FDLE members recognized for exceptional performance

For Immediate Release
March 26, 2024
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) members from throughout the state were honored in Tallahassee today for their outstanding performances last year. 
FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass congratulated the award winners for key accomplishments, contributions to criminal justice, money saving ideas and productivity.
FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass said, “From investigating cryptocurrency to rescuing human trafficking victims to crunching crime data, this year’s award recipients are exceptional. These members are leaders and problem solvers and they work hard every day to keep Florida safe.”
Award winners are as follows:
Jose Perez Special Agent of the Year – William Porter, Resident Agent in Charge, Jacksonville Regional Operations Center (JROC), Gainesville Field Office
In July of 2023, then Special Agent William Porter led a law enforcement team in successfully locating and recovering a child that had been transported to Florida and held captive and tortured for 45 days. The captor and his co-conspirator were federally indicted on charges for interstate transportation of a minor to engage in sex and producing child sexual abuse material. They face life sentences if convicted. Porter’s actions saved the child’s life. 
Jessie B. Dobson, Jr. Distinguished Member of the Year – Donald Osterhouse, Research and Statistics Consultant, Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS)
Donald Osterhouse has been a driving force in CJIS and his services are invaluable to both FDLE and the department’s criminal justice, media and external agency partners. With accuracy and expediency, Osterhouse provided lawmakers, policymakers and the public critical data. In 2023, he fulfilled more than 150 ad hoc data requests for crime data, career/sex offender data and more.
Forensic Scientist of the Year – Elyssa Trautmann, Crime Laboratory Analyst, Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center (TBROC)
Throughout 2023, Elyssa Trautmann approached problems with logic and creativity, accepted many biology section and team responsibilities, and attacked rush, routine and cold cases with enthusiasm and dedication. She provided training to members in the Biology Discipline on new methods for bone extractions and slides from cold case evidence, leading her to become the resident expert. Additionally, she worked with members in FDLE’s Unidentified Human Remains program which launched in 2023.   
Distinguished Support Member of the Year – Erin Ostrowski, Forensic Technologist, Fort Myers Regional Operations Center (FMROC)
Erin Ostrowski is the senior program analyst for the Florida’s statewide sexual assault kit tracking database. In 2023, Ostrowski presented on behalf of the program at two conferences, responded to approximately 1,600 emails, created 540 barcodes for kits and monitored the toll-free database support phone line. Additionally, she helped implement three software updates in 2023, each requiring testing prior to deployment.
Outstanding New Member – Elizabeth Pritchard, Senior Crime Intelligence Analyst Supervisor, Office of Statewide Investigations
Elizabeth Pritchard joined FDLE in November 2022, and immediately made a positive impact in the Florida Fusion Center and the larger Florida Fusion Center Network. She identified areas of improvement and immediately began looking at ways to implement changes, including updating onboarding materials for Interagency Fusion Liaisons, encouraging more opportunities for partner engagement and streamlining processes. She also took over the grant funding process for the Florida Fusion Center Network and serves as the lead point of contact for compiling and submitting federal grant requests to the Domestic Security Coordinating Group and the Domestic Security Oversight Council. Additionally, Elizabeth helps train new analysts in FDLE’s Florida Analyst Academy.
Contribution to Criminal Justice – Cyber Fraud Analytical Support Team (Cyber FAST), Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center (TBROC): Matthew Forrester, Christina Malley, Jason Mileshko, Gary Vilano, Mikaela Scanlon, Madison Tolson
Cyber FAST was formed by Attorney General Ashley Moody and Commissioner Mark Glass in 2022 as a force multiplier to prevent and handle the increasing number of complex cyber fraud cases impacting Florida. Cyber FAST analysts work daily with the Office of Statewide Prosecution, local law enforcement, and state and local agency partners. In 2023, the Cyber FAST team logged more 1,000 hours of fraud and cryptocurrency investigations training and investigating 22 cases with $15.8 million in losses. Cyber FAST’s services are a critical asset in helping stop criminals that target Florida’s citizens and businesses.
Distinguished Team of the Year – Investigations and Forensic Science (IFS) Sworn Hiring Team: Lori Mizell, Melanie Walker, Lee Kuhn, Cassidy Geon, Erica Elliot
In 2023, the IFS Sworn Hiring Team implemented a more efficient hiring process. The new process allowed FDLE to hire 41 sworn members in one year, when in the year prior FDLE hired 26 agents.
Excellence in Leadership – Ashley Pennington, Chief of Training, Criminal Justice Professionalism
Ashley Pennington exemplifies what it means to be a servant leader. She generates an ambitious work culture, encourages professional growth and personal well-being among all of her members, and gives her managers autonomy, inspiration and guidance in their daily tasks. In 2023, Pennington and her team updated five academy training programs and six post-basic training courses. Already, she is leading the charge to revise the 2025 Basic Recruit Corrections curriculum along with seven post-basic courses to ensure that our criminal justice officers receive the best and most current training.
Capitol Police Officer of the Year – Douglas Stribling, Capitol Police Investigator, Capitol Police
Investigator Douglas Stribling has the natural ability to connect with people, which helps him establish rapport with citizens, employees at the Capitol and leaders of local protest groups. As a result, Capitol Police maintained an open dialogue with all visitors and helped ensure demonstrators remained peaceful. Stribling is also an active member of the Capitol Police Honor Guard, and in 2023, he served in eight events as a Capitol Police Honor Guard representative.
Commissioner’s Award – Zackary Hughes, Special Agent, Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center (TBROC)
Special Agent Zackary Hughes is a warrior for survivors of human trafficking. With his vast knowledge and experience, he helped establish the statewide Human Trafficking Strike Team. In 2023, the team helped safely recover eight victims and identified numerous traffickers. Hughes is a compassionate and caring investigator who works tirelessly to ensure victims of human trafficking receive the services they desperately need while holding their traffickers accountable.
Lifetime Achievement – Mary Christofano, Senior Management Analyst Supervisor, Fort Myers Regional Operations Center (FMROC)
Mary Christofano began her career as the FMROC Business Manager in 1997 after spending 20 years as a property manager in Chicago, Illinois. With pride and attention to detail, Christofano enthusiastically takes on projects no matter how big or how small. She has earned numerous accolades in her FDLE career, including the Distinguished Support Member of the Year and Distinguished Member of the Year awards. She was also a member of two award winning teams, the most recent being the FDLE Fort Myers Regional Law Enforcement Coordination Team, which received the 2023 Distinguished Team of the Year Award for its exceptional response during and following Hurricane Ian’s landfall.
Lifetime Achievement – Darren Esposito, Senior Crime Lab Analyst, Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center (TBROC)
Darren Esposito began his FDLE career 34 years ago as an intern in the FDLE Fort Myers region. Throughout his distinguished career, he has been recognized as a consummate professional, dedicated not only to the quality of his work but to the sharing his expertise with both FDLE members and external partner agencies. By passing on his knowledge and skills as a primary trainer to many of the next generation, Esposito has been a major contributor to the future of FDLE. 
Lifetime Achievement – Karen Martin, Chief of Forensic Services, Tallahassee Regional Operations Center (TROC)
Karen Martin’s FDLE career began 34 years ago when she joined the department as a crime laboratory analyst. Martin worked on the initial stages of the department’s forensic DNA analysis program and was a team member that helped establish the DNA Investigative Support Database. She helped establish the procedures and protocols for quality forensic DNA analysis, served as a DNA Technical Leader and she helped bring the department’s Biology discipline into the era of modern DNA analysis. Martin’s work set the framework for what would become one of the most highly regarded forensic DNA Database laboratories in the world. Chief Martin has been also been instrumental in mentoring countless members of the crime laboratory throughout her career.
Lifetime Achievement – Wayne Ryan, Application Systems Programmer III, Information Technology Services (ITS)
Wayne Ryan began his IT career 33 years ago, joining FDLE in 1997.  His work has been critical to Florida’s criminal justice community.  Ryan designed and maintains the Criminal Justice Network, as well as FDLE’s network and cyber security functions. He has helped keep Florida’s officers and citizens safe for more than a quarter of a century.
Lifetime Achievement – Marta Strawser, Senior Crime Lab Analyst, Orlando Regional Operations Center (OROC)
Marta Strawser began her FDLE career 34 years ago in the Orlando lab’s Trace Materials Section. Strawser has been an integral part of our criminal justice system for decades. Her expertise in trace, hair, paint and fractured material analyses has contributed to the success of solving cases throughout the state of Florida. In the past 20 years, she has trained new scientists and prepared the Trace Materials discipline to continue to be successful for years to come.
Lifetime Achievement – Jillian White, Senior Crime Lab Analyst, Orlando Regional Operations Center (OROC)
Jillian White began her FDLE career in 2002 as a forensic technologist. For the past 22 years she has been tirelessly devoted to FDLE’s goal of being at the forefront of forensics. White accomplished this by leading large-scale transformational projects such as transitioning the laboratory to a fully automated and paperless DNA processes and continual improvement of the laboratory’s existing processes. Her dedication to improvement has consistently made a positive impact on FDLE’s ability to meet our primary mission of public safety.
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.