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March 4, 2014 10:00 am

March 4, 2014
Brandon Haught
Public Information Office

Each year four Volusia County Sheriff’s Office employees and one volunteer are carefully chosen out of an outstanding pool of well over 1,000 people for their exceptional work performance. The five demonstrated superior work ethic and achievement, not only during the past year, but also throughout their careers serving the county’s citizens. Sheriff Ben Johnson honored these top-performing Employees of the Year 2013 during a ceremony at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center Tuesday morning in Daytona Beach.

Deputy of the year Lonnie Feaster patrols the county jurisdiction around Daytona Beach, Holly Hill and Ormond Beach. He makes it a point to talk to every person he encounters -- citizens and business owners alike -- reassuring them he will be there when needed. Feaster was praised for being there for his fellow deputies, too. One rainy night in May, Feaster showed a superior level of camaraderie, compassion and support for two deputies who had just been involved in a shooting incident. He stayed by one deputy's side throughout the evening as the incident was investigated, demonstrating by example the philosophy of "never leave your wing man." Whenever a deputy is involved in a shooting incident, even after years of training and preparation, it's impossible to predict what the psychological response will be. Feaster's support in this situation was above and beyond expectations.

"It’s something you worked hard to earn," said Sheriff Johnson as he presented Feaster’s award. "Great job, Lonnie. Thank you."

Investigator of the year Glen Bennett is well known in the Internal Affairs Unit for his attention to detail, personal drive, professionalism and efficiency. He created a new supplemental application form that makes background investigations on potential new hires more organized and easier to complete. Additionally, he completed a long term internal investigation that was truly a test of patience and determination. It took many months to review voluminous financial records, conduct difficult interviews and organize the complicated case. Bennett's thoroughness revealed additional potential violations that led to the opening of a secondary investigation. This led to heartfelt praise from his supervisor and the others involved in the case for Bennett's commitment to doing the right thing for the right reasons.

"Without investigators of Bennett's caliber, the agency would not have the superior reputation and respect from the public that it does now," said his supervisor, Lt. Erik Eagan. "I am proud of the hard work, dedication and sense of honor Investigator Bennett has towards the profession of law enforcement."

Employee of the year Shelley Hattaway is a 12-year veteran at the Sheriff's Office and is an office assistant in the Internal Affairs Unit. During a difficult and complicated internal investigation she was credited with transcribing 76 interviews and categorizing hundreds of associated records. This was all accomplished while keeping up with her regular day-to-day responsibilities. Hattaway's outstanding work ethic, efficiency and technical abilities result in her routinely completing her assignments well before they are due.

Telecommunicator of the year Paul McGovern is the first to obtain a difficult to achieve designation at the Sheriff's Office's consolidated dispatch center. When he was hired he was assigned to the Fire Emergency Communication Center and soon moved up through the multiple career development phases to become a fully trained telecommunicator specializing in Fire/EMS dispatch. But he didn't stop there. He also became cross trained in law enforcement dispatch, which requires a different set of skills. McGovern is now the first fully cross trained telecommunicator since the full consolidation of the dispatch center.

"His accomplishment and perseverance to succeed helps all first responders and reduces the workload and demand on his fellow employees," said his supervisor, Capt. Ray Almodovar.

Isaac Snipes became a volunteer in 2010 for the Volusia Bureau of Investigation where he specializes in financial investigations. His decades of experience and professional certifications in the field were invaluable in a trafficking operation. An organization was importing, manufacturing and distributing large amounts of illegal synthetic drugs. The organization established several bank accounts in an effort to conceal their activities, which required a thorough financial examination in addition to all of the other investigative work being done. Snipes' volunteer work in this area was a significant help in dismantling the illegal organization.

"It’s an honor and a pleasure to be able to present this plaque to you," 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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