Caroline Joy Schollaert was shot and killed early Aug. 3 of 2021 while confronting a thief trying to break into her car outside her Myra Street home on Myra Street.
A member of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron based out of Jacksonville’s Cecil Airport, the 26-year-old woman was shot and killed as she spoke to a 911 operator about someone in her Riverside driveway, just east of King Street.
Security camera video and other information led homicide Detective Billy Abbott to 23-year-old Tyree Leevon Parker a week later. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed burglary during a pretrial hearing in July, prosecutors said.
Tuesday morning, Sheriff T.K. Waters named the veteran detective as 2022 Detective of the Year for his work as lead investigator on what Waters called a “notable” case.
“Billy worked nonstop to seek justice for Caroline’s family,” Waters said. “He exhausted every potential lead and crime tip we received. Eventually he identified key pieces of evidence for forensic processing, which is what eventually helped break the case. … I also want to commend Billy for his 100% clearance rate on cases where he was the lead detective in 2021.”
During the same ceremony, Terri Glover, executive director of Northwest Behavioral Health Services, was named 2022 Citizen of the Year. The award is traditionally given to someone the sheriff feels has given generously to the community to improve quality of life.
Glover has worked with the Sheriff’s Office since 2019 as it met with people identified as potential gang members.
“Her background, paired with her compassion to help, complements every aspect of this program,” Waters said. “Terri evaluates these individuals before we process them, and she assists us in trying to find the best ways to change their lives for the better and help them become productive members of society.”
The Sheriff’s Office annually recognizes the officers, administrators and civilian staff who best represent the department’s core values. Those recipients are all former monthly award honorees from the previous year.
The Police Officer of the Year is Carl C. Whitt III of the department’s Special Events Division. In late August 2021, the sheriff said, Whitt was sent to a reported burglary at a Lane Avenue business and learned someone had shot at the building. Review of surveillance video helped him track down a vehicle and arrest its driver, Waters said. Further investigation revealed the suspect also was involved in a sexual battery case, Waters said.
“This is the importance of traffic stops and that kind of work, because this is what it leads to,” Waters said. “Thanks to Carl’s continued efforts, detectives were able to clear three outstanding cases and get a serial sexual battery suspect off our streets, all from someone paying attention.”
The Civilian Supervisor of the Year earned his award after the city was warned of a pending ransomware attack and immediately severed all Sheriff’s Office computers systems from the rest of the network, Waters said. Sheriff’s Office Network Security Manager Jack E. Engelage coordinated with staff to protect the law enforcement network from the rest of the city as a precaution, the sheriff said.
“These connections were vital for critical operations,” he said. “Ultimately, JSO was not affected by the incident. This was largely due to Jack’s quick identification and response based on information we obtained.”
Other award winners:
- Police Supervisor of the Year — Sgt. Simon R. Robb, Special Events Division/Emergency Preparedness.
- Corrections Officer of the Year — Rayshawn L. Roberts.
- Civilian Employee of the Year — Real Time Crime Analyst Brian K. Riddick.
- Auxiliary Officer of the Year — Auxiliary Lt. James E. Casteel II.