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Post 900 adviser earns national award
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Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri congratulates Post 900 Lead Adviser James Butterfield on his award from the National Sheriff’s Association.
Photo courtesy PSCO
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Brown, left, and Chris Johnson from Keep Pinellas Beautiful, far right, pose with a group of volunteers from Pinellas Safe Harbor and employees from 1-800-GOT-JUNK during a June 25 cleanup on Gandy Beach.
LARGO – Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy James Butterfield, Post 900 Lead Adviser, received the National Sheriff's Association Explorer Post Adviser of the Year award June 23 during the association’s conference in Fort Worth Texas.

Butterfield, 49, had worked for the sheriff’s office since Sept. 24, 2001.

This award recognizes an outstanding contribution by a Post Adviser to a Law Enforcement Explorer Post sponsored by a sheriff's office.

Nominations for the National Sheriff's Association Award were judged by a panel on eight categories to include: recruiting; size of post and tenure; written program plans; explorer training; post activities; participation in state/regional/national conference and competitions; awards and recognitions; and endorsement of the sponsoring sheriff.

Safe Harbor volunteers cleanup Gandy Beach

ST. PETERSBURG – Volunteers from Pinellas Safe Harbor collaborated with Keep Pinellas Beautiful, 1-800-GOT-JUNK, The Getaway Tampa Bay, Val-Pak and the Florida Department of Transportation in a June 25 clean-up project on Gandy Beach.

Volunteers clean areas on the north and south side west of the towers. Deputies with Pinellas County Sheriff’s Community Policing Unit assisted.

FDOT and Keep Pinellas Beautiful provided supplies, and 1-800-GOT-Junk hauled away all the debris and provided supplies. The Gateway Tampa Bay supplied food to feed volunteers.

Sheriff Gualtieri hosts promotion ceremony

CLEARWATER - Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri conducted a promotion ceremony June 26 at Bayside High School located at 14405 49th Street North in Clearwater, recognizing 10 Sheriff’s Office members.

As part of the promotion ceremony, family members and friends pinned new badges on their fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.

Todd A. Greene, Dean A. LaChance, Amy E. White and Matthew W. Wroe are now sergeants. Mark S. Dunnagan, Michael Leiner and Raymond C. Whiteley are now captains. PCSO’s newest majors are William Hagans and Paul M. Halle

The sheriff also announced one civilian promotion. Brigitta A. Johnson is the new assistant director of Media, Communications and Legislative Affairs.

Crisis Intervention Team celebrates anniversary

CLEARWATER – The Pinellas County Crisis Intervention Team hosted a graduation ceremony and 15th anniversary celebration June 27 at Suncoast Hospice, 5771 Roosevelt Boulevard in Clearwater.

Thirty-five individuals representing nine county agencies graduated during the afternoon ceremony.

The celebration featured Ret. Major Sam Cochran from the Memphis Police Department. Cochran founded the CIT in Memphis in 1988. County Commissioner John Morroni awarded certificates to the graduating class.

In 1999, Pinellas County Mental Health/Substance Abuse Coalition conducted the first CIT course in Florida and has been instrumental in promoting the program throughout the state.

The Crisis Intervention Team Program is a specialized training and practice for first-responder law enforcement officers in how to properly and safely handle situations involving persons with mental illness. The cornerstone of CIT is a 40-hour course taught, free of charge to the community, by mental health professionals, law enforcement officers, persons with a mental illness diagnosis and advocates.

The training includes essential information about mental illnesses and how to recognize it; information about the local mental health system and state laws; de-escalation skills; and, the opportunity to learn first-hand from consumers and family members about their experiences.

More than 1,300 have graduated from the county’s CIT program.
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