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February 13, 2004 11:30 am

Brandon Haught
Public Information Office

SHERIFF’S OFFICE HONORS EMPLOYEES OF THE YEAR 

Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson and his administrative staff took time out this week to honor the agency’s four top-performing employees of the year 2003. “Our department is a great and proud department,” Sheriff Johnson said during Tuesday’s ceremony in Daytona Beach. “It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to earn these awards. The four that we are honoring today represent the very best in public service.” Taking the top honors were deputy Richard Graves, investigator Charles Dowell, administrative aide Sharon Phillips and volunteer Al Roby. 

Graves, named deputy of the year, has served in the Airport Unit since July. His skills and instincts are invaluable to the unit, according to his supervisor, Sgt. Chris Westfall. Graves has a solid record of acting on things that “just don’t look right” and getting results. Four stolen cars were recovered due to his attentiveness. He enjoys sharing his extensive knowledge with other deputies, especially when it comes to processing evidence while doing work for the Crime Scene team. “Out of 450 deputies, that’s quite an accomplishment,” said Sheriff Johnson of Graves’ award. “We’re real proud of you.” 

Dowell, who works out of the Sheriff’s Office’s District 4 headquarters in Deltona, was named investigator of the year. Dowell’s tireless hard work was instrumental in clearing two armed robbery cases in 2003: Blockbuster Video and Federal Trust Bank. He put in many long hours, often late at night, and traveled extensively to track down all possible leads. Helping others in the department is obviously a hallmark of great employees; Dowell was commended for always being there to help deputies in investigative matters and technical assistance in the processing of evidence. “Volusia County has one of the finest investigative staffs in the country,” said Sheriff Johnson. “Charlie has done a great job for us.” 

Phillips, the Sheriff’s administrative aide, was named civilian employee of the year. She has been building up invaluable experience over the past 20 years working for the Sheriff’s Office, making her an integral part of the Sheriff’s staff. She is well known for her proficiency and her frequent role as the Sheriff’s public voice, maintaining communication on his behalf with many dignitaries and law enforcement personnel. Phillips also finds time to fill pivotal roles in several charities. “Sharon is absolutely a great employee. I wouldn’t know what we would do without her,” said Sheriff Johnson. 

Not only has volunteer of the year Roby been developing lasting friendships at the Sheriff’s Office’s civil section, but he has been putting in at least 60 hours a month of donated time that frees up deputies to focus on enforcement duties. “The Sheriff’s department couldn’t function without our volunteers,” said Sheriff Johnson. “This is well-earned and well-deserved.”

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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