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May 5, 2023Tampa, FL, United StatesPartnership and Engagement

DeSoto County Sheriff, SRI Tech protect employees through IMAGE program

DeSoto County Sheriff James Potter poses with Special Agent Mark VanDenberghe, HSI Tampa during the agreement signing to enroll the sheriff’s department into the ICE Mutual Agreement Between Government and Employers, or IMAGE program. Sheriff James Potter is the first sheriff in Florida to take advantage of the free program.

TAMPA, Fla. — Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) recognized the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office and SRI Tech Solutions, Inc. for enrolling in a federal employment compliance program during two recent ceremonies.

Sheriff James Potter is the first sheriff in Florida to enter the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Mutual Agreement Between Government and Employers, or IMAGE — a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) E-Verify employment eligibility verification program that enables employers to verify newly hired employees’ eligibility to work in the United States. This internet-based system is available throughout the nation and is free to employers. It provides an automated link to the Social Security Administration’s database and DHS immigration records.

“The partnerships with SRI Tech and Sheriff James Potter in DeSoto County highlight our combined commitments to our national security, as well as the security of their employees and customers,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge John Condon. “They are leading by example in how a legal workforce is a key component of responsible corporate citizenship.”

As part of this agreement, SRI Tech and the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office has pledged to maintain a secure and stable workforce and curtail the employment of unauthorized workers through outreach and education. To qualify for IMAGE certification, companies must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete the IMAGE Self-Assessment Questionnaire (application).
  • Enroll in the E-Verify program within 60 days.
  • Establish a written hiring and employment eligibility verification policy that includes internal Form I-9 audits at least once per year.
  • Submit to a Form I-9 inspection.

The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office employs 131 sworn officers and civilian employees providing administration, patrol, investigations, detention, communications, victim’s assistance, court security, school security, Special Weapons and Tactics, and dive team functions. They also have a Volunteer Posse and Mounted Posse.

“This sheriff’s office is proud to be the first law enforcement entity in the state of Florida to become an IMAGE member,” said Potter. “This partnership also highlights our commitment to our national security, as well as the security of our employees.”

SRI Tech Solutions, Inc. is an information technology service and human capital management solutions firm that consults with mid-market and enterprise companies. It has consecutively ranked as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States.

“IMAGE is a fine example that the government and employers can work together in a friendly and productive way to achieve results that will benefit the greater good, said SRI Tech Solutions’ Chief Executive Officer Hari Thota. “SRI Tech Solutions Inc. is honored to participate in the program and look forward to a long productive relationship.”

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the DHS, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Anyone interested in learning more about HSI Tampa can follow the office on Twitter @HSITampa.