The Sheriff's Office, along with other area law enforcement
agencies, honored the memory of Detective Patrick Scribner after his death of an
apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound this month. Members of the Sheriff's
Special Weapons and Tactics squad are pictured passing a folded American flag
from hand to hand. The flag was then presented to Scribner's daughter by Lt.
Colonel Rick Ramsay.
Editor's Note: This month, Lt. Colonel Rick Ramsay is filling
in for Sheriff Roth. He wrote the following article.
On the 15th of Oct. we had a police memorial service at headquarters for
Detective Patrick Scribner. This service was held to honor a friend and fellow
law enforcement officer, who was dedicated and truly loved his job. His life
came to an end way too soon and he will be truly missed.
In addition, our School Resource Sergeant John Barber's house was
recently destroyed after a terrible house fire. John is a school resource
officer supervisor working out of Key West. John and his wife were out of the
home when their daughter noticed smoke and flames coming from behind a dresser.
She immediately exited the house and went for help, but by the time that fire
units arrived the house was well into the burning stage. The fire units did a
great job considering the situation, but it was futile as the house and contents
were lost. No one was injured during the fire, which is the most important
On a lighter note, Monroe county Fire/Rescue held it's annual awards
banquet at Hawk's Cay Resort on October 10th. This event was not only for
emergency services personnel, but for law enforcement as well. A good portion of the awards given out were for our men and
women and I was very proud to be there to support them and see them receive
Quite a number of people toured the new Aviation Hanger facility and the new
Mobile Command Post in Marathon October 22nd during a special open house. It was
nice to see members of the public take time to attend the open house. The safety and security of the public is, of
course, our primary responsibility and something we are concerned about every
day. We could not do our job as well as we do, however, without the
support and partnership of the community.
and stay safe.
Lt. Colonel Rick
An open house held October 22nd in Marathon showcased the new Sheriff's
Mobile Command Post and the new Aviation Hangar. Members of the public were able
to tour both the hangar and the vehicle during the course of the day, as well as
the two Sheriff's helicopters and the prisoner transport plane, all of which are
stored in the hangar building.
You can receive missing children
information via email, text messaging
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement's
Missing Children Information Center is offering a new way for you to receive
information about missing children immediately and directly.
www.missingchildrenalert.com you can sign up to receive the information by
email and/or by text messaging on your cell phone. The system will send you
information when there is an Amber Alert, or when there is a missing child alert
so you can help law enforcement in locating these children.
You can also sign up to receive headlines from
the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on your desktop. Visit their web site
at http://www.fdle.state.fl.us for
more information. FDLE offers many useful tools to it's web site visitors,
including background checks, wanted person checks, information about sexual
offenders and predators, career offenders, unsolved homicides, and more.
Attorney General offers
information about Identity Theft
Attorney General Charley Crist and the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement launched a new website on October 15th to assist
Floridians with the crime of Identity Theft. Identity Theft is a growing problem
in the United States, and this web site will help you learn about it, avoid it
and deal with it if you become a victim.
Identity theft is the criminal use of an
individual's personal identification information. Identity thieves steal
information such as your name, social security number, driver's license
information, or bank and credit card accounts and use the information to
establish credit, make purchases, apply for loans or even seek employment.
The statistics are staggering. According to
the Federal Trade Commission, Florida was ranked sixth in the nation for
identity theft in 2002, with over 10,000 reported victims. Victims of
identity theft can come from any lifestyle regardless of race, gender, age
or socioeconomic status. This website is designed to be a centralized
"one-stop" resource center for victims of identity theft in Florida.
Individuals in other states who had their personal information
fraudulently used in the state of Florida will also find this resource
Victims of identity theft should review
Florida's Identity Theft Victim Kit, an all-in-one resource that
provides victims with specific instructions for filing a police report and
beginning to clear their names. Visit
http://www.myfloridalegal.com/identitytheft for more information.
Remember to review paperwork, and keep your will up to date
By Sheriff's Office Risk Manager Tamara Snider
In lieu of the recent events with our Sheriff's Office families over the past
few weeks, I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone to review your personal
paperwork on a regular basis to make sure it is up to date. That includes any
life insurance policies you might have, wills, property insurance policies and
any other important paperwork. Beneficiaries change, as does the value of your
house and property and it is important that all the information be up to date
just in case.
As for those of you who are homeowners, make sure your policy limits are
sufficient for the current replacement value of your home. You should sit down
with your insurance agent every year or two and review your policies to
make sure they will cover you in the event of an emergency, disaster or other
Make sure you have a will and that you keep it up to date. Your will should
be in a place where your survivors will be able to find it should something
happen to you, either on file with an attorney, in a safe deposit box or
somewhere else accessible but secure.
You should also consider keeping important paperwork - like wills, insurance
policies, birth certificates, social security cards, marriage certificates and
vehicle titles - in a safe deposit box just in case something happens to your
house, such as a fire, flood or hurricane.
Recent events should teach us all something: it can happen to you, and you
should be prepared if it does.
Heroes of the Keys
Deputies, firefighters, and emergency medical services workers from around the
Keys were honored recently at a special "Heroes of the Keys" dinner held at
St. Peter's Church on Big Pine Key. The photos featured below were taken by
The Sheriff's Honor Guard took part in the "Heroes of the Keys" dinner
at St. Peter's Church on Big Pine Key and Sheriff Roth was a featured speaker
at the event.
Recently the Islamorada Sector of the
Sheriffs Office purchased two Trek mountain bikes with
funds donated to the Village of Islamorada from local
citizens and businesses.
Volunteer officers who receive
special training will use the bikes to patrol neighborhoods
throughout the Village, to deter crime, promote bicycle
safety and encourage more personal contacts between
residents and officers. In addition the bikes will be used
during special events and special patrols such as on
||Theater of the Sea Owner Kenny
McKenny was the largest contributor to this project,
donating $2,000.00 for the purchase and maintenance of
the bicycles. Additional contributors included Papa
Joe’s, Tower of Pizza and Bob’s Buns Restaurants, as
well as Islands in the Sun Nursery and The Equipment
Thus far the program has received high
praise from the citizenry and Village officials. This
program is being funded solely through public donations
. Any resident or business wishing to donate to this
program should contact Sergeant Gene Williams at the
Islamorada Sheriffs Station.
|Kenny McKenny presents a check
to Islamorada Deputy Kristy Jackson and Sergeant Gene
In early September the law enforcement
contract with Islamorada was renewed with the Sheriff. From the feedback we
have received both council and residents are pleased with the service we
have provided over the last three years. The Village is going to include a
new station in the government center being built on the south end of the
property at Founders Park, which will give us considerably more room than we
have now. Construction is expected to start next year.
A number of our deputies
should be commended for efforts they've made recently to target juvenile
problems we've been having in the Stock Island area. I want to thank Sgt. Vaughn
Sommers, Dep. Matt Dowling and Dep. Maretta McNichol for putting a lot of time
and effort into tackling these issues.
These three officers
arranged a meeting between the Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney's
Office to come up with ideas to combat the problem. They then held a community
meeting to seek input, support and assistance from the citizens. This resulted
in a strong partnership with the community and another crime watch group being
started on Stock Island as well as putting us all on a strong path to solving
the juvenile problem. We are still looking for anyone interested in serving as a
Crime Watch Chairperson in various neighborhoods of Stock Island. If you think
you might be interested, please contact
Sgt. Sommers or Deputy Dowling. I would also like to thank Dep. LaVache and Dir. Artman of
the Community Relations Division for their assistance with the project.
Monroe County EMS held it annual awards
banquet last week and recognized several officers for their efforts throughout
the year. Congratulations to Dep. Mark Long and Dep. Jimmy Williams for
receiving an award for the delivery of a baby. Also receiving awards were Dep. Diane Mimosa and Sgt.
Daryl Hull for life saving efforts. Congratulations to all.
Hello again from
Metro-Marathon and Sector 5. It’s been a busy time here with many
special operations and events. The Poker Run was successful and we were
fortunate to have had a crash free event here. The traffic has been very
heavy as the season gets started and we have added numerous operations for
enhanced traffic enforcement to address the situation.
The week of October
20th to 24th was National School Bus Safety Week and we gave special attention
to that violation and wrote many tickets during that time along with numerous
warnings. In November we will be increasing our seat belt and DUI
vigilance to assist with the statewide Combined Safety Belt and DUI
Enforcement Mobilization from November 21st to January 4th.
Victim Advocates Sally Ann Crawford and Carol Johnson
were nominated for awards for their dedication to victims rights and advocacy.
They were both cited for their work at a recent awards banquet and awards
ceremony held at the Marathon Yacht Club and hosted by the Domestic Abuse
Sally Ann and Carol receiving recognition for jobs well done at a
recent awards banquet by the Domestic Abuse Shelter.
Division has just had an open house at the new Marathon Aviation Hangar and displayed the beautiful
facility that has been constructed for the benefit of us all. Lieutenant
Mike Pandol is to be highly commended for the many hours of dedication he has
committed to this project.
We have tested a few boat types and have put in a request
for the new boat that will soon be on patrol here in Marathon. The boat
patrol position will be funded beginning the first of January, 2004 and Deputy
Harry Boyden will be skippering the new vessel. We look forward to
having a “feet wet” Deputy here and he will always be available when called
for any service necessary.
New Look, New Services for County Website
The Monroe County website has a new look, new features and a new address. The
new website address is
www.monroecounty-fl.gov and provides visitors
with a fresh, new appearance, and easier navigation to more information.
Designed to be user-friendly and easy to follow, the
site has many new features and information to meet the increasing need for
online public information. Just a few of the new features available
- The "BOCC" section containing information about the
BOCC duties, meeting schedules, and individual commissioner pages
containing contact information and biographies. The Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC) meeting agendas are always available online the
Friday before the BOCC meeting.
- A newly redesigned "Employment" page, offers a Monroe
County job application to download and job descriptions online.
- The "County News" section contains updated press
releases and news articles related to county services and events.
- "Links", connects to numerous information websites
such as the Keys Chambers of Commerce, utilities, and schools. There are
also links to Federal, State, and local government websites, Florida
Keys environmental links, and all other Florida Counties.
- The "Depts. & Divisions" page provides a directory to
all County services with contact names, numbers and emails. Links to
colorful pages guide you though the diverse services County government
provides to the citizens of Monroe County.
- Emergency information is available through emergency
management pages including Hurricane Preparedness, Emergency Operations
Center Situation reports (tropical updates and homeland security
updates), weather information, and the special needs registry.
- There are "Kids Pages" especially designed as
resources for kids. Topics include Florida history, state, local, and
national government, Homework Help with many links and resources to help
with homework, "Teen Pages" with information about colleges and careers,
and pages "Just for Fun" with links to arts and crafts, brainteasers,
and sports websites.
- There is even a way to translate the entire Monroe
County Website into other languages. There are many E-Government online
services available on the new website. Take advantage of them to save
you time and effort.
The Monroe County web site will continue to be upgraded
and enhanced to better serve the needs of online visitors. We invite you
to visit our new site and submit a website survey form on the new "Contact
Us" page, to share any suggestions or comments about the new site. You may
contact the website manager at
Key West Airport receives FAA Safety Award
Key West International Airport was presented the Airport Safety Mark of
Distinction Award for developing and carrying out an emergency-disaster
exercise. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) developed the award to
promote safety among the FAA Southern Region certified airports and to
acknowledge any action, effort, or event a certified airport demonstrates
in the advancement of safety.
The Key West International Airport Fire department has
taken the initiative to develop and document an excellent training
program. Chief Almeda aggressively instituted and carried out a scenario
that exercised the full capabilities and resources of the local emergency
response system. The most important goal of the exercise scenario
was coordination of the participating agencies to ensure prompt response
and proper treatment during a major incident.
The training exercise scenario staged by Key West
International Airport Department involved tow planes colliding over the
airport, one plane crashed on the field and another in the salt ponds.
Chief Almeda has also implemented monthly lesson plans
and quarterly disaster drills to maintain the department's level of
readiness. He is only required to perform an annual table top drill, and a
full scale emergency drill every three years for the over 500,000 flights
to and from Key West International Airport each year.
Ephemeral Cities Grant
Awarded for local partnership
The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services
agency has awarded funding for a University of Florida project, Ephemeral
Cities. The Monroe County Public Library, City of Key West, and the Key
West Art & Historical Society will partner with the University of Florida
in this ambitious grant project.
Ephemeral Cities is based on linking historical
resources (texts, photographs, and digitized objects) to historic maps,
serving as GIS layers and allowing users to step through local history
both by location and through time. Funding will also provide for school
curriculum and local events and lectures. It is the first project of its
kind and one of only three projects awarded in Florida.
For more information, contact Anne Layton Rice, Public
Library Administrator, at 305-292-3594.
In October, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office took a report of a
possible car repair scam in the Lower Keys.
Two Latin males approached the victim at the Walgreen’s Pharmacy in Key
West. They said they noticed his car had some damage and offered to repair
it for a reasonable price. The two men followed the victim to his home on
Shark Key. Once at the home, the men saw a second vehicle parked there
which also needed repair. They offered to repair the second car as well.
They did some superficial repairs to the vehicles, then told the victim
they’d ordered some replacement parts from an auto repair shop in Key
West. They said the parts were scheduled to arrive the following week.
They promised to return and finish the repair job at that time. They gave
the victim what turned out to be a false contact name and phone number.
The victim paid the men $800.00 and he never heard from them again. A
check with the auto repair shop revealed no parts had been ordered.
Several other people have reported being approached in or near the
parking lot of the Overseas Market, and at the Days Inn Motel in Key West
with similar proposals.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to do a thorough
check on anyone doing any type of work for you. Anyone operating a
legitimate business will have a business license, and should produce it if
asked. You should also ask for references and check those references
before agreeing to have any type of work done. Never pay for work that is
not completed, and don’t hesitate to check people’s identification. The
bottom line is – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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