Public Information Officer
Determined seems to be the key word to describe the men and women of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office who earned the honor of being named Employees of the 3rd Quarter of 2008 Tuesday morning. Every one of them demonstrated a passion for their jobs, including an investigator whose hard work solved a 1948 murder case and a deputy whose relentless drive takes drug offenders off the streets. Also getting awards from Sheriff Ben Johnson at the DeputyStephen Saboda Training Center in Daytona Beach were a school crossing guard, a telecommunicator, and a Citizen Observer Program volunteer.
In September 2007, Investigator Larry Horzepa reopened an unsolved case that involved the killing of a man and woman on a beach in 1948. The case had become known as the “Moonlight Murders.” Horzepa, who works in the major case unit, ran into a number of roadblocks during his investigation, including the absence of records or evidence after six decades. However, Horzepa eventually determined that a murder in Bradford County may have been linked to the case. This discovery finally accomplished what eluded many investigators before him; he cracked the case and brought closure to a family who had been without answers for so long. Horzepa has been an irreplaceable asset to the Sheriff’s Office over the past two decades, having taken on some of the most important cases the county has ever seen. Several of his cases have received national attention, and his work always reflects well on the Sheriff’s Office, earning him the title of Investigator of the Quarter.
Deputy David King is a respected fixture on the west side of the county. The Deputy of the Quarter is well known for his many drug arrests and his knack for solving burglary cases. King, who patrols the county area of DeLand and also often works in Deltona, is aggressive in regularly arresting known drug offenders for driving offenses and other crimes with the goal of disrupting their activity and getting them off the streets. King’s desire to make communities safer was evident during his exceptional work on a burglary case where a handgun was stolen from a home. His sound investigative skills eventually resulted in confessions, arrests and the recovery of the gun, keeping it out of criminals’ hands. That was just one of many examples of his commitment to crime fighting.
“Congratulations and keep up the good work,” said Sheriff Johnson. “We’re real proud of you.”
Stefanie Munn earned Telecommunicator of the Quarter honors for her expertise and willingness to help at all times. Anyone in her department with a question is sure to get a quick, accurate answer from Munn. She is an assistant shift supervisor and is well known for being reliable and always available when needed. In addition to her supervisor duties, she also takes on training responsibilities, which essentially doubles her workload.
“While this would seem daunting to most, she has made switching from one to the other appear seamless,” said fellow telecommunicator Michael Halcomb in a letter nominating Munn for the award.
School crossing guard Charlene Ellis, Employee of the Quarter, goes above and beyond for the students, parents and staff of Friendship Elementary School , Deltona. Ellis recently made a large donation of supplies to the school, knowing that many students often face financial hardships and often try to get by without basic needs.
Principal Maria Martoral praised Ellis in a thank you letter, saying: “Charlene is an exceptional person who cares for our Friendship Elementary students as if they were her own.”
Volunteer of the Quarter Frank Krizon is in the Citizen Observer Program and earned praise for his quick thinking when a home was burglarized and the suspects were trying to make a fast getaway. When Krizon heard an alarm going off in his neighborhood, he ran over to investigate. He spotted a car speeding by with the four suspects inside. He quickly returned home, called 911 and was able to provide a good description of what he saw that then led to the suspects’ capture.
“You’re always there for us,” said Sheriff Johnson. “We appreciate everything that you do."
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, DIAL 911 IF YOU CAN’T CALL, YOU CAN SEND A TEXT TO 911