Public Information Officer
Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson has often said that public safety dispatching is one of the most difficult and challenging tasks in law enforcement.
So it stands to reason that commanding the Sheriff’s Office’s massive Communications operations -- including in excess of 150 employees and the processing of more than a million 911 calls per-year for all police, fire and EMS agencies in the County -- is an incredibly complex and demanding job. Fortunately, Captain Ray Almodovar has been more than up to the challenge during his nearly five years at the helm as the Sheriff’s Office’s Communications Commander. Captain Almodovar has not only been up to the challenge, but among his peers, he’s considered one of the best Communications Commanders in the business. And that reputation of exceptional quality and professionalism has been recognized by Florida APCO, which recently selected Captain Almodovar as its Public Safety Communications Center Director of the Year.
The recognition from the Florida Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) is certainly well-earned. After all, it was Captain Almodovar who helped oversee the complicated and long-awaited transition to consolidated communications in Volusia County. But the fact that he’s considered one of the best in the state came as no surprise to the employees at the Sheriff’s Office’s William R. Lee Communications Center. They already knew it. In fact, here’s what Tricia Davis, the Sheriff’s Office’s E-911 Coordinator, said about Captain Almodovar in the award nomination sent to APCO: He “shows true integrity and encourages his staff to become better every day.”
Captain Almodovar is a 31-year law enforcement veteran and a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy. He began his tenure at the Communications Center as an Assistant Commander in May 2006 and became the Communications Commander upon his promotion to Captain in December 2009. Among his biggest challenges was overseeing the new consolidated Communications Center project, which included transitioning from multiple Public Safety Answering Points, or PSAPs, to just one and bringing the new state-of-the-art building on-line. To ensure a smooth transition, Captain Almodovar attended pre-design and construction meetings to make sure that the needs of the Communications Center were met. The successful merger took place in May 2013. And now, Captain Almodovar can often be seen on the dispatch floor, interacting with floor personnel to support their efforts, keep up employee morale and to just ask how their day is going. He fosters a positive work environment, encourages new ideas and suggestions for improvement and also hosts quarterly users group meeting to make sure that the needs of the Sheriff’s Office’s police, fire and EMS partner agencies are fulfilled and issues that may arise from time to time are addressed on a timely basis and to the satisfaction of all concerned.
Sheriff Johnson also praised Captain Almodovar’s stewardship over the Communications Center and said the APCO award is highly deserved. In recognition of the award, Sheriff Johnson will be presenting Captain Almodovar with the Sheriff’s Office’s Medal of Merit next month. “Ray has done an exceptional job of helping to chart the course at the Communications Center at a time of tremendous growth and change,” said Sheriff Johnson. “He has been a steady, reliable and motivational leader who has adjusted well to the shifting communications environment. The APCO award is recognition of all that he has accomplished through his hard work and dedicated service.”
On a historical note, Captain Almodovar is the last sworn officer at the Sheriff’s Office to hold the position of Communications Director. The Sheriff’s Office is transitioning to a civilian Commander with the hiring of Mr. John Balloni on Aug. 11, 2014.
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