2016 Hilton Head Rotary Recognizes Security and Law Enforcement Officers of the Year

Kay Roshnow, club member opened the ceremony and commented that over 90 people had attended the recognition breakfast at First Presbyterian Church. The first presentation was made by Hilton Head Fire and Rescue Chief Brad Tadlock. The fire fighter of the year award is selected by their peers. The nominee is someone who demonstrates dedication to fire and rescue, has a “can do” attitude and motivates others. The award was presented to Jaison Hrober.  He thanked the Rotary and stated he was thankful for the opportunity to serve.

The Hilton Head Private Security Officer of the year was presented by Hilton Head Plantation Security Chief Art Benoit. Sergeant Willette Lee was on a routine patrol one evening and was called to a home where the homeowner was found unconscious and unresponsive.  This officer used her training and calm demeanor, beginning CPR and calling 911.  She also used the AED in her patrol vehicle, followed the AED training and instructions, shocking the homeowner and saving her life.  She thanked God, the Rotary Club and thanked Hilton Head Fire and Rescue for the training that gave her the skills to help in the time of need.

Sheriff P.J Tanner presented the Officer of the Year award. He commented that he hoped no one fell during this meeting because all of the attendees from fire and rescue were too full from breakfast and lunch to respond! The officer of the year award was presented to Sergeant John Adams. Sheriff Tanner stated that he was the epitome of what a law enforcement officer should be.  Two specific words were used to describe this officer – methodical and relentless in his duties.

A special award was presented by Karen Cully to Cinda Seaman with Hilton Head Fire and Rescue, as one of the first people to partner with our club and an extremely key person in the development, continuation and future vision of Safety Town.  We thanked her for her continued support this year and for the vision she shares with our club for a permanent Safety Town in the future.





2014 Hilton Head Rotary Recognizes Security and Law Enforcement Officers of the Year

On Thursday, February 27, 2014, the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island hosted its annual breakfast at First Presbyterian Church to honor and thank island public safety officers for their outstanding service.  Included among the 100 attendees were law enforcement officers, plantation security officers, and fire and resue personnel.

 At the Club’s noon luncheon at Sea Pines Country Club, Deputy Sheriff Cornillus LaVan and Hilton Head Plantation Security Tomeka Busby, Security Officer of the YearOfficer Tomika Busby were named as the outstanding officers of 2014 and presented with plaques in recognition of their dedication and service.

Art Benoit, Chief of Security for Hilton Head Plantation recognized Tomeka Busby as the Security Officer of the Year. She has been with the force for 11 years and this is the second time she has been honored with this recognition. She calmly and effectively administered emergency care and CPR to a heart attack victim in a parking lot, while his frantic family stood by. She was able to pull the victim from under a car and revive him. Three weeks later he was on a plane headed back to Europe.

Beaufort County Sheriff Tanner presented the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. The department has 328 employees and the officers select the honoree. PFC Cornillus LaVan served 20 years in the Marines, retiring as a Master Gunnery Sergeant. He performed several tours in Afghanistan. After retiring, Officer LaVan joined the department in animal control. He transferred to the enforcement unit on Hilton Head.

Rotarian Blake Hampton introduced our speaker, Toby McSwain, who served 25 years with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department before retiring and becoming the Chief of the Sea Pines Plantation Security. His first day on the job, the officer at the main gate charged him the $5.00 entrance fee. In a lengthy and persuasive conversation, Toby explained that he was the officer’s Cornillus LaVan, Law Enforcement Officer of the Yearnew boss, and was finally let through at no charge. He noted that Sea Pines Security provides services that allow the sheriff’s department to focus on more serious concerns, by answering some 15,000 calls for such nuisances as barking dogs.

He his department, the sheriff’s office and SLED have updated security procedures for the 2014 RBC Heritage to match new PGA rules. All persons entering the tournament grounds will undergo wanding; no back packs, large bags, carrying cases for chairs etc will be allowed on the buses or the course. This will be an enforcement issue for our bus greeters. He stated parking was becoming a greater concern and that for 2015, general parking may be moved to Honey Horn.


2013 Hilton Head Rotary Recognizes Security and Law Enforcement Officers of the Year

Each year the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island honors security and law enforcement officers of Southern Beaufort County. The Club held an appreciation breakfast at First Presbyterian Church on February 29 for area security, law enforcement, and fire and rescue officers. At Rotary’s luncheon meeting at Sea Pines Country Club that day, two officers were honored for exemplary service:

2013_Bonnie-DupreeBonnie Smalls Dupree, a 20-year employee of The Westin Hilton Head Resort and Spa, was named Security Officer of the Year. After only one year in a security role, she was lauded for her wealth of knowledge, experience, and right attitude, helping guests and employees while enforcing hotel policies. Her credits include apprehending an employee for stealing, preventing an automobile accident, and responding to a medical emergency.


2013_Michael-MalonisCorporal Michael Malonis, a former Marine and graduate of the SC Criminal Justice School who joined the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department in 2011, was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. He serves as a Patrol Deputy, a Training Officer and member of the Dive Team. Recognized for his ability to make decisions in real time and think on his feet, Corporal Malonis has exhibited outstanding service, including disruption of an armed robbery and the identification and arrest of a wanted armed robber.


Guest speaker for the awards program was Duffy Stone, District Solicitor for the 14th Judicial Circuit.