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VCSO's Best Of the First Quarter Honored

Date Added: May 03, 2017 4:30 pm

Andrew Gant
Public Information Officer


The top deputy, detective, civilian employee, telecommunicator and volunteer of the first quarter of 2017 were recognized Wednesday for putting in some of the best work at the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office so far this year.

Deputy of the Quarter Omar Bello was honored in part for his role in capturing a fleeing murder suspect on Feb. 5. Bello was the first to spot the suspect’s Dodge Charger on Interstate 95 following a deadly shooting that evening at the Carolina Club Apartments in Daytona Beach. He pursued the suspect (Dominic Neeley Jr.) north into Flagler County, where Neeley bailed out of the car and ran away toward a house. Bello – who had lost radio contact with the other units involved in the pursuit – ran after Neeley and challenged him at gunpoint before he could enter the house. Neeley was taken into custody without further incident and remains in jail without bond on charges including first-degree murder.

Detective of the Quarter Gerald Johnson’s cases in the first quarter included an armed robbery at gunpoint (closed with two arrests), an armed burglary with guns stolen (closed by arrest), a burglary of an auto sales business (closed by arrest) an aggravated assault with a firearm (closed by arrest) and a strong-arm robbery (closed by arrest). In the strong-arm robbery case at a Dollar General store in DeLand, it was Johnson and two other deputies who encountered the suspect fleeing north to State Road 11, where he eventually abandoned the vehicle and was apprehended during a K-9 track.

Civilian Employee of the Quarter Pat Taylor, a victim advocate, was recognized for her continued work with victims of crimes including domestic violence and sexual abuse. “Her compassionate attitude for victims of crime is profound,” said her nominator Marge Clauser of the VCSO’s DeLand/northwest Volusia headquarters. “She never judges the circumstances or lifestyle in representing victims… Hearing her speak on the telephone with victims is an example for all VCSO employees – that being to recognize that the person on the other end of the phone line is a human being and deserves our utmost sense of honor and compassion. Pat Taylor treats people with the dignity that they deserve.”

Telecommunicator of the Quarter Christie D’Ercole was on her lunch break when she heard about a head-on crash involving several vehicles, with one person dead and others injured. She decided her break was over and went straight to the dispatch floor, taking over the primary fire position, dispatching extra ambulances and helping notify hospitals of incoming patients. She never did go back on break that night. “She should be recognized for a job well done,” her shift supervisor Allaina Luna said. “She was a great example of teamwork that night.”

Volunteer of the Quarter Daryl Pryce joined the VCSO’s Citizen Observer Program in June of 2016, and has been going above and beyond ever since. He has volunteered to help keep order at several special events throughout Volusia County and in Orange County, and he’s consistently available for extra patrols. When he and his C.O.P. partner saw a situation on the road where there were kids trying to cross a busy street with no crossing guards, they stepped in and directed traffic. Pryce also has helped with routine maintenance on VCSO vehicles in the Deltona area, and has become an integral part of the vehicle maintenance team.

Please join us in thanking and congratulating these men and women!

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