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November 2, 2009 1:00 pm

Brandon Haught
Public Information Office

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 3rd Quarter of 2009 Tuesday morning. Every one of them demonstrated a passion for their jobs, including an investigator who made a high profile sexual battery arrest and a deputy whose relentless drive solved several crimes in a short timeframe. Also getting awards from Sheriff Ben Johnson at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center in Daytona Beach were a records department office assistant, a telecommunicator, and a Citizen Observer Program volunteer.

Deputy of the quarter David King’s proactive work ethic and keen observation skills led to an impressive record of case closures and arrests in recent months. On two separate occasions the DeLand area patrol deputy spotted vehicles that were believed to be involved in recent crimes and he stopped them and made successful arrests that wrapped up a strong arm robbery case and an armed burglary case. Deputy King’s supervisor, Sgt. Brian Nardiello, commended him for clearly performing above the call of duty when he thoroughly investigated a burglary call to include obtaining video surveillance and collecting records of purchases made with a stolen credit card. This hard work led to the suspect’s capture. It was then discovered that the suspect had committed other crimes, which then resulted in solving five additional burglaries and recovering stolen property.

Winning a quarterly aware is quite a feat, said Sheriff Johnson. “These are decided by their peers. You have a lot of competition. This is something that’s earned.”

There is never any guarantee that a routine investigation is what it seems. Investigator Richard Fortin discovered that when a missing juvenile case turned into a sexual battery investigation. The juvenile had been gone for about two months and during this time investigator Fortin spoke almost daily with the suspect, developing a rapport and gathering potentially incriminating statements concerning the sex crimes. Fortin’s determination finally resulted in a high-profile arrest with a lot of media interest and led to several other victims being identified. Additionally, Fortin solved a strongarm robbery case at an Ormond Beach motel, and closed out more than 20 car breaks and two residential burglaries through a long series of interviews and determined investigative work. The investigator of the quarter is assigned to the District 3 office headquartered in Holly Hill and is also a Crime Scene Investigator.

“I’m real proud of the job you do,” said Sheriff Johnson. “I’m proud to present this to you.”

Employee of the Quarter honors went to office assistant Stephanie Baker, who works in the records department. When she finishes her primary responsibility of processing report requests from the State Attorney’s Office, she keeps busy helping her co-workers and filling in wherever needed. No matter how tedious or undesirable any given task might be, Baker takes it on without complaint and always gets the job done with professionalism. Her peers know that they can turn to her when questions or problems arise. Baker is known for being knowledgeable and fast yet thorough.

“What a great job,” said Sheriff Johnson. “We really appreciate it. I want to thank you for the job you’ve done.”

Telecommunicator of the quarter honors went to Kelley Eisen, who was rewarded for her hard work and devotion to developing an outstanding training and recruitment program for telecommunicators that is now considered as a model program by other agencies and even the state level. She updated the training area into a modern learning atmosphere that gives trainees a true taste of what it will be like to do the actual work using the same equipment experienced telecommunicators handle. This has resulted in new employees being better prepared to perform to the best of their abilities than ever before. Eisen expanded the training program for the first time to new deputies, allowing them to see firsthand during their basic training what goes on in a communications center.

Volunteer of the quarter Andy Gygi gives his time to the investigative unit at the district office headquartered in New Smyrna Beach. He is considered an invaluable contributor as he assists with mapping burglary trends and reviewing reports. He also helps check pawn shop databases to look for possible stolen property, and follows up with victims of property crimes by phone to ensure no new details or investigative leads have developed. Gygi also serves in the Citizen Observer Program and his sharp eyes led to the discovery of a break-in at a local cell phone tower site.

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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