News


FDLE members recognized for exceptional performance

6/23/2015
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Department of Law Enforcement members from throughout the state were honored in Tallahassee for their outstanding performances during 2014. 
 
“FDLE annual award winners were selected from more than 200 deserving nominations,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen.  “FDLE members are professionals who are dedicated to public safety and the state of Florida.  These winners represent the best within FDLE, Florida and the nation.”  
 
Award winners are as follows:
 
Commissioner’s Award Winner – Senior Crime Laboratory Analyst Amy George, Tallahassee Regional Operations Center
 
In 2014, Senior Crime Laboratory Analyst Amy George processed a third of the crime scenes that FDLE labs processed.  When her unit faced staffing shortages, she routinely volunteered to help cover analyst shifts and take additional on-call assignments. 
 
Special Agent of the Year – Special Agent Dennis Haley, Pensacola Regional Operations Center
 
Special Agent Haley lends his expertise solving cold case homicides throughout the Panhandle and beyond.  In 2014, his assistance led to six arrests on four cold cases.  Among the cases Agent Haley worked on include  the 1991 murder of Buddy Phelps in Okaloosa County, the 1998 murder of Jewel Summerlin Melvin in Crestview and the 2006 murder of Roy Dale Oliver from Lawrenceville, Ala.  Agent Haley’s FDLE career began in the Key West Field Office in 1985.  He transferred to Pensacola in 1991.   
 
Forensic Scientist of the Year – Senior Crime Laboratory Analyst Vicki Bellino, Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center
 
Senior Crime Laboratory Analyst Vicki Bellino is a biologist in the DNA/Biology section in Tampa.  Last year, she exceeded her performance expectation by 400 percent and completed her cases in an average of 41 days compared with the state average of 81 days and state standard of 111 days. 
 
Capitol Police Officer of the Year– Law Enforcement Officer Cherry Martina
 
As a field training officer, Cherry Martina is an excellent role model, committed to FDLE Capitol Police, always looking for improvement while working to mentor younger officers. 
 
Distinguished Member of the Year – Senior Management Analyst II Julie Johnson, Office of Human Resources, Tallahassee
 
Senior Management Analyst Julie Johnson is FDLE’s alternate safety coordinator. In that role, she oversaw the Safety Manual revision and the creation of the Safety Officer Training Guide.  She also created a subcommittee to revise FDLE’s Bloodborne Pathogens and Toxic Substance training programs. 
 
Distinguished Support Member of the Year – Government Analyst II Diana Trahan, Tallahassee 
 
Diana Trahan is a member of FDLE’s Business Support Division and is a team leader in the contracts unit.  She has created a template to simplify procedures and reduce paperwork.  She developed contract process guidelines for managers and tips to assist in maximizing use of the vendor bid system. 
 
Excellence in Leadership – Firearm Purchase Program Supervisor Robin Sparkman, FDLE Criminal Justice Information Services, Tallahassee
 
Members of the state’s Firearm Purchase Program made great strides improving customer service and telephone hold times for firearms dealers requesting background checks.  Senior Management Analyst Supervisor Robin Sparkman supervises the program.  Black Friday weekend 2014 was the busiest on record and November 28, 2014 was the third busiest day in the history of the Firearm Purchase Program.  In past years, hold times could exceed 30 minutes, but in 2014, the average hold time for dealers was 3 minutes and 23 seconds.  Ms. Sparkman also increased the focus for dealer outreach establishing a formalized training for dealers and implementing a formalized training plan for new members. 
 
Distinguished Team of the Year – Office of General Counsel’s Public Records Unit, Tallahassee:
Assistant General Counsel Janine Robinson
Operations and Management Consultant Manager Dana Kelly
Government Operations Consultant II Jennifer Bates
Administrative Assistant I Donna Overfield
Staff Assistant Kristi Kessling
Administrative Secretary Lorie Davis
Inspector Phil Lindley
 
The Public Records Unit processed more than 3,000 public records requests in 2014, an increase in over 50 percent from 2012.  The unit is charged with identifying records, locating and compiling them and redacting all confidential and exempt information.  Some requests only involve a single case file, but many encompass thousands of pages each having to be reviewed and redacted for exemptions.  By the end of 2014, workload increased 138 percent from 2009 levels.  In addition to public records, other duties include Capitol Collateral death penalty litigation, public records-related civil and criminal litigation and assisting with media inquiries. 
 
Innovation of the Year – Driver’s License Photo Sharing Initiative
Harrison Rivers
John Forrest
Nathan Folkert
Grant Jacobs
Jeff Pigott
Steve Evett
Tony Krivoshein
JD Ross
Christopher Larry
Larry Coffee
Robyn Randall
Courtney Amison
Tony Pun
Craig Gibbens
Joaquin Sabater
Brinson Tatum
 
The Driver’s License Photo Sharing Initiative streamlined delivery of Florida driver license photos on law enforcement inquiries.  Easy and quick access to photos helps law enforcement officers make identifications.  Prior to the photo sharing initiative, officers had to query separate systems to obtain photos and photos were unavailable to out-of-state agencies.  Now officers only need to query one system and photos are available to out-of-state law enforcement agencies. 
 
Contribution to Criminal Justice – Regional Legal Advisor David Margolis, Orlando Regional Operations Center and Regional Legal Advisor Jackie Boswell, Miami Regional Operations Center
 
Regional Legal Advisors David Margolis and Jackie Boswell handled the complex forfeiture cases from “Operation Reveal the Deal.”  The multi-jurisdictional investigation resulted in 57 arrests and 16 civil forfeiture cases encompassing bank accounts, investment accounts, property, vehicles and a yacht.  Margolis and Boswell spent countless hours reviewing the cases, researching the laws, drafting legal analyses and developing legal strategy. 
 
The Commissioner’s Award, Special Agent of the Year, Forensic Scientist of the Year and Excellence in Leadership recipients were recognized with resolutions by the Cabinet today in Tallahassee.  All award winners were honored during a ceremony Monday at FDLE headquarters.
 
For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Samantha Andrews, Molly Best or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001