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Officers of the Month
Officer of the Month for January 2015
Officers Patrick Hopkins and Maribeth Davis

This month, we couldn't make a decision on we selected TWO officers of the month!

Officer Patrick Hopkins

I am nominating Officer Patrick Hopkins for January’s Officer of the Month.  He consistently demonstrates a high level of pro-activity.  His self-initiated activity is also very broad based.  He does not limit himself to one particular enforcement effort, but seizes every opportunity to investigate criminal activity.  Officer Hopkins is consistently one of the top performers on his team in self-initiated activity while still maintaining zone integrity for calls for service.  These are a few examples of his performance for the month of January:

Warrant Arrest:  Officers Kikendall and Hopkins observed a black male subject outside of apartment #51 and had previous knowledge he had an active warrant.  They confirmed the warrant for Violation of Probation / Failure To Appear on a Battery (No Bond) and arrested him without incident. 

Possession With Intent to Sell/Manufacture a Controlled Substance / Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer / Resisting With Violence:  Officer Hopkins contacted a male suspect after seeing him attempt to conceal a red Solo cup from view.  The suspect discarded the cup, and it was found to have a cannabis plant growing inside of it.  Once in the salley port of the jail, the suspect said, “I’m not going in there.”  He refused to go in and pulled away from Officer Hopkins when he tried to walk him in.  Officer Hopkins interlocked his arm under the suspect’s shoulder and attempted to walk him inside.  The suspect then lowered his shoulder, turned into Officer Meek and slammed Officer Meek into the wall despite being handcuffed.  The suspect was taken to the ground, and then he tried to bite Officer Meek’s arm.  Detention Deputies exited the facility and had to taze the suspect to get him under control.  Officer Hopkins sustained a laceration to his hand and a sore shoulder. 

Driving Under the Influence:  Officer Hopkins stopped a vehicle driven by a male suspect for running a stop sign and then driving in an erratic manner.  He showed signs of impairment, and Officer Joseph Castor responded to conduct the field sobriety exercises.  The suspect performed poorly and was arrested.  He provided breath samples of .295 and .290. 

Trespass After Warning / Possession of Cannabis < 20 grams, (Gator Liquor):  Officer Hopkins arrested a male suspect for being on the property despite having been warned for trespassing on 05-21-14.  A baggie containing approximately 0.5 grams of cannabis was located inside of his wallet. 

Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer:  Officers were dispatched to the listed location in reference to a domestic disturbance where a male suspect was threatening to kill his mother.  Officers Castor and Hopkins arrived, and the suspect began sprinting towards Officer Hopkins car.  Officer Hopkins quickly exited his car, and the suspect punched him in the face.  They fell against the patrol car and exchanged punches.  Officer Hopkins was able to take him to the ground where both their heads struck the concrete.  The suspect continued to fight by punching Officer Hopkins in the head and grabbing his neck.  Officer Castor was then able to reach them and secure one of the suspect’s arms while Officer Hopkins secured the other one and handcuffed him.  The suspect sustained an approximately 8” long deep laceration to his scalp and was transported to Shands and Baker Acted.  Officer Hopkins sustained a laceration to his lip and abrasions to his throat, neck and forehead.  He was treated and released at NFRMC. 

Driving Under the Influence / Possession of Cannabis < 20 grams / Resisting Without Violence:  Officer Hopkins stopped a vehicle driven by a male suspect for failure to maintain a single lane of travel.  The suspect showed signs of alcohol impairment and admitted to having cannabis in his center console.  Officer Benson administered FSE’s, and the suspect performed poorly.  When Officers Hopkins and Scott began to handcuff him, the suspect stiffened his arms and pulled them in front of him in an attempt to keep from being handcuffed.  He was taken to the ground, and he hid his hands under his stomach.  After being handcuffed, he dead weighted his body and had to be carried to the patrol car.  Approximately 0.5 grams of cannabis was recovered from the console.  The suspect refused to provide a breath or urine sample.  

Officer Maribeth Davis

Once again, Ofc Maribeth Davis is being nominated by Shift 4B as Officer of the Month for January 2015. Ofc M. Davis continues to have a strong work ethic and a drive which not only motivates the officers around her, but she sets an example to new officers of what a “great cop” does on a daily basis.

Ofc M. Davis has clearly established herself as a lead worker on the shift as it pertains to traffic and drug enforcement. It is evident in her stats, her passion is drug enforcement. Ofc M. Davis has actively pursued attending supplemental training courses in order to give herself additional “tools” to make her a more effective drug enforcement officer. Ofc M. Davis routinely works with other members of her team to make an impact on crime in her zone and surrounding zones. Ofc M. Davis takes the time out to debrief her arrestees and find out where they are obtaining their drugs. Ofc M. Davis has focused her efforts on monitoring suspected drug houses and making stops on vehicles leaving these houses. Part of being a team player, Ofc M. Davis will work with other team members in conducting these mini details which usually are productive.

Ofc M. Davis has a reputation of being an excellent interviewer. Ofc M. Davis has no issues getting victims to open up to her or picking up on verbal/non-verbal cues during suspect interviews. Ofc M. Davis conducts herself in a professional manner at all times and represents the department in a positive light.

Ofc M. Davis is very knowledgeable and writes an excellent report. Ofc M. Davis clearly establishes, at the very minimum, her probable cause for her arrests. Her reports could serve as an example of how to articulate elements of the many crimes she investigates. Even though her passion is drug enforcement, Ofc M. Davis remains versatile enough to easily handle a DUI camera request if the need arises.

Ofc M. Davis is a complement to the shift and is well liked and respected by her peers. Below are a few of Ofc M Davis’s status entries which exemplify the impact she has on the shift during the course of a typical month.

Possession Marijuana Under 20 gm / Possession New Legend Drug w/o Prescription: Officer M. Davis conducted a traffic stop and contacted a male suspect and his female passenger.  A strong odor of marijuana was coming from within his car.  The male suspect stated that he had a firearm with him and that he was a Deputy for Bradford County S.O.   A search of his person revealed a plastic baggie of marijuana and a search of the vehicle revealed a rolled marijuana blunt and a small paper envelope containing multiple prescription pills, one of which was Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone.  It was confirmed that he was currently LEO with Bradford County and the handgun in the vehicle was his issued weapon.  The male suspect admitted Post Miranda that he had been at the Motel 6 with his female friend and that the marijuana was his and that he obtained the pills from the Bradford Co. Jail nurse who was 'a friend of a friend's. Notifications made to Bradford Co. SO, as well as ASODOJ staff. 

Poss of Controlled Substance / HTO / Warrant Arrest- Ofc Maribeth Davis stopped a vehicle for speeding and contacted driver.  Ofc M. Davis determined the driver was DWLSR (HTO) and had a confirmed VOP warrant. A search of the driver located a baggie with a white powdery  substance which he advised was Subutex (Schedule 3). A search of the vehicle located the rest of the pill and powder which he did not have a prescription for.

Warrant Arrest:    Ofc. M. Davis responded to a Domestic Disturbance and found a male suspect walking away from the location.  He said the disturbance with his girlfriend was only verbal.  He then asked for a ride to a shelter.  A Records Check revealed a VOP Warrant for the suspect which was confirmed.  Ofc. M. Davis gave him a ride to the ASO shelter.  The domestic disturbance was determined to have been verbal only. 

Possession Controlled Substance / Possession Drug Paraphernalia / CCW:  Ofc. Maribeth Davis stopped a vehicle for a Stop Sign Violation.  The driver appeared to have white powdery substance in his nostrils.  He consented to a search of his vehicle and person. Ofc Matt Quinn located a small black metal tube which contained cocaine "One Hitter" in the driver's pocket.  He also had two combat style knives concealed in his pants pocket and under his shirt.  (Auto-opening stiletto and curved razor edge knives.)  The curved blade knife had cocaine residue on the blade edges. 

DWLSR / Warrant Arrest.:  Ofc. Maribeth Davis stopped a vehicle driven by a female.  It was determined that she had two active warrants for Theft and her Florida DL was 'Suspended'.  During the search of the driver an unknown substance that appeared to be a controlled substance was found in her bra.  All drug tests showed negative results.  Substance submitted for lab analysis. 

Ofc M. Davis is a pleasure to have on the team and I look forward to seeing her hone her skills as an effective street cop. I am confident Ofc M. Davis will have a bright future at this department as she accomplishes the goals of the department by making the community a safer place to live. As I’ve stated in the past, for her hard work, Ofc M. Davis deserves being awarded the title of “Officer of the Month.” 

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 2014
Officer Rob Narayan

Officer Rob Narayan has been selected as the 2014 GPD Officer of the Year!

Ofc Rob Narayan is one of the most experienced, and respected officers within the department. His ability to consistently sniff out crime and make quality arrests is legendary.  His peers and supervisors are constantly amazed at the sixth sense he appears to have at finding criminals.

Not only is his proactivity to be admired, but his willingness to impart wisdom on the many younger, less experienced officers he works with is more than admirable. During the month of February, Ofc. Narayan seemingly took it upon himself to singlehandedly resolve any burglary activity in and around his zone, before it could occur. The following Loitering & Prowling arrests serve as a testament.

1017 W University Ave (Mother`s Pub):  An employee inside the business called to report someone attempting to gain entry into the business via a locked door.  Officer Narayan responded and made contact with Randy R. Randolph, just outside the back door of Mother`s Pub.  A BOLO from Union County had recently been given regarding Randolph as missing/ endangered reference MIP. 

Loitering and Prowling - 1 Se 1st Avenue, Law office of Scruggs and Carmichael: Officer Narayan was conducting an increased patrol in the downtown area when he noticed Titus Smoaks loitering in the area. Officer Narayan watched as Smoaks put on a pair of black rubber gloves and began pushing on the window of the Gelato Company, 11 SE 1st Ave. When Smoaks saw civilians approaching he walked back to the street until they passed. Smoaks then walked into the recessed entryway at Scruggs and Carmichael. When Officer Narayan approached the business he located Smoaks trying to force the door of the business open by pushing the door open with his body weight. Smoaks could not explain his action nor could he dispel Officer Narayan’s suspicion that he was not about to commit a crime.   **** SOU later connected Smoaks to a business burglary and a conveyance burglary.

1100 SW 5th Ave: Ofc. Rob Narayan contacted Joshua Larson after he observed him looking into the window of parked vehicles. Larson immediately began to walk away upon seeing Ofc. Narayan's patrol car. Larson gave several inconsistent stories explaining his presence and activity, all of which were refuted by Ofc. Narayan. Larson failed to dispel concern for the safety of people and property in the area and was arrested.

In between these arrests, Ofc. Narayan still found the time and effort to make the following narcotics arrests:

Poss. of a New Legend Drug, Poss. of Drug Paraphernalia - 400 N Main St: Ofc. R. Narayan stopped Todd Desmarais for a red light violation. A consent search yielded a crack pipe as well as 6 prescription Acetaminophen tablets, for which he did not have a prescription.

Possession of a controlled substance - 300 W University Ave: Ofc. Narayan conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for driving at night with no headlights.  The driver consented to a search of the vehicle and a rock of crack cocaine was located on the passenger seat.  The passenger, Karen J. Wilson, was arrested.  Before the body scan at the jail, Wilson said that she placed a baggie of crack cocaine inside her vagina just prior to the traffic stop.  The baggie was seen on the scan, but was not able to be located by NFRMC. 

These accomplishments alone are evidence enough that Ofc. Narayan is deserving of the recognition of Officer of the Month, but when combined with his ability and willingness to continue his proactive efforts, he can easily be considered for Officer of the Month twelve times a year.

Congratulations, Officer Narayan for being selected as the GPD Officer of the Year for 2014!