Sheriff Hoffman Announces 2020 Employees of the Year

NEWS RELEASE 21-021 - MARCH 30, 2021

From left: Court Services Deputy Neftali Santos, Animal Services Officer Brian Devlin,
Communications Operator I Sondra McCoy, and Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman.

Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman today recognized the 2020 Employees of the Year.

Deputy Neftali Santos, 2020 Courts and Corrections Deputy of the Year, joined the sheriff's office in 2002 and is currently assigned to the Court Services Bureau. Santos was recognized for his coordination with colleagues and supervisors in adopting new technology to create virtual courtroom accommodations during a global pandemic. In March 2020, in response to the growing public health emergency posed by COVID-19, all in-person court hearings were eliminated statewide. Utilizing his prior experience as a corrections deputy, Santos collaborated with his colleagues, judges, court administration personnel, as well as the sheriff’s office IT and AFIS Units to set up a secure infrastructure and acquire the equipment necessary to conduct remote digital hearings from within the Sarasota County Correctional Facility. Additionally, Santos assisted with the implementation of digital fingerprinting technology and the completion of pretrial release paperwork in the absence of court administration personnel onsite. It is through his personal motivation and innovation during a crisis that Deputy Santos demonstrated his dedication to not only the sheriff’s office but also the community he serves.

Animal Services Officer Brian Devlin is recognized as the 2020 Civilian Employee of the Year. Devlin joined the sheriff's office in 2019 and is tasked with a wide variety of animal-related calls for service across Sarasota County. On one such occasion in January 2020, Devlin responded for an elderly dog who fell into a canal behind the owner’s house. Without hesitation, Devlin entered the water and kept the dog above the surface until additional units helped them both to safety. Throughout the year, Devlin also assisted the Agricultural Unit with several animal cruelty investigations and regularly took on additional responsibilities including special projects and overtime assignments. His willingness to always go above and beyond makes him a crucial component to the success of the Animal Services Section.

Operator I Sondra McCoy received the 2020 Emergency Operations Bureau Quality Assurance Award. McCoy joined the sheriff's office in 2004 as a Public Service Aide before transferring to the Public Safety Communications Center in 2007 as a call-taker. 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. McCoy received the highest possible score of 100% on all calls reviewed.

Although not present during today’s ceremony, an undercover detective is recognized as 2020 Deputy of the Year for his contributions to a series of complex and long-term investigations.

“While I take pride in the highest standards of professionalism performed by all members of the sheriff’s office, these honorees stood out among the rest in 2020,” said Sheriff Hoffman. “Their hard work and dedication are a true testament to what it means to serve both the agency and community."