Officer of the Month for July 2014
Officer Patrick Hopkins
Ofc. Patrick Hopkins has been selected by his peers for Officer of the Month!
On two occasions this summer, Ofc. Hopkins has responded to life-threatening spice related calls and rendered aid to victims who might have otherwise died. On one occasion, he gave CPR to a woman who had gone into cardiac arrest because she smoked bad spice. He used skills he learned both as a Police officer and as an Army medic to sustain her life and monitor her with his AED until paramedics arrived and took over. On a second occasion, he was on foot patrol at Gardenia Gardens Apartments and observed a subject under the influence of Spice go unconscious and fall into a drainage ditch waist deep with water. Ofc. Hopkins and a concerned citizen retrieved the unconscious man and Ofc. Hopkins monitored his vital signs until EMS arrived.
Spice has created a dangerous dynamic for Gainesville over the past few months and as police officers, we have had to combat it through investigations and street level drug arrests. Ofc. Hopkins has contributed to the mission in this way also. However, through his medical interventions, he has helped ensure we have not had a Spice related death in our city.
Congratulations, Officer Hopkins!
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!