The Zephyrhills Police Department (ZPD) held its annual awards and recognition ceremony on May 12 at the Zephyrhills City Hall Council Chambers. Chief of Police Derek Brewer handed out awards to spotlight the feats and accomplishments of members of the police department from 2021. Here are the recipients:
Officer of the Year: Officer Pedro Miliano
This award recognizes a sworn police officer who has displayed professionalism, courtesy, proficiency and continuous exemplary service. Miliano, a one-year officer, has a positive attitude that has been infectious. He also has remained committed to his daily responsibilities.
Employee of the Year: Lisa Jones
This award honors non-sworn personnel who have displayed professionalism, courtesy, proficiency and continuous exemplary service. Jones, who has been with the department a year and a half, is considered a model employee because of her work ethic and her desire to constantly seek additional knowledge on how to improve at her job.
Volunteer of the Year: Gwendolyn Beasley
This award honors a volunteer who has displayed professionalism, courtesy, proficiency and continuous exemplary service. As a crossing guard at the busy school zone of West Zephyrhills Elementary, Beasley, or ‘Aunt Gwen,’ as she is known, helps students and pedestrians cross safely twice a day.
Life-Saving Award: Officers Steven Chimeri and Rocco DeSio
This award honors an employee or employees whose actions are directly responsible for saving or prolonging human life. On Nov. 25, Officers Chimeri and DeSio found a person discolored and with no pulse hanging over the guardrail by Zephyr Park. They performed chest compressions and helped the person resume breathing. The individual fully recovered once transported to a hospital.
Distinguished Performance Award: Sgt. John Oleson
This award honors an employee who has performed a specific duty, action or assignment at a level that demonstrates exceptional professionalism and commitment to duty. On Aug. 25, Olsen was dispatched to the railroad tracks by Chancey Road where a suicidal subject was armed with a gun. Olsen diffused the situation and persuaded the subject to relinquish the firearm.
Chief’s Award: Stephanie NelsonThis award honors members in special recognition solely from the Chief of Police. Nelson was recognized for her extensive experience and knowledge that has been passed on as a mentor within the agency.
Chief’s “Lifetime Achievement” Award: Sandra Waters
Waters has been with Zephyrhills Police for 23 years, and is considered the ‘Google’ of the agency, given her knowledge and experience. She has worked for five police chiefs and has been a part of the evolution of the agency in her tenure.
Other Zephyrhills Police personnel were recognized, as well, with awards in Assignments, Tenure, Safe Driving, Perfect Attendance, Employee Recognition, Unit Citation SRT/CID and Communications.
Published May 25, 2022