SPRING HILL - Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco used an awards ceremony last week as a teaching tool for new members of his agency.
Just before swearing in nearly two dozen new law enforcement deputies and 12 new civilian members during the 2013 Second Quarter Swearing In and Recognition Ceremony, Nocco explained that the expectation level for all involved at the sheriff's office remains high.
"There's a lot of things, for our new members coming on board you're going to be judged by," Nocco said. "Your work ethic, your innovativeness and how you treat others who serve in leadership. . People are going to talk about how you work with others."
In addition to swearing in the new members, several were highlighted for achievements, while six members of the agency were promoted to new ranks.
"Public service is truly in the heart," state Rep. Mike Fasano said. "It's a passion of each and every one of you that want to serve our public, our community. Each and every one of you that are working for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office; that's something special. Truly unique."
Nocco later highlighted the agency's sense of family by acknowledging the July 2 wreck on Moon Lake Road that claimed the life of Deputy Tim Little's daughter, Courtney Little, 17, as well as her friend, Kathy Markou, 16, who was a passenger in the car.
"It's one of those times you recognize and ask, 'How do we deal with this,'?" Nocco said Wednesday. "That's when the victim advocates came through, along with our command staff. To have to notify a loved one that the little child that they brought in this world and had so many dreams for, God took them early because He had a bigger plan for them.
"Calling on our victim advocates as asking can you be there for us (was a big help). We go into bad situations every day and we see bad things, it's even harder to tell a loved one that news."
The honorees included: Employee Incentive Award: Lyndsie Estes, child protective investigator, Deputy Frank Pizzuto, court services, Deputy Travis Gondek; Spirit of Intelligence Led Policing Award: Cpl. Jeremy Colhouer, Deputy Troy Carpenter; Life Saving Award: deputies Benjamin Birge, Kevin Phillips and Joseph Liddick; deputies Manuel Haag, Tim Bullock, and Sean Powers; Deputy Jeremy Nelson; deputies Christopher Hebson, Richard Stanger and Stephen Liik and nurses Dan Rhodes, Melissa Brooks and Chanel Colon; Meritorious Service Award for Accomplishment: Child Protective Investigator Lindsay D'Ascenzio; Lt. James Law; Citizens Service Awards: Dave Parris, Dimitrios Kalogiannis and staff at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School.