VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Catching strays, reuniting lost pets and tracking burglars -- this animal services officer does it all.
Volusia County Animal Services Officer Norma Waterman was recently honored with the Outstanding Citizenship Award for helping deputies catch two teenage burglars.
County officials said Waterman was driving to work from her home in Deltona around noon on Oct. 4 when she noticed two teens acting suspiciously near a home on Humphrey Boulevard.
“I was on my way into work and I just saw two kids fiddling around on the back patio door. It just didn’t sit right with me,” Waterman said.
Waterman, who is a former police officer, watched closely as one of the teens tampered with the back door then entered the home. She called authorities and kept them updated about what was happening, even following the culprits as they walked away from the home.
Thanks to Waterman, deputies were able to quickly arrest the 16-year-old and the 18-year-old. One of the teens had taken a bottle of CBD gummies used to treat arthritis and other ailments from the victim’s home, according to a news release.
Waterman said the homeowner was thankful she was in the right place at the right time.
“It’s my neighborhood, so I would want someone looking out for me if that was my house,” she said.
On Wednesday, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood presented Waterman with the plaque and thanked her for her diligence.
“Your observance, prompt response and willingness to come to the aid of law enforcement display outstanding citizenship that is worthy of recognition,” read the citation from the sheriff.
Animal Services Director Adam Leath said he’s proud of Waterman for going above and beyond.
“She embodies the qualities of a true community advocate and continuously looks out for the needs of both the two- and four-legged members of our community,” Leath said.