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May 5, 2015 3:00 pm

Andrew Gant
Public Information Office

So far this year, many of the cases that landed on Investigator Jayson Paul’s desk shared a few common threads:

No suspects, no witnesses and almost no evidence.

Despite those dead ends, in the first four months of 2015, Paul has solved burglaries and other cases in the Deltona area through long hours, hard work and a relentless pursuit of making victims whole.

Paul was one of five Sheriff’s Office employees recognized Tuesday for their excellent work in the first quarter of 2015. The Investigator of the Quarter was joined by Deputy of the Quarter Roy Galarza, Civilian Employee of the Quarter Devan North, Telecommunicator of the Quarter Doreen Browning and Volunteer of the Quarter Sandra Carlson.

Paul’s cases included a burglary where the only evidence was a grainy photograph of the suspects. Over weeks of work, Paul eventually identified every suspect and recovered the stolen property. In other cases, he repeatedly found ways to connect suspects to other property crimes – and got full confessions. “Each day he comes to work with a renewed desire to make victims whole,” Paul’s supervisor Sgt. Todd Smith wrote in his nomination.

Galarza used a case of a stolen credit card to track down a suspect – the same one responsible for several vehicle burglaries in the Orange City and DeLand areas. His work in that district helped investigators in “preventing a serial burglar from victimizing other citizens,” Sgt. David King wrote in his nomination. In another case, Galarza stopped a car full of burglary suspects – the correct ones – despite a vague, incorrect description. “We appreciate everything you’ve done,” Sheriff Ben Johnson told Galarza on Tuesday. “You’ve turned into a fantastic deputy.”

Civilian Employee of the Quarter Devan North, a records supervisor, was instrumental in the labor-intensive task of preparing for the Sheriff’s Office’s tri-annual audit by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. In large part because of her work, the Sheriff’s Office passed the audit with flying colors. “We couldn’t do it without the civilian people behind the scenes,” Sheriff Johnson said. “Sometimes that’s forgotten. But we haven’t forgotten how valuable you are.”

Telecommunicator of the Quarter Doreen Browning was working a call in February in the South Daytona area when she saw another call come in about a person firing a gunshot through an apartment wall. Browning immediately noticed one of the deputies she had dispatched to the scene was directly in front of the apartment, and she quickly warned the deputy. In another call this time in DeLand, she discovered that a gun found during a traffic stop was stolen during a recent residential burglary. “Browning’s quick thinking has proven time and again that she is an excellent dispatcher,” her supervisor Marirma Perez wrote in nominating her. “She maintains officer safety as a priority and goes a step further in assisting her units in locating important or related information.”

Volunteer of the Quarter Sandra Carlson, who works in the Sheriff’s Office District 4 headquarters in Deltona, has become another example of the invaluable volunteer work that supports the entire agency. The “friendly and outgoing” Carlson is learning several different Sheriff’s Office databases and is training to help deputies research civil cases. She also stepped in and “single-handedly reorganized the supplies in the District 4 office,” her nominators wrote. “We can’t do it without the volunteers,” Sheriff Johnson told Carlson on Tuesday. “Thank you very much.”

Volusia County Sheriff's Office

Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352

Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151

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