Sheriff Hoffman Holds Promotion Ceremony

NEWS RELEASE 23-053 - OCTOBER 4, 2023
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From left to right: Sergeant Christian Murphy, Sergeant Erica Howell, Lieutenant Diana Darby, Lieutenant Mariah Piper, and Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman.

Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman is proud to announce the promotion of four sheriff's deputies in a Monday ceremony.

Prior to his promotion, Sergeant Christian Murphy served as a patrol deputy at the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) since 2014. During that time, he became a field training deputy before transferring to the Homeless Outreach Team. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from the University of South Florida. In 2017, he received a Heroic Achievement Award for rescuing a citizen attempting suicide. Two years later, he received a Lifesaving Award for performing life-sustaining measures on a citizen in cardiac arrest.

Deputy Erica Howell was promoted to sergeant following her years of service in the agency's Mounted Patrol Unit and Special Investigations Section and having served as a field training deputy. She attended Keiser University, receiving her Associate of Arts in Criminology and law enforcement certificate from the Sarasota County Technical Institute. In 2019, she received a Meritorious Achievement Award and the prestigious Florida 16th District Congressional Law Enforcement Unit Citation for her work during a long-term narcotics investigation.

Sergeant Diana Darby was promoted to lieutenant, having served the agency in various assignments since she was hired in 2005. Through her many years of service, she has served as a field training deputy, school resource deputy, negotiator with the agency’s Hostage Negotiations Team and as supervisor in both patrol and investigations before assuming the role of sergeant with Internal Affairs. 

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from the University of South Florida and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement Leadership from Liberty University. She has continued her education with courses in hostage negotiation, homicide investigation, and field training. She was honored in 2010 for risking her life to rescue a citizen from a burning structure, and in 2020, she was recognized with a Meritorious Achievement Award for her work as a member of the agency's Officer-Involved Shooting Team.

Sergeant Mariah Piper was promoted to the rank of lieutenant after serving the past 17 years in various agency roles. Hired by SCSO in 2006 as a patrol deputy, she had previously spent four years at the St. Petersburg Police Department. Over her years at SCSO, she has worked as a field training deputy, mounted patrol deputy, and a detective assigned to both the agency's Criminal Investigations Section and Special Victim's Unit. Additionally, she served as the commander of the agency's Hostage Negotiations Team.

She attended Florida State University, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. Following that, she earned her certification in law enforcement from the College of Public Safety at St. Petersburg College. She has also served as a law enforcement instructor with the Sarasota County Technical Institute for many years. In addition to her many recognitions, she was the agency's law enforcement employee of the month in September 2019 and received a lifesaving award for administering CPR in 2016.

"Our agency is inspired by these members who work diligently to achieve their goals," said Sheriff Hoffman. "Each of them makes a difference in this agency and the community by selflessly serving and constantly working to better themselves."