News from BSO

National Women's History Month

National Women's History Month

March is National Women’s History Month, a tradition that began in 1987.  The month-long celebration honors the contributions women have made to events in history and society.  Here at BSO, we are taking this opportunity to highlight some of these outstanding women.  They play essential roles in their departments and are vital to our organization.  Some are faces you know.  Others, you might not recognize, but they have all been recommended by their peers as being essential to the mission of the Broward Sheriff’s Office.


Victoria “Vicki” Steinberg – Pompano Beach

Victoria “Vicki” Steinberg’s career with the Broward Sheriff’s Office began in May 2003.  She currently works as an administrative specialist in the Pompano Beach district.  Vicki is well known for her efficiency and reliability, but she truly stands out for her patience, understanding and positive attitude in the workplace.   She often works past her normal hours and will tackle work projects on her personal time.  Most recently, she took an active role in the Pompano Beach community and assisted with the “Tip-a-Cop” district event to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.  Vicki’s coworkers and the residents of Pompano Beach know they can always turn to her for assistance. 


Lt. Sherea Green – Department of Detention-Main Jail

Lieutenant Sherea Green has been a proud member of the Broward Sheriff’s Office since December 1997.  She is assigned to the Main Jail as a shift commander, where she excels in her ability to adapt to the fast-paced and ever-changing environment.  Sherea is dedicated to the inmates and peers she supervises.  She believes that every inmate can be rehabilitated with education and a second chance. As a supervisor, she insists employees always perform at their best in order to achieve their best.  Her honesty and integrity shine through at work and in her personal life.  Sherea has been a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the American Jail Association (AJA) and the Eastern Star.     


Deputy Lauren Apollo – Neighborhood Response Team-Oakland Park

Deputy Lauren Apollo began her career with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 2008.  She currently works on the Oakland Park District’s Neighborhood Response Team where she’s the liaison between the agency and hundreds of businesses.  She is also part of the Crisis Intervention Team and is dedicated to helping the homeless population.  Daily you’ll find her addressing the needs of the homeless and providing them with clothing, food and information about services and facilities that can assist them.  Deputy Apollo’s most recent accomplishment was her development of summit for the religious leaders of Oakland Park.  The meeting highlighted the many BSO safety and community programs, including Broward 2-1-1, and encouraged networking to develop unity in the community.  She is known for her outstanding contributions to the City of Oakland Park and for making it a better place for businesses, religious institutions and community members.  

Deputy Jennifer O’Brien-Craig – Department of Detention and Community Programs

Deputy Jennifer O’Brien-Craig began her service with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in November 1987.  During her 26-year career, she has worked in many capacities at the North Broward Bureau, including report coordinator and various duties in the housing, intake, mental health and medical areas.  She was integral in working with auditors during the re-accreditation process of the North Broward Bureau by the American Correctional Association (ACA), the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC), the Florida Model Jail Standards (FMJS) and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC).  Deputy O’Brien-Craig also helped develop a staff assistance manual to guide employees through documentation and operational functions.  She currently serves on the OSSI Training Committee and Use of Force Policy Development Panel.  Because of her dedication and excellence in the workplace, Deputy O’Brien-Craig was selected as the 2011 Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Detention Deputy of the Year.

Major Lisa Baker – Child Protective Investigations Section

Lisa Baker began her law enforcement career with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 1986 as a communications operator.  In 1988, she transferred to the Department of Law Enforcement and graduated from the police academy.  In 1991, she completed the Correctional Officers Academy earning a cross certification classification. Throughout her career, she has worked in a variety of assignments in road patrol, in the Internal Affairs Unit and in the Staff Inspections/Accreditation Unit.  Major Baker rose through the ranks and in 2013 was promoted to major assigned to her current position of program administrator of the Child Protective Investigations Section.  Outside of BSO, you’ll find her serving as a Girl Scout leader and active with her church.  



Deputy Kelli Covet – K-9 Unit

Deputy Kelli Covet joined the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 2004 when the Parkland Police Department merged with BSO.  Throughout her career, she’s worked as a firefighter, a law enforcement officer, a school resource deputy and on road as well as mounted patrol.  Deputy Covet is assigned to the Cooper City district and is known for her smiling face and positive attitude.  She recently joined the K-9 Unit with her partner Macie, a 15-month-old bloodhound donated to the agency by the Jimmy Ryce Foundation.  Macie is used to help locate Alzheimer’s patients and special needs persons who are missing or lost.  Deputy Covet’s responsibilities include handling road patrol calls and assisting in missing person cases throughout Broward County.  When Deputy Covet is not at work, you’ll find her volunteering with the Jason Taylor Foundation and at FAST Camp for youth.  




Iraida Ortiz-Davis – Human Resources Specialist

Iraida Ortiz-Davis began her career with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 2004.  She is a human resources specialist in the Benefits Division, assisting members of the BSO family.  Iraida is known by fellow employees as someone they can always turn to for help.  You’ll often find her working during her lunch hour, answering healthcare and benefit questions, but her kindness doesn’t stop there.  Iraida is a cancer survivor and shares her personal story of success and recovery with co-workers who are battling the disease and may be feeling hopeless, scared and alone.  If you’ve ever attended a BSO ceremony, it’s possible you’ve heard one of her many talents.  Iraida often volunteers to sing the national anthem at agency and community events.  During her free time, she volunteers with Loops of Love, a group of BSO employees who knit and crochet blankets for children that are taken in by Child Protective Services.

Deputy Debra White – Oakland Park

In 1984, Debra White began her career with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Detention. In 1990, she transferred to the Department of Law Enforcement. Since joining the Oakland Park district, Deputy White has assisted with the city’s implementation of the BSO Explorers Program and currently serves as the Explorer Advisor. She helped create a law-related education and juvenile prevention program designed to decrease juvenile delinquency and mentor juveniles who are on probation. Outside of work, she is a member of The Faith Center Ministries in Sunrise and serves as the assistant director of security. She also dedicates her time to mentoring youth, and her passion for education continues as she is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree at Union Institute & University


Captain Audrey Jones – Civil Division

Captain Audrey Jones is a University of Florida graduate who began her law enforcement career 22 years ago at the Dade County State Attorney’s Office. She joined the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in 1994 and later became a Special Agent for FDLE.  In 2006, she became the first African-American female major with the Florida Atlantic University Police Department. Since joining the Broward Sheriff’s Office in February 2013, Captain Jones has implemented numerous safety procedures for civil deputies and created the first ever Civil Symposium, which brought together employees from civil divisions and clerks of court throughout the state to share ideas on how to improve civil procedures. Through her fresh and innovative perspective, she has also helped launch a beautification project, commissioning the skillful hands of local students to create a mural for the division. The visiting public now gets to admire the beautiful artwork, while the students proudly say their work is displayed at BSO. In 2014, she was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce for her professional achievements and community contributions.

Lieutenant Nadine Dunn – West Park/Pembroke Park

Nadine Dunn began her law enforcement career in January 1990. Twenty four years later, she serves as the executive officer, and only lieutenant, in the South Broward district. Dedicated to making the cities of West Park and Pembroke Park a better place to live and work, Lt. Dunn is constantly leading by example. Whether it’s an in-progress burglary or a domestic dispute, Lt. Dunn can often be found out in the field backing up the district deputies on calls.  She is never hesitant to extend her assistance beyond the call of duty. One example of her dedication to the community is her efforts to help a young girl find housing and placement away from an unstable, unsafe environment. Her leadership and professionalism have resulted in a high level of morale and camaraderie within the district. Her commitment to her profession and the citizens of the community is apparent in the exemplary attitude she displays each and every day.

Lynda Ellison – Commissary Supervisor

Lynda Ellison has been employed with the Broward Sheriff’s Office for 32 years. She began her career as a detention aide in the North Broward Bureau and has worked her way up to become the commissary supervisor. Each day, Lynda reports for work and hits the ground running to ensure the Inmate Commissary Program runs smoothly. When it comes to her co-workers, there isn’t one birthday that goes by where Lynda doesn’t go the extra mile to make that person feel special. With a constant smile and positive attitude, Lynda makes coming to work a great joy. Outside of work, Lynda is involved with her church and enjoys planning family events.


Judy Couwels – Manager, Employee Assistance Program

For nearly 25 years, Judy Couwels has touched the lives of many Broward County law enforcement professionals, focusing her efforts on employee assistance services, research and training. Judy is BSO’s Employee Assistance Program Manager and serves as president of the South Florida chapter of the Employee Assistance Professional Association. As an educator, she has been teaching at the Broward College Institute of Public Safety Police Academy since 1996 and is the statewide training director for the Florida Association for Hostage Negotiation.  Judy has co-authored a chapter in a book on critical incident stress debriefing and a research paper titled, “The Law Enforcement Officer Stress Survey: Evaluation of Psychometric Properties.” Currently, she is coordinating a research project for Nova Southeastern University graduate students focused on stress in correctional officers. Dedicated to her profession, Judy is also a disaster mental health volunteer for the American Red Cross.


Detective Sandra Haye-Roberts – Criminal Investigations Division

Detective Sandra Haye-Roberts joined the Broward Sheriff’s Office in January 2002. She began her career as a road patrol deputy in the Lauderdale Lakes district.  In 2004, she was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division where she served as the agency’s first woman in the Homicide Unit. Today, Detective Haye-Roberts takes on the task of investigating sensitive and complex cases as part of the Special Victim’s Unit, where she has been assigned for the past eight years.  Her keen investigative skills and ability to communicate intimately with both victims and suspects have led her to solve numerous crimes and bring them to a successful prosecution. Her dedication to her profession and continuous efforts are duly noted and earned her the honor of being selected as the Employee of the Month for the Criminal Investigations Division in March 2014.



Deputy Kari Pallotto – Weston District

Deputy Kari Pallotto began her law enforcement career in Pennsylvania before joining the Broward Sheriff’s Office Weston district in January 2003. Today, Deputy Pallotto is the district’s crime prevention expert, providing public safety presentations, developing programs focused on crime prevention and deterrence and educating the community about how to stay safe. Whether it’s 9 a.m. or 9 p.m., Deputy Pallotto always makes herself available.  It’s safe to say she is known by every resident in the city; however, her community involvement extends further. Deputy Pallotto has been involved with Special Olympics for many years and currently serves as the co-chair of the Florida Special Olympics Committee. She is also very involved with the local Girl and Boy Scouts programs and has been instrumental in coordinating annual academy programs for students. While her hard work, dedication and professionalism are evident by the numerous awards, accolades and commendations she has received, her true success is apparent by the respect and appreciation she has earned from the residents of the city of Weston. 



Detective Connie Y. Bell – Dania Beach

Connie Bell joined the Broward Sheriff’s Office on October 17, 1988. In her years working at the Dania Beach district, Detective Bell has developed a great rapport with the community and is considered their “go-to” person. Whether there is a social services issue or a concern regarding animals in the community, she has a wealth of knowledge and resources to address the problem. In 2013, she was presented with the Crisis Intervention Training Officer of the Year Award by the Broward Behavioral Health Coalition for her work with the homeless facing mental illness. Detective Bell continues to make a positive impact on her community, which is evident by the countless letters of commendation she has received from the citizens of Dania Beach and local organizations. Not only is she remarkable on the job, but her strength and tenacity has aided in her success to survive stage 4 lung cancer. True to her philanthropic spirit, Connie volunteers her time with the American Cancer Society and has served as their event chairperson and co-chair for the past few years. 


Karla Sobenes-Desme – Administrative Specialist II

Karla Sobenes-Desme is the glue that keeps the Paul Rein Detention facility together.  Joining the agency in December 2003 as an Administrative Specialist II, Karla goes above and beyond to perform her duties with great diligence and attention to detail. Despite her full workload, she is always willing to assist her co-workers with any task needed. According to her co-workers, the Paul Rein Detention facility would not be able to operate as smoothly as it does without Karla. Aside from her passion for work, Karla is also dedicated to raising public awareness for children with autism. Currently, she is coordinating with the I C.A.R.E. Foundation, Inc. to host a special sports event that will help raise funds to improve academic and athletic programs for youths. 



Patricia Windowmaker – Deputy General Counsel

Deputy General Counsel Patricia Windowmaker started her law enforcement career in 1984 as one of the first female deputies for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). After 10 years of successful service, she left MSCO to attend Nova Southeastern University School of Law. After law school, she joined the law firm of Whitelock & Williams P.A. as a contract attorney for the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Shortly thereafter, she joined the Broward Sheriff’s Office. While most of her 16-year tenure at BSO has been as legal counsel, she has also served as the agency’s first compliance officer and deputy inspector general. In 2013, she was elevated to sworn deputy general counsel of operations and is primarily responsible for handling labor and employment matters. Patricia is a lifelong vegetarian and an active supporter of animal rights. She is also involved in many legal, civil rights and LGBT groups. Patricia resides in Broward County with her wife, Circuit Judge Lisa Porter. This year they are celebrating their 25th anniversary.


Detective Monica Jean – Tamarac District

Monica Jean’s career with the Broward Sheriff’s Office began in August 2000. Today, she is assigned to the Tamarac district as the homeless outreach coordinator.  She is responsible for coordinating all homeless programs and training for district personnel, focusing on homeless trends and initiatives. Detective Jean also assists in coordinating all city-sponsored events in Tamarac and volunteers as a senior advisor to the Tamarac Explorers, Post #007. When needed, Detective Jean also mentors at-risk youth in local area schools. When she isn’t working, she enjoys outdoor activities, including hang gliding, surfing, fishing and camping.





Captain Veronica Carroll – Department of Detention

Veronica Carroll began her law enforcement career in 1989, successfully rising through the ranks. Today, she serves as the captain of the Joseph V. Conte Facility. As a leader, she contends there is nothing more rewarding than influencing the transformation of staff to foster professional success. Through the years, she has volunteered with various organizations, including the American Cancer Society; The Police Unity Tour, Chapter VIII; the PACE Center for Girls and Special Olympics. Whether it’s fundraising, raising awareness or working on community service projects, Captain Carroll’s community involvement is quite impressive. With The Police Unity Tour, Chapter VIII, she completed a 250-mile bicycle ride from Portsmouth, Virginia to Washington to raise awareness for officers who have died in the line of duty.  She helped build a fully-functioning, commercial kitchen at the PACE Center for Girls Broward campus for the purpose of serving nutritious, healthy food to the students. She ran with Special Olympics athletes in Kilkenny, Ireland and marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland. Together with her “better half,” Lieutenant Christopher Mulligan, the couple has raised five beautiful young ladies.  According to Captain Carroll, it is the love and support of her family that enriches her life and gives her the inspiration to always achieve her goals.


Jodie Marsigliano – Quality Assurance Coordinator

Jodie Marsigliano joined the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 1996. Since then, Jodie has worked effortlessly to ensure the agency properly fulfills all required compliance and accreditation standards. Today, she serves as the Quality Assurance Coordinator overseeing the agency’s supervision programs in the Department of Community Programs (DOCP).  Jodie was also instrumental in implementing the Client Focused Supervision Model throughout DOCP’s supervision programs, which includes motivational interviewing, risk/needs assessment, case planning and other evidence-based practices.  Outside of work, Jodie is involved with various charitable fundraisers, including Relay for Life, Special Olympics and breast cancer awareness initiatives. She is also an active participant in local youth sports for the city of Coconut Creek.


Lezlye S. Williams –  Central Supply Manager

Lezlye Williams is a 29-year veteran of the Broward Sheriff’s Office and has served in a supervisory capacity for more than 23 years. Currently, she serves as the manager of Central Supply, where she’s responsible for an operating budget of $1.5 million, a 15-member staff and almost $190 million of agency fixed assets. Lezlye received her Bachelor of Public Management degree from Florida Atlantic University and in 2012, obtained credentials as a Certified Public Purchasing Officer. Outside of work, Lezlye is involved in several charitable organizations. She has been a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) for six years and currently serves on the executive board as the financial secretary. She is also a member of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing and volunteers with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, South Florida Regional Minority Business Council, Broward Meals on Wheels and March of Dimes.


Deputy Melanie Ince – North Lauderdale District

In 2002, Deputy Melanie Ince joined the Broward Sheriff’s Office as a road patrol deputy in North Lauderdale. Throughout her career, she has received numerous commendations and accolades for her work as a deputy in the community. She was selected by the Broward County Chiefs of Police Association as the recipient of the 2013 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. Deputy Ince has a master’s degree in psychology and currently serves as the crime prevention deputy for the North Lauderdale district. Deputy Ince is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) South Florida Chapter.





Deputy Ruth Cantey – Central Intake – Department of Detention

Ruth Cantey began her law enforcement career in March 2001 in the Department of Detention.  Today, Deputy Cantey serves as a field training deputy at the Paul Rein Facility and is responsible for assisting with the training of newly-hired deputies. Deputy Cantey is an active participant with many local foundations and organizations raising awareness for important causes, such as the James Jones Legacy Foundation, Rockers in Recovery, D3 Elite Foundation, Relay for Life and Special Olympics. She has also taken it upon herself to coordinate fundraisers to help fellow co-workers coping with medical crises. Whether she’s giving her time, money or heart, Deputy Cantey truly has a passion for serving those in need.




Lisa Zarazinski – Director of the Regional Communications Division

Lisa Zarazinski has been part of the BSO family for more than 20 years and is currently the director of the Regional Communications Division.  Under her leadership, BSO was granted a contract with Broward County Administration to manage the countywide regional 911 system. Since the transition began, she has overseen the incorporation of four municipality-managed Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), with more still to come. At the conclusion of the merger, BSO Regional Communications will be one of the largest PSAPs in the nation and will consist of the agency’s largest civilian command. Lisa’s dedication to excellence is apparent in the success of the division, which has received various accreditation pedigrees and improvements in performance indicators. When she’s not working, Lisa dedicates herself to supporting charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Foundation, Diabetes Association and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.



Tammy Nugent – BSFR Division Chief of Emergency Medical Services

Tammy Nugent started her career in fire service in 1984. She rose through the ranks and now serves as division chief of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue. Under her leadership, the EMS division received its reaccreditation from the C

Posted At: 03/16/2014 12:00 AM

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