Englewood training center, a training storage site and armory, and an administrative office on Siesta Key. The Training Section moved into the south office during reconstruction and while logistics were not always conducive for learning and instruction, the Training Section ensured all personnel still met their training requirements in a comfortable and professional environment. Personnel also assisted with the relocation of the Property and Evidence Section from the north office to the agency’s headquarters and supervised work crews as construction at multiple locations took place. The Training Section is also recognized for the vital role they played in both training newly hired school safety deputies as well as school guardians. The guardian training was completely new and had to be created from scratch to include coursework in human diversity, use of force, legal issues, defensive tactics and firearms. While ensuring the agency’s training requirements were maintained, the Training Section continued to hone their own skills by earning certifications in: Advanced Instructor Techniques; Radar-Laser Instruction; First Aid Instruction; Hospital Security; Tactical First Aid; How to properly use a Quik Clot wound pack; Taser Instructor recertification and firearms instructor recertification. Based on their tireless efforts to provide the best in service to their colleagues and community, the Training Section is recognized with a Unit Citation award.
"This is an exciting day as we are recognizing two groups of personnel who are crucial to our operations," said Sheriff Tom Knight. "When citizens think about law enforcement, they often think of the uniformed deputy driving the patrol car but to think about the folks behind-the-scenes, coordinating property and evidence submissions; training personnel who help them prepare for the job and return home safely at night; this is a 24/7/365 operation and the folks we recognized are a vital part of what keeps us up and running.”