For Hometown News
VOLUSIA COUNTY --Each year four Volusia County Sheriff's Office employees and one volunteer are carefully chosen out of an outstanding pool of more than 1,000 people for their exceptional work performance.
The five demonstrated superior work ethic and achievement, not only during the past year, but also throughout their careers serving the county's citizens.
Sheriff Ben Johnson honored these top-performing Employees of the Year 2013 during a ceremony at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center March 4 in Daytona Beach.
Lonnie Feaster, Deputy of the Year, patrols the county jurisdiction around Daytona Beach, Holly Hill and Ormond Beach. He makes it a point to talk to every person he encounters -- citizens and business owners alike -- reassuring them he will be there when needed. Mr. Feaster was praised for being there for his fellow deputies, too.
One rainy night in May, Mr. Feaster showed a superior level of camaraderie, compassion and support for two deputies who had just been involved in a shooting incident. He stayed by one deputy's side throughout the evening as the incident was investigated, demonstrating by example the philosophy of "never leave your wing man."
Whenever a deputy is involved in a shooting incident, even after years of training and preparation, it's impossible to predict what the psychological response will be. Mr. Feaster's support in this situation was above and beyond expectations.
Glen Bennett, Investigator of the Year, is well-known in the Internal Affairs Unit for his attention to detail, personal drive, professionalism and efficiency. He created a new supplemental application form that makes background investigations on potential new hires more organized and easier to complete.
Additionally, he completed a long-term internal investigation that was truly a test of patience and determination. It took many months to review voluminous financial records, conduct difficult interviews and organize the complicated case. Mr. Bennett's thoroughness revealed additional potential violations that led to the opening of a secondary investigation. This led to heartfelt praise from his supervisor and the others involved in the case for Mr. Bennett's commitment to doing the right thing for the right reasons.
Shelley Hattaway, Employee of the Year, is a 12-year veteran at the Sheriff's Office and is an office assistant in the Internal Affairs Unit. During a difficult and complicated internal investigation she was credited with transcribing 76 interviews and categorizing hundreds of associated records. This was all accomplished while keeping up with her regular day-to-day responsibilities.
Ms. Hattaway's outstanding work ethic, efficiency and technical abilities result in her routinely completing her assignments well before they are due.
Paul McGovern, Telecommunicator of the Year, is the first to obtain a difficult to achieve designation at the Sheriff's Office's consolidated dispatch center. When he was hired, he was assigned to the Fire Emergency Communication Center and soon moved up through the multiple career development phases to become a fully trained telecommunicator specializing in Fire/EMS dispatch. But he didn't stop there. He also became cross-trained in law enforcement dispatch, which requires a different set of skills. Mr. McGovern is now the first fully cross-trained telecommunicator since the full consolidation of the dispatch center.
Isaac Snipes became a volunteer in 2010 for the Volusia Bureau of Investigation where he specializes in financial investigations. His decades of experience and professional certifications in the field were invaluable in a trafficking operation.
An organization was importing, manufacturing and distributing large amounts of illegal synthetic drugs. The organization established several bank accounts in an effort to conceal their activities, which required a thorough financial examination in addition to all of the other investigative work being done. Mr. Snipes' volunteer work in this area was a significant help in dismantling the illegal organization.