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May 2, 2012 11:53 am

Brandon Haught
Public Information Office

SHERIFF’S OFFICE EMPLOYEES OF THE QUARTER HONORED

Just another day on the job takes on a whole new meaning when the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Employees of the 1st Quarter 2012 winners are hard at work. Their professionalism and expertise are prime examples of what makes the Sheriff’s Office a premier law enforcement organization in Florida. The five deputies and civilians were honored by Sheriff Ben Johnson during a ceremony at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center in Daytona Beach Wednesday morning. Awards were presented to a school resource deputy, a narcotics investigator, an office assistant, a telecommunicator, and a volunteer.

Deputy of the quarter Jerry Sasser is the school resource deputy at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona. Sasser’s firm but caring attitude has made a lasting, positive impression on the administration, students and parents he’s worked with. His law enforcement philosophy is that he is there to help people, not just arrest them. With that in mind, he responded to pleas from one parent who had trouble with two defiant teenagers by visiting her home and speaking privately with both kids. Ever since, the mom is happy to report that they are doing much better, and Sasser is committed to checking up on them on a regular basis. He also willingly stepped in on another occasion when an upset parent started berating an administrator. Taking control of the situation, he calmed the woman and by the end of the conversation had the parent thanking him for his assistance. With Sasser around, the school administration sincerely feels protected.

“I really want to thank you for the job you’ve done,” said Sheriff Johnson. “It’s deputies like you who help mold our school kids.”

Investigator of the quarter Toby Schwartz is a member of the Eastside Narcotics Task Force, but he certainly doesn’t limit himself to narcotics cases. Through his resources he gathered intelligence over the course of a few months that helped the Major Case unit solve a homicide investigation. He completed several undercover operations that were invaluable in indicting two people by Grand Jury in February. One was indicted for first degree murder and the other for witness tampering. Schwartz demonstrated leadership and an eagerness to always be of assistance when needed.

“He understands that none of these cases could have been resolved without the cooperation and hard work of all the members of the Task Force,” said his supervisor, Sgt. Timothy Herring. “Their willingness to come together and work with him as a team shows his ability to lead others.”

Employee of the quarter Annette Cazella has her hands full with clerical duties, receptionist duties and data processing for the Sex Crimes and Internet Crimes Against Children units. But she continually takes on yet more responsibilities in an effort to keep the units on the cutting edge. She sought out training on and access to several analytical databases that enable investigators to send case information across the state and nationwide. This expands their ability to gather intelligence and coordinate with other agencies. The potentially overwhelming amount of information that comes in through active case logs, hotline complaints and crime tips were expertly organized by Cazella in such a way that made them easy to manage and update.

“Annette has proven herself to be an outstanding and valued part of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and during this first quarter of 2012 has performed above and beyond her already high level of productivity,” said her supervisor Sgt. Paul Kammerer.

Shortly after midnight on February 20, telecommunicator of the quarter Frank Sclafani was dispatching for the South Daytona Police Department when a suspicious vehicle incident started. The vehicle fled from officers, and as the incident progressed, the vehicle pursuit passed through four cities, involving several officers from different agencies. Sclafani coordinated the constant flow of information as the direction of travel changed frequently. At one point, the fleeing vehicle attempted to run over an officer who was deploying stop sticks. Through it all, Sclafani remained calm and accurately documented all of the information in a timely manner. Afterwards, many of the units involved commended him for the excellent job he did.

“We’re always glad to hear you on the air, because we know we’re going to be taken care of,” said Sheriff Johnson.

Excited volunteers who are eager to help the Sheriff’s Office in any way they can are a welcome sight, and Maryann Woodruff is a prime example of a very willing volunteer. The volunteer of the quarter helps the Court Services Unit several times a week. She worked for a year as a volunteer bailiff to assist senior judges with foreclosure hearings. But when that program ended, Woodruff said that she had enjoyed working in the courthouse so much that she wanted another assignment there. Because several judges have very busy docket schedules, deputies took her up on the offer and now she helps citizens get signed in for their court appearances.

“It is people like Maryann Woodruff who make the volunteer program successful,” said Melissa Nutall, a staff assistant for the Court Services Unit. “She is always willing, always on time if not early, always happy to be here and most of all very proud to be a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office volunteer.”

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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