Sheriff Knight Announces 2019 Employees of the Year

NEWS RELEASE 20-097 - AUGUST 11, 2020
From left: Sheriff Tom Knight, Communications Operator II Roger Marks, Court Services Deputy Cecil Harper,
Civil Process Server Rosemarie Marsala, and Deputy Michael Watson.

Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight today recognized the 2019 Employees of the Year.
Operator II Roger Marks received the 2019 Emergency Operations Bureau Quality Assurance Award. Marks joined the sheriff's office in 2015 and after completing the call taking program, proceeded through Emergency Medical Dispatch and Emergency Fire Dispatch training. The Quality Assurance Award is based on a combination of overall quality assurance scores, the number of calls audited and scores on pre-arrival instructions. Marks received the highest possible score of 100% on all calls reviewed.

Deputy Cecil Harper, 2019 Courts and Corrections Deputy of the Year, joined the sheriff's office in 1989 and is currently assigned to the Court Services Bureau. Worthy of recognition is Harper's assignment to security detail for the Board of County Commission public hearings which drew large crowds in late 2019. Harper and three assigned back-up deputies were able to manage these public hearings without any appearance of over-policing while maintaining a safe and secure environment. He also spent nearly 15 years as a Court Services field training officer. Harper provides an outstanding example for peers and citizens alike and is someone this community can truly take pride in.
Civil Process Server Rosemarie Marsala is recognized as the 2019 Civilian Employee of the Year. Marsala joined the sheriff's office in 2000, and not only is she tasked with serving legal documents across Sarasota County but also training newly hired members of the Civil Section. The service of court matters in many cases requires the utmost professionalism and confidentiality. Marsala makes sure that such service is timely, accurate, and secure at all times. She is notably dedicated, hardworking, and confident in her skills, making her a true asset to the Civil Section and to the agency as a whole.
Deputy Michael Watson, 2019 Law Enforcement Deputy of the Year, is recognized for his knowledge, leadership, and commitment to serving the community. Watson joined the sheriff's office in 1999 and has been assigned to the Marine Unit since 2011. He serves not only as the senior marine deputy but is also the most experienced member of the agency’s Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force (SURF) team. Watson regularly assists with rescuing stranded boaters and marine wildlife in distress. Outside his responsibilities with the Special Operations Bureau, he has spent nine years as lead organizer of the annual Sheriff’s Activity League Youth Fishing Tournament. Last year, Watson also coordinated local relief efforts following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Most notable in 2019, he was recognized with the Congressional MVP Award by Congressman Greg Steube. Whether he is teaching kids about fishing and conservation, working patrol calls, or enforcing boating laws, Deputy Watson exemplifies the qualities the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office strives to achieve.
"While all of the men and women of the sheriff's office perform to the highest standards of professionalism," said Sheriff Knight, "these four honorees are absolutely deserving of this recognition. Through their unwavering commitment to our values and to their community, these members exemplify what it means to serve."