The Sumter County Sheriff's Office is proud to announce that Deputy Joel Mullins, Crime Scene Technician recently graduated from the National Forensic Academy. The National Forensic Academy (NFA) is an intensive 10-week training program funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, designed to meet the needs of law enforcement agencies in evidence identification, collection, and preservation. The NFA is offered in-residence, utilizing curriculum developed by leading forensic practitioners from across the United States. The goal of the Academy is to prepare the crime scene investigator to recognize key elements and to improve the process of evidence recovery and submission. Deputy Joel Mullins was extensively trained in the 10-week class that had 22 participants from Alaska to Florida. To date the National Forensic Academy has successfully graduated 661 students.
On August 20, 2012 at about 1:40 PM, Deputy Sheriff Beatrice Ayala was called to respond to 10261 County Road 117 near Wildwood in reference to a burglary in progress call. The homeowner had arrived home during the burglary and was viciously attacked by two suspects, one of whom was armed with a baseball bat. It was reported that the suspects had fled the scene. Deputy Sheriff Ayala, while en route to the call located the suspect vehicle, and attempted to initiate a traffic stop.
The suspects refused to stop and a vehicle pursuit ensued. Despite Deputy Sheriff Ayala still being considered a "Rookie" Law Enforcement Officer, she maintained a professional and calm composure and was able to accurately call out the vital information needed for other responding units, all while being the lead unit in the pursuit. Responding units were able to react accordingly, with the information provided by Deputy Sheriff Ayala, arriving at the scene of the suspects' vehicle crash within moments, leading to the apprehension of both suspects. I firmly believe that without the professional conduct demonstrated by Deputy Sheriff Ayala, and her outstanding performance in the line duty these dangerous suspects might have escaped justice.
Based upon her actions of August 20, 2012, Deputy Sheriff Beatrice Ayala is awarded the Sheriff's Exceptional Achievement Award.