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August 9, 2011 9:41 am

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 2nd Quarter of 2011. 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 William Maxwell II doesn’t give up in his efforts to catch the bad guys while on patrol in Deltona. His calm and mature professionalism coupled with tenacity and vigor set Maxwell apart from his peers and get results. These traits were clearly seen when Maxwell was in a brief firefight with three armed robbery suspects. Shortly after being dispatched to the robbery, Maxwell found the suspect vehicle and followed it as it turned down a dead end road. One of the suspects then fired a gun at Maxwell, and he quickly got out of his car, took cover, and returned fire. No one was injured. The suspects eventually abandoned their car, but were soon captured. Maxwell’s initiative, self control and calm helped all of the responding deputies coordinate their actions and arrest the suspects. Maxwell has been with the Sheriff’s Office for only two and one half years, but he’s already credited with solving a series of 12 commercial burglaries while working closely with property crimes investigators.

“He continually communicates with experienced deputies and investigators to improve his knowledge base, techniques and strategies to solve crime,” said Lt. Erik Eagan in a letter nominating Maxwell for the award. “He is an aggressive deputy that is always looking for opportunities to fight crime.”

Investigator of the quarter Stella Ott’s work ethic is of the highest caliber each and every day. Ott, who works in the DeBary district office, has proven her ability to work with little supervision and can be depended on to work when needed day or night. Many of her cases involved multiple suspects committing multiple crimes, but her organizational skills help her make sense of the tangled web of information she obtains. She was credited with working with a juvenile sex crime victim who was initially uncooperative to make the victim comfortable enough to help investigators. The end result was an arrest warrant for the suspect. Ott solved a grand theft case at a pharmacy where a pharmacist was the suspect. She solved another grand theft case where a high school music teacher stole instruments and pawned them. Meanwhile, she also took on multiple business and residential burglaries, helping bring them to successful resolutions.

“These cases have exemplified Investigator Ott’s investigative abilities, her attention to detail, her analytical skills, and her organizational skills,” said her supervisor, Sgt. Virgil Ford, in a nomination letter.

Network administrator Matt Houston was selected as employee of the quarter for his outstanding technical support provided to the Sheriff’s Office. And just as important is the assistance he provides to the many other agencies that utilize the Sheriff’s Office’s dispatch and records management systems. Houston’s vast knowledge and expert analysis is a significant reason why the Sheriff’s Office is well respected throughout the local I.T. community. His programming and database skills along with his detailed knowledge of networks and systems make him a valuable resource capable of resolving complex issues. The Sheriff’s Office provides services to 17 other agencies and will soon include 11 more through the project to consolidate public safety dispatching services throughout the county. Houston is vital to the success of the consolidation efforts and has provided extensive support to nearly every other agency in the county.

“Matt’s assistance is frequently requested by other agencies, which often comes in the simple form of ‘can we borrow Matt?’” said Information Systems Director Tim Jolley. “Matt is able to provide this additional support while still performing his normal duties and responsibilities at an exemplary level.”

Telecommunicator of the quarter Elizabeth Altizer was nominated for the honor by a new communications department employee who was impressed with her great attitude and knowledge. Altizer was praised for going above and beyond when the department was undergoing significant changes in a short period of time while also being short on personnel. Altizer is considered an unsung hero who is outstanding at her job, is always there to offer help when needed and asks for little in return.

Sheriff Johnson praised Altizer and all telecommunicators, saying: “They are the unsung heroes. They just don’t get enough recognition. Thank you very much for the job you do.”

Volunteer of the quarter Ken Grant is a member of the Sheriff’s Office’s Citizen Observer Program in the Deltona district office. He has shown a dedication to the program that is above and beyond the regular volunteer duties. In addition to his twice a week patrols, he assists with vehicle maintenance, is responsible for COP base communications and the training of base operators. He also devoted many hours to setting up the COP office when the district office was recently relocated.

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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