All Points Bulletin Winter 2010 : Page 1

A LL P OINTS B ULLETIN VOLUME 20 • NUMBER 1• WINTER 2010 FLORIDA SHERIFFS Brevard County’s Robert Lincoln Wins Correctional Officer of the Year For nearly 20 years, the Florida Sheriffs Association has been selecting one Correc-tions professional an-nually to honor as the Correctional Officer of the Year. It is never an easy job to choose from the multitude of outstanding men and women we have work-ing in our county jails. But when you hear his story, we think you will agree that the awards committee select-ed well when they chose our 2009 winner. Corrections Deputy Robert Lin-coln Jr., age 33, has only been with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for two years, and prior to that he served two years with the Orange County Jail. For him, corrections is a relatively new career, as he previously worked as a technician at Central Florida Chrysler Jeep in Orlando. Unlike many of his fellow cor-rections and law enforcement col-leagues, Deputy Lincoln has no immediate relatives in the field. He has been described by jail ad-At center, Corrections Deputy Robert Lincoln receives his Correctional Officer of the Year award during the Mid-Winter conference. He is pictured with his wife, Melissa, their two children, Saige and Seth; Brevard County Sheriff Jack Parker (far left) and FSA President Sumter County Sheriff Bill Farmer. ministrators as conscientious, professional, loyal, dedicated and thorough in every aspect of the profession. They say he is hardworking and genuinely cares about the officers and civilians he works with on a daily basis. Many of these traits played a role in the event that transpired on August 14, 2009. Close call It was late on a Friday afternoon, and Deputy Lincoln was nearing the end of his 12-hour shift. He was sorting the inmates’ mail – which can sometimes involve up to 200 pieces a day – and he would soon be driving 35 minutes to his home in east Orange County. When Deputy Lincoln came across a large yellow manila enve-lope that was coded “privileged le-gal communications” and marked priority mail, his intuition kicked in. The return address was from an Orlando-based law firm – and it’s not unusual for attorneys to send packages to inmates in the jail. Continued on page 4 ALL POINTS BULLETIN H WINTER 2010 1

Brevard County’s Robert Lincoln Wins Correctional Officer Of The Year

For nearly 20 years, the Florida Sheriffs Association has been selecting one Corrections professional annually to honor as the Correctional Officer of the Year. It is never an easy job to choose from the multitude of outstanding men and women we have working in our county jails.

But when you hear his story, we think you will agree that the awards committee selected well when they chose our 2009 winner.

Corrections Deputy Robert Lincoln Jr., age 33, has only been with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for two years, and prior to that he served two years with the Orange County Jail. For him, corrections is a relatively new career, as he previously worked as a technician at Central Florida Chrysler Jeep in Orlando.

Unlike many of his fellow corrections and law enforcement colleagues, Deputy Lincoln has no immediate relatives in the field.He has been described by jail ad- VOLUME 20 • NUMBER 1• WINTER 2010 ministrators as conscientious, professional, loyal, dedicated and thorough in every aspect of the profession. They say he is hardworking and genuinely cares about the officers and civilians he works with on a daily basis.

Many of these traits played a role in the event that transpired on August 14, 2009.

Close call

It was late on a Friday afternoon, and Deputy Lincoln was nearing the end of his 12-hour shift. He was sorting the inmates’ mail – which can sometimes involve up to 200 pieces a day – and he would soon be driving 35 minutes to his home in east Orange County.

When Deputy Lincoln came across a large yellow manila envelope that was coded “privileged legal communications” and marked priority mail, his intuition kicked in.The return address was from an Orlando-based law firm – and it’s not unusual for attorneys to send packages to inmates in the jail. But what caught Deputy Lincoln’s attention was that the sender’s address and zip code did not match.

Following normal procedures, he called another deputy and the two inspected the package further. As they opened it to investigate the contents, they found what looked like a stack of legal papers. But further inspection revealed a hollowed dugout concealing a .38 caliber, two-shot, Derringer-style pistol loaded with two live rounds of ammunition.

You’ve got to be kidding

The package was addressed to Justin Curtis Heyne, who was in the trial phases of a case involving two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, kidnapping, sexual battery and several other charges for which he subsequently received a death sentence.

And that’s just what happened before Heyne arrived at the Brevard County Jail. He has been party to many violent incidents against staff and other inmates since 2005, ranging from sexual assaults and aggravated battery to strong-arming other inmates.

Plan unravels

Within days after Deputy Lincoln’s remarkable discovery of the package, investigators uncovered an elaborate plot involving Heyne and fellow inmate Phillip Mc- Cullough. The plan was to smuggle a firearm into the jail, which Heyne first planned to use for escape.When McCullough convinced him he wouldn’t be able to escape, Heyne said he would use the firearm to take a hostage, kill a Corrections Deputy that he was angry with or kill another inmate he was angry with. If he couldn’t escape, he said he was going to take a Corrections Deputy with him.

Getting the firearm to that critical point of discovery had involved the participation of Inmate Mc- Cullough’s wife and brother, who arranged the purchase of the firearm; a friend of Heyne’s who wired the money to buy it via Western Union and a young man who got the package weighed and stamped at the post office.

The scheme had involved several test runs of packages sent and received prior to the firearm being mailed, as the accomplices didn’t know if the post office used metal detectors or x-ray machines in their processing.

During the investigation related to the package, the two inmates – Heyne and McCullough – tried to convince investigators that a Corrections Deputy was involved in the plot. Later, they admitted they had just wanted to get him into trouble because he had been “hard on them.” There were no jail employees involved in the mailing or receiving of the package.

At the end of the investigation, Phillip McCullough pleaded guilty to his role and received five years in prison for the offense. Lamont Lewis, McCullough’s brother, was sentenced to four years of probation under a plea deal. Under the terms of the agreement, he is required to testify against his co-defendants.
Charges are still pending against Heyne and McCullough’s wife.

For “setting the standard as a dedicated professional in the corrections field,” and for his part in saving numerous lives last August, the Florida Sheriffs Association named Corrections Deputy Robert Lincoln Jr. The 2009 Correctional Officer of the Year. He and his family were honored during the FSA Mid-Winter 2010 conference, where he received a handsome plaque and a check for $1,000.

FSA Names Two Honorable Mentions

The awards committee found all nominations worthy of an award, but in keeping with the guidelines, selected only two Honorable Mentions for Correctional Officer of the Year.

Rescue from a sinking minivan

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Deputy John Lyons was selected for risking his life to rescue a man from a van that was submerged in a canal.

At approximately 7:00 a.m. on April 8 of last year, Deputy Lyons was transporting inmates when he and fellow Deputy Brenda Gray noticed vehicles pulled off the roadway. A car was upside down in the canal adjacent to the highway and bystanders were shouting that someone was still in the vehicle.As Deputy Gray stayed on the lookout for gators, Deputy Lyons entered the water and swam to the vehicle. He could see a man inside banging and screaming for help, but the car continued to sink deeper. Deputy Lyons attempted to open the doors without success.The vehicle lunged toward him at one point, and he had to dive underwater to continue rescue efforts.The man inside was finally able to unlock the back hatch and Deputy Lyons helped him get free.The man, later identified as Adel Abdalla, then said he could not swim. Deputy Lyons reassured Abdalla and asked him to hold onto his neck; he then calmly swam to Re-engineering to avoid layoffs Sgt. Stephen Farley of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is being recognized for transforming the Transportation Bureau into a more professional, productive and cohesive team.The former Air Force serviceman, and 15-year Sheriff’s Office veteran, re-engineered the bureau to reduce costs and avoid layoffs.He changed inmate transportation routes throughout the state and decreased overtime by 37 percent. Under his plan, staff drove fewer miles while transporting more inmates. Sgt. Farley instituted better coordination and reduced the number of trips made by his unit between counties and also entered into agreements with other agencies throughout the state. The reciprocal services saves the jails involved thousands of dollars annually. Efforts are being made to use this model for expansion in other parts of the state.

The Florida Sheriffs Association congratulates both Deputy Lyons and Sgt. Farley for setting such exemplary examples for the Corrections field in our state.

Read the full article at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/Brevard+County%E2%80%99s+Robert+Lincoln+Wins+Correctional+Officer+Of+The+Year/885021/87911/article.html.

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