Public Information Office
The employees of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office definitely experience their share of tension and stress, but their true character really shines through when the pressure is turned up even more. The Employees of the 1st Quarter of 2011 exhibited their professionalism and tenacity in the face of dramatic changes and challenges over the past few months. A deputy, investigator, civilian, telecommunicator and volunteer all received awards Monday morning from Sheriff Ben Johnson at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center in Daytona Beach.
Deputy of the quarter Thomas Proctor had never worked in the Sheriff’s Office’s District 5, which covers county areas of New Smyrna Beach and Daytona Beach, before being reassigned there just a few months ago. But that didn’t deter him from hitting the ground running as he quickly solved several cases one after the other. While on patrol and monitoring the radio, he heard a strong arm robbery call being worked by the Daytona Beach Police Department. Proctor responded to the area and immediately found the suspect and turned her over to Daytona’s officers. In a separate case, he solved a home burglary within an hour, including making an arrest and recovering the property. Proctor worked several vandalism cases and through his diligent canvassing for leads identified the juvenile suspects for each incident. In the meantime, he successfully solved yet more theft cases with charges being filed against the suspects and the majority of the stolen property being recovered.
“Deputy Proctor shows the tenacity and drive that should stand as an example for all,” said supervisor Sergeant Dominick Amendolare in his letter nominating Proctor for the honor. “He has tirelessly worked all of these cases while still handling all of his regular calls for service.”
Investigator of the quarter Heather Welch is an invaluable member of the criminal investigations unit of the Deltona district office. She is well known for her caring and considerate demeanor that helps crime victims and witnesses feel comfortable enough to share as much information as possible. In one such case, Welch spoke with a domestic violence victim whose attacker was also a possible suspect in an armed robbery. As Welch dug ever deeper into the investigation, it developed into a multi-jurisdictional case involving two other counties. Even though the robbery case got more complicated, Welch never forgot about the domestic violence victim. When the suspect tried to contact the domestic violence victim from jail in an effort to have her drop the charges, Welch presented the necessary information to convince the judge to revoke the man’s bail. Meanwhile, she put extra time and effort into matching a store’s inventory lot numbers to evidence she had personally retrieved, showing her commitment to going above and beyond.
“She performs like a bloodhound on a scent, and leaves no stone unturned until she gets the information and evidence she needs to prosecute the case,” said assistant district commander Lieutenant Erik Eagan.
Keeping a Sheriff’s Office district office running smoothly is a tough task, but it becomes even more challenging when the office is relocating. That’s the situation employee of the quarter Sherry Cannington found herself in when the Deltona headquarters returned to its refurbished Providence Boulevard location. The office manager had a huge undertaking in arranging for the vacating of over 6,000 square feet and relocating the furniture and materials into a 7,500 square foot facility while making sure everyone still had available what they needed to get their regular jobs done. In addition to scheduling the moving company and negotiating the price, she cleaned floors, painted walls, hung pictures, and did all the necessary coordination to get needed repairs done. While doing all of this, she still took care of her regular duties and responsibilities of ensuring her staff’s needs were met on a daily basis.
“Sherry’s drive and energy are unmatched,” said district commander Captain David Brannon. “Once started, she didn’t stop until the task was completed.”
Deltona’s headquarters wasn’t the only unit experiencing change. Central Fire Communications underwent a dramatic upgrade in their dispatching system and also moved into the central dispatching center with their law enforcement counterparts. But under shift supervisor Christie D’Ercole’s calm leadership and teamwork philosophy, the transition went smoothly for all involved. There was a lot of added stress and pressure as her crew had to learn all new computer commands, call signals and codes. Dispatch procedures were also modified, and radio stations that usually handled the least traffic volume suddenly became the busiest. Through it all, D’Ercole promoted a teamwork approach between fire and law enforcement dispatchers that led to employees’ desire to be cross-trained in both areas.
“Thank you for all that you do and for always going above and beyond,” said Sheriff Johnson as he presented D’Ercole her award.
Volunteer of the quarter Jennie Mero has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office’s Citizen Observer Program since 2003, and is on a COP district leadership team and is a COP trainer. When the COP administrative assistant was on medical leave for several months, Mero volunteered to take on the day to day administration of the program in addition to her own duties. This included working many extra hours and the completion of monthly reports, which required compiling all the information on patrols, traffic control details, special details, and hours volunteered from the five districts. Additionally, Mero answered phones, processed mail and assisted with the start up and completion of the spring COP training class.
“I can say without reservation that without her help the Citizen Observer Program would not have been able to continue on as effectively as it did,” said COP Coordinator Tim Lamprey.
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