Sheriff Hoffman Holds Award Ceremony

NEWS RELEASE 24-007 - FEBRUARY 22, 2024

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Pictured left to right: Sergeant Michael Jackson and Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman; Corrections Deputies Neil Pizzo, Ramiro Sanchez, and Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman;
Dominic Yacca, FWCC Officer Kelsey Dalton, Deputies Michael Randazzo, Trent Narra, Craig Edwards, and Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman; Owners of Kagy Jewelers and Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman. Not pictured: Deputy Elizabeth Gray-Smith

Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman presented several awards at a ceremony on Tuesday, February 20.

Sergeant Michael Jackson received the Life Saving Award for his actions on October 25, 2023, when responding to a report of a female in distress and possibly drowning. Sergeant Jackson, along with SCSO’s aviation unit and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel located the subject 50 yards into the water, floating faceup, and unresponsive. Sergeant Jackson entered the water with two EMS members to recover the subject and bring her to shore. After being attended to by medical personnel, she became alert and was transported to a hospital for treatment. The victim recovered and expressed gratitude for Sergeant Jackson and the other responders. Sergeant Jackson’s quick and decisive action brought a positive outcome to a dire situation.

Corrections Deputies Neil Pizzo and Ramiro Sanchez received the Life Saving Award for their actions on December 5, 2023. While conducting rounds at the corrections facility, Corrections Deputy Pizzo observed an inmate with a sheet wrapped around his head and string tied around his neck suspended from an upper bunk. Deputy Pizzo, aided by Deputy Sanchez, loosened the string and sheet, and lowered the unresponsive victim. The inmate regained his breathing and was taken for further medical evaluation. The intervention of these two deputies was successful because of their quick action, extensive training, and teamwork.

Deputy Elizabeth Gray-Smith received the Life Saving Award for her actions on August 7, 2023. While driving home after completing her shift, Deputy Gray-Smith came upon a vehicle crash with injuries. As the first person on the scene, she immediately requested additional emergency assistance and continued tending to the victim by applying her agency-issued tourniquet to the patient’s severely injured leg. Deputy Gray-Smith's actions saved the victim's life and his leg and enabled him to make a full recovery.

Deputies Craig Edwards, Michael Randazzo, and Trent Narra were presented the Heroic Achievement Award for their actions on December 16, 2023. A report was received that a white vehicle was floating in the intracoastal waterway near Casey Key with a person trapped inside. Deputies Edwards and Narra entered the water as a rescue team accompanied by both Dominic Yacca, a citizen who made the initial report, and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) Officer Kelsey Dalton. Deputy Randazzo remained on land, relaying information, and assessing the needs of the rescue team. By working together as a team, they were able to quickly rescue the occupant from the submerged vehicle. Dominic Yacca and Officer Dalton were each given a certificate of recognition for their contributions to this rescue.

The Economic Crimes Unit presented a certificate of recognition to Kagy Jewelers, a Sarasota business, for their cooperation and time spent assisting law enforcement with an identity theft case by estimating the value of jewelry detailed in an affidavit that affected numerous county residents as well as other victims in Florida. The effort put forth by Kagy Jewelers is an excellent example of the relationships built in the community and the benefits of supporting each other by working together.

"Each day brings unexpected challenges and opportunities to the men and women serving at the sheriff's office," said Sheriff Hoffman. "We are so fortunate to have these heroes watching out for our community and are grateful for the training they receive that allows them to meet every challenge with their very best efforts."