Public Information Officer
Top photo: Sheriff Johnson poses with his newly-promoted officers. From left to right are Sergeant Kenneth Vickery, Major Vinnie Vecchi, Sheriff Johnson, Captain Shane Summers, Lieutenant Bob Kelley and Sergeant Brian Nardiello. Bottom photo: Major Vecchi’s son, 19-year-old Michael Vecchi, pins the new badge on dad’s uniform, while Major Vecchi’s proud mother, Jean Vecchi, looks on.
With the first of several upper-level retirements a few weeks away, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson began reshaping his command staff on Tuesday. Topping the list of personnel moves was the promotion of 21-year department veteran Vinnie Vecchi to the rank of major. Sheriff Johnson also named a new captain, lieutenant and two new sergeants Tuesday. And more changes will be coming later in the year. Sheriff Johnson described the moves as bittersweet, commenting that it’s tough to say goodbye to experienced personnel but adding that a new generation of sharp and dedicated supervisors are ready to move the department into the future. Others promoted on Tuesday included Shane Summers to captain, Bob Kelley to lieutenant and Brian Nardiello and Kenneth Vickery to sergeant. “This is the future of our department,” said Sheriff Johnson to a packed audience during Tuesday’s ceremony at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center. “We don’t just hand out promotions. These have all been earned. It’s the great men and women around us that make this department what it is.”
Vecchi will replace Major Craig Broughton, one of three majors in the Sheriff’s Office. Broughton, commander of the agency’s Judicial Services Division, is retiring on Jan. 31 following a 30-year career with the Sheriff’s Office. Vecchi will assume command of Judicial Services, one of three operating divisions in the agency. The division encompasses the civil section, court security, prisoner transport, warrants, extraditions and records. In his new position, Vecchi will have approximately 159 employees and a $10.9 million budget under his command. The 44-year-old Vecchi came to work for the Sheriff’s Office in December 1986 and has supervised the civil section for the past four years. He’s a New York native who has a bachelor of arts degree in organizational management from Warner Southern College and also is a graduate of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Senior Leadership Program. “You’ve worked hard, and you’re always there for the department,” Sheriff Johnson told Vecchi. “You’ve earned this position.”
Newly-promoted to captain, the 39-year-old Summers has been with the Sheriff’s Office since July 1994. He has served as assistant district commander in two different Sheriff’s Office districts, was the agency’s second homeland security director and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He also has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida. “I’m very proud of you and the job you’ve done,” said Sheriff Johnson.
Kelley, the agency’s newest lieutenant, is best known for his incredible skill and knack for solving homicides. As supervisor of the Major Case Unit for more than a decade, his clearance rate for solving murders has routinely been at 90 percent and above. The 49-year-old Kelley was hired in May 1979. Sheriff Johnson called Kelley “an absolutely great homicide investigator,” adding: “We’re very proud of what you can do, what you have done and what we know you will do.”
Sergeant Nardiello, also most recently serving as a homicide investigator, is 34 and has been with the Sheriff’s Office since February 2002. Sergeant Vickery, 33, was hired in May 2002 and is currently assigned to the training section running the Sheriff’s Office’s in-house defensive tactics/officer survival program. Additional personnel moves are scheduled for later in the year, with three of the department’s 11 captains scheduled to retire before the end of 2008.
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