Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony and the men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office are grieving the loss of a beloved employee, Confinement Status Specialist II Tasha Blackwood. Blackwood, hospitalized since Aug. 22 after contracting coronavirus (COVID-19), died Tuesday, Sept. 7. She was 54.
Blackwood was born in Detroit, Michigan, where she graduated from Northwestern High School in June 1985. She attended City College and The Art Institute, both in Fort Lauderdale. Before her career at BSO, Blackwood did tours of duty at several State of Florida agencies, including the Department of Corrections Probation and Parole Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Children and Family Services and the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.
Blackwood is a 20-year veteran who joined the BSO family on March 12, 2001, as a confinement status specialist I working in the Department of Detention. In March 2005, her position was upgraded to a confinement status specialist II. They perform the essential tasks of processing, inputting and maintaining all inmate data regarding booking, current holding status, court appearances, release or any other information to track an inmate’s confinement status. A confinement status specialist II has the additional task of serving as a liaison with out-of-state agencies and local judicial entities to coordinate inmate extraditions.
Blackwood was a valued employee to the Confinement Status Unit at the Main Jail. She was part of the Central Intake team that received the Grand Cordon Unit Award in October 2014 and the Meritorious Service Award for the 2009 Department of Detention Support Unit of the Year in March 2010.
Her supervisors and peers remember Blackwood as a go-to person and someone who exceeded expectations when it came to customer service and resolving problems.
In her most recent employee performance evaluation, Blackwood’s supervisor wrote, “She exhibits the utmost professionalism when dealing with the public, judicial assistants, courts, deputies, command staff and her peers. Tasha reaches out to her teammates to see if she can help lighten their load in any way. She is my go-to person in which I can delegate any assignment with confidence that the assignment will be completed in a timely manner.”
Shelby Thompkins, a confinement status specialist III who worked closely with Blackwood, said she was devastated and shocked by Blackwood’s passing. “Everyone knows Tasha was the go-to for anything you needed. Nothing was too small or too big. She was always willing to help anyone regardless of the task. Tasha was there for deputies, supervisors and especially her co-workers, helping us at work or in our personal lives,” Thompkins said.
She is survived by a host of relatives and friends. Funeral arrangements are pending.
THIS REPORT BY:
Veda Coleman-Wright/Dir. of PIO