Public Information Officer
On Friday, the multi-agency Volusia Bureau of Investigation (VBI) dismantled a major drug trafficking ring, making nine arrests and seizing cocaine, marijuana, cash and guns. Four days later, the head of VBI, Sergeant Joseph Gallagher, was among five people recognized as the top-performing employees of the quarter at the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. The others honored during Tuesday’s awards ceremony included an extraditions deputy, a staff assistant at the airport, a Citizen Observer Program (COP) volunteer and a telecommunicator who recently resumed his supervisory duties at the Communications Center after a bout with cancer.
Named investigator of the quarter, Gallagher was praised for his keen leadership of VBI as he successfully guided the organization through highly-complex investigations. “VBI has seized millions of dollars in drug-related assets and hundreds of pounds of drugs under Sergeant Gallagher’s watch,” states a letter nominating Gallagher for the award. “Sergeant Gallagher’s commitment and dedication he exhibits every day to fighting the elicit narcotics drug trade sets the example for his subordinates and colleagues to follow and model themselves after.”
Deputy of the Quarter honors went to Dave Gallinari, who is credited with saving the Sheriff’s Office and taxpayers thousands of dollars through creative scheduling and coordinating of extraditions trips. “He’s outstanding at communicating effectively with other jurisdictions and travel agents in order to extend deadlines, lower airfares and have varied institutions hold inmates for greater economy in time, persons moved and overall costs,” said Gallinari’s supervisor, Sergeant Ralph Brown.
Civilian Employee of the Quarter, Lisa Stauffer, has a multitude of duties as the civilian support staff for the Sheriff’s Office’s law enforcement unit assigned to Daytona Beach International Airport. Among her duties, Stauffer is responsible for the application process for security badges, maintaining the security access system, criminal history background checks and vehicle parking decals. Through it all, Stauffer handles her assigned duties -- and more -- with precision, professionalism and a calm demeanor. “So many times Lisa goes above and beyond what is expected of her,” said the Sheriff’s Office’s supervisor of its airport unit, Lieutenant Linda Nasser-Edwards. “I don’t know what we would do without her.”
Telecommunicator of the Quarter honors went to Dan Peppel, a 16-year veteran in communications who returned to work in August after an 8-month battle with throat cancer. Upon his return, Peppel’s co-workers said he never skipped a beat. “From the day he came back, he jumped right back into his supervisory duties without hesitation nor complaint,” said several co-workers in nominating Peppel for the award. “Dan believes in hard work, honesty, integrity and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. We at the Communications Center have come to rely on him for whatever situation comes up.”
Ollie Brauner, who’s part of the COP corps that patrols the county to deter crime and act as an extra set of eyes and ears for deputies, was named Volunteer of the Quarter. Brauner was nominated by a fellow volunteer who was impressed with the way he helped manage a massive traffic snarl at the busy intersection of Enterprise Road and Saxon Boulevard in Orange City during a severe thunderstorm that knocked out power to the traffic signals. “Without incident, hundreds of cars safely made it through the 17 lanes of traffic,” wrote fellow COP Josephine Opisso. “As darkness started to fall upon us, the traffic lights were finally repaired. Ollie had stood in the middle of the intersection and directed traffic without hesitation, and with a methodical, professional approach.” Sheriff Ben Johnson noted that he was not only impressed with Brauner, but also with all Sheriff’s Office volunteers. “What a great job he has done, and what a great job all of our volunteers do,” added Sheriff Johnson. “I’m very proud to present this plaque to you, Ollie. It’s something you’ve earned.”
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