DELAND, FL – The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office honored three detectives Wednesday and a group called N.O.W. Matters More for working together in the fight against prescription medication addiction.
Sheriff’s Detectives Austin Littleton, Sgt. Joel Hernandez and Lt. Kurt Schoeps streamlined how Volusia County residents drop off unwanted prescription drugs at our five district offices after researching how other law enforcement agencies collect those unused medications.
With the help of N.O.W. Matters More Foundation of New Smyrna Beach and its donation of $4,475, the Sheriff’s Office purchased five Med Return Drug Collection Units. The locked, steel mailbox-style disposal receptacles were installed at our five district offices just before National Prescription Drug Take Back Day last fall. Now the public can get rid of medications anytime during regular business hours, all year-round and no questions asked.
On Wednesday, Sheriff Mike Chitwood presented our detectives with the Problem Solving Award for this project. The sheriff also recognized Luis Delgado, founder of N.O.W. Matters More, and Trinity Phillips, president, with the Civilian Award for their significant contribution and excellent example of community involvement.
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“Everybody knows somebody that’s hurting and suffering” from addiction, Delgado said. “We’re glad all the first responders are carrying Narcan doses.”
The agency helps raise money for people in need of treatment and can help them navigate the drug-treatment system. The agency can be reached at (833) NOWMATTERS (669-6288) or online at nowmattersmore.org.
Also Wednesday, the The Volusia Sheriff’s Office honored second-quarter award winners:
Volunteer of the Quarter: George Wood. A Citizen on Patrol and retired law enforcement officer, Wood is recognized for going above and beyond his duties by taking over scheduling of the COP volunteers for the beachside during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring coverage for patrols and parking lots during this challenging time. This involved more than 140 COPs.
Telecommunicator of the Quarter: David Jewell. Jewell was honored for his calm professionalism during a crash involving two critically injured young patients on May 19, 2020. TC Jewell was praised for his work on a fire dispatch channel for his outstanding job on this call. In addition, he continues to represent the Communications Center in a positive and professional manner.
Employee of the Quarter: Stefanie Levi. Levi is recognized for putting in an astounding amount of time helping create Standard Operational Guides as a step toward accreditation for the Communication Center. She became the backbone for creating all the law enforcement-oriented guidelines, along with assisting training new employees and making sure all documentation was updated for the assessor. She has truly shone in this quarter.
Detective of the Quarter: Jan Gardner. Detective Gardner was assigned a case involving a disabled victim who was being exploited by her caretaker. The victim had diminished mental capacity and was physically handicapped, making her vulnerable to others. The victim suspected her caretaker had been stealing from her. Detective Gardner spent more than six months tracking leads and witnesses, and found additional victims that were defrauded by the suspect. Thanks to her perseverance, Gardner gathered enough evidence to determine the caretaker stole nearly $30,000 from the disabled victim and defrauded her insurance company. Detective Gardner was relentless in protecting the citizens she serves and arrested the suspect to hold her accountable.
Deputy of the Quarter: Andrew Hudson. In the first quarter of 2020, Deputy Hudson did excellent work above and beyond the call of duty, resulting in recovering four stolen vehicles and developing probable cause for two more recovered stolen vehicles. Deputy Hudson displayed diligence and perseverance to help solve these cases.
The Volusia Sheriff’s Office congratulates these excellent employees serving the Volusia Sheriff’s Office and asks that they keep up the good work.