HCSO CRD thanked for help with COVID-19 testing
By LOIS KINDLE
The Sun City Center Emergency Squad recognized Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Community Resource Deputy Jeff Merry Jan. 21 for his ongoing efforts in helping the community with South Bay Hospital’s COVID-19 rapid antigen testing. A framed Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Merry by Sun City Center Emergency Squad Chief Mike Bardell, in the presence of members of the Sun City Center Community Association Board, Kings Point Master Association Board and Vesta Property Services, organizations Bardell said have formed an “exceptional partnership” for the benefit of the Sun City Center community.
Altogether, over multiple testing events, more than 5,000 people have received rapid tests for the COVID-19 antigen, said Lesley Lykins, South Bay Hospital’s director of Public Relations & Communications.
“Jeff and his team have been critical to ensuring smooth traffic flow during these events,” she said. “With thousands of cars coming through the hospital parking lot over a short period of time, he’s ensured our critical services have not been disrupted.”
The deputy’s assistance in planning for and managing traffic, organizing the testing line of vehicles, keeping volunteers safe and working closely with the local Community Emergency Response Team ensured the success of each testing event, Bardell said.
“But recognizing him was about so much more than this. It was about all of the continued support Jeff has given us throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued. “He’s been there every step of the way.”
In addition to his normal investigative and policing activities, he educates and informs the public about scams and fraud, how to stay safe and the importance of community partnerships. He meets with Vern and Lisa Hendricks on WSCQ 96.3 FM Radio once a month to discuss current issues affecting Sun City Center residents and is a regular contributor to meetings of the Southshore Senior Healthcare Partnership. He’s involved in some way with more organizations than can be counted.
Merry appreciated the acknowledgement.
“I thought it was great,” he said. “I do whatever I can for the Sun City Center community, and (the people here) always show their appreciation. These days, as a law enforcement officer, it feels good to be appreciated.”
Hillsborough County Community Resource Deputy Jeff Merry works out of the District 4 substation in the Sun City Center Community Association Atrium Building courtyard at 948 Cherry Hills Drive. The office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
He can be reached by calling 813-242-5515.