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Officer of the Year Awards

By: Angelica Alvarez Email
By: Angelica Alvarez Email

Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Nominees

Lt. William “Billy” Fair – Leon County Sheriff’s Office
Lt. Fair joined the Leon County Sheriffs Office in 1981. He has worked in the Jail, Medical, Classification and Booking & Releasing Units. He is credited with implementing programs such as CJIS system, Booking and Imaging system, Electronic Finger Print system and Employee of the Month Program. He has also been certified as an EMT and became the first medic on the LCSO SWAT Team. In 1998 he was transferred to the Law Enforcement Division and worked in various assignments such as Special Operations, Uniform Patrol, School Resource, and finally in his current assignment of Communications. His expertise has made him the “go to guy” for the colossal project of the joint communications center which will merge the communication sections of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County EMS, and the Tallahassee Fire Department. He has been involved with the inception since 2006 and has taken a lead role in the designing, planning, and implementing of this million dollar project. The Lieutenant has dedicated himself to the service of the members of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and more importantly to the citizens of Leon County. His continuous dedication to duty and service leaves no doubt that he is well deserving of this award.

Officer Ernest “Jesse” Goram – Tallahassee Police Department
Officer Goram has been employed with the Tallahassee Police Department for 3 ½ years. He views police work as his calling and mission in life. Officer Goram responded to a house fire and as one of the first officers on scene, he quickly ascertained that the residence was engulfed in flames and learned from the resident that her four young children were still inside the house. Officer Goram and his Sergeant, Reginald Lawyer made their way to the rear of the residence looking for a point of entry. After an attempted climb up a fence that collapsed, Officer Goram utilized Sgt. Lawyer as a human ladder and climbed onto his shoulders to gain access to the roof. Officer Goram was able to pull one child onto the roof through the window and one by one, the next two children followed the light from the Officer’s flashlight, along with the sound of his voice, and made their way to the window. Working through thick smoke he assisted each of them in exiting the residence, calmly placing them on the roof next to their siblings. He then heard a fourth child screaming from inside the home. He entered the residence through the window and grabbed the child, carrying him out of the house and to the safety of the roof. Four young lives were saved because of Officer Goram, as he acted with courage and heroism during the rescue.

Distinguished Career Service Award Nominees

Major Carl Bennett – 34 years – Leon County Sheriff’s Office
Major Bennett started his career in 1978 when he was hired by Sheriff Ken Katsaris as a patrol deputy. He began to climb the ladder working as a Detective, Sergeant, and Lieutenant in Uniform Patrol and Criminal Investigations. In 1995 he was promoted to Captain where he supervised Support Services, Operations and Corrections. He was promoted to Major and became the Director of Corrections in 2001. He served in this position for seven years before transferring to the Special Services Division where he currently works. He plans to retire in 2012. The Major is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Florida Executive Development Seminar, and the Southern Police Institute Command Officers Development Course. He served as the liaison for the Sheriff’s Office with the FAMU bombing incident and also took an integral part in the developing and implementing the detective training program for the Criminal Investigations Bureau and the Corrections Training Program for the Leon County Jail. He has received awards from the NAACP for the Dr. James Hudson Citizenship Award and the Black Achiever Award. He has served as Criminology Instructor for TCC and Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy and is currently an adjunct professor at Florida A&M University in Criminology.

Lieutenant Jack Adkins – 30 years – Tallahassee Police Department
Those in the law enforcement community who have known and worked alongside Lt. Adkins say there is no better role model or mentor, no greater leader or doer, and no one with as humble a spirit of servant leadership as Jack Adkins. In 1994, Lt. Adkins was hired by TPD where it soon became evident that he was destined for greater responsibility; first as a motorcycle officer with the Department’s Special Operations Unit, followed by his assignment as a Traffic Homicide/Hit & Run Investigator. In 1986 he was selected as a Tactical Apprehension & Control Team entry team member and later as sniper team member, as a negotiator, and finally as TAC team leader. He was the first officer with TPD to be trained as a bomb/explosives technician. In 1991 he was promoted to Patrol Sergeant where he supervised a patrol squad for a few months before being hand picked to lead the department’s newly created Community Service Officer Program. Jack was again selected as Sergeant for the department’s General Narcotics Interdiction Team. This drew him to the assignment of Training Coordinator. In January 2008 he was promoted to Police Lieutenant. He served as a Patrol Watch Commander and currently serves as the Patrol Operations Lieutenant for the Northern Sector. A comprehensive review of the specialized training and certifications that Lieutenant Adkins has amassed over the course of his career are too long to list. But, to list a few, he has received the Meritorious Service Award, the Regional Domestic Security Task Force Certificate of Appreciation, and two Unit Citations while serving as Sergeant for the Career Criminals Unit.


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