JACKSONVILLE, FL (February 22, 2016) - On Thursday, February 18, 2016 Sheriff Mike Williams hosted the 2016 "Of the Year" awards ceremony in the Police Memorial Building's Assembly Hall. This annual ceremony recognizes one honoree from seven categories who were all recognized during calendar year 2015, and voted on by the Merit Board of the agency to be honored as "the best of the best".
Photo Caption: Sheriff Williams (left) presents the 2016 "Citizen of the Year" award to Kent Stermon, COO/CFO for Total Military Management.
Sheriff Williams opened the annual event by pointing out the black eye that he "earned" during the inaugural Ballin' 4 PAL Charity Basketball game just days before. To learn more about this event please click here
The Sheriff explained what the Merit Board members look for when selecting an award recipient in the "Of the Year" honors, such as "which honorees continued to make meritorious contributions to the agency since they were first recognized?"
“This ceremony stands for everything our employees believe in and strive for each day. It represents our mission which is ‘to serve and protect in partnership with the community’ and that ladies and gentlemen is what you will hear today with these stories about how each of these recipients earned recognition during the year AND distinguished themselves for today’s honor,” he said before announcing the following honorees:
“Police Officer of the Year” – Undercover Detective (Name Not Revealed)
Homeland Security Division / Gang Investigations Unit
Sponsored by: Nimnicht Chevrolet
An undercover detective was recognized as JSO’s 2016 “Police Officer of the Year” for his work during a 19-month long drug investigation and a Racketeering Influence Corrupt Organization (RICO) investigation. The investigation rendered 23 total arrests and the seizure of six vehicles and nearly $29,000.
At this time, some of the suspects have pled guilty and were either sentenced to state prison or are awaiting sentencing; or were adjudicated guilty and sentenced.
“Corrections Officer of the Year” – Corrections Officer Marshall C. Smith
Prisons Division / Community Transition Center
Sponsored by: JM Family Enterprises, Inc.
Corrections Officer Smith (see photo)
received the 2016 “Corrections Officer of the Year” award for his work removing contraband from inmate housing facilities and for assisting with cases by providing detectives with valuable criminal intelligence.
In one instance, Smith translated a message that an inmate was attempting to conceal by utilizing Hebrew script. This message allowed jail personnel to take the appropriate measures without letting onto the inmate that his code had been deciphered.
Smith is also “dual certified,” meaning he can process arrestees and inmates who are charged in other crimes, without a sworn officer having to come into the jail to handle that process.
“Civilian Employee of the Year” – Vocational Training Specialist Travis G. Bowles
Prisons Division/ Montgomery Correctional Center
Sponsored by: Alhambra Theatre & Dining
Vocational Training Specialist Travis Bowles (see photo)
was recognized as the 2016 “Civilian
Employee of the Year” for his dedication to providing training to inmates in various trades and for supervising projects that help support the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and other governmental entities. In 2014, Bowles and the inmates he supervises completed more than 140 projects and in 2015 they continued on the same track by completing 135 projects and repairs that would have be very costly if they were handled by vendors.
Some of the projects that Bowles and his work crew assisted with include making repairs and renovations to JSO’s SWAT trailer; creating an awning at the entrance of the Police Evidence warehouse; and constructing ADA Cane Detector rails for the City of Jacksonville. The utilization of inmate labor for projects such as these saved the taxpayers thousands of dollars.
They have also assisted with projects at the Jacksonville National Cemetery and for non-profit organizations, such as the Police Athletic League and the Sulzbacher Center.
“Reserve Officer of the Year” – Reserve Officer Bill Coyle
Community Affairs Division / Reserve Unit
Sponsored by: G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc.
Reserve Officer Bill Coyle (see photo)
received the 2016 “Reserve Officer of the Year” award for rendering aid to an undercover narcotics sergeant struck by a vehicle during a buy bust operation in July 2015.The sergeant went airborne and then landed on the ground behind the vehicle that hit him.
Reservist Coyle applied direct pressure to the back of the injured sergeant’s head in an effort to stop the bleeding. While rendering aid to the disoriented officer they heard several gun shots close by their location. This is when Reservist Coyle shielded the sergeant with his own body to ensure that he was not struck by any bullets.
For additional information about the case please visit JSO’s newsroom at:
For more information about becoming a Reserve Officer please visit www.joinjso.com.
Police Sergeant Christopher King (see photo)
was honored at the
ceremony as the 2016 “Police Supervisor of the Year” for his leadership and dedication to the JSO Bomb Squad and for supporting the mission of the Homeland Security Division by being part of multi-jurisdictional programs and exercises.
King serves on the advisory board for the Department of Health’s Biological Watch Program; on the board for the State of Florida’s Preventative Radiological Nuclear Detection Program; and was elected by the Southern Regional Bomb Squad Commanders to serve on the National Bomb Squad Commander’s Advisory Board.
At the ceremony, Sheriff Williams thanked Chris for taking on these two important roles in the agency and for being a liaison with our partners and a nationally recognized expert in his field.
“Corrections Supervisor of the Year” – Corrections Sergeant Richard Long
Prisons Division / Montgomery Correctional Center
Sponsored by: First Coast Security Services, Inc.
JSO’s 2016 “Corrections Supervisor of the Year” Corrections Richard Long (see photo)
was honored for implementing the inmate-led K-9 training program at the prison known as “A New Leash on Life,” and for launching the alterations program at the prison that is supported through the inmate labor.
Both programs teach valuable life skills to the incarcerated population including team work, responsibility, patience and job skills.
As of August 2015, more than 6,750 garment alterations had been completed at the prison, and this program is estimated to save JSO more than $32,000 a year in alterations expenses.
“Six Pillars of Character Employee of the Year” – Police Officer Misty Turner
Patrol and Enforcement Division / Zone 6
Sponsored by: the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
Police Officer Misty Turner was presented with the 2016 “Six Pillars of Character Employee of the Year” award for her dedication to making sure special children in our community are given the same opportunities regardless of their disabilities.
Photo Caption: Sheriff Williams (left) presents the 2016 "Six Pillars of Character" award to Police Officer Misty Turner.
“Citizen of the Year” – Kent Stermon
Chief Operating Officer / Chief Financial Officer, Total Military Management
Sheriff Williams presented his first “Citizen of the Year” award as Sheriff of Duval County to Kent Stermon, chief operating officer/ chief financial officer at Total Military Management, for his commitment to the morale, welfare and recreation of the men and women of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Police Athletic League
During his presentation Sheriff Williams said, “There are no limits to the support that Kent provides to the men and women of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Police Athletic League but the truth is, I probably don’t know HALF of what he has done – privately and out of pocket, helping people he doesn’t even know that might need assistance, simple because they are part of JSO.”
Following the recognition of the “Employee of the Year” recipients in their respective categories and the 2016 “Citizen of the Year”, Sheriff Williams recognized the sponsors who support JSO’s programs each year.
The Sheriff also recognized the sponsors from 2015 who make JSO’s Meritorious Awards Program possible throughout the year:
Photo Caption: From left to right: Mike Dungey from Nimnicht Chevrolet; Sheriff Mike Williams; Jamie Ostry from First Coast Security Services; Erick Lallemand and Roger Sulimirski from G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc.
Please click below for
Alhambra Theatre & Dining
Ameris Bank (unable to attend)
Coggin Honda on Atlantic (unable to attend)
First Coast Security Services, Inc.
Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 5-30
G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc.
Genesis Financial Partners (unable to attend)
The Justice Coalition
McDonald’s Jacksonville Co-Op (unable to attend)
Publix Super Markets
Ruth’s Chris Steak House (unable to attend)
Stein Mart, Inc. (unable to attend)