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November 4, 2014 11:00 am

Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer  

Sheriff's Office Recognizes Top Employees Of The Quarter

When a large-scale organized retail theft ring was recently discovered operating out of Deltona, it took an investigator with dedication, motivation and tenacity to take on the complex case. Fortunately, Volusia County Sheriff’s Investigator Cordell Lemay was more than up to the task. Working in conjunction with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Investigator Lemay helped topple the criminal organization with five racketeering arrests. His skillful handling of the case earned Investigator Lemay recognition on Tuesday as the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office’s Investigator of the 3rdQuarter of 2014. Other top-performing Sheriff’s Office employees sharing in the accolades during Tuesday’s awards ceremony at the agency’s Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center in Daytona Beach included Deputy of the Quarter Thomas Proctor, Civilian Employee of the Quarter Cindy Pagliari, Telecommunicator of the Quarter Robyn Adair and Volunteer of the Quarter Bruce Grundish.

Investigator Lemay was assigned the retail theft investigation back in May. Through the investigation, it was learned that the organization’s criminal activity spanned multiple jurisdictions and involved numerous suspects and the theft of more than $1.25 million in property from retail stores in just a year’s time. Further complicating the investigation, the main target was highly sophisticated. For instance, he fortified his residence, concealed his identity by using accounts belonging to a dead person, utilized police scanners and conducted counter surveillance when engaging in illegal transactions. Still, they were no match for Investigator Lemay, according to his supervisor, Sergeant Todd Smith. “Nearly every day, Investigator Lemay came to work early and stayed late,” Sergeant Smith noted in a memo nominating Investigator Lemay for the award. “He worked on the weekends, on his days off and even in the middle of the night. He sacrificed his personal life and free time in order to bring down this complex and devastating organization.”

Deputy Proctor, Deputy of the Quarter, was recognized for his bravery and heroism in responding to a trailer fire in Oak Hill on Aug. 25 in which a 67-year-old man was trapped inside. Through thick black smoke, Deputy Proctor could see the victim lying on the floor. With complete disregard for his own safety, Deputy Proctor held his breath before entering the trailer, where he grabbed the unconscious victim and pulled him towards the doorway. Deputy Proctor had to stop partway and retreat out of the trailer to quickly catch his breath again before re-entering the burning trailer to pull the victim the rest of the way to safety. A second deputy arrived moment later and the two immediately began chest compressions in an effort to resuscitate the victim. Deputy Proctor also re-entered the trailer yet again to make sure there weren’t any other victims trapped in the blaze. Sadly, the victim died the next day from smoke inhalation. But according to Sheriff Ben Johnson, that didn’t detract from Deputy Proctor’s bravery in rushing into a burning structure in order to give the victim a fighting chance at survival. “These deputies didn’t hesitate to spring into action and risk their lives,” said Sheriff Johnson. “It makes me very proud to see our deputies respond in such a professional manner while in the face of danger.”

In addition to her regular duties as a school crossing guard supervisor, Pagliari -- the Civilian Employee of the Quarter -- virtually took on a doubled workload by covering for another school crossing guard supervisor who had retired. And once a replacement was hired, Pagliari took it upon herself to make sure she got off to a good start by assisting with the orientation and training. She also drove the new supervisor to every school crossing in her district to familiarize her with the locations and characteristics of each crossing. “What a great job,” remarked Sheriff Johnson. “You’ve always been there for us and have always done everything we needed you to do.”

Adair, the Telecommunicator of the Quarter, was praised for her handling of a rather unusual 911 call back in October. When Adair picked up the phone, no one on the other end was talking to her. She quickly realized that it was an accidental dial. And she also quickly realized that the voices in the background were talking about illegal drugs. So she kept the phone line open for nearly 28 minutes while she continued to listen in on the conversation and relay what she was hearing to responding deputies. The information provided by Adair led deputies right to an active meth lab in Deltona, where three people were arrested.

Grundish, the Volunteer of the Quarter, is part of the Sheriff’s Office’s highly-touted Citizen Observer Program. As a C.O.P. volunteer, Grundish is always willing to step in and work the radio at the base when needed. He also has been very effective in handling his duties as a fingerprint supervisor, developing many venues that have resulted in C.O.P.s fingerprinting numerous children for their parents’ records.

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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