FCSO Citizen Observer Patrol (COP) Unit Hosts Annual Awards Banquet


The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Citizen Observer Patrol (COP) Unit hosted their 2023 Awards Banquet on December 16, 2023, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Palm Coast. The banquet was led by volunteer Chief Roberson Brown, who leads the dedicated COP Unit volunteers in handling various tasks that allow sworn deputies to handle and investigate more serious crimes. The banquet was also attended by Sheriff Rick Staly and his wife Debbie, Chief Jon Welker, Chief David Williams, Commander Scott Vedder, and Commander Kenny Goncalves.

Since 2005, the COPs have volunteered approximately 260,000 hours, valued at over $4,806,000. COPs provide various services to the community like assisting with traffic control at accidents, parades, funeral escorts, and other special details. Their duties may also include child fingerprinting, passing out literature at community events, handling requests for vacation house watches, dispatching the COP vehicles, handling phone calls and walk-ins at District Offices, assisting in courthouse security, and much more.

The following awards were presented to the following Citizen Observer Patrol members:

Volunteer of the Year: COP Dispatcher Jill Dempsey

Volunteer Commander of the Year: COP Commander Robert Millett

Volunteers of the 4th Quarter:

COP Nancy Del Riego

COP Sergeant Mary Mollico

COP Sergeant Carlos Nunez

COP Sergeant Thomas Semon


Years of Service Awards:

16 Years: COP Commander Carol Oxford-Yard and COP Sr. Sergeant Paul Matarazzo

18 Years: COP Dan Lamperti

20 Years: COP Sergeant Nancy Morea

Unit Citation:

COP Traffic Crash Investigators (6 Traffic Crash Investigators handled 680 crash reports)

Support Services: COP Commander Joe Camit

COP Communications: COP Commander Oxford-Yard

Special Details: COP Commander Peter Sarni

One of the biggest achievements celebrated in 2023 was the COP Unit being awarded the International Association of Police Chiefs (IACP) Leadership in Volunteer Police Programs Award in the Comprehensive Volunteer Police Service Program. As the recipient of the IACP Leadership in Volunteer Police Programs Award, FCSO and Volunteer Chief Brown and the COP team were recognized on Tuesday, October 17th, during the closing awards banquet of the 2023 IACP Annual Conference in San Diego, CA.

“Congratulations to our incredible COP Unit for another successful year of volunteer service to the citizens of Flagler County and to the Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “They are an invaluable resource to us and we are glad they could gather to celebrate their achievements this past weekend.”

If you would like to join our award-winning COP volunteers, visit: https://www.flaglersheriff.com/join-fcso/volunteers.

By Flagler County Buzz

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