Saturday, February 24, 2018
Public safety

Pasco Sheriff's Office employees honored for their work in the field

The announcement came unexpected. Labor pains rushed over the inmate. There was no way to get to the hospital in time. The baby would have to be born in the Pasco County jail.

The inmate was taken to the jail's infirmary, where nurses had an emergency kit for these rare cases. It was the first time in the jail's 20 years they'd have to use it.

On-site nurses Joseph Filippelli and Cindy Bell went to work, Filippelli cradling the baby's head while the inmate pushed. Bell snipped the umbilical cord and cleared the baby's nose and mouth.

At 6:27 a.m. Sept. 22, they delivered the first baby ever born at the Land O'Lakes jail, a healthy boy.

Filippelli and Bell were honored Wednesday morning with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office Meritorious Service Medal for Accomplishment.

They and 24 others were recognized at the sheriff's third-quarter swearing-in and awards ceremony.

Other awards

The Sheriff's Special Service Award

Lt. Troy Fergueson was honored for 18 months of coordinating with the Republican National Convention's Public Safety Committee as the chief liaison for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. He helped develop the 50-member Special Incident Response Team. As part of his efforts, Pasco deputies were praised for their support of the RNC.

Lt. Charles Balderstone, Lt. Rod Bishop, Sgt. Jeff Peake, and Detectives Anthony Bossone, William Elders and Sam Pepenella were lauded for their years-long development of the agency's computer forensic system. The team underwent hundreds of hours of computer training and requested software to help them sift through computer and cell phone data to crack child pornography, drug trafficking and murder cases. The team has helped in 85 cases since June 2011 and have even received requests from the U.S. Secret Service for help.

Incentive Awards

• Paul Rivera, an information technology specialist, was recognized for his knowledge and efficiency in the agency as well as a positive attitude.

Detention Deputy Niki Scroggins was recognized for her enthusiasm at her job and for motivating fellow deputies.

Field Training Officer Adam Cinelli was honored for his tenacity in traffic enforcement, making 179 arrests this year, 81 of them on driving under the influence charges.

Meritorious Service Award for Accomplishment

Detective David Boyer was lauded for his work in the Missing Persons Unit, bringing cold cases to light and solving cases. In one of his more recent cases, he developed new leads in the case of an unidentified body found in an orange grove in San Antonio. He worked with the forensics unit to rehydrate tattoos on the body to reveal more about the identity of the victim.

Detectives William Brooks and Keith Bennett, who work in the agency's fugitive warrants unit, were commended for supporting other deputies in their district and executing nearly 1,000 warrants in the past year.

Deputies Andrew Denbo and Elissa Elders and citizen Pete Hamilton were honored for saving the lives of two canoeists earlier this year whose boat capsized on the Withlacoochee River. Hamilton managed to bring one of the people to shore and brought the other to a sandbar where the deputies brought them to safety.

Deputy Steven Napoleon saved a suicidal man's life in July by stopping the man from running into traffic on U.S. 19.

Cpl. Christopher Joyal was lauded for giving CPR to a man who was having a heart attack in July. He called paramedics, who used a defibrillator to resuscitate the man and save his life.

Field Training Officer Nicholas Magill was honored for preventing a man from drowning in August. The man had lost consciousness behind the wheel of his truck due to diabetic shock and crashed into a water-filled ditch. Magill pried the truck's door open and pulled the man to safety.

• Retiring Sgt. Gordon Larkin Jr. was commended for 27 years with the agency, serving as a bailiff, detective and a member of the SWAT team. Notably, he survived being shot in the head by a felon during a 2002 SWAT operation.

Joseph Frontz was honored for 24 years with the agency, serving as a road patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, road patrol lieutenant and district captain.

Rebecca Beebe was lauded for 31 years with the agency, working her way up from an administrative secretary to become the agency's first criminal analyst. Last year she was promoted to be the director of the Records and Report Management Section.

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