PUNTA GORDA, FL. - Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell announced the 2012 officers and civilian employee of the year at a recent luncheon at Portofino’s Restaurant in Charlotte Harbor.
Named as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year was District-4 Deputy First Class William Miller; Corrections Officer of the Year, CDFC Garland Collins; and Civilian employee of the year, Communications Administrator Melanie Bailey.
Sheriff Prummell commented on Community Policing Officer DFC Miller’s assistance in solving several cases last year to include nighttime business burglaries and daytime residential thefts. Sheriff Prummell said, “DFC Miller is in touch with the community and is able to get tasks accomplished quickly. He does this a lot of the time while on his bike patrol which includes the Parkside area of Port Charlotte. He has diligently worked hard to improve the quality of life for the citizens of our county and is commended for his efforts and being the 2012 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.”
Concerning the Corrections Officer of the Year, Sheriff Prummell said, “Corrections DFC Collins demonstrated a strong commitment to our core values of integrity, professionalism, and trust. This is evident in not only his actions, but the consistency of those actions. CDFC Collins strives to challenge himself and his abilities on a daily basis. His self-initiative, knowledge of inmate behavior, and rapport with inmates has resulted in multiple finds of contraband. These range from tobacco and tattooing paraphernalia to cocaine and homemade weapons. Many of these finds have resulted in additional criminal charges as well as in-house disciplinary sanctions. He has prevented the introduction of contraband into the jail thus contributing to the safety of both staff and inmates. CDFC Collins commitment to the agency is exemplary.”
The Civilian of the Year honors went to Melanie Bailey. Sheriff Prummell said, “Melanie was covering a position for a shift supervisor and answered a 911 call with the caller reporting the possible drowning of a baby. The caller was frantic and upset; his speech was not clear on the phone as he spoke with an accent. Melanie was able to determine this was occurring in North Port on a street off Cranberry Boulevard. She transferred the call to Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and remained on the phone, passing information to their 911 Operator. She listened to the conversation to make sure the call was transferred properly. After hanging up, Melanie did not feel comfortable with the call and her instincts were telling her something did not sound right. She had another operator call North Port Police to give them a heads up regarding this call and started searching for the street on ‘Google’ and found the correct street and spelling. She called SCSO back and learned they dispatched units to a street in the opposite direction of the drowning. Sarasota re-routed their ambulance to the correct location; the child was picked up and taken to a hospital. Following up on this call, it was learned that the child survived. If it was not for Melanie’s instincts and ‘gut feeling’ this child may not have survived.”