Public Information Officer
Determined seems to be the key word to describe the men and women of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office who earned the honor of being named Employees of the 1st Quarter of 2010 Tuesday morning. Every one of them demonstrated a passion for their jobs, including a deputy who makes sure the Sheriff’s Office’s communications center is always running efficiently, and an investigator who never forgets to take care of crime’s victims. Also getting awards from Sheriff Ben Johnson at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center in Daytona Beach were an inventory control specialist, a telecommunicator, and a volunteer.
Deputy of the quarter Sergeant Eric Westfall doesn’t let the oftentimes stressful and fast-paced environment at the communications center prevent him from seeking ways to make a great telecommunicator crew even better. He was praised for looking out for the personnel as he listens to them, sees to their needs and ensures that all problems that arise are handled quickly and professionally. Westfall pours over the 911 calls statistics, looking for new and innovative ways to make the work flow smoothly while at the same time making sure his suggestions are willingly accepted by all the affected employees.
“It’s quite a feat anytime you’re selected for one of these awards, “said Sheriff Johnson. “This comes from your peers. This is something you’ve earned, and it’s quite an honor.”
Mary Fortin earned investigator the quarter honors for her superior handling of complex and sensitive cases while assigned to the criminal investigative division at the Sheriff’s Office’s District 5 office in New Smyrna Beach. Keeping victims of crimes she’s working on informed is a top priority for Fortin. For example, a sex offense case she recently handled involved a suspect who had a job that put him in potentially close proximity to the victim after the crime happened. Fortin’s quick work led to a warrant and arrest while she maintained contact with the victim and the victim’s mother to keep them updated on the case status and ensured their needs were met. A separate issue Fortin took the initiative on was pawn shops and other second hand dealers not adequately reporting the description of jewelry they take in, making it difficult for law enforcement to identify and return stolen property to victims. Through a lot of hard work and coordination with other agencies, Fortin helped bring the businesses into compliance with Florida State Statutes.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure to be able to present this to you,” said Sheriff Johnson. “A job well done.”
Inventory control specialist Linda Fetterhoff responded to a call for help from the evidence facility, and her extra effort and positive attitude led to her earning employee of the quarter honors. A large backlog of work at the evidence facility prompted a call for assistance that Fetterhoff eagerly responded to. Two days a week she took on tasks at the evidence facility, but didn’t let that extra work interfere with her normal work duties in the inventory department. This has resulted in a significant monetary savings to the Sheriff’s Office and the sincere appreciation of everyone she has worked with.
“Her positive attitude makes dealing with her enjoyable, even in stressful situations,” said her inventory department supervisor Fred Wenk.
Communications shift supervisor Patricia McDonnell handles her supervisory duties effortlessly, and frequently without the assistance of another supervisor during half of her shift. She holds her fellow shift employees to a high standard and meets those high expectations herself, earning her telecommunicator of the quarter honors. She doesn’t hesitate to answer 911 calls when needed, such as when a concerned caller asked for help locating a family member who was diabetic and was having a medical emergency in a car in an unknown location. McDonnell first obtained the victim’s possible driving route and then sent officers into the area to search. Then she worked with the victim’s cell phone company to track the phone, while at the same time she stayed in contact with the worried family to let them know what was happening. Through McDonnell’s clear thinking and actions the victim was found and treated for his medical emergency.
“We appreciate the job you’ve done,” said Sheriff Johnson. “You’ve always been a total professional.”
Volunteer of the quarter Charles Bultman’s regular assignment is to work at the Volusia County Courthouse information desk three mornings a week. But when the office assistant at the DeBary district office was on medical leave, Bultman volunteered his time to fill in for her three afternoons a week. This resulted in him volunteering full time for three days a week over the course of 10 weeks. His time and effort were sincerely appreciated.
“Charles is enthusiastic, willing to assist wherever needed in the Sheriff’s Office and always cheerful and courteous,” said Citizen Volunteer Auxiliary Program supervisor Carol Keesecker.
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