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May 6, 2014 1:00 pm

Brandon Haught
Public Information Office

Passionate, hard-working employees from a wide range of positions within the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office earned the honor of being named Employees of the 1st Quarter of 2014. An incredible diversity of job responsibilities was represented during the ceremony at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center in Daytona Beach. A deputy, investigator, civilian, telecommunicator and volunteer all received awards Tuesday morning from Sheriff Ben Johnson.

Deputy of the quarter John Szabo is the kind of deputy who always arrives at work in the Sheriff’s Office’s District 2, which covers county areas around DeLand, with the mindset that his highest priority is to protect and serve the people of Volusia County. He gladly fills in for other deputies when needed and is a great example of someone who really believes in the team concept. Not only does he complete his own work in a professional and proficient manner, but he also volunteers to assist in areas outside his area of responsibility. In just the first quarter of the year, Szabo was responsible for taking more than $3,000 of illegal drugs off of the streets and recovering at least $20,000 in stolen property. His proactive work philosophy resulted in 28 arrests during the quarter.

“Deputy Szabo goes above and beyond,” said his supervisor, Sgt. Garey MacDowell. “He never questions instructions or has a negative attitude about his work load.”

Investigator of the quarter Sgt. James Turner never seeks out recognition for the outstanding work he does in the Sheriff’s Office’s District 3, which covers county areas around Daytona Beach. He always says that it’s a team effort that produces results. But his fellow deputies see him take the time and effort to complete reports and take on work responsibilities that he doesn’t have to, and that kind of work ethic motivates everyone around him. Turner keeps all the deputies in his district informed daily about crime trends and investigative information that the deputies find invaluable in solving their own cases. He also keeps officers in neighboring law enforcement agencies informed about crimes the Sheriff’s Office is working on. This has resulted in the solving of many cases that have crossed jurisdictional lines.

“I’m very proud of the job you do,” said Sheriff Johnson during the award ceremony. “You always make this agency look good.”

The Sheriff’s Office’s communications center must be running in top form 24 hours a day, every day of the year, without exception. The hard work that employee of the quarter, telecommunications coordinator Glenn Lopez, puts into his job is one of the main reasons the communications center maintains its unrelenting pace. He directly supervises five employees, oversees the center’s training and quality assurance divisions, and manages that 24/7 maintenance and operation of the center. Lopez is the liaison between all of the law enforcement, fire department and ambulance agencies the center dispatches, ensuring that their concerns are responded to in a timely manner. He coordinates with other county departments to make sure that the dispatch and mapping systems are as accurate as possible. These heavy responsibilities were made even more demanding when he had to work without an assistant and had to fill in for another telecommunications coordinator when both retired during the first quarter.

Sheriff Johnson praised Lopez for how he guided the transition from separate dispatching centers to today’s consolidated communications center. “He’s been there every step of the way,” Sheriff Johnson told the audience. “He’s a go-to guy.”

Telecommunicator of the quarter DaRohn Hampton is well known for handling the stress of answering a flood of calls from people in need and constantly dispatching and monitoring multiple units. And while doing so, he always keeps foremost in his mind the philosophy of providing citizens the best service he can possibly give. He is striving to attain the title of senior dispatcher through the difficult task of cross training in law enforcement and fire/rescue services. Hampton has already demonstrated his multi-tasking skills when he dispatched for a burglary in progress incident that then unexpectedly also involved a traffic crash. His calm, professional composure were also key to the successful deployment of several resources to an explosion incident. Hampton recently volunteered to do a public service announcement that explains to citizens when to call the non-emergency and emergency phone numbers.

“Mr. Hampton’s dedication to the Sheriff’s Office communications center goes far beyond the duties of a regular employee,” said his supervisor, Teddy Griffin.

Volunteer of the quarter Ted Wing has been invaluable to the Sheriff’s Office’s Citizen Observer Program. His expertise with data collection and analysis has helped those tasked with tracking all of the COP’s daily, weekly, monthly and annual information. What would have been a very time consuming task was made much simpler and efficient through Wing’s knowledge of spreadsheets and his willingness to volunteer his time to set them up.

“Each and every volunteer is a valuable asset,” said Sheriff Johnson.

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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