August 7, 2007
Public Information Office
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office’s deputies and employees honored with the department’s quarterly employee awards definitely are not the kind of people to sit around and take things as they come. These men and women chose to take on extra tasks, long hours and added responsibility because they want to make a difference. This dedication makes them stand apart and demonstrates that they see their work as more than just another job; it’s a duty. Sheriff Ben Johnson honored five such employees during an Employees of the 2nd Quarter ceremony at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Center in Daytona Beach Tuesday morning. Awards were presented to a patrol deputy, an investigator, an intelligence analyst, a telecommunicator, and a court volunteer.
Deputy Josh Vedder is considered a cornerstone of his patrol shift by his fellow deputies in Deltona. He serves as a Field Training Officer, taking extra time and effort to train rookie deputies on the street, and also is a member of the Traffic Homicide Investigation unit, putting his specialty training to use on fatal car crashes. Vedder takes on some of those crash investigations even when he’s not the investigator currently scheduled to be on call. One case involving the death of a retired police officer who was walking along the side of the road and was struck and killed by a hit and run driver earned Vedder high praise for eventually getting an arrest despite having few leads to start with. Vedder is known as a steady rock in the face of challenges and a person who steps up to fill in where needed.
"You’re always out there and always working," said Sheriff Johnson. "We’re really proud of you."
Investigator Charles "Chuck" Lee earned high praise for closing tough cases in his DeBary district. A local pharmacy burglary included a small amount of blood among the evidence collected. A possible suspect was developed in the case, and Lee obtained a sample of his DNA by secretly collecting a discarded cigarette butt. The cigarette DNA sample matched the blood DNA sample and so Lee obtained an arrest warrant. Once the suspect was apprehended, Lee obtained a full confession to not only the case’s burglary, but also three additional burglary cases. Another prominent case Lee worked on involved a complex identity theft scam where a woman obtained and used several credit cards in another person’s name. During the investigation, Lee obtained a search warrant and found a computer stolen by the suspect. This led to an arrest warrant, but it was then discovered that the suspect was in Japan. That didn’t stop Lee, though, as he coordinated with other agencies to track her movements. The suspect was finally arrested in Tokyo and extradited back to Volusia County. A search of her possessions turned up the fraudulent credit cards.
"Chuck is an absolutely fantastic deputy," said Sheriff Johnson. "He’s done well."
Intelligence analyst Deb Ivie was praised for her skills in organizing vast amounts of information gathered during special events and operations. She works long hours analyzing the data, resulting in various reports and databases that are invaluable to investigators in their duties. She is an expert at pulling together a wide variety of information into one comprehensive product, fitting all the pieces nicely into place with amazing attention to detail. Her diligence and commitment to the Sheriff’s Office earned her the Employee of the Quarter award.
Jennifer Clay is a valued member of her shift at the Sheriff’s Office’s Communications section. She knows the Records Management System computer database inside and out, prompting her coworkers to frequently ask for her expertise and to train new employees. She takes a vested interest in teamwork, making sure everyone has the proper training to get the job done. Clay is known to take on tasks on her own initiative, such as tracking down information on a stolen vehicle so that it could be quickly recovered, saving a lot of time, money and stress for the owner. Deputies on the street value her commitment to their safety and her efficient and professional manner when dispatching priority calls.
"I think communications is the toughest job in law enforcement," said Johnson. "I thank you for all that you do."
Volunteer Bill Reinauer earned the admiration of a DeLand Deputy Clerk of Court, who wrote a letter to the Sheriff’s Office praising Reinauer’s commitment and desire to assist people in any way he can. Reinauer helps with jury management and arraignments, putting in 2,400 volunteer hours in four years. When helping with the jurors, he’s there early and stays until the last person leaves, making sure nothing is left undone. He makes everyone feel welcome and he doesn’t hesitate to go out of his way to help anyone in need.
"Sure wish we had more like him. It makes for a nice place to work," said Pam Marns, the Deputy Clerk of Court, in her letter.
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