FDLE honors new member, support staff, lifetime achievement winners


For Immediate Release

August 24, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) this week honored four local members at the agency’s Annual Awards program.
  • Ryan Nielsen, a telecommunications consultant, was named the agency’s Outstanding New Member.
  • Sandra Dickey was named the agency’s Distinguished Support Member of the Year.
  • Jerilyn Ammons, a systems programming administrator, and Ruthie James, a criminal justice information examiner, were awarded lifetime achievement awards.
Nielsen, who works in the Office of Statewide Investigative Services, joined FDLE in 2022 and quickly demonstrated his capabilities, organizational skills and motivation by successfully managing the agency's radio transition project. He effectively managed the logistics and deployment of more than 2,500 new radios statewide, including vehicle installations.
Nielsen also managed the deployment of communication units and a mobile emergency communications tower during Hurricane Ian, assisted in the integration of new radios in the aviation fleet and worked towards modernizing the aviation video downlink system. Nielsen has received accolades from colleagues around the state and he has built strong relationships with state partners and counterparts in the communication industry, solidifying FDLE's leadership role in emergency communications.
“All state agencies were on the cusp of a $12 million agency radio transition, which involved moving to new equipment and a new infrastructure.  This would be a massive statewide logistical challenge, yet being two months into his new role Ryan didn’t miss a step,” wrote his nominator for the award.
Dickey is a government analyst in the Criminal Justice Professionalism division, which provides technical support and direction to 494 criminal justice agencies.
During 2021 and 2022, the Officer Records Section experienced an unprecedented staff shortage with two vacancies that were unable to be successfully filled and a third member who was promoted to another position, leaving a third vacancy.  Because of this turnover, Dickey was the only member in the Officer Records Section from May 2022 through the end of the year.  While several members of the Professionalism Division assisted in Officer Records, she was the only full-time member and covered the majority of the state. 
Dickey was responsible for 58 percent of all calls received by the Officer Records Section in 2022, handling 5,460 telephone calls for assistance from criminal justice agencies, training schools, and citizens out of a total of 9,426 telephone calls received by the Officer Records Section in 2022.   
“During the entire year, Sandra maintained a positive attitude, never complaining about the work load demands asked of her. Throughout the year, she was able to maintain the high level of service and quality that agency and training center personnel have come to expect from the Officer Records Section.  During this challenging time, she exhibited professionalism at its best,” wrote her nominator.  
Ammons was cited for her 43 years with the agency’s Information Technology Services division where she has held a variety of leadership positions, including software developer, systems analyst, project manager, section manager, and bureau chief.
In each role, she demonstrated her ability to lead and motivate teams, deliver high-quality technology solutions, and work effectively with FDLE divisions, law enforcement agencies and other state and federal entities to meet their needs. Ammons is recognized as one of FDLE’s most knowledgeable resources regarding the Florida Crime Information Center, Florida’s Computerized Criminal History system, and many other software systems FDLE houses and maintains.
“During her 43 years of service to FDLE and the State of Florida, Jerilyn has had a profound impact on the way law enforcement and criminal justice systems have been designed and built. She has been instrumental in the development of innovative software systems that have helped to make communities safer by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement,” her nominator wrote.
James, a 34-year veteran of the agency, works in the agency’s Firearms Purchase Program, where she has worked in many facets of the business, including analyzing criminal history records and completing disposition research.
Her current assignment includes handling inbound calls from licensed firearm dealers in Florida, submitting their background check requests electronically, and providing final decisions back to her callers. James maintains a positive attitude when speaking to callers and ensures her work product is of the highest standard. She is an asset to her peers and management.
“She is an effective communicator who relays to her peers and management whenever any issues are observed within the Firearm Eligibility System (FES).  She has been integral in ensuring system issues are identified and reported when they occur,” her nominator wrote.
For Further Information Contact:
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Priorities

FDLE is composed of five areas: Executive Direction and Business Support, Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science, Criminal Justice Information, Criminal Justice Professionalism and Florida Capitol Police. FDLE’s duties, responsibilities and procedures are mandated through Chapter 943, FS, and Chapter 11, FAC. To learn more about these areas, read our Statement of Agency Organization and Operation or visit our Open Government page.