Where PSO members are recognized for their outstanding service to the community
2013 Employee of the Year Awards
The following Pasco Sheriff’s Office employees were honored at the annual awards banquet in February, 2013.
Photos by Forensics Investigator Denice Weigand
Civilian of the Year
Nicole Fraking is being recognized for her leadership as a communications supervisor.
On Sept. 10, Nicole was forwarded an email in which a subject was making threats to harm himself. However, the email did not provide his location. Nicole used a variety of means to research the problem, and was able to pinpoint that he was in Orange County Florida and sent a teletype to that Sheriff’s Office for deputies to conduct a welfare check on him. Although the deputies determined that he didn’t meet the criteria for a Baker Act, he was served two outstanding domestic violence injunctions.
In another example of her leadership, Nicole created a tracking application that was used by all communication shift supervisors to document flooding and storm damage from Tropical Storm Debbie that dumped torrents of rain on Pasco County in June. This provided real-time updates to the Emergency Operations Center so that personnel could better plan for resource and manpower allocation.
For her leadership in the Communications Unit, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office 2013 Civilian of the Year Award is hereby presented to Communications Supervisor Nicole Fraking.
Law Enforcement Deputy of the Year
Corporal Jesse Coker is a District III Road Patrol deputy and has been a member of the agency for 11 years. During the past year, he has served as a field training officer and acting patrol supervisor. In 2012, he was noted for receiving two meritorious service awards for courage and a life saving award. Jesse received his first meritorious service award and lifesaving award in 2012 for an incident that occurred in 2011.
Jesse and another deputy responded to a vehicle crash where a vehicle had run off the road and was submerged upside down in about 6 feet of water in a large retention pond. Initial information was that at least one person was believed to be inside the car. Both deputies quickly removed their duty belts and entered the water, making their way to the car that was about 50 feet from dry land. The deputies were unable to open the locked car doors, and their asps were not able to break out any windows. A paramedic from Pasco Fire Rescue was able to use a window punch to break out a window, at which time the two deputies were able to reach inside and pull out an elderly female. Cpl. Coker and the paramedic moved the unconscious woman to shore for transportation to a hospital.
Jesse’s second meritorious service medal was received for his actions during a house fire last year. On Jan. 5, Cpl. Coker and a fellow deputy responded to a house fire in Holiday. When they arrived, a witness told them that there were two people inside the house. Both deputies entered the burning house which was full of smoke. A woman in the house stated that she wouldn’t leave the house until she found her cat. Cpl. Coker informed her that her cat had already fled the residence, so she agreed to leave. Her husband refused to leave stating that although he knew his house was on fire, it was not a big deal because it was only a “dryer fire.” The deputies had to order the man to leave and he finally complied. Pasco Fire-Rescue did determine that the clothes dryer did start the fire and was burning through the wall in the garage.
For his quick response to two dangerous incidents that put his life in danger while protecting the citizens he serves, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office 2013 Law Enforcement Deputy of the Year Award is hereby presented to Cpl. Jesse Coker.
Detention Deputy of the Year
For the first time, we have dual recipients for our Detention Deputy of the Year Award, Corporal Ron Gardner and Dep. Tim Bullock.
These two deputies are being recognized for their efforts in creating an innovative program targeting at-risk Pasco County juveniles. Titled the Juvenile Choice Program, Cpl. Gardner and Dep. Bullock have created a presentation that focuses on the importance of kids making good choices and refusing bad ones. From their jobs in the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center, the two deputies have seen first-hand the results of young adults and even children who have made bad choices in their lives.
On their off-duty time, the duo spent numerous hours on research and production. The program features a multi-media presentation of videos and photos, including inmates in jail describing their personal stories of their bad decisions and how it ended with their incarceration. After the presentation, the deputies use first- hand knowledge to describe the hard realities of life behind bars. The presentation has been an eye-opener for the kids that have experienced it, and it reflects the dedication of the two detention deputies in putting possible future youthful offenders on the path to success in life.
For their months of hard work creating a new innovative program focused on improving the lives of at-risk juveniles, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office 2013 Detention Deputy of the Year Award is hereby presented to both Cpl. Ronald Gardner and Dep. Tim Bullock.
Detective of the Year
Sgt. Jim Sessa really needs no introduction, having worked at the agency for 26 years. During that time he has served as a crime scene investigator, a patrol deputy, a property crimes detective, a Major Crimes detective, a patrol sergeant, and to his current position as a sergeant in the Major Crimes Unit. During his time as a Major Crimes detective, he investigated more than 50 homicides. Since becoming a supervisor in the unit in 2003, he has overseen the investigation of more than 100 homicides and approximately 10,000 death investigations.
Jim has taken pride in expanding his responsibilities as a Major Crimes sergeant. He helped to co-found the Financial Institution Security Coalition, which develops relationships with local banks and financial institutions. He has helped to create training for bank employees who may become victims of a bank robbery, teaching them to be observant witnesses which can be critical for law enforcement to solve such crimes.
Sgt. Sessa has also been instrumental in supervising the agency’s investigation of child pornography and child sexual exploitation cases. This has included our involvement in the state attorney general cyber crimes task force and the Internet Crimes Against Children federal task force. Sgt. Sessa also supervises the investigations of cold case homicides, which has resulted in the successful conclusion of nine cold case dating back decades. Jim also recently was given the responsibility of supervising the Sex Offender Unit, which has increased the compliance and arrests related to the more than 800 registered sex offenders currently residing in Pasco County.
Last but not least, Sgt. Sessa is being recognized for his leadership of the detectives in his Major Crimes squad. His vast knowledge and experience with law enforcement in Pasco County is invaluable to his detectives. Jim leads by example in an effort to pass along what he has learned during his years on the job. For his dedication to improving the function of the Major Crimes Unit, his supervision of additional units, and his leadership of his fellow Major Crimes detectives, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office 2013 Detective of the Year Award is hereby presented to Sgt. Jim Sessa.
Law Enforcement Field Training Officer of the Year
Dep. Rocco Corbino was a field training officer for two years and was noted by his supervisors as not only an exceptional FTO but dedicated to the program. He served on the FTO Committee for 19 months, which is a voluntary position but vital in improving the program. He redesigned the format of the new charge book that deputies use, changing it to a pdf format that allows a search function. This increases the efficiency of each deputy that has to utilize the information in the charge book. Dep. Corbino is also being recognized for his patience in working with trainees who may be struggling. Dep. Corbino was even singled out by two deputies who failed to complete the program, but still praised him for his knowledge and experience and the way he treated them with respect.
For his continued professionalism and dedication to honing the skills of new road patrol deputies, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office 2013 Law Enforcement Field Training Officer of the Year Award is hereby presented to Dep. Rocco Corbino.
Detention Field Training Officer of the Year
Deputy Joseph Schifini has been a member of the agency for more than eight years and started his career here as a communications officer. He transferred to Detention in 2007 and is dual certified. He became a field training officer in 2009 and is now one of the senior training officers in the Operations Division.
Dep. Schifini has earned the respect of his supervisors and co-workers with his knowledge and experience, which has made him a role model for others to follow. He is adamant about instilling officer safety in his trainees and continues to review and maintain compliance with directives, policies and procedures.
Joseph was also tasked with a special assignment last year, providing remedial training for a deputy working with special management inmates. This training is important for inmates that need to be closely monitored and requires accurate staff documentation. Dep. Schifini also accepted the role of a disciplinary hearing officer, who reviews inmate violations and determines if the inmate will be given sanctions.
For his commitment to the FTO program and the respect and dignity he instills in new deputies, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office 2013 Detention Field Training Officer of the Year Award is hereby presented to Dep. Joseph Schifini.