Public Information Office
‘THEY EARNED IT’: VCSO RECOGNIZES GOOD WORK OF 3RD QUARTER 2016
When a Volusia County sheriff’s investigator recovered a lawn mower stolen during a string of residential burglaries, it was just the latest of many cases solved. But it meant a lot more than that to one victim in particular.
“One of the victims, upon realizing his push mower had been recovered, came running from his residence with the biggest smile I have ever seen,” a sergeant wrote after watching Inv. Shon McGuire return the stolen property to a home with the grass growing high. “The joy on his face is hard to put into words. He explained how times were tough and he couldn’t afford a new mower.”
The case was one of a long list McGuire solved in Deltona in the third quarter of 2016, earning him the title of Investigator of the Quarter. Joining him in receiving recognition at a Tuesday morning staff meeting were Deputy of the Quarter Patrick Allison, Civilian Employee of the Quarter Erika Stammer, Telecommunicator of the Quarter Shannon Sibley and Volunteer of the Quarter Barbara Krystynak. “All of them, they earned it,” Sheriff Ben Johnson said before congratulating each of the recipients Tuesday.
Inv. McGuire’s past few months were busy as usual. He solved a string of auto burglaries assigned to him with no suspects or witnesses. He solved a rash of home burglaries and thefts of appliances, which he recovered and returned. He solved an auto theft resulting in 14 felony charges against a suspect who’d cut off his court-ordered ankle monitor. He tracked down $2,000 in stolen and resold tools, then got a detailed confession to more than 50 burglaries from a suspect who had been committing them for two years. He identified a suspect in the armed burglary of a vehicle with thousands of dollars in jewelry and a gun stolen, and he arrested a suspect in possession of thousands of dollars in new merchandise stolen from retailers across central Florida. “The aforementioned cases are but a glimpse of Investigator McGuire’s daily work product,” Sgt. Todd Smith wrote in his nomination. “As you can tell, there is no safe place for criminals to hide in Deltona when he’s working.”
Deputy of the Quarter Pat Allison was recognized not only for his law enforcement work, but his efforts helping to organize the Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona Motorcycle Skills Challenge in September. The challenge brought 80-plus police motorcycle riders from across Florida to compete against each other, and the event raised more than $50,000 for the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches and Concerns of Police Survivors. Allison, aside from his role in planning the challenge, also participated in it and took second place in the fairing division.
On the road, Allison remained at the top of the traffic unit in terms of self-initiated activity, continuing his hard work to protect the public from DUI drivers. As the lead instructor for the motor unit, he made his colleagues better riders. He represented the Sheriff’s Office in outside details like Deltona’s Independence Day fireworks show and National Night Out, where he performed a motorcycle demonstration for the public. He collected food donations during Hurricane Matthew to make sure deputies working long hours through the storm were kept fed.
Civilian Employee of the Quarter Erika Stammer was instrumental in the identification and arrest of a suspect in the armed robbery of a DeLand-area Dollar General in April. Stammer matched several prints from the front counter of the store to the suspect – who had pointed a handgun at an employee and, as she told investigators later, had his finger on the trigger. Stammer’s work on scene and in the office helped investigators make an arrest quickly. Confronted by all the evidence against him, the suspect confessed and even implicated an accomplice: his girlfriend, who was also arrested.
Stammer’s “tenacity and true passion for the job” has been an asset to deputies and other law enforcement agencies, Sgt. Garey MacDowell said. “No matter the workload, she volunteers her services. Mrs. Stammer goes above and beyond with such gusto. I find her to be such a major component to the Sheriff’s Office family.”
Telecommunicator of the Quarter Shannon Sibley had plans to be off work when Hurricane Matthew hit. But when the storm rolled in, so did Sibley. “I asked her why she was here when she could be off,” Telecommunicator Jamie Gross said. “Her response: ‘My shift has to be here, so do I – that is what a good supervisor does. They don’t abandon their shift.’” With all the challenges of the telecommunicator position – the stressful calls, the long days, the thin margin of error and the high risk of burnout – people like Sibley hold the team together. “She is a huge team player and puts the Sheriff’s Office first during a crisis,” Gross said.
Volunteer of the Quarter Barbara Krystynak has put in 1,800 hours of volunteer work with the Sheriff’s Office – patrolling every week, signing up to help with special events and standing by on-call for emergencies. She supervises six other volunteers. But it’s not just the VCSO that benefits. Krystynak also volunteers for the American Red Cross during disaster relief efforts, and she recently traveled to Mississippi to help flood victims there. When she’s not working with the VCSO or the Red Cross, she’s often volunteering at a senior center in DeLand. “She is a pleasure to be around and is well-liked by all,” Citizen Observer Program Director Bob Nieland said. “She is available at any given time and will respond at a moment’s notice,” C.O.P. Coordinator Tim Lamprey said. “Ms. Krystynak is essential to the operation of the Citizen Observer Program in District 4!”