for immediate release
February 10, 2004

N E W S   R E L E A S E

Okaloosa County Sheriff Charlie Morris has honored Investigator Laurie Keller and Payroll Clerk Patty Bendott as his sworn and non-sworn Employees of the Year for 2003.

Investigator Keller, who came to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office in September 2001 with considerable prior law enforcement experience, specializes in crimes against children. Her supervisor comments: "Laurie possesses a unique ability to bring individuals and organizations together as a team ... she is well respected throughout the Judicial and Social Service communities as an investigator who is dedicated and determined to find out the truth... During the past year, Laurie was assigned approximately 210 cases ranging from abuse, neglect, suspicious death, and sexual battery on a child."

Bendott, who has been the Sheriff's Payroll Clerk since September, 1999, is credited with overseeing a smooth and error-free transition to a state-of-the-art process. Her supervisor points out "Patty has worked late nights, weekends, and holidays to process payroll... she has served as team captain for the Relay for Life... has been a mentor in the Okaloosa County School System for three years... took several college courses in accounting and computer science... helped transform W-2 and 1099 processing, cutting transaction time from hours to minutes."

Sheriff Morris initiated a program of regular employee awards and recognition when he took office in January, 1997.


for more information contact Sgt. Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420