Awards banquet starts new sheriff’s office tradition

Deputy of the Year awardees celebrated

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CUMMING, Ga. — After a smooth transitional year, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office wanted to celebrate with staff, family and friends to honor deputies who produced a year’s worth of exceptional work.

On Jan. 9, majors, deputies and administrative staff gathered at Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Boulevard, and reminisced about the year.

“There have been a lot of changes,” Sheriff Duane Piper said. “But that change could not have been possible without all of you.”

Chief Deputy Michael Giordano said the office is proud that everyone came together during the transition, and looks forward to the future.

In addition to honoring Deputy of the Year awardees, Giordano said this was an idea to bring tradition to the sheriff’s office.

After the meal and the presentation of colors, Maj. Matt Hester, Maj. Mark Hoffman and Maj. Rick Doyle presented Deputy of the Year awards to deputies in each of their divisions.

“The drive and support I got from every particular division that worked for me was amazing,” Hester said. “They truly accomplished miracles.”

Hester honored Deputy Brandon Keenan with Sheriff’s Services Deputy of the Year award. Hester said Keenan’s professionalism during a multi-car accident stood out.

Hoffman honored Cpl. Brandon Wiley with the Uniform Patrol Section Deputy of the Year award. Hoffman said Wiley has worked for the office for over 10 years and has worked in several positions. This year, Wiley has been recognized for a total of 118 arrests, 32 DUI arrests and 30 drug arrests.

“Wiley is looked up to mentor deputies in the office since he has been assigned to the case unit,” Hoffman said. “He has become a valued member and leader.”

Doyle honored Deputy Matthew Kirk with the School Resource Unit Deputy of the Year award and the Operations Division Employee of the Year awards.

Doyle said Kirk went to Otwell Middle School and volunteered to sell smoothies during lunchtime to better engage with students and staff. Together, Kirk and the team raised $700 for the Wounded Warrior Project and $600 for Toys for Tots. Kirk even brought the students to the store with him so they could pick out the presents themselves.

“With doing that, he’s teaching the students to give back and serve the community, which I think is a very valuable lesson at a young age,” Doyle said. “That’s something that usually sticks with people.”

Piper said he was very pleased with the banquet’s turnout and looks forward to the new year.

Cpl. Brandon Wiley – Uniform Patrol Section Deputy of the Year

D/S II Michael Karnbach and Deputy John Reed – Reserve Deputy of the Year

Detective Frank Karic – Criminal Investigation Section Deputy of the Year

Deputy Diedre Lotspeich – Uniform Patrol Deputy of the Quarter

Debbie Arnold – Civilian Employee of the Year, Enforcement Division

Deputy Brandon Keenan – Sheriff’s Services Deputy of the Year

Deputy Lisa Thomas – Ordinance and Permits Section Deputy of the Year

Deputy Kevin Ferraro – Community Relations Unit Deputy of the Year

Deputy Matthew Kirk – School Resource Unit Deputy of the Year and Operations Division Employee of the Year