OCSO employees honored

OKEECHOBEE — Five employees at the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) were recently honored for their efforts when they were named that agency’s top employees for the first quarter.

Selected as the employees of the quarter were Debbie Deloney, Deputy Gary Cashwell, Detention Deputy Sergeant Mark Garland, Senior Detention Deputy Chris Dodd and Detective Corporal Javier Gonzalez.

Debbie Deloney (left) was recently named the civilian employee of the first quarter for the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office. Presenting her with a certificate is Sheriff Noel Stephen (right). Mrs. Deloney is the food service director at the Okeechobee County Jail.

Mrs. Deloney was nominated by Detention Deputy Sgt. Garland for recognition as the civilian employee of the quarter. She is the food service director for the Okeechobee County Jail.

“She has a lot of responsibility and interacts with many people on a daily basis,” wrote Sgt. Garland in his nomination letter. “She knows how to manage, not only the resources needed, but also the people that bring it all together. I think she has done an excellent job of coordinating it all and, additionally, provides good nutritious meals for the staff on a daily basis.”

Sheriff Noel Stephen (right) presented Detention Deputy Gary Cashwell (left) with a certificate for being recently named the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office detention deputy of the first quarter.

Detention Deputy Cashwell was selected as the detention deputy of the quarter after being nominated by Jonathan Bean, executive director of Martha’s House. Deputy Cashwell oversees the county jail’s work release program and his crew is sometimes asked to help Martha’s House with projects.

“Gary Cashwell does a great job with the crews, and is always very pleasant to deal with. He is a great representative of OCSO to the community,” wrote Mr. Bean. “We are fortunate to have much going on and many donations to deal with. The labor the crew provides has enabled us to operate much more efficiently and in a timely manner.”

Detention Deputy Sergeant Mark Garland (left) and Senior Detention Deputy Chris Dodd (center) were honored recently with a meritorious award presented by Sheriff Noel Stephen (right).

Special meritorious awards were given to Sgt. Garland and Deputy Dodd for the orientation session they held for the Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Palm Beach – Prison Ministry division. They were nominated for the award by Deacon Gregory C. Quinn, M.A., the managing director for ministries and the prison ministry director.

“In 17 years of prison ministry, serving as a director for nine years in New Jersey and 11 months as director of prison ministry for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Palm Beach, I can state that Deputy Dodd gave the most thorough and enjoyable orientation that I ever attended,” wrote Deacon Quinn. “His presentation conveys a genuine concern for the safety of the population of the jail.

“While as a Jersey guy I struggle with foreign languages, Deputy Dodd blended what he described as a little ‘Hickanese’ in his presentation to remind us students whose neighborhood we were in. His sense of humor was welcomed and appreciated.”

He went on to point out he has also sent other volunteers to attend Sgt. Garland’s and Deputy Dodd’s class and they described it as “really good (and) we learned a lot.”

“I want to thank you for the professionalism that Deputy Dodd and Sgt. Garland demonstrate, because it allows my prison ministers to move about the jail with confidence in the staff,” added Deacon Quinn.

Detective Corporal Javier Gonzalez (left) was recently honored for being chosen the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office employee of the first quarter in the law enforcement division. Presenting the detective with his certificate is Sheriff Noel Stephen (right).

Cpl. Gonzalez was nominated by his supervisor, Detective Captain Robert Coleman, for employee of the quarter honors because of his work ethic and his tireless effort.

Capt. Coleman alluded to a December 2016 homicide investigation worked by Detective Corporal Ted Van Deman and Cpl. Gonzalez. Both detectives, noted the captain, worked tirelessly to solve the murder and gain a confession from the suspect.

The captain went on to state Cpl. Gonzalez takes all of the Spanish cases assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division, and helps other detectives when they need help or advice during their own investigations.

“He has volunteered to take a couple of sex cases that have come up at different times during the past couple of months. Javier has set the example for the newer investigators with his knowledge and work ethic,” wrote Capt. Coleman in his nomination letter. “Javier has proven himself to be an invaluable asset to this division.”

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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