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Florida Sheriffs Association Grants $5K Reward to Help Sheriff’s Office

May 20, 2020

The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) established the Criminal Apprehension Assistance Program (CAAP) in 2018 to encourage citizen engagement. The goal of the CAAP is to assist sheriffs’ offices to investigate and solve crimes where information is limited, and the FSA does so by doubling the amount of rewards. This program recently provided a $5,000 reward for a tip that led to the apprehension of a murder suspect in Suwannee County.

The Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) responded to a robbery and shooting at Gold Leaf Pawn Shop on April 20. The victim/shop owner provided limited details that made it difficult to identity the suspects. After learning of the crime, a citizen in Lake City contacted the SCSO with enough details to identify the suspects and move the investigation forward.

“The Florida Sheriffs Association is proud to be able to use our funds to support local crime stopper organizations to increase the amount of an award to catch criminals and to keep our communities safe,” said FSA President and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

“The CAAP program has been successful at improving the amount of time we are able to solve and investigate crimes,” said CAAP Chair and Calhoun County Sheriff Glenn Kimbrel. “We have always been dedicated to bringing peace and justice to our community and making the safety of our citizens a priority.”

“Sometimes that little extra amount of money makes all the difference in getting someone to step forward.  The citizens of Suwannee County appreciate the Florida Sheriffs Association’s help to increase the visibility of this crime and to help us obtain the information needed to solve this crime,” said Suwannee County Sheriff Sam St. John.

The acceptance and encouragement of anonymous information by citizens is key to solving crimes within a community. Without the help of our citizens, the SCSO still may have been searching for a positive identification on this case. The information resulted in an arrest warrant of Jermar Tillie for attempted 1st degree homicide, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Requests for awards are continuously being approved by the CAAP Committee

Suwannee County Sheriff Sam St. John presenting Raymond Galler, of Live Oak, with the Outstanding Citizen Award for helping to solve the robbery and shooting at Gold Leaf Pawn Shop.


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Florida Sheriffs Association:

The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of the Sheriffs of Florida, approximately 3,500 business leaders and 90,000  citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has steadfastly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state's law enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs' Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services. Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA has established and funded the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. It has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation.