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Sarasota County Schools Police Department Welcomes 12 Officers and 2 Sergeants at Oath of Office Ceremony

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SARASOTA COUNTY, August 9, 2018 – The Sarasota County Schools Police Department (SCSPD) officially welcomed 12 officers and 2 sergeants into its ranks today after holding an Oath of Office ceremony on Wednesday. The School Board of Sarasota County approved the officers and sergeants at Tuesday evening’s Board meeting.

“We are extremely excited and proud to welcome these fine men and women into the Sarasota County Schools family,” said Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “The talent amassed in this group of stellar law enforcement officials is impressive. We appreciate how the community has embraced our officers and sergeants, and look forward to working collaboratively to keep our campuses safe.” 

“Our children are the leaders of tomorrow and we are honored to protect them,” commented Michael Andreas, director of Safety & Security of Sarasota County Schools. “We have assembled an incredible team that boasts a wide variety of skills and experience. The men and women of the SCSPD are talented, driven and acutely focused on keeping our students and school personnel safe and secure.”

“I am humbled to lead these outstanding men and women,” noted Paul Grohowski, chief of police of the SCSPD. “The interview process was difficult and intense, but these officers and sergeants passed with flying colors. All of them have exactly what it takes to serve our schools and protect our community’s most precious gift, our children. Combined, the SCSPD has over 544 years of law enforcement experience. We are committed to excellence and delivering quality care and security.”

Please join us in recognizing the newest members of the SCSPD:

  • Sergeant Steve Kim
    • He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corp. with 10 years of law enforcement experience. Sergeant Kim has served with the Port St. Lucie Police Department and Oviedo Police Department.
  • Sergeant Todd Perna
    • He has proudly served for the past 15 years at the Sarasota Police Department. Sergeant Perna was a member of the multi-agency Gang Task Force here in Sarasota County for 12 years.
  • Officer Joseph Hayes
    • He has 31 years of law enforcement experience, 21 of which were as a supervisor in some capacity or another. Officer Hayes has served as a SWAT Team Member, a Detective and a Narcotics Detective, among other assignments. He will initially provide relief/back up to allow two of the assigned officers to attend a one-week CIT course in late August.
  • Officer Michael Halpin
    • He faithfully served the citizens of New York City as a NYPD Officer from 1996 to 2016. Officer Halpin served in the highly-elite, Counter-Terrorism Unit in Manhattan South, among other assignments. He will initially provide relief/back up to allow two of the assigned officers to attend a one-week CIT course in late August. Officer Halpin is also being tasked to assess the security plans for the upcoming football season and to work with the athletic directors throughout the county for purposes of risk-assessment at large, public gatherings.
  • Officer Marino Rotondo
    • He joins SCSPD from the East Rutherford, New Jersey Police Department. Officer Rotondo served with distinction for 18 ½ years in both the Patrol Division and was the Supervisor of the Traffic Safety Bureau for over 14 years. He will be the School Resource Officer at Cranberry Elementary School.
  • Officer Robert Giarraputo
    • He served with the NYPD with distinction for 20 years. Officer Giarraputo was heavily commended for his efforts in the restoration of the Williamsburg Neighborhood, efforts that were recognized by the Honor Legions and the American Legions. He will be the School Resource Officer for Alta Vista Elementary School.
  • Officer John McDaniel
    • He started his service in law enforcement as a Police Cadet at the age of 19. Office McDaniel has served as a Detective, a Patrol Sergeant and an Assistant Chief of Police, among other varied assignments. He will be the School Resource Officer at Atwater Elementary School.
  • Officer Courtney Zak
    • She served with distinction at the St. Petersburg Police Department for 12 years. Office Zak has served as a Field Training Officer, a Community Service Officer and a Hostage Negotiator, among other assignments. She will be the School Resource Officer at Southside Elementary School.
  • Officer James O’Leary
    • He has over 30 years of law enforcement experience from the Norwalk Connecticut Police Department. Officer O’Leary served with evident distinction, earning the Officer of the Quarter award an unprecedented six times. He will be the School Resource Officer at Toledo Blade Elementary School.
  • Officer Salvatore Gianino
    • He is a 20-year veteran Officer from the NYPD. Officer Gianino served in numerous capacities, most notably a member of the highly-elite Counter-Terrorism Unit. He will be the School Resource Officer at Tuttle Elementary School.
  • Officer John Dominguez
    • He is an Army veteran with 13 years of law enforcement experience. Officer Dominguez served two highly successful overseas deployments and has experience in Narcotics and Criminal Investigations. He will be the School Resource Officer for Gulf Gate Elementary School.
  • Officer James Wheatley
    • He served with the Wharton Police Department for 21 years. Officer Wheatley has served as a DARE Officer as well as a Sergeant for 12 years in Patrol. He will be the School Resource Officer at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus.
  • Officer James McCarrick
    • He served the Wheeling Illinois Police Department for 27 years. Officer McCarick has served as a Detective, a Youth Officer and an Evidence Technician, among other assignments. He will be the School Resource Officer at Glenallen Elementary School.
  • Officer Mary McCarrick
    • She served the Chicago Police Department for 27 years. Officer McCarrick has served as a Field Training Officer, a Detective and a member of a pick-pocket task force as a Tactical Team Member. She will be the School Resource Officer at Lamarque Elementary School.

About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.

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Communications and Community Relations
Tracey Beeker, Director
tracey.beeker@sarasotacountyschools.net

Kelsey Whealy, Media Relations Specialist
kelsey.whealy@sarasotacountyschools.net

Caroline Lee, Administrative Assistant;
Public Records Custodian, Peachar eflyers    
caroline.lee@sarasotacountyschools.net 

Digital Communications
Mina Ajrab, Manager
mina.ajrab@sarasotacountyschools.net

Torie Ewald, Social Media Strategist
torie.ewald@sarasotacountyschools.net

Katy Ellis, Social Media Producer
kathryn.ellis@sarasotacountyschools.net

Phone: 941-927-4009 or
941-927-9000 ext. 74009
Fax: 941-927-2539
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Sarasota, Florida 34231
Green 3rd Floor

Education Channel 20/33
John Flowerree, Manager
john.flowerree@sarasotacountyschools.net

Stephen Pannone, Engineer
stephen.pannone@sarasotacountyschools.net

Phone: 941-361-6355
Fax: 941-361-6358
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Sarasota, Florida 34233

Community Involvement
Lyndsey Cantees, Coordinator  
lyndsey.cantees@sarasotacountyschools.net

Jennifer Anderson, Administrative Assistant
CommunityInvolvement@sarasotacountyschools.net
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31500
Fax: 941-361-6539
Green 1st Floor

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