Public Information Office
Pictured from left to right: Volunteer Kenneth Gilleo, Investigator Sgt. Virgil Ford, Deputy Matt Tremblay, Sheriff Johnson, Telecommunicator Christina McCabe and Employee Andrew Gant.
SHERIFF HONORS GOOD WORK OF THE 2ND QUARTER
A motorcycle “MacGyver,” an investigator who led the way in dismantling a major theft ring and three civilian members of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office saw their work recognized by Sheriff Ben Johnson on Tuesday morning during the agency’s quarterly awards meeting.
The “MacGyver” was Deputy of the Quarter Matthew Tremblay, who was honored for his modifications and constant repair, replacement and fabrication work on the VCSO’s motorcycles. Tremblay, a 12-year veteran and member of the Traffic Homicide Unit, is the agency’s go-to deputy for most motorcycle issues. That’s in addition to his regular duties investigating traffic crashes – to which he often responds after-hours even when he’s not on-call.
Last year, the Sheriff’s Office recognized a need for more emergency lights on its motorcycles to help keep deputies safer. The equipment would have cost the agency thousands of dollars. Tremblay designed, fabricated and installed brackets to fit every motorcycle with emergency lights already owned by the agency. In addition, Tremblay serves as a liaison to county and state traffic officials, and he’s worked to resolve traffic issues on the west side of Volusia by suggesting new traffic patterns and signage. “His worth to the Sheriff’s Office is immeasurable,” Sgt. Joel Turney wrote.
The Investigator of the Quarter was Sgt. Virgil Ford, who was instrumental in “Operation Fitbit,” the disruption of an ongoing theft ring that resulted in the recovery of $85,000 in stolen goods. Ford took the original tip about the theft ring and put the wheels in motion to put a stop to it – using his own knowledge of several of the suspects and other potential figures in the investigation.
He did that, as always, while carrying a full caseload. “Not only was his work on ‘Operation Fitbit’ instrumental to the outcome of the case, but he also worked many other active cases himself so that the District 6 investigators could focus solely on ‘Operation Fitbit,’” Lt. Michelle Newman wrote.
The civilian Employee of the Quarter was Andrew Gant from the Public Information Office, who worked to support several of the agency’s recent community outreach events. Those included a deputy’s campaign to deliver basketball goals to six families in need, a “Cops and Kids” basketball game and similar skating event, each with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia & Flagler Counties, and efforts to check in on and deliver basic goods to people living in the woods in the DeLand area. The goal was to increase the public’s awareness of a few of the agency’s positive contributions to the community in addition to their crucial law enforcement work. “I know he has helped out a litany of other deputies with regards to having their praiseworthy actions documented,” Deputy Morris Froscher wrote.
The Telecommunicator of the Quarter was Christina McCabe, who, after the June 12 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, bought cards of support and condolences, got them signed by her coworkers and used one of her only nights off to deliver them by hand to first responders and dispatchers in Orlando. “We are under so much stress taking call after call and dispatching to our units that sometimes it feels like we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders,” Telecommunicator Michael Peterson wrote, adding: “She has taken high-priority calls where we have caught the bad guy, and she has had heartbreaking calls where an infant who never got to experience life is no longer with us. But through thick and thin, she puts one foot in front of the other, stays positive and tries to make an impact on not only her coworkers, but the people of Volusia we serve.”
The Volunteer of the Quarter award went to Kenneth Gilleo, an audio-visual volunteer who produced three DVD presentations on the VCSO’s citizen volunteer and chaplain programs. Throughout the first part of 2016, Gilleo took hundreds of photos and videos of volunteers throughout the county for use in the presentations at the annual volunteer appreciation banquet. He’s currently working on new recruiting videos for the Citizen Observer Program and Citizen Volunteer Auxiliary Program, and he’s produced DVDs of other agency events like the Motorcycle Challenge and 100 Deputies/100 Kids celebrations. “His audio-visual contributions exceed the scope of his responsibilities as a volunteer,” administrative Carol Keesecker wrote.