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Posted on: May 13, 2022

Zephyrhills Police Department Awards & Recognition Ceremony

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The Zephyrhills Police Department held its annual awards and recognition ceremony yesterday (Thursday, May 12, 2022) at the Zephyrhills City Hall Council Chambers; this occasion was led by Zephyrhills Chief of Police Derek Brewer, to spotlight the feats and accomplishments of members of the Zephyrhills Police Department from the previous year:


 2021 Officer of the Year: Officer Pedro Miliano


The Officer of the Year award honors sworn personnel who've displayed a high degree of professionalism, courtesy, proficiency and ability for a single act and/or continuous exemplary service during the year.


In a very short time, Officer Pedro Miliano has displayed a high degree of professionalism and proficiency while carrying out his duties. His level of problem-solving and attention to detail far exceeds the expectation of a one-year officer. His positive attitude is infectious, and he is always committed and ready to take on his daily responsibilities.


 2021 Employee of the Year: Lisa Jones


The Employee of the Year award honors non-sworn personnel who've displayed a high degree of professionalism, courtesy, proficiency and ability for a single act and/or continuous exemplary service during the year.


Lisa Jones always has a positive attitude, is hard-working, and is always willing to assist anyone. She is proficient and has a high level of competency, but she is constantly seeking ways to gain more knowledge. In her one-and-a-half years with the Department, she has been a model employee. Her dedication to the Department and its mission is easily recognized through her work ethic and daily interactions with coworkers and visitors.


 2021 Volunteer of the Year: Gwendolyn Beasley


The Volunteer of the Year award honors a volunteer who has displayed a high degree of professionalism, courtesy, proficiency and ability for a single act and/or continuous exemplary service during the year.

 Two times a day, Gwendolyn Beasley safely directs and assists children at the busy school zone of West Zephyrhills Elementary School. While on duty, Aunt Gwen' promotes positivity to every student and goes beyond her duties by teaching students traffic and pedestrian safety. She is beloved by students, parents, and school staff.


 2021 Life-Saving Award: Officer Steven Chimeri, Officer Rocco DeSio


The Life-Saving award is bestowed upon an employee whose actions are directly responsible for saving human life, or where evidence indicates the employee's actions prolongs a human life to the extent a victim was released to the care of medical authorities.


On November 25, 2021, a ZPD officer was traveling west on C Avenue and observed the image of a person hanging over the guardrail by Zephyr Park. Upon checking the person's welfare, the officer noticed the male was discolored and had no pulse. Another officer then arrived on scene and performed chest compressions while the first resumed a pulse and breathing. The patient was later transported to the hospital, where he fully recovered. The rescue efforts performed by officers Steven Chimeri and Rocco DeSio were directly responsible for the saving of human life.


2021 Distinguished Performance Award: Sergeant John Oleson


The Distinguished Performance award is bestowed upon an employee who has performed a specific duty, action or assignment at a level that demonstrates exceptional professionalism and commitment to duty in the course of their assignment.


On August 25, 2021, dayshift officers were dispatched to the railroad tracks by Chancey Road in regards to a suicidal subject armed with a firearm.

Sergeant John Oleson arrived on scene and immediately observed the subject was holding a firearm in his left hand. The officer was extraordinarily calm and composed and eventually convinced the subject to place the firearm on the ground. The officer exhibited extraordinary awareness and de-escalation techniques to prevent a potential use-of-force incident. The officer's action that day demonstrated exceptional professionalism and commitment to duty.


2021 Chief's Award: Stephanie Nelson, Sandra Waters


The Chief's Award is issued to members of the Department by, and at the sole discretion of, the Chief of Police in special recognition of exceptional contributions to the goals and objectives of the Department.


Stephanie Nelson fills many roles within her unit of the Department. She has extensive experience and knowledge that has been passed onto members of her team. She has been a mentor to many within the agency and even citizens.

Despite the number of extra duties she takes on, she never hesitates to roll up her sleeves to get the job done. Her work ethic, knowledge, and motivation to help others, set her apart.


Sandra Waters has been a staple at the Department for many years. She has worked under the tenure of five police chiefs and has been a part of the evolution of the agency for 23 years, with hard work and dedication. She's considered the Google' of the agency, given her knowledge and experience.

While she is being recognized for the Chief's Award, this could also be considered a Lifetime Achievement award.

Meantime, other ZPD personnel were spotlighted for Assignments, Tenure, Safe Driving, Perfect Attendance, Employee Recognition, Unit Citation SRT/CID, and Communications.

Zephyrhills Police Officer, Pedro Miliano

Zephyrhills Police Department group photo

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