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August 31, 2014 3:59 pm

August 31, 2014

By Patricio G. Balona

Volusia Deputy, ‘Different Kind Of Cop,’ Known For Good Deeds

The 8-year-old DeLeon Springs boy’s short message of appreciation was scribbled unevenly in capital and lowercase letters.

“Dear Deputy Froscher, thank you for the piggy bank. That was so nice of you,” young Vinny Landolfi wrote Volusia County sheriff’s deputy Morris Froscher.

“P.S. Thank you for the 20 bucks. That was also nice of you. All that you did for me ment a lot to me.”

A bashful Frosher, 52, who was raised by a single mother in the farmland and coal mine areas of southwest Virginia, is embarrassed people think he did a great thing for Vinny. He was the deputy called to investigate a burglary at the boy’s home, where a thief stole a Wii game console and pilfered the boy’s coins from a jar.

“The child was very upset so I just wanted to do something that would make him feel better,” Froscher said in a recent interview. “I did it on my day off because I didn’t want anybody to know about it but the little boy wrote my boss a letter.”

Not only did Sheriff Ben Johnson find out that Froscher replaced Vinny’s piggy bank, but he reviewed Froscher’s file and discovered it was full of numerous commendations from citizens Froscher had helped while off duty.

Among the many things the deputy is praised for are cases where he mentored an out-of-control child, placed a confused 88-year-old man into a hotel room and called his family instead of charging him for not having a driver’s license, changed tires for others and gave sympathy cards to widowers.

Johnson wrote a letter to the Division of Victim Services and Criminal Justice Programs at the state Attorney General’s Office recommending Froscher for the Florida Attorney General’s 2014 Distinguished Award. Froscher got the Victim Services Award in April.

“He is the most compassionate cop I have ever met,” Johnson said. “Here is a deputy who comes to work every day and makes a difference in people’s lives and even does it when he is not working because he wants to make sure they get the best treatment.”

Nicholas Landolfi, Vinny’s father, says the actions of Froscher — a patrol deputy in unincorporated areas near DeLand — make him worthy.

Landolfi said he was amazed at how Froscher handled the crime scene and took time to calm his upset son before leaving. The day after the burglary, Landolfi got a call from Froscher asking him to meet the deputy at the Big Rig 2 Restaurant where Landolfi works.

“I thought he wanted more information about the case or that he had something to tell me about it,” Landolfi said.

But what Froscher did at the restaurant got Landolfi emotional.

“The first thing he told me was, “did you know how hard it is to find a piggy bank these days around town?’ ” Landolfi said. “He then took us to his a patrol car and gave my son a piggy bank shaped like a football.”

Froscher also gave Vinny an envelope containing $20 and told Vinny it’s to start his piggy bank fund.

“I choked up about it,” Landolfi said. “That’s not in police training, you know. They don’t teach that, it’s something that comes from the heart.”

Froscher, a professional when he shows up to do his job, is humble, said Leslie Monjeur, owner of Head to Tail Grooming, a pet service store on Spring Garden Avenue. Monjeur met Froscher about six or eight months ago when she called to report that some plants had been stolen from her business’s porch and street-side garden. Monjeur said she thought she had seen the last of Froscher after he left but four days later, on a Saturday, the deputy showed up with plants to replace those stolen.

“It was a complete surprise. He showed up in a T-shirt and shorts with the plants and even dug the hole and planted the one on the street side,” Monjeur said Wednesday. “He is what every small town needs.”

Monjeur’s husband, Richard Monjeur, said it is unbelievable that Froscher would take steps, even when he is not working, to make something right for the victims of the crimes he investigates.

“It was like $20 or more worth of plants but it was like he walked in with a million bucks,” Richard Monjeur said. “It’s not the value of the things. It’s the value of the deed.”

Froscher said it was nice that he got the award but noted does not help people to get special recognition.

The 14-year veteran deputy grew up “very poor” in Virginia and left his town to escape farmland and coal mine labor. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1980, where his most memorable achievement was becoming a marathon runner.

He ran the Boston Marathon in 2 hours 40 minutes. He retired from the Marines in 2000 and has been with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office since then.

“The hardest part of my job is seeing how victims of crime are affected,” Froscher said. “You feel empathy but sometimes you find you are powerless to make somebody whole again.”

Still, his actions, no matter how small, change the way people view the agency he works for and people’s perception of law enforcement officers, Landolfi said, recalling the day Froscher handed his son his brand new piggy bank.

“I don’t think the deputy realized that he not only helped replace Vinny’s piggy bank but his opinion of the world and the people in it, too,” Landolfi said. “He is definitely a different kind of cop.”

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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