For Hometown News
ST. LUCIE COUNTY -- The Hundred Club of St. Lucie County honored St. Lucie County's Officers of the Year at the group's 24th annual banquet held May 21.
The banquet, at Gator Trace Country Club, was a fundraiser for the Hundred Club, a nonprofit, charitable organization, which raises money to benefit the families of emergency services officers in St. Lucie County who are killed, injured or incur serious illness in the line of duty. The Hundred Club of St. Lucie County was founded in 1987.
Here are the officers of the year:
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office: Master Deputy Ron Stickney, presented by Sheriff Ken J. Mascara. Stickney, who has served the people of St. Lucie County for more than 26 years, has proven his investigative and teaching skills as a Field Training Officer. He and his trainees made a wide variety of arrests in 2012 and helped recover a missing woman who had wandered in the woods in rural St. Lucie County for several days.
Port St. Lucie Police Department: Officer Richard Giaccone, presented by Chief John Bolduc. Officer Giaccone joined the Port St. Lucie Police Department in 2001 after working for five years for the Florida Department of Corrections. He serves in the agency's honor guard and crisis intervention team. A drunk-driver enforcement specialist, Officer Giaccone made 130 drunk driving arrests in 2012.
Fort Pierce Police Department: Detective Benjamin Thayer, presented by Chief R. Sean Baldwin. After four years with the U.S. Marine Corps, Detective Thayer joined the Fort Pierce Police Department, where he is a member of the SWAT Team and serves as a firearms instructor. He is currently assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Apprehension Task Force. In 2012, acting on a tip, he arrested an escapee from a Georgia jail facing an attempted murder charge. Working with officers of the Fort Pierce Police Department and other agencies, the suspect fled, and then was captured after his car was stopped. Found in the car were a stolen handgun and ammunition, a ski mask, plastic "zip-ties," and rope which likely would have been used to abduct his next intended victim.
St. Lucie County Fire District: Lt. Lewis Clanton, presented by Chief Ron Parrish. Lt Clanton is a 23-year veteran of the Fire District, assigned to Fire Station 3 on Ravenswood Lane, Port St. Lucie, in the River Park area. It is one of the busiest fire stations in the county. Thanks to Lt. Clanton, Fire Station 3 obtained donations of more than 5,700 pounds of food for needy families in the Van Duzer Foundation's "One Day to Give in St. Lucie County" drive in 2012.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement: Special Agent Michael Bartus, presented by Special Agent Rich Piccininni. Special Agent Bartus has worked at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Fort Pierce office for seven years and has been a law enforcement officer for the past 15 years. In the summer of 2008, he was involved in the investigation of Fort Pierce's violent, drug-dealing Zoe Pound gang. Special Agent Bartus and officers of other agencies completed the investigation in 2009 by arresting six gang leaders for racketeering and conspiracy. Five pleaded to the charges, and the gang's chief, David Poole, was convicted in February of racketeering and sentenced to 25 years in state prison.
Florida Highway Patrol: Trooper Tony Kingery, presented by Capt. John Cataldo. Trooper Kingery, promoted to the rank of Corporal in 2009, was assigned in that year to drunk driving enforcement in St. Lucie County, having previously been assigned to Florida's Turnpike. In 17 months, he made 90 drunk driving arrests and 130 felony arrests, with more than 2,000 contacts with motorists. At St. Lucie International Airport, he arrested an intoxicated pilot, and the Federal Aviation Administration eventually revoked the pilot's license.
For more information about the Hundred Club, call (772) 462-3205 or visit www.100clubslc.org.