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Date Added: May 23, 2005 4:27 pm


Brandon Haught
Public Information Office 


Deputy George Furse, investigator Todd Blair, employee Kim Melvin and volunteer Ed Wyatt were honored this week as the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office’s top employees for the 1st quarter of 2005. All four were presented plaques at an awards ceremony Tuesday in Daytona Beach.

 Deputy Furse dove into heavy responsibility when transferred to the judicial services unit and found himself designated as a field training officer before he even received his own full training. He was determined to fulfill his duty and so put extra effort into learning everything about the job and in turn effectively trained newly assigned deputies. On top of that, he was credited with doing an excellent job during several high profile trials in a felony court while also conducting training. He earned high praise for his professionalism and resolve. “I’m very proud of you,” said Sheriff Ben Johnson. “You’re a great employee.”

Investigator Blair proves to be a formidable adversary to Volusia County auto thieves. The 11-year veteran is the only investigator in the auto theft unit, responsible for inspecting more than 20 towing companies and salvage yards, and approximately 180 body and repair shops. Blair excels at maintaining excellent working relationships with other law enforcement agencies and civilian organization such as insurance and car companies. Motorcycle special events in the county bring out the best in Blair as he coordinates the multi-agency motorcycle theft task force credited with recently recovering $69,000 worth of bikes and reducing the number of stolen motorcycles during Bike Week from 113 in 2004 to 82 in 2005. “Investigator Blair’s efforts to combat vehicle theft, educate others and improve his own abilities goes far beyond the average investigator,” said investigator Paul Adkins, who nominated Blair for the award.

A warrant sting operation in April flooded Melvin in the warrants section with requests, but she handled the daylong onslaught with professionalism and never let down the deputies working the sting. Additionally, her normal workload that day was unusually high and she was working alone, but Melvin maintained accuracy and organization as well as speedy responses to all inquiries. She was commended for the exemplary work and credited with serving a vital role in the arrest of 34 people that day. “You’re part of what makes us such a great department,” said Sheriff Johnson.

Wyatt, a retired Volusia County Sheriff’s Office captain, volunteers two or three days a week at the Ormond Beach district office. He works tirelessly on pawn records, identifying stolen property that winds up in pawnshops, which helps active investigations move along faster. Wyatt also took on the time-consuming task of examining 2,500 pages of documentation in a rapidly escalating fraud investigation in an attempt to identify potential victims. His work freed up the investigators to handle other important aspects of the case and gave them invaluable information. Wyatt also volunteers as a mentor for students through the county school board. “Capt. Wyatt epitomizes the true meaning of volunteer service,” said district assistant commander Lt. Rocky Norris.  

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