Sheriff Mike Williams hosted the 2019 Annual Meritorious Awards Ceremony Thursday, February 21, 2019 in the Police Memorial Building’s Assembly Hall. This annual ceremony honors employees from each of the six categories who were recognized throughout the previous year.
The Merit Board, which is made up of the agency’s Chiefs, selects the honorees based on their previous recognition as well as their continued contributions since they were first recognized.
Also, at the event, the Sheriff recognized Charles and Virginia Shinholser as his selection for the 2019 “Citizen of the Year” honorees.
Those JSO employees recognized at the ceremony are:
"Police Officer of the Year” – Undercover Detective
Investigations Division / Intelligence
Sponsored by: Nimnicht Chevrolet
This undercover detective earned the title as JSO's 2019 "Police Officer of the Year" for his work in stopping a potential mass shooting at a local Mosque. This honoree was credited for his initiative and taking charge to deflate the situation that could have been detrimental to our community.
"Corrections Officer of the Year" - Corrections Officer Hector Gutierrez Nichols
Jails Division / Pre-Trial Detention Facility
Sponsored by: JM Family Enterprises, Inc.
Gutierrez received recognition in this category for helping one of our criminal justice partners by providing testimony when a case went to trial. Ultimately, the defendant was found guilty of attempted sexual battery.
"Civilian Employee of the Year" - Public Safety Analyst Supervisor Jay Duguay
Investigations Division / Crime Analysis
Sponsored by: Alhambra Theatre & Dining
Duguay received this honor for his involvement in numerous high-level agency initiatives including: identifying the high density areas where the cameras are installed for ShotSpotter® and assisting with the NIBIN data.
"Reserve Officer of the Year" - Reserve Lieutenant Murray Kramer
Patrol Support Division / Police Reserves
Sponsored by: Fraternal Order of Police Associates, 5-30
Kramer, who oversees JSO's SWAT Medic Program, was recognized for his commitment to making Jacksonville a safer place to live through his work as a reservist. In 2018, he volunteered more than 2,500 hours.
For more information about becoming a Reserve Officer please visit: www.joinjso.com
"Police Supervisor of the Year" - Police Sergeant Ira White
Patrol Division / Zone 5
Sponsored by: Stein Mart, Inc.
White earned the title of JSO's "Police Supervisor of the Year" for his leadership role during two robbery cases that occurred just days apart in August 2017.
"Corrections Supervisor of the Year" - Corrections Sergeant Nick Bliss
Professional Standards Division / Corrections Inspections
Sponsored by: First Coast Security
Bliss received this honor for his assistance with the preparations for recent law enforcement and corrections accreditation assessments. These assessments are important as they help to improve and maintain standards among public safety agencies.
"Citizen of the Year" Honorees - Charles and Virginia Shinholser
Northeast Florida Concerns of Police Survivors
Sheriff Williams recognized Mr. Charles Shinholser and posthumously recognized his wife, Virginia as JSO's 2019 "Citizen of the Year" honorees for their dedication to helping families and colleagues of fallen officers in Northeast Florida through the local chapter of the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).
Following the in the line-of-duty death of their son in 1988, this couple carried on his legacy through their work with C.O.P.S.
At the ceremony Sheriff Williams said, "The Shinholsers are the epitome of a great partnership. The two worked as a team to help families devastated by the unexpected loss of their loved one." He went on to say, "If you say the name 'Shinholser' in the hallways here at police headquarters, someone will probably tell you a story about their interaction with this special couple and how they impacted their lives."
Also, at the Annual Meritorious Awards Ceremony, Sheriff Williams recognized the sponsors who support JSO's programs each year.
- Alhambra Theatre & Dining (unable to attend)
- Ameris Bank
- First Coast Security
- Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 5-30 (unable to attend)
- G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc. (sponsor from 2013 - 2018)
- Genesis Financial Partners
- Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront
- JM Family Enterprises, Inc.
- The Justice Coalition
- Nimnicht Chevrolet
- Publix Super Markets
- Stein Mart, Inc.
Photo Caption: Sheriff Mike Williams (left) recognizes Charles Shinholser (right) and posthumously recognizes his wife, Virginia as JSO's 2019 "Citizen of the Year" honorees.