Oak Hill: Volusia Sheriff's deputies now our cops


NSBNews.net photos by Henry Frederick / Oak Hill City Commissioner Kathy Bittle, shown at far left, casts the lone vote Monday night against a formal contract with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office to provide around the clock policing. In the middle photo are Sheriff Ben Johnson and Chief Deputy Bill Lee with forrmer Oak Hill police officer M.J. Eberhart sitting in front of them.

OAK HILL -- The City Commission approved a contract with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office tonight for around-the- clock policing, but one commissioner dissented in protest to the earlier disbanding of the police force.

Commissioner Kathy Bittle quietly, but sternly voted "no," when it came to her turn with Commissioners Doug Gibson, Linda Hyatt, Ron Engele and Mayor Mary Lee Cook voting in favor of the one-year pact that officially begins Sept. 1. 

After the meeting, Bittle said she had no issue with Sheriff Ben Johnson or his deputies. 

"I think Oak Hill should have its own police department," she said. Asked by NSBNews.net if her vote was subliminal in favor of former embattled Police Chief Diane Young, Bittle shook her head no.


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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com. Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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