Editor's Note: I will be out of the office
from December 11th until January 12th, so there won't be a January edition of
I hope you all have a terrific Holiday Season and I'll be sending out the next
edition of our newsletter February 2nd.
This is the last Rap Sheet before the holidays,
so I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a terrific holiday season.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa, I hope you all take
time out to enjoy your families and friends.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement
released semi-annual statistics this week for major crimes which occurred
between January and June of this year. I'm proud to announce that Monroe County,
excluding crimes which occurred in the city of Key West, showed a significant
decrease of 6.2% over the same time period in 2002. Our clearance rate showed a
significant rise from 17.0% to 20.9%. I want to thank you all for your help with
everything we do. Our close partnership with the community is one of the things
responsible for the consistent, 13 year downturn in crime for our county.
Here are some numbers from the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement to show you all how crime has decreased over the
past 14 years: In 1989, our county had 78,966 residents; total index crimes
(major crimes tracked by FDLE) were 10,315 and the number of crimes per
100,000 people was 13,062. In 2002, our county population was 81,140; total
index crimes were 5,214 and the number of crimes per 100,000 people was 6,425.
Our citizens are most definitely safer today than they were 14 years ago.
If you would like to see more FDLE crime statistics, they are available at
and stay safe.
Tow to Go Program helps reduce drunk
driving in the Keys
Silver Eagle Distributors and AAA will
once again be offering the Tow to Go program to fight the problem of
Drunk Driving over the holiday season. Beginning November 28th, they
will be offering a free ride to adults who choose to drink alcohol, but
who don't have a ride with a designated driver.
Any adult who needs a ride home can
simply call 1-800-AAA-HELP and AAA will dispatch a tow truck to take
both the driver and the vehicle home, free of charge. Please distribute
the attached information as widely and in as many ways as possible. This
is a terrific program that is sure to save lives over the holidays.
Sheriff's Office fingerprint database
is a useful and productive tool
2001, the Sheriff's Office purchased a new Automated Fingerprint
Information Expander (AFIX), a localized fingerprint identification
system which uses a database made up of fingerprints from local
arrests, and other local sources to check latent prints taken at local
crime scenes. The machine was installed in Key West, and Fingerprint
Specialist Nancy Rodriquez has been entering fingerprints into the
system since that time. In a two year period, she had gotten 22 "hits"
on criminal cases helping detectives to identify suspects.
a latent fingerprint is taken at a crime scene, it is submitted to the
Sheriff's Office Property Division and is automatically taken
to Rodriguez for a check through the system. After she checks it and
enters it into the system to add to the existing database, she sends
it to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a further check
into State of Florida fingerprint records and/or the FBI national
While it is true that the FDLE and
FBI checks can take a considerable amount of time - sometimes months -
the local check can be done fairly quickly. Once she has the
fingerprint in hand, Nancy can do a check in a matter of minutes. This
is important because criminals tend to be territorial - that is they
tend to commit their crimes relatively close to home. Add that to the
fact that many criminals are repeat offenders, and the local check
Soon, the Sheriff's Office should be
able to check fingerprints through the FBI's national database locally
as well. "We're in the process of purchasing the equipment we need to
do national checks. This will cut down on the time we have to wait for
our fingerprints," said Sheriff Roth. "The hits we have had over the
past two years with our AFIX system show the purchase of the equipment
was well worth it, and I'm very excited about the fact that we will
soon be able to do more comprehensive fingerprints checks without a
month's long wait," he said.
Sheriff's Office works with
Salvation Army to collect "Toys for Tots"
Monroe County Sheriff's Office in Marathon is working with the
Salvation Army to collect new toys and monetary donations before
Christmas. The proceeds will be used to make sure needy children and
families enjoy the Christmas season. Businesses in the Marathon area
are asked to decorate a large box and place it in a prominent place
as a collection station for new toys. People are asked to donate a
new, unwrapped toy by placing it in one of these donation boxes.
Monetary donations would also be appreciated and will be used to
purchase new toys for the program. According to Sheriff's Office
Toys for Tots coordinator Deputy Linda Hartley, the program in
Marathon will be providing toys for well over a thousand children
Anyone with questions, or who wants
to make a monetary donation, can call Deputy Hartley at 289-8567 or
Marathon Captain Bob Peryam at 289-2430.
seatbelt enforcement a holiday season priority
43,000 Americans died in traffic crashes last year. Sixty
percent (60%) of passenger vehicle occupants killed in those
crashes were unrestrained. During the same period there were
more than 500,000 people involved in traffic crashes in
Florida. Of those who didn't use a safety belt, about 50% were
killed or injured.
enforcement officers in Marathon and throughout Monroe County
will be working to save lives this holiday season during the
November 21, 2003 through January 4, 2004 Combined Safety Belt
and DUI Enforcement Mobilization Wave. This is the first time
that specialized DUI and safety belt enforcement waves have
been conducted simultaneously, and the combined campaign
message will target two of Florida’s most deadly driving
choices: impaired driving and not buckling up.
period you will hear constant and consistent messages on the
radio, in newspapers, on signboards and at public gatherings,
all focused on safe motoring and adherence to these two laws
behind this model is that if motorists constantly hear about
strict enforcement of safety belt and DUI laws, and then are
reinforced by seeing the specialized law enforcement efforts
underway, they will be less likely to violate the laws. Fewer
people driving impaired and riding in vehicles unbuckled means
fewer injuries and fatalities, which is the goal of the Buckle
Up Florida and You Drink & Drive, You Lose, Combined
There will be
extra deputies on patrol in Marathon during this time
specifically targeting these violations. This overtime will
be funded by drug seizure money and will continue through the
month of December and into New Years Day.
Your Sheriff’s Office knows
that conducting specialized DUI enforcement efforts is a
deterrent to impaired driving and with
the addition of cracking down on unbuckled motorists, we are
activating a strategic effort to keep everyone safe over the
“TOW TO GO”
There is a program offered by
AAA that is available throughout the entire state of Florida.
The program runs from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day
2004. Tow to Go is very simple to use. Adults who need a
ride home from nightclubs or restaurants this holiday season
can simply call 1-800-AAA-HELP. AAA will dispatch a
tow truck and will take both the driver and the vehicle home,
free of charge. To take advantage of this service, you do NOT
have to be a AAA member; it is available to all adults who
need it. Please take advantage of this program if the
situation is such that it is needed.
We of the Monroe County
Sheriff’s Office, and in particular of the Marathon District
wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season. And
remember during this holiday season that we are trying to keep
you safe, so please understand that our enforcement efforts
are being conducted with your best interest in mind.
Holiday Decorating Tips
If you celebrate Christmas, having a Christmas tree is one of the
most common traditions during
the holiday season. A
tree can be a hazard, however, if not cared for properly.
Buy a tree stand with a good sized water reservoir and keep
plenty of water in the stand. In addition, use an additive for the water to keep
the tree green and in good condition. A dry tree can be a fire hazard.
Also remember to turn off the Christmas tree lights when not
in the room, especially at night when sleeping, or when the house is
unoccupied. There have been instances of tree lights getting too hot, or
shorting out and catching the tree on fire.
If candles are a part of your
home’s decorations, follow the same rules. Put out the candle flames when no one
is in the room, and make sure the candle is sitting on a non-flammable surface,
such as a large plate or ceramic tile. Incidentally, the use of lighted candles is strongly
discouraged because so many fires are started by them during the holiday season.
Holiday presents are a integral
part of the season, and unfortunately they are also a temptation to burglars.
Don’t keep presents out in the open where they might be visible from a window to
someone passing outside. Hide them out of sight until it is time to exchange
them, so you don’t find them gone before you have a chance to open them.
Play it safeand have a happy holiday
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