Sheriff Knight Announces 2017 Employees of the Year

NEWS RELEASE 18-066
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From left: Deputy Lincoln Dilling, Chemist Alison Gugliotta, Emergency Operations Supervisor Kent Collins, Communications Operator I Christine Peterson, Emergency Operations Supervisor Linde Bryington, and Sheriff Tom Knight.
Not pictured: Corrections Deputy Carla Surran.

Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight today recognized the 2017 Employees of the Year.

Deputy Lincoln Dilling, 2017 Law Enforcement Deputy of the Year, joined the sheriff’s office in 2010. Recognized for his leadership, courage and professionalism, Deputy Dilling’s level of commitment to his work and his community is apparent. In 2017, Deputy Dilling initiated several important investigations which led to arrests for burglary, possession of counterfeit credit cards and false checks. Utilizing the agency’s model of intelligence-led policing, on more than one occasion, Deputy Dilling identified opportunities to proactively patrol both residential neighborhoods and commercial areas to monitor issues, prevent criminal behavior and stop crimes in progress. Noteworthy are Deputy Dilling’s efforts in a large incident that occurred in October in Nokomis in which three people were killed in a double-murder suicide. Deputy Dilling was first on scene and while on the way, was advised the suspect was armed with a shotgun. Dilling arrived to find one of the victims outside. Suffering from several gunshot wounds and hysteria, the victim explained to Deputy Dilling the circumstances and advised there were more victims inside the residence. Deputy Dilling remained calm and spoke with compassion to the victim while balancing the need to quickly locate the suspect and remaining victims. Paramedics arrived on scene but did not enter until Deputy Dilling approached the residence using cover to try to locate those inside. Dilling kicked in the front door where he unfortunately found two deceased victims and the suspect, deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Deputy Dilling cleared the home so paramedics could enter and maintained a remarkable sense of calm despite chaos. Not only was Deputy Dilling first to approach the victims’ home knowing the suspect was still armed, but he showed extreme courage in managing the incident until his supervisor arrived.

Chemist Alison Gugliotta is recognized as the 2017 Civilian Employee of the Year. Gugliotta joined the sheriff’s office in 2012 and not only works in the agency’s Drug Lab but also in the agency’s Crime Scene Unit. Gugliotta is recognized for training new hires while balancing her own professional goals which include dedicating more than 330 hours to specialized training. In August 2017, Gugliotta volunteered to work independently in the agency’s Drug Lab where she spent several nights and weekends fulfilling rush requests so arrests could be made and court proceedings were not delayed. Without Gugliotta’s dedication to being crossed trained as a chemist, the agency would have suffered from a backlog of cases that would have accumulated in an already burdened area. In 2017, Gugliotta responded to 133 requests for forensic services calls and completed 172 requests for service with 725 analyses for the Drug Lab. She was routinely called out to scenes on her days off, worked three homicides and two cold cases. She is notably dedicated and recognized for her commitment to the agency and her colleagues.

Deputy Carla Surran, 2017 Corrections Deputy of the Year, joined the sheriff’s office in 2003. She is recognized specifically for her work in the Sarasota County Jail where she consistently displays a depth of understanding which regularly and effectively resolves conflicts among inmates. In January, Deputy Surran made contact with a female who turned herself in on an outstanding warrant. Thanks to Deputy Surran’s professional demeanor and compassion while performing security assessments, the female was put at ease and later complimented Deputy Surran’s for her kindness. Deputy Surran is a positive role model to her colleagues while assisting with field training and takes part in several special projects including Rightful Policing initiatives and community events including the semi-annual Tea for Girls in north Sarasota.

Emergency Operations Supervisors Linde Bryington and Kent Collins, as well as Communications Operator I Christine Peterson received the 2017 Emergency Operations Bureau Quality Assurance Award. 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. Bryington, Collins and Peterson all received the highest score possible which is 100%.

“While all the men and women of the sheriff’s office perform to the highest standards of professionalism,” said Sheriff Knight, “these six honorees are more than deserving of this special recognition. Through their unwavering commitment to our values and to their community, these men and women exemplify what it means to serve.”