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Sheriff's Office Honors 260 Volunteers

Date Added: March 24, 2005 10:00 am

Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer


Through sinkholes, Mother Nature’s fury and mass murders, law enforcement resources in Volusia County were stretched like never before in 2004. Thankfully, more than 260 civic-minded citizens donated their time to the Sheriff’s Office, helping the agency meet the challenges and fulfill its mission to serve and protect. Wednesday night, the Sheriff’s Office took time to say “thanks” to its dedicated corps of volunteers. “Whether it was hurricanes, whether it was the murders in Deltona or whether it was helping out when we were looking for Josh and Lillian, you were always there,” Sheriff Ben Johnson told the audience of nearly 310 people who filled the Ocean Center for the Sheriff’s Office’s 9th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. “I can’t thank you enough for everything that you’ve done.” 

The Sheriff’s Office has tapped into Volusia’s vast volunteer labor pool for more than a decade, utilizing local citizens throughout the agency in unpaid positions ranging from receptionists, clerks and mail couriers to chaplains, jury assistants, victim advocates and citizen observers on neighborhood patrols. Last year alone, local residents donated 63,000 hours of volunteer labor worth at least $325,000 to Volusia County taxpayers. “We couldn’t do it without you,” Sheriff Johnson told the group. 

While dozens of volunteers were presented with service awards Wednesday night, several were singled out for special recognition, including 2003 Volunteer of the Year Alvin Roby and 2004 Volunteer of the Year Gene Quinn. Roby volunteers in the Civil Unit in DeLand, where he serves court papers two days a week. He also volunteers a third day each week with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs driving disabled veterans to the VA hospital in Gainesville. Quinn is a volunteer in the Citizen Observer Program and spent three days in a shelter assisting special needs evacuees during last year’s hurricanes. Raymond Daugherty, who volunteers at the agency’s evidence facility, tops the list of volunteer hours with 18,471. 

And it’s volunteers like Roby, Quinn and Daugherty that help law enforcement meet the needs of the community, according to the evening’s keynote speaker, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Jancha. “Those of us in law enforcement realize that we can’t do our jobs without volunteers such as yourselves,” Jancha told the group. “Everything that you do promotes the mission of law enforcement and helps us do our jobs better.” 

A total of 17 volunteers were presented with President Bush’s Call to Service Award Wednesday night. The award is designed to honor Americans who set an example that inspires others to volunteer service. The 17 recipients were as follows: Karen Bates, Oliver Brauner, Louise Brown, George Burnett, Richard Doane, John Estes, Nina Lavallee, Richard Lavallee, Robert Martin, Jerry Murphy, John Paruolo, Grace Redfield, William Redfield, George Spratt, William Streb, Edward Toperzer and Daugherty. 

Wednesday’s event also included a special remembrance in honor of the following 10 former Sheriff’s Office volunteers who passed away since the agency’s last Volunteer Appreciation Banquet in September 2003: Paul Barlow, George Hunsicker, Allsie Jett, James McCarnan, Sid Pittman, John Rozzi, Leo Schimek, Rosalie Smith, Theodore Tobias and Harold Whitesell.

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