The Pasco County Sheriff's Office honored its employees of the year at a banquet Friday at the Palace Grand in Spring Hill. The winners were:
Civilian of the Year
Child protective investigator Kori Roberts, 25, received this award for her dedication in a child neglect case. The Sheriff's Office said she worked long hours making sure the child received the needed medical care, and she drove the child to an appointment when no one else could. She secured funding for treatment not covered by Medicaid. Roberts "went above and beyond in the provision of services to this family," a news release states. "She spent many hours over several weeks coordinating with multiple medical professionals and community agencies to ensure the child received the necessary medical care."
Law Enforcement Deputy of the Year
Deputy James Berberich, 27, a patrol deputy who works the midnight shift in Holiday, received this award for the quality and quantity of his investigations that have led to arrests. He was commended for his use of intelligence-led policing, an approach where agencies gather information and share it within their departments and with other local, state and federal agencies. Berberich has been instrumental in solving pawned stolen property and burglary cases, among others.
Detention Deputy of the Year
Cpl. Lenny Crispino, 47, was lauded for his "meticulous organization skills" and his "highest security awareness," according to the news release. As a corporal at the Pasco jail, he is in charge of the facility's locks, guns and the inmate labor unit, which recently built the agency's new aviation unit hangar and the K-9 kennel. He also spearheaded a computerized key program, which will help emergency personnel who respond to the facility and might not be familiar with the layout.
Detective of the Year
This year, two detectives received the award: Janet Raybuck and Janet Pascalli.
These two detectives were recognized for their work in busting a large drug ring. The investigation began as two separate ones, but as each detective discovered more, they realized the cases were connected. By working together, the detectives identified more than 100 suspects who were fraudulently obtaining oxycodone in and around Pasco County, the Sheriff's Office said. The drugs were being sold in Tennessee and Kentucky. "After consulting with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney's Office, it was decided that the case would be prosecuted federally," the news release states. The results were arrests of more than 64 suspects on state charges, and 28 suspects being federally indicted, including two pharmacists and a pharmacy owner, authorities said. "Their investigation revealed the trafficking of more than 400,000 oxycodone pills with a local value of $4 million and an out-of-state value of $12 million," the release says.
Law Enforcement Field Training Officer of the Year
Cpl. Michael Shoup, 34, is a veteran training officer who teaches from his experience, having worked in narcotics and patrol units as well as the street crimes division, the Sheriff's Office states. "During his off-time, Cpl. Shoup accepted the task of contacting numerous other law enforcement agencies within Florida for a comparison of the other agencies' (Field Training Officer) program to determine if and how we could improve our own program," the news release states.
Detention Field Training Officer of the Year
Deputy Christopher Wieck, 33, was recognized for his "excellent interpersonal skills, which is important" when training deputies, the Sheriff's Office said. He uses "his skills and experience to find the correct approach to support them in becoming better detention deputies," the news release states. "He is always supportive, never demeaning and ensures the trainee maintains his or her personal and professional dignity and respect. ... This helps to ensure a high professional standard of detention deputies at our agency." Wieck was also a recipient in 2010 of the agency's lifesaving award for his work in saving a suicidal inmate.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6229.