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November 2, 2004 9:50 am

Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer

SHERIFF’S OFFICE HONORS EMPLOYEES OF THE QUARTER 

A K-9 handler and department volunteer who both went above and beyond in serving the public during the recent hurricanes were among a foursome honored Tuesday as the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office’s employees of the quarter. The 3rd quarter honorees included deputy Jeff Harting, investigator Cynthia Gambrell, employee Karen Ross and volunteer Gene Quinn. 

Earning deputy of the quarter honors, Harting has been a K-9 deputy for 15 years and overall has worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 24 years. Harting was singled out for recognition in part because of his work ethic and drive, effective traffic enforcement efforts and exceptional catch record with his K-9 partner, Sagus. Following the recent hurricanes that impacted the state, Harting volunteered to leave his home county and family to assist citizens in Charlotte and Escambia counties. His civic pride, professionalism, humor and positive spirit were credited with helping residents endure the storms and get their lives back to normal. “No matter what, you’re always there. You’re an absolutely super deputy,” Sheriff Ben Johnson told Harting as he presented him with his award. 

Gambrell, the department’s investigator of the quarter, was selected for her exceptional handling of a fraud case involving the theft of more than $2,000 from a children’s charity. Working out of the Sheriff’s Office’s New Smyrna Beach headquarters, Gambrell was handed the case after a representative of the charity reported that the money along with the suspect couldn’t be located. Researching financial records, Gambrell traced charitable funds that had been funneled into the suspect’s personal account. Then, through her tenacity and determination, Gambrell managed to track down the suspect, obtain a confession and recover all of the charity’s stolen money. “I’m real proud of you,” Sheriff Johnson told Gambrell. 

Ross, named civilian employee of the quarter, is assigned to the Sheriff’s Office’s career criminal unit. Among her duties, Ross is responsible for the registration of sexual predators and offenders and for helping to maintain current information regarding career criminals and sex offenders. The accuracy and timeliness of the electronic data is crucial to deputies who come into contact with sex offenders and career criminals. During the past quarter, the career criminal unit underwent a data conversion project, and Ross played a key role in inspecting the database to ensure it was complete, accurate and up-to-date. She purged obsolete files and also helped link the updated data to photographs of offenders to make it easier for deputies in the field to make visual confirmations. “Tracking these subjects has become easier due to Ms. Ross’ diligent work in improving the data accuracy,” Ross’ supervisor, investigator Jim Lau, said in his letter nominating Ross for the award. 

The volunteer of the quarter, Quinn, donates his time to the Sheriff’s Office’s Citizen Observer Program (COP) that provides extra eyes and ears to law enforcement through citizen patrols throughout the county. During Hurricane Frances, Quinn volunteered to assist at the public shelter at Atlantic High School in Deltona. Quinn reported for duty on a Friday and didn’t leave until the shelter officially closed its doors three days later. While at the school, Quinn assisted with the parking and unloading of vehicles and was particularly helpful to special needs evacuees as well as shelter staff.

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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