Officer of the Month for March 2014
Officer Ronnie Hartley
Ofc. Ronnie Hartley has been selected by his peers for Officer of the Month!
Officer Hartley used his incredible investigative experience and skills to find a sexual battery crime scene with very little information to go on. He was told by detectives that the hotel involved in the sexual battery was described by the victim as in the “South West Area” of town and the victim described the bathroom as having little tiles and the room would be directly in front of you as you pull into the hotel or motel to park.
Based on Officer Hartley’s years of experience and knowledge of this zone, he asked around, going to several different motels in the area. He spent a substantial amount of time trying to locate the crime scene area. He was striking out on his search until he got to Motel 6 and asked them about the description of their rooms and described the small bathroom tiles to the management. He was given a negative response regarding his description. He was about to leave the area obtaining nothing further to assist him with the crime scene location but He then inquired a bit further to the management personnel. He requested to be shown rooms that may be similar to the description provided by the victim of the sexual battery. He was then given consent by the management to look at a few rooms. It was at this point the manager showed him a couple of handicapped rooms that may have fit the description he was looking to locate. He located two rooms that actually matched the description of the victim’s recollection of events. After looking at one room it was completely clean and appeared to have not been rented by anyone recently. He looked at room 105 and determined right away that this appeared to be the room the sexual battery had occurred. He located two used condoms and a wrist band for the bar in question that the victim had visited just before the sexual battery.
At this point, Officer Hartley locked down the room and called for CID and Forensics to assist. He then went to the front desk and obtained the suspect who rented the room by obtaining a print out. He determined that the room had been rented at about 230 am just one hour prior to the Offender driving through Burger King. This was information that the victim remembered and told detective Harrison. He then gave the name to Officer Kesting to dig a little and he was able to obtain a name that lived in the same complex as the victim involved in the sexual battery. The birthdays did not match the passport ID used at the Motel for check in but Officer Hartley was determined that he had the correct suspect. Officer Hartley actually located the suspect Offender who ultimately confessed to the crime and was given a million dollar bond by the judge.
This type of investigation is typical of Officer Hartley. He had limited information to go on but do to his expert knowledge of his zone and his unique investigative skills he was able to basically find the crime scene and the suspect with very little information provided to him. Due to his tenacious effort a sexual battery victim was able to identify the suspect via a photo line-up and the evidence was collected for prosecution before the room had been cleaned and vital evidence lost. If it had not been for the innate investigative skills and his tenacious attitude to continue to find the suspect this case may have gone unresolved. Officer Hartley does this type of work on a daily basis and takes pride in his knowledge of his area. He should be nominated as Officer of the month for this spectacular investigative effort.
Officer Hartley is unique and one of a kind in his dogged determination to investigate crimes thoroughly that are committed in his area of responsibility. He is a huge asset to the Gainesville Police Department and the citizens of Gainesville. He should be recognized for this incredible effort and the many others not always mentioned that he does on a daily basis for the Gainesville Police Department.
Supervisor of the Quarter
Sergeant Nick Ferrara
Sgt. Nick Ferrara has been selected as Supervisor of the Quarter. Daily, Sgt. Ferrara demonstrates the qualities our department looks for in a leader. He is a teacher and a mentor. As a former SWAT team member, his tactical knowledge is very high and other officers trust him to make sound decisions.
Sgt. Ferrara’s management style is firm, but easy going. He has high standards for his subordinates, but treats them with respect. Sgt. Ferrara is clearly well liked by all members of midnight shift.
Sgt. Ferrara leads by example. He is the definition of a FIELD supervisor. Sgt. Ferrara works with his team nightly. He responds to hot calls; he’ll take a perimeter position; he backs-up his team on traffic stops; he mentors and teaches.
Sgt. Ferrara believes in our Community Oriented Policing efforts. He has spearheaded both the reboot of the Safety Kiosk concept at midtown and has developed an Alcohol Awareness Detail. He loves to interact with citizens and is a positive reinforcement for how we are perceived by the citizens we serve.
The following are some opinions from his teammates:
“He was very good to work under as a new officer. He was always available and willing to help out. He was a great source of information and a great teacher, whether it be on tactics or legal issues pertaining to the job. He holds all of his officers to a high standard, which, without micromanaging, pushes them to try harder. He treats his officers as equals, and it's something we all appreciated.”
“As a veteran officer, I have worked with and for Sgt. Ferrara. He has outstanding knowledge and a great ability to impart it to others. I still use him as a resource due to his ability. He is an excellent leader and shares any burden that is asked of officers. He is proactive and substantially contributes to finding and solving crimes. He is exemplar by word and deed to the ethos of professional law enforcement.”
Sgt. Ferrara is tactically sound. His prior investigative experience shines through while assisting on major case calls and in the supplements he writes. He also excels at the administrative aspect of supervising. Whether it be handling complaints or dealing with problem employees. Sgt. Ferrara cares about the team and the overall mission of GPD. For all these reasons and many more, Sgt. Ferrara was selected. Congratulations!
Officer of the Year for 2013
Officer Jeff Bailey
Ofc. Bailey is a member of GPD’s Honor Guard, Awards Committee and the Employee Advisory Committee. As the GPD Military Liaison, Ofc. Bailey oversees the GPD Military Assistance Program. He provides assistance to our employees who currently serve in the US Reserves or National Guard, as well as to those who have served in the past. He assists employees who are in the process of deploying, are deployed and those returning from deployment. He assists with various issues that arise and acts as a liaison for the members and GPD. While they are deployed, Ofc. Bailey corresponds with them and ensures they are kept up to date with current events at GPD. When requested, he checks on the well-being of their family members back home. Upon their return, he provides assistance to help solve issues and ensure they have a seamless transition back to GPD. When new personnel are hired, he briefs them all on the GPD Military Assistance Program and provides relevant information. Ofc. Bailey also ordered the GPD Military Service Recognition Pins and facilitated the awarding of that recognition. This past fall, Ofc. Bailey coordinated two presentations at UF football games with UF’s Athletic Association’s program: Saluting those that served. This year, Ofc. Bailey has been working tirelessly on a military policy for GPD.
Ofc. Bailey is a consummate team player. He is perhaps the most humble police officer at our department. His extracurricular work ethic does not overshadow his patrol work:
On 09/13/13, Ofc. Jeff Bailey worked a retail theft at 1515 N Main St. where he identified Glenson L. Duncan as the suspect. Ofc. Bailey arrested Duncan the next day. At the time, Duncan was in possession of obvious stolen goods, still packaged and obviously possessed for re-sale on the streets. The Kangaroo clerks said that Glenson was a habitual thief and had targeted their store many times before. Duncan’s MO (stealing items in bulk) and physical description also matched several other cases worked by GPD officers all over the city on all three shifts. Ofc. Bailey researched only a 5 month window of retail thefts in RMS and narrowed down Duncan as the suspect in many. Ofc. Bailey adjusted his work schedule by coming in on his days off and before work. He obtained and reviewed video surveillance in 7 cases where he himself could identify Duncan as the thief. In collecting these videos, identifying stolen goods and speaking with store employees, it was relayed to Ofc. Bailey that Duncan stole many more times than what was reported to LEO, most likely dozens of times. Some had even nicknamed Duncan the “Red Slippered Bandit.” All the businesses were highly appreciative of his investigation. Duncan had18 felony convictions and 16 misdemeanor convictions. He had 7 theft convictions (4 times for misdemeanor petit theft, 2 times for felony – petit theft and once for felony grand theft.) Again, Ofc. Bailey adjusted his schedule and met with two assistant state attorneys on how to create the mittimus so as to streamline the charging and clerking process. Although he could have kept digging deeper into more cases, the SAO was satisfied with 7 cases and will prosecute all as felonies. Ofc. Bailey ultimately charged Duncan with 7 counts of felony petit theft and scheming to defraud via a 4-page mittimus. As these cases were [seemingly] only misdemeanors, no one would ever have followed up had Ofc. Bailey not connected the dots and put forth great effort and work, Duncan would have continued on with his crime spree.
Congratulations to Officer Bailey for being selected as the GPD Officer of the Year for 2013!