By LOIS KINDLE
Anyone living in southern Hillsborough County is fully aware of its exponential growth. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office recognizes this, too, and has added a fourth community resource deputy to the District IV Command.
After eight years on street patrol, Deputy Kenzie Basilone applied for the new position, which covers the U.S. 41 corridor in South Shore. Her area includes all communities south of the Alafia River and north of the Manatee County line between Tampa Bay and Interstate 75: Gibsonton, Apollo Beach, Ruskin and the Gulf City/Sun City area.
Basilone will work out of the District 4 Command office at 508 33rd St. SE, Ruskin, and her HCSO vehicle.
Community Resource Deputies Jeff Merry and Efrain Taveras will continue to cover greater Sun City Center and much of Wimauma, respectively. Community Resource Deputy Brian Sherman will now cover southern Riverview, Balm, FishHawk and Ft. Lonesome. Until Basilone was named on May 15, the U.S. 41 corridor was also part of his area.
Basilone’s responsibilities include working with homeowners’ associations, community organizations and neighborhood watches; visiting schools as an HCSO ambassador; helping businesses with trespass authorizations and enforcement; handling traffic complaints; and assorted issues in the community.
Thus far, she’s fit right in.
“I love it,” she said, during a recent interview. “I enjoy working the work, helping out residents and addressing issues they have. I actually feel I’m doing good for the community.”
“Kenzie is a great deputy,” Merry said. “She’s definitely jumped into the job and is already helping neighborhoods and communities all the way from Gulf City to Gibsonton.”
About the deputy
Originally from West Springfield, Mass., Basilone moved to Manatee County with her family when she was in high school, where she took a class in forensic sciences and loved it. She decided she wanted to go into law enforcement, earned a degree in criminal justice from the University of North Florida in 2015 and immediately joined the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office.
As a District 4 patrol deputy, she initially worked the streets of Progress Village and over the years since, the entire South Shore area. She currently resides in the Apollo Beach area.
To reach her, email email@example.com or call 813-546-4087.