‘We pay attention’: JSO recognizes officers during annual awards ceremony

Sheriff T.K. Waters highlights Detective and Police Officer of the Year

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office held its annual Meritorious Awards Ceremony on Tuesday.

Eight honorees received special plaques and personal recognition from Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters during a ceremony at the Police Memorial Building on Bay Street.

Detective Billy H. Abbott was named Detective of the Year for JSO. (WJXT)

Detective Billy H. Abbott was one of the eight winners.

He was named Detective of the Year for his role in solving the murder of 27-year-old Caroline Schollaert, an active-duty Coast Guard member who was shot and killed outside of her home in Riverside in August 2021.

According to police reports, Schollaert attempted to confront a burglar as he was breaking into cars. The burglar shot her and ran off.

Police arrested Tyree Parker for second-degree murder and armed burglary in her death.

“Billy worked non-stop to seek justice for Caroline’s family. Billy exhausted every potential lead in crime tips that we’ve received,” Waters said.

Officer Carl C. Whitt III was named Police Office of the Year for JSO. (WJXT)

Officer Carl C. Whitt III was named Police Officer of the Year.

Waters said Whitt played a critical role in an arrest involving a business burglary on Lane Avenue in August 2021.

Waters said it’s important to recognize hard work.

“It lets them know that we recognize what they do. It’s not just something that you just go out and do. It’s a thankless job,” he said. “We actually recognize them, and we pay attention.”

JSO also recognized and thanked people in these categories:

  • Corrections Officer of the Year: Police Recruit Rayshawn L. Roberts (Professional Standards Division / Police Class)
  • Civilian Employee of the Year: Real Time Crime Analyst Brian K. Riddick (Department of Investigations & Homeland Security / Real Time Crime Center)
  • Auxiliary Officer of the Year: Police Auxiliary Lieutenant James E. Casteel II (Patrol Support Division / Police Auxiliary)
  • Police Supervisor of the Year: Police Sergeant Simon R. Robb (Special Events Division / Emergency Preparedness)
  • Civilian Supervisor of the Year: Network Security Manager Jack E. Engelage (Support Services Division / Information Systems Management)
  • Citizen of the Year: Terri D. Glover, M.A. (Northwest Behavioral Health Services, Inc.)

Waters said he hopes future award ceremonies will serve as an inspiration for the next generation of officers.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.