On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office held their annual awards ceremony. Over 150 employees, family members and friends attended the ceremony at the Sheriff’s Administration Building to honor Sheriff’s Office employees and volunteers who did outstanding accomplishments during 2018. Among those honored were:
- Volunteer of the Year – Dr. Bill Brumund
Dr. Brummund began as a volunteer at the Emergency Operations Center with the ARES ham radio group as a county watch volunteer. He attended NCSO’s Citizen Law Enforcement Academy to learn more about the sheriff’s office. He volunteered with NCSO’s Administrative Services Division, serving as a photographer for community and agency events to update the agency’s website. He also used his expertise as a civil engineer in assisting in the design of NCSO’s new gun range, which will be located at the Nassau County Public Safety Training Complex.
- Chaplain of the Year – Pastor Ted Heglund
Pastor Heglund is currently the Senior Pastor of First Alliance Church of Hilliard. He has been a volunteer chaplain with NCSO for the past 13 years. Pastor Heglund spends many Monday mornings leading devotion for agency employees and also assists in their personal time of need. He is also called out to tragic scenes or situations where there may be a death in the family or some other type of crisis. He also participated in visiting the sick at home or at the hospital.
- Civilian Employee of the Year – Kathy Hall
Kathy has been employed with NCSO for 18 years. Last year she was transferred from payroll clerk in the Finance Division to oversee NCSO’s Human Resource Department. She plans and organizes the agency’s in-house ceremonies and also volunteers with our community events and fundraisers for charity.
- Communications Officer of the Year – Chelsea Beazley
Chelsea displays true professionalism and compassion when talking with citizens in our community on the numerous 911 emergency & non-emergency calls he receives each day. During 2018 she assisted deputies in locating a female who was attempting suicide, which ultimately saved the person’s life. She consistently displays exceptional performance, attitude, and interpersonal skills that bring credit to NCSO and the Communications Center.
- Detention Deputy of the year – Deputy Caleb Osborne
Deputy Osborne goes above and beyond his required duties on numerous occasions. His positive attitude is contagious and lends for a good working environment. He is always willing to volunteer on projects when needed. Caleb was called to the cell of an inmate who was bleeding profusely from the neck and wrist area as a result of an attempted suicide. The man apparently cut an artery from a disposable razor he was given to shave with. Quickly assessing the situation, Deputy Osborne made a tourniquet from a sheet and his flashlight in order to stop the severe bleeding until Nassau County Fire/Rescue could arrive. NCFR personnel who arrived and transported the inmate to the hospital stated that as a result of Deputy Osborne’s quick actions, the man’s life was saved. Deputy Osborne was also given a Life Saving Award.
- Patrol Deputy of the year – Deputy Mark Hunter
Deputy Hunter responded to report of a burning house fire in Yulee. When Deputy Hunter arrived he was advised by neighbors that someone may still be inside the burning building. As Nassau County Fire Department was responding, Deputy Hunter took it upon himself to enter the residence at great risk to his own safety in order to search for anyone inside. He entered the fire & smoke-filled structure, several times as he had to come outside for fresh air searching room-by-room. He eventually found an unresponsive female on the kitchen floor and dragged her out onto the front porch where Nassau County Fire/Rescue, who had just arrived, provided medical attention before transporting her to the hospital. Although the individual did not survive, Deputy Hunter showed extreme courage in trying to save a life, even though his own personal safety was in jeopardy. Deputy Hunter was also presented the Medal of Valor Award.
- Investigator of the Year – Detective David Douglas
Detective Douglas investigated and arrested a suspect for exploitation of an elderly female, who was swindled out of over $3,600. He investigated a theft case and arrested the suspect who was also pawning the items at several local pawn shops worth several thousand dollars. He recovered stolen property valued at over $115, 000.00, which was located as far away as Miami. He arrested a suspect who posing as a contractor installing flooring in homes around our area. The suspect was taking money for services that he never completed, which amounted to several thousand dollars. Detective Douglas actually posed as a customer in order to catch him.
- Supervisor of the year – Corporal Jonathan McCracken
Corporal McCracken served as his squad’s only first-line supervisor for the last six months of 2018, not only as corporal, but also as acting sergeant. He serves on the corrections K-9 team and takes care of K-9 Loki, who is being trained as a tracking dog. He also volunteers to attend career fairs at local schools and conducts safety presentations. During Hurricane Michael, Corporal McCracken volunteered to stay at the jail to make sure NCSO employees and jail inmates were taken care of during the approach of the storm.
Life Saving Awards were given to Deputy James Ennis and Deputy Mark Hunter for their life-saving efforts as they responded to an unresponsive adult male in Yulee who was not breathing. The individual was located inside a vehicle in the Publix Shopping Center parking lot. Once Deputy Ennis determined the man was not breathing he pulled him out of the vehicle and placed him on the ground. As Deputy Ennis began performing CPR on the subject, Deputy Hunter retrieved his AED from his patrol car and placed the man on the machine. They continued alternating chest compressions until Nassau County Fire/Rescue arrived and transported him to the hospital. According fire-rescue personnel and the medical doctor, as a result of the quick actions of Deputy Ennis and Deputy Hunter the man made a full recovery and is still alive today.
During the ceremony Corrections Corporals Jonathan McCracken, Tara Reddick, Joy Edgy and Deanne Campbell were also promoted to Sergeant.
“We have an extremely talented and dedicated group of law enforcement professionals and support staff who are truly committed to serving the public with professionalism and pride”, said Sheriff Bill Leeper. “Today’s ceremony shows the strength of this agency and the amazing level of service and passion our members have for protecting our community.”
NCSO would like to thank the sponsors of our awards ceremony:
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Hampton Inn at the Beach
Residence Inn Marriott
Beachside Motel Inn
Seaside Amelia Inn
Amelia Hotel at the Beach
Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown
Salt Life Restaurant