Spring break and
It's official. Spring break in
the keys has begun and this week, it is compounded by the fact
that it is Daytona's Bike Week and we always see a bunch of
motorcycles in the Keys during that week.
Most of the spring break hot spots have hired
extra law enforcement and security officers to take care of
any problems that might arise during this busy party time.
Patrol officers will be spending time, when they aren't
answering calls, looking out for drunk and/or reckless
In the meantime,
be patient when you are driving and take your time getting
wherever it is you are going. It is better to stay safe and
get there a little late, than to risk your life and everyone
else's by driving unsafely.
On another note, I wanted to talk a little
about our zone command structure and how citizens can work
with our zone commanders to tackle problems in their
particular neighborhood. If you and your neighbors are having
some type of ongoing problem, we want to know about it before
it reaches the level of being a criminal issue.
We have our patrol officers
organized by Sector and by zone. Sector 1 is the lower Keys,
Sector 4 and 5 are the city of Marathon and the middle Keys;
Sector 6 is the city of Islamorada and Sector 7 is the upper
Keys. Within each sector there are two or three zones. Each
zone has a zone commander, a sergeant by rank, whose job it is
to know the zone, it's people and it's problems. Zone
commanders wear many hats, but one of those hats is to be the
person citizens can go to when they have a problem which needs
to be solved.
Click here for more details about our Sectors,
Zones and Zone Commanders, or to find out who your zone
good examples of problem solving by zone commanders recently:
Sgt. Lou Caputo, the zone
commander for Sector 7, Zone 1, has a Citizen's Advisory Group
set up in his zone, as do many of our zone commanders. The
group recently determined that one of the problems they want
to see tackled in their zone is boat safety and sanitation.
Lou set up a special operation using resources from the
Sheriff's Office, Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Park
Service and officers from the Sanctuary. On February 28th,
they visited 70 boats off shore of the upper Keys, handing out
educational material, warnings and some citations for safety
and sanitation violations. Lou intends to continue tackling
this issue in the future as well.
Click here for more about the operation.
Sgt. Daryl Hull and his
officers recently became aware of a neighborhood dispute on
Big Pine Key, in Sector 1, Zone 3 - his area of operation.
After meeting with neighbors, who told him about a man living
in their neighborhood who was exhibiting bizarre and
disruptive behavior to the point that many neighbors were
afraid to go to sleep in their own homes. Within a short
period of time the man was arrested for disorderly conduct
when he was caught screaming profanities and using threatening
language late at night. Subsequently, Sgt. Hull and his
officers worked with the property owner to have the man
evicted, thus solving the neighborhood problem.
We believe in Community
Policing here in the Sheriff's Office and the Community
Policing concept, while it is a multi-faceted one, has as one
of it's goals solving problems in the community before they
get out of control. If we can solve the small problems
before they become big ones, that will make our neighborhoods
more pleasant to live in and will make our job - enforcing the
law - easier as well.
you have a problem, feel free to contact your zone commander
on the phone, or by email. We want to hear from you.
and stay safe.
A law enforcement operation targeting boating safety and
sanitation served to educate the boating public Saturday and served as a
warning to some who were caught violating the law.
An advisory group of citizens in the upper Keys
recommended the operation take place. Members of the Sector 7, Zone 1
group, who live in the Tavernier area, said they feel boating safety and
sanitation is an issue that needs to be targeted by law enforcement.
Monroe County Sheriff's Sergeant Lou Caputo, who is the zone commander for
that area, decided to set up an educational effort with other agencies to
address the problem.
On Saturday at 9 a.m. officers from the Park Service,
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Sanctuary and the Monroe County
Sheriff's Office boarded seven boats and began an effort to contact as
many boaters as they could to check for violations, and to hand out
educational material. By 2 p.m., they had contacted 70 boats between
Jewfish Creek and Tavernier Creek, on both the ocean side and bay side of
the upper Keys.
"Our goal was really to let people know what the law says
about safety and sanitation," said Sgt. Caputo. "We asked each boater if
we could board the vessel and check it. Everyone we talked with gave us
permission to board. Once on board, we checked all their safety equipment,
and checked to make sure sanitation equipment was properly installed and
operating," he said. Of the 70 boats checked, the group handed out 13
warnings and 11 citations. One person was arrested for boating under the
influence of alcohol. The citations were almost exclusively handed out to
boats that were pumping waste directly into the water without any
sanitation equipment at all. All the boats were given a packet of
information in a waterproof bag.
Sgt. Caputo wants everyone who owns a boat, particularly
those who live on board them, to know that this will not be the last time
this type of operation will take place. "We'll be doing this on a regular
basis," he said. "We need to let people know that we expect them to follow
the rules when it comes to safe and clean boating. All of our agencies
consider this to be a priority, and we'll be working together to make sure
the public knows it is a priority as well," he said.
|Officers taking part in the safety and
sanitation operation are briefed prior to going out on the water
||Officers check safety equipment and sanitation
on a houseboat moored off of a mangrove island on the bay side of the
For the past
four years, Sheriff's deputies have been patrolling the near-shore waters of
the Keys with the help of Yamaha. Riva Yamaha and Key Largo Riva South have
donated the use of new Waverunners every year to help with such patrol
efforts. Over the years, the Waverunners have been used for search and rescue,
boating safety programs, crime prevention patrols in county residential
neighborhoods and assisting the Sheriff's Office dive team.
"We love the
Yamaha Waverunners," said Sgt. Lou Caputo, who heads up the program. "We are
able to reach many areas on the Waverunners that we just couldn't get to in a
car or on a boat," he said. Caputo says Yamaha has donated 23 Waverunners over
a four year period, or six per year for 3 years and five this year. The
Florida Keys is the largest recipient of Waverunners in the nationwide
Law-Loaner program. Over 30 deputies have been trained in patrol methods on
Left to right,
Steve Bandas, owner of Riva Yamaha,
Sheriff Rick Roth and Mike Martin, store manager
of Key Largo Riva South.
Detention Records Asst.
Applicant needs to be self-motivated, able to
multi-task, type, and have good communication skills. Applicant must be able
to work various shifts. Responsibilities for the position include production,
maintenance and processing of accurate, timely and complete records on
information relating to a wide variety of law enforcement, corrections and
court process activities. Applicants can contact Kristie at the Monroe County
Sheriffs Office at 292-7044 or send resume to
or fax to (305) 292-7159. EEO/AAP.
Communications Officer - Marathon
Monroe County Sheriffs Office is looking for a
Communications Officer in Marathon. Job duties include responding to emergency
911 calls, providing pre-arrival instructions for medical emergencies, and
dispatching units to appropriate locations. Ability to perform multi-tasks
accurately, efficiently, and simultaneously. Applicants can contact Kristie at
292-7044 or send resume to
fax to (305) 292-7159. EEO/AAP.
The Importance of House Numbers
House numbers are a simple thing - posting your address on
the outside of your house is one of those things you keep putting off
until you have more time. Maybe you have a post office box, so you don't
need to let the mail delivery person know where you live. But what happens
if you have an emergency and deputies or an ambulance driver has to find
your house in a hurry?
In an emergency, there isn't time to spend describing the
location of the house where the help is needed. The seconds wasted may be
crucial ones. It is much simpler to just make sure you have the proper
house numbers installed on the outside of the house, where they can easily
be seen. The numbers should be at least four inches high, and should be in
a color that contrasts with the background they are installed on, whether
it be your house, front door or fence. Most hardware stores carry them at
a cost of about $1.00 per number.
Before you put it off again, think of what would happen
under the following, not uncommon, circumstances:
Someone is driving by your house. No one is at home, but
this passerby sees a burglar breaking in through a window. He/she picks up
a cell phone to call 911 and looks for an address to give the dispatcher.
What if there isn't an address posted? Precious seconds are wasted on a
description of the location, while the burglar steals your belongings.
You are having a heart attack and call 911 for help. You
pass out holding the phone, after dialing the correct number. The
dispatcher gets the call, but no one is talking on the other end of the
phone. Your address comes up on the dispatcher's screen, and she
dispatches a deputy to check out the circumstances of the emergency call.
He wastes several precious minutes because he can't find the address -
there are no house numbers posted outside.
Both of these types of incidents happen all the time. And
all for the simple lack of something as easy to install as house numbers.
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