James Gunther was reported missing on April 1 while on an annual boating trip. His body was found anchored and abandoned near Ft. McCree.
A Milton man, Michael Rodgers is being charged with murder in the death of Gunther. Rodgers is currently being held in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana following his arrest related to attempts to assume the identity of the missing man. The extradition process initiated by the State Attorney will bring Rodgers back to Florida to face the murder charges. The full press conference announcing the matter is available on the ECSO facebook. https://www.facebook.com/OfficialECSO/
Congratulations to Ben Dunlap and Tama Barber. Ben Dunlap is promoted to Sergeant and Tama Barber is promoted to Lieutenant.
We love our Volunteers at the ECSO. Their services are utilized throughout the organization on a daily basis. The expertise and life experience they offer greatly enhance our mission capabilities as well as saving the taxpayers vast amounts of money thanks to their generous donation of both time and talents. On Friday the 15th of April we had a luncheon and awards ceremony to honor them for their services to the community. Recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award was Shannon Enderson. In addition to her volunteer duties on the Mounted Unit she spends over 30 days a year assisting with Citizens Law Enforcement Academy classes as well as the Neighborhood Watch Academy. Shown with Shannon Enderson are 1st Lt. Robby Martin and Commander Tracy Yuhasz.
Thank you ECSO Dispatchers! It’s National Telecommunications Week and we’re showing our support for our “Guardian Angels” by wearing these bracelets. They answer more than 1,000 calls each day helping members of the community. All week long at ECSO we’re celebrating by showing support for our dispatchers. Wednesday our dispatchers dressed as “Tacky Tourists” by wearing their best fanny packs and shades.
Saving lives and catching bad guys is all in a day’s work for law enforcement officers, but the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office took a day to recognize its deputies and employees for their efforts Friday.
In an award ceremony at the Sheriff’s Office Administration building, about two dozen ECSO employees were recognized for achievements that ranged from to providing emergency first aid to saving the agency money on new patrol vehicles.
Deputy Kerem Suhi was presented with the National Sheriff’s Association Medal of Valor for an array accomplishments, including single-handily capturing two fleeing kidnapping suspects in 2013. The Medal of Valor is given for an act of outstanding personal bravery, intelligently performed, in the line of duty at imminent personal hazard of life, according to the National Sheriff’s Association.
In 2015, Suhi was honored by Gov. Rick Scott for pulling a wounded comrade to safety while under fire from a suspect.
Suhi said it was an honor to recognized for his work, but said at the end of the day he and his fellow deputies were just wanted to make their community a better place.
“We don’t do it to get awards,” he said. “We don’t do it to get recognition. Sometimes, we don’t even get a handshake.”
Still, Suhi got plenty of handshakes and a huge round of applause from the dozens of citizens and deputies who came to show their appreciation Friday.
Among others who were recognized were Law Enforcement Officer of the Quarter Deputy Justin Fountain, who showed exceptional patience and consideration to affected children during abuse call, and Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Deputy Michelle Wert, who helped identify four murder suspects and a fifth conspirator accused of paying off witnesses.
Sheriff David Morgan said Wert was selected as Officer of the Year for “her diligence in her work performance with the homicide unit and holding violent criminals accountable for their actions.”
Morgan awarded a Civilian Service Medal to U.S. Air Force Capt. Elton Herrick for helping rescue his neighbors out of rubble when an EF-3 tornado hit Pensacola on Feb. 23.
After the storm buried several people under debris, Herrick and his wife followed the voices of neighbors and helped pull them from the debris. The Herricks saved a total of five people, including a young couple and their baby.
A full list of awardees is available at facebook.com/OfficialECSO.
(from an article by Kevin Robinson of the Pensacola News Journal)