November 7, 2006
Public Information Office
Protecting Volusia’s children holds a special place in the hearts of all Sheriff’s deputies, especially when children are the potential victims of sexual crimes. An investigator in the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office’s sex crimes unit was commended Tuesday for locking up two defendants who preyed on several children’s innocence. The investigator and four others were recognized Tuesday by Sheriff Ben Johnson as the agency’s top-performing employees of the quarter. All five were presented with their awards during a ceremony at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center in Daytona Beach.
"These awards are not just given out," said Johnson during the ceremony. "They’re earned."
Jerry Betz was selected as investigator of the quarter for demonstrating an amazing work ethic while bringing to justice two felons who sexually battered several teens through violence and intimidation. Both cases presented significant challenges, but Betz’s determination won out in the end. One case involved a 32-year-old man who used a gang-like mentality to force girls as young as 14 to have sex with him. He entrapped the victims into thinking that anytime they disobeyed the defendant that they had to choose to either endure an extreme beating or have sex with the defendant. Betz faced the challenge of breaking through the distrust of law enforcement and the gang-like protection of the defendant, but he eventually locked the man up for 20 years. Betz also successfully tracked down a juvenile who had burglarized a home and then sexually battered a 14-year-old girl. During the investigation, it was discovered that another girl was also victimized. Betz’s diligence led to six arrest warrants and a 40-year sentence for the defendant.
In the letter nominating Betz for this award, his supervisor, Sgt. Cynthia Gambrell said, "I and the entire sex crimes unit feel Inv. Betz has earned this recognition by his peers."
Deputy David McNamara was honored as deputy of the quarter for his invaluable on-the-spot investigative instincts and his talent for observing everything that is going on around him. While on patrol in the Sheriff’s Office District 2 area, which stretches from the DeLand area north up to Pierson, McNamara is credited with several arrests that might not have happened without his quick thinking and attention to detail. While on scene at an armed robbery incident, McNamara spotted a person wanted on unrelated arrest warrants. During the arrest, McNamara noticed drug paraphernalia that in turn led to the discovery of several drugs and equipment used in drug trafficking. During a separate armed robbery incident, McNamara was able to identify mistakes in the information provided by witnesses, resulting in the arrest of the suspects.
"You’ve done a great job," said Johnson. "I’m real proud of you."
Civilian employee of the quarter, Robert Ham, was recognized for his unswerving devotion to maintaining the Sheriff’s Office’s marine and SWAT equipment, while also taking on any special project that needs attention. He’s saved the department thousands of dollars by taking on painting and maintenance projects himself. He also made the extra effort to obtain the licensing required to drive the trucks used to transport SWAT equipment. Ham arrives to work early, stays late and is widely known by nearly everyone in the Sheriff’s Office as the man to go to when something is broken.
Sgt. Mike Frederick, Ham’s supervisor, said in his award recommendation letter, "The marine equipment has never been in as good a condition as it currently is; that’s because of Ham. I wish I had a team full of guys like him."
So new that she’s still in training, Denesha Miller already is making a name for herself. She earned the telecommunicator of the quarter award for expertly handling a call involving shots fired at deputies who were pinned behind trees. Without hesitation, Miller called in additional units and kept track of all those who responded as the volatile situation unfolded. The call was intense, but Miller handled it like a seasoned professional, keeping the situation under control.
"You’ve made us very proud," said Johnson. "You have very well earned this award."
Bob Sadler is also relatively new to the Sheriff’s Office, but he was awarded the volunteer of the quarter award for his dedication to the Civilian Volunteer Auxiliary Program. Sadler has devoted exceptional time and effort, assuming the responsibility for two time-consuming assignments, and offering to work additional days to fill in for volunteers on leave. In just six months, he volunteered more than 400 hours while working in traffic court and jury management.
"You always step up to the plate, no matter what we need," said Johnson.
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