HCSO announces awards, re-assignments and new hires

Deputy Moorehead Honored with Purple Heart

Sheriff Steve Whidden and Sheriff’s Deputy Jayson Moorehead. (Submitted photo)

On Friday, December 22, 2107, Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden honored Deputy Sheriff Jayson Moorehead with the Law Enforcement Purple Heart Medal and Ribbon. In March 2017, Deputies were out at 944 Kentucky Ave., M & M Store, in Harlem, conducting a security check. Deputies on scene witnessed suspicious activity and while investigating, he was ambushed and shot.

Sheriff Whidden presented Deputy Moorehead with a Certificate, Purple Ribbon Award and the Purple Heart Medal, “for Service in Harm’s Way and Wounds Received in the Line of Duty while serving the citizens of Hendry County”. The Purple Heart is issued to officers who are injured or disabled in the line of duty.

Deputy Sheriff Joseph “Joe” R. Lee recognized

Sheriff Steve Whidden and Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph “Joe” R. Lee. (Submitted photo)

On Friday, December 22, 2017, Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden recognized Deputy Joe Lee for his 30 years of service to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office. During this time Deputy Lee has served in many capacities.

On Friday, Sheriff Whidden presented Lee with a Crystal Award stating, “In Appreciation for Your Continuous Dedicated Service to Law Enforcement and this Agency”.

Agency Hires
Friday, December 20, 2017, Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden swore in two new Correctional Officers.

Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden swears in two new correctional officers Susan Kelly and Zorone Everett. (Submitted photo)

Hendry County Correctional Officer Susan Kelly is a 9 year employee. She began her career with the Sheriff’s Office as a Communications Officer, transferring later to the jail and most recently, graduated the Correction Academy on December 6, 2017.

Correctional Officer Zorone Everett had been previously employed with Hendry County Sheriff’s Office for approximately 10 years. He left for a short period of time and was rehired in December.

To Hendry County Correctional Officer Kelly, we say, “Congratulations on your graduation and the passing of your state test. Hendry County Correctional Officer Everett, “Welcome back”.

Four new recruits begin the FTO Process

Even Vasquez, Gary Ben Hull, Rafael Morales and Sergio Bustamante. (Submitted photo)

Four Hendry County Recruits proudly graduated from the Southwest Florida Public Safety Academy on December 14, 2017. Shortly thereafter, all four took their state test and passed with flying colors.

This week they will begin the long process of Training. Once they complete a basic two-week training and orientation they will be assigned to a Field Training Officer (FTO) and begin to put their skills to work. This program is a 16 week training program with the purpose to ensure that the knowledge of laws and high risk training has been achieved and applied.

We welcome these four young men who have willingly committed themselves to the service of our community.

K9 addition and re-assignment

D/S Blake Bayly with his new partner, K9 Max. (Submitted photo)

Hendry County Sheriff’s Office is happy to announce the new K9 teams of D/S Blake Bayly with his new partner, K9 Max, and D/S AJ Blackman with his new partner, K9 Henry.

Deputy Bayly has been a member of the HCSO K9 Unit for approximately a year and a half where he has been teamed up with the Hendry County’s Bloodhound, K9 Henry until recently. Deputy Bayly’s new partner, K9 Max, a Belgian Malinois was graciously donated to the HCSO K9 Unit by the Tracey family of Labelle. Deputy Bayly and K9 Max are currently in training and at their completion will be a certified tracking and narcotics team.

Deputy AJ Blackman is the newest member of the HCSO K9 Unit and has been teamed up with K9 Henry who has been a part of the K9 unit for approximately six years. Deputy Blackman and K9 Henry are also in training and at their completion will be a certified tracking team.

Promotions

Sheriff Steve Whidden, Sgt. Michael Lilley, Sgt. Nestor Echevarria and Sgt. Christopher Norwood. (SUbmitted photo)

On October 30, 2017 Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden proudly announced the promotion of three deputies within the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office to the rank of Sergeant. Pictured below are Sheriff Steve Whidden, Sgt. Michael Lilley, Sgt. Nestor Echevarria and Sgt. Christopher Norwood.

Each of these Sheriff’s Sergeants possesses very unique qualities and skills:

Sgt. Michael Lilley
Sgt. Michael Lilley, began his career at Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission before coming to Hendry Sheriff’s Office. During that time, he not only performed the duties of a Wildlife Officer but later became a K9 Officer with them.

In April 2015, Sgt. Lilley was employed by the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office. After Field Training and working road patrol, Sgt Lilley was assigned to the K9 Unit and has since advanced to K9 Instructor. Sgt. Lilley currently coordinates and supervises the Hendry County K9 Unit. Along with that assignment, he works with the three (3) K9 Deputies and participates in the selection of the purchase of Hendry County K9s.

Sgt. Nestor Echevarria
Sgt. Echevarria started his career as a Correctional Officer with the Department of Corrections in July 2005. In December 2007 he was employed with the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office as a Detention Deputy until March of 2010, when he attended the Cross-Over Academy from Corrections to Law Enforcement. Echevarria then made a smooth transition from Corrections to Law Enforcement.

His main service as a law enforcement officer has been in Narcotics until his transfer to Road Patrol in February 2017. He has been acting Sergeant for the past 6 months, prior to his promotion to Sergeant.

He has also served as a member of the HCSO SRT team.

Sgt. Christopher Norwood
Sgt. Christopher (Chris) Norwood began his career in Public Safety in the Emergency Medical Services as a First Responder in 2007 and later a Paramedic in 2012 along with earning an AS in Emergency Medical Services. During this time he has also been a Volunteer Fire Fighter since 2009.

Sgt. Norwood was hired by Hendry County Sheriff’s Office in 2014 as a Law Enforcement Officer after completing the Police Academy. Aside from his current responsibilities as Road Patrol Sergeant he also has multiple responsibilities such as coordinating Radar and Vehicle calibrations, Breath Test Operator Basic Life Support and CPR Instructor.

The Caloosa Belle is published every Thursday.

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