Public Information Officer
It’s not as if Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson needed a reminder of the extreme dedication of the 272 residents who volunteer their services to assist in virtually every section of the Sheriff’s Office. After all, the volunteers collectively donated nearly 63,000 hours of labor in just 2009 alone. However, a reminder is just what he got when two volunteers were involved in a minor traffic crash Wednesday night on their way to the Sheriff’s Office’s 14th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. Thankfully uninjured, the couple abandoned their car, hailed a cab and continued on their way to the banquet site at The Shores Resort & Spa. “Now that’s dedication!” Sheriff Johnson told the approximately 255 people who gathered for the gala event.
Citizen volunteers help out the Sheriff’s Office in a variety of areas, including civilian patrols, court services, training, evidence, records and civil. They perform security checks at radio and cell towers, fingerprint children for parent records, monitor vacant homes, work in area courthouses, enter and maintain computer data and scan records. Volunteer chaplains, meanwhile, handled 77 calls last year, helping deputies with the emotional task of making death notifications and comforting victims’ families. Still others volunteer as receptionists, clerks and mail couriers “The majority of the services you provide are services that we just couldn’t do without you,” Sheriff Johnson said during his keynote address. “We just don’t have the manpower to do all of these things. The talent and dedication of the men and women who volunteer their services for us is absolutely beyond words.”
As part of Wednesday’s banquet, dozens of volunteers were singled out for awards, mostly based on their number of years or hours of service. Among those honored Wednesday was the Sheriff’s Office’s top volunteer for 2009, Andy Gygi. Gygi gives his time to the investigative unit at the district office headquartered in New Smyrna Beach. He’s considered an invaluable contributor, assisting with mapping burglary trends and reviewing reports. He also helps check pawn shop databases to look for possible stolen property and follows up with victims of property crimes to see if any new details or investigative leads have developed. Gygi also serves in the Citizen Observer Program, where his sharp eyes led to the discovery of a break-in at a local cell phone tower site. Meanwhile, three of the volunteers earned the President’s Call to Service Award -- designed to honor Americans who set an example that inspires others to volunteer service. The recipients are Raymond Glowzynksi, Beverly Kitchen and William Reinauer. Also included in Wednesday’s program was a recognition for a large group of newer volunteers in the audience who joined on with the Sheriff’s Office in the past year. “We’re deeply indebted to each and every one of you,” Sheriff Johnson told the group. “I’m so proud to be associated with men and women such as yourselves.”
The evening also included a special remembrance for William Carvill, Charles Krohn, Robert Mattson, Larry Richcrick, Robert Sadler, Rita Scoon and Stanely Seuss -- all former Sheriff’s Office volunteers who passed away since last year’s banquet.
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