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.
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 Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services. She has also been instrumental in revising some of the agency’s policies and training programs and placed the new Regional Bariatric Unit in service. Division Chief Nugent also makes it a priority to meet with local hospitals to ensure delivery of EMS is cutting edge. She is involved with several different high schools to promote Prom Promise and speaks with students about choosing a career in the field of fire rescue. Division Chief Nugent is married to Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Special Operations Division Chief Mike Nugent. Together, they have seven children.
Detective Lori Bell – Crime Scene Unit
Detective Lori Bell began her career with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 1989 in the Department of Detention. She later moved on to work in the Boot Camp Program before transferring to road patrol in 1993. After five years, Detective Bell transferred to the Crime Scene Unit where she has served ever since and has earned numerous commendations and accolades for her work. She is a graduate of the National Forensic Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee and is a member of the Region Four Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT). DMORT is a team of experts in the fields of victim identification and mortuary services who is activated in response to large scale disasters anywhere in the United States. Detective Bell’s passion for her profession is apparent in her community involvement as well. Outside of work, she serves as a Crime Scene Investigation Committee member for the Florida Division of the International Association for Identification (FDIAI).
Aviation Sergeant Christine Ponticelli
Sergeant Christine Ponticelli joined the Broward Sheriff’s Office on September 11, 1995. With 31 years of flying experience, she is the first female pilot in the agency’s Aviation Unit and today serves as sergeant of the unit. As a supervisor, she emphasizes the importance of working as a team because according to her, “Together we can accomplish all of our goals.” Sgt. Ponticelli is 110% committed to her job and focuses on staying positive with every situation that comes her way. When she is not working, she volunteers at animal rescues.
Veda Coleman-Wright - Manager of the Public Information Office
Veda Coleman-Wright started her career with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in May 1996 and was the first African-American female hired in the Media Relations Office. In 2013, with more than 20 years of media relations experience, Veda became the first African-American woman to head BSO’s Public Information Office. Veda is also very active in the community. She is a founding member of the South Florida Chapter of the National Black Public Relations Professionals and serves as a member of the African-American Advisory Board for VITAS Innovative Hospice Care. Veda is also a distinguished judge in the speech category for the Miami Herald Silver Knight Awards. When she’s not working, you can find her on stage performing in various theater productions at The New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Ft. Lauderdale.
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