Members of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office got a pat on the back Wednesday morning.
Inside Bishop McLaughlin's Eleanor Dempsey Performing Arts Center, the agency recognized several deputies and citizens with awards in addition to swearing in new law enforcement agents and volunteers.
"This is about our agency working together," Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said. "This is about, through the tough times and the good times, sticking together. I can tell you, this past storm that we went through really showed what our agency is all about. From the members of the EOC, from our deputies on the road and in the jail, from all of the non-sworn members. When people needed to get into the office, they got into the office because they realize our duty is to protect lives and save property. That is what we do."
One of those deputies recognized was Jeanie Spicuglia. She and Sgt. Troy Law were given the Meritorious Service Award for Courage, given to those who endure great risk to complete their duties.
On April 2, Spicuglia responded to a call at a New Port Richey house and found a man sitting on the floor with a loaded rifle. He aimed it at Spicuglia, but she got out of the house, evacuating his wife as well. The man fired a shot while they were outside.
Shots were exchanged between the man and deputies in the backyard. He was eventually tasered and cuffed. They found two more guns and a bag of bullets.
"Training definitely takes over," Spicuglia said after receiving her medal. "We have a very good range master. … A lot of it is a lot of training and that helped.
"The teamwork here with this agency is phenomenal. The people, the deputies, your support staff — communications, dispatch — we all work together to make sure we all go home safe at the end of the day and that's what it's all about."
Among those honored, here are a few highlights: