‘Special Projects’ deputy rebuilds fences, delivers furniture, and anything else

5 Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies solve all kinds of problems

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – What else is local law enforcement doing to take care of the community it serves?

News 6 got an up-close-and-personal look at what the Orange County Sheriff’s Office calls a “Special Projects” deputy – who does so much more than make arrests.

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It is not in a deputy’s job description to push pallets around a warehouse, bundle boxes, transport toys or collect cans of food, unless that deputy is a Special Projects Deputy.

Deputy Jacob Snavely was hand-picked by his supervisor to be one.

“I really believe that people are born with a calling in life and mine is to be a servant,” Snavely said. “So when a deputy goes out they have calls that they’re responding to. And as soon as they get on scene with that call, they resolve the problem quickly so we can respond to the next call. We need to resolve the problem and move on. Well, some problems can’t be solved in a day. So when those things happen, the deputy or the sector commander will reach out to me and say, ‘Hey we’ve got this thing we need you to deal with.’ And it’s a wide range. Every day is different.”

Whether it’s picking up furniture and delivering it to struggling families, dropping off food, fixing fences or mailboxes, filling out court paperwork or coordinating the Toys for Tots giveaway, Deputy Snavely does it.

“When something comes to me, that’s where it stops - our job in special projects is to complete that task, whatever it is,” Snavely said. “And if I can connect them to a humanitarian expert in that field, I’m going to do it. And if I can help them, I’m going to. That’s what we’re here to do to is to get dirty and make a difference. We’re here to serve people as deputies.”

Snavely gets surplus or returned furniture through a partnership with Costco and other retailers.

“And I’m also connected to a bunch of the nonprofits in the area and we have this give and take where they’re always supplying what I need to get things done, whether its volunteers, furniture, a bunch of different church pantries, and I have their phone numbers and I call them. And I’ll say I have a random family that needs food and they’ll say come on down. And they’ll give me a couple of weeks worth of food that I’ll give that family it’ll take all the stress out of their life so they can focus on getting back on track.”

Snavely is one of five Special Projects deputies at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, nearly one for every sector.

“Everyday I wake up, there’s never a day I don’t want to go to work. I wake up, I’m an excited,” Snavely said. “They love it. Because there’s a certain percentage of the population that is going to be adversarial towards law enforcement. And a lot of times those are people with needs. So if I can go to that person and say I see if this problem, I can help you fix it, a car crashed into your fence well we’re going to fix it, we’re going to rebuild it now, whatever the need is.”

You can call the Sheriff’s Office at 407-254-7000 or email them here to request assistance from a Special Projects Deputy.


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About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.