January 2001 - March 2001

For more information, contact Deputy Becky Herrin, Public Information Officer for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. Her contact numbers are: office: (305)292-7116, FAX: (305)293-1734 and e-mail: beckyherrin@keysso.net.


March 29, 2001

Groundbreaking for new Juvenile Detention Facility

Stock Island - Sheriff Rick Roth and other dignitaries will attend and speak at the groundbreaking of the new Monroe County Juvenile Justice building on Stock Island April 6th. The public is welcome to attend to learn more about the facility, and the programs and opportunities it will offer to the community.

The building will house the first combined residential commitment and juvenile detention facility in the Keys and will allow Monroe County youths who have been arrested on serious offenses to be housed here in the Keys instead of in a detention facility in Miami-Dade County, as has been the case in the past. It will also house offices dedicated to numerous juvenile programs ranging from educational programs to substance abuse treatment programs.

"We are excited about the prospect of having all these offices and programs housed in one building, ready to serve the youth of our community," said Sheriff Rick Roth. "We have desperately needed such a facility in the Keys. This will allow us to house Monroe County youthful offenders in a location closer to their families, and to provide programs for our local children and families when they are in need of help."

Sheriff Roth, Mayor George Neugent, Chief Gordon "Buz" Dillon and Assistant Secretary For Administrative Services Steve Casey and Circuit Manager Clark Knight from the Department of Juvenile Justice will all attend and speak at the groundbreaking ceremony, which will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 6th.

The facility will be built as an addition to the current Monroe County Detention Center, but the youth who are placed at the facility will be completely segregated from the adult population of the jail. Biltmore Construction, out of Clearwater, Florida will be constructing the building with Elements Architects from Tampa, Florida providing the design. The contract amount is for $8,395,400.00. The cost will be split between the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Sheriff's Office Federal Asset Forfeiture Fund; part of the $25 million dollars seized in a federal drug forfeiture case and awarded to the Sheriff's Office in September of 1999. The building should be completed by the Spring of 2002.

The building will be constructed to withstand a Force 5 Hurricane, as is the rest of the Detention Center. It will have 27,380 square feet dedicated to the Department of Juvenile Justice and 23,504 square feet dedicated to other juvenile programs and various law enforcement related offices. There will be 30 moderate risk residential beds to house juveniles on a long term basis and 15 short-term detention beds.

 Note for members of the media: for more information about the construction itself, please contact the project manager, Brad Will, at 850-577-0777. For information about programs to be housed in the facility, contact Clark Knight with the Department of Juvenile Justice, 292-6737.

 

March 22, 2001

Easter at the Animal Farm

Stock Island – Celebrate the Easter holiday by visiting the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Children’s Animal Farm on Stock Island Sunday, April 1st.

The farm will be holding it’s annual Easter celebration April 1st from 1 to 4 p.m. Families can enjoy a beautiful day surrounded by friendly farm animals and enjoy free refreshments with the Easter Bunny. All kids will have a Polaroid photo taken with the Easter Bunny, and receive a bag of Easter candy. Kids can pet and feed real rabbits and other animals, and the entire visit is completely free of charge.

The traditional Animal Farm Easter Egg Hunt will not be held this year because of construction taking place at the farm. The egg hunt will be held in future years after construction is complete.

Donations will be gratefully accepted. All money goes to help support the animal farm. The farm is located at 5501 College Road on Stock Island, on the grounds of the Monroe County Detention Center.

Everyone is welcome.

March 26, 2001

Sheriff names employees of the year

Exemplary employees receive recognition, cash

 In the photo, left to right: Sheriff Rick Roth, Detention Deputy Derek Paul, 
Support Employee Olga Perez, Reserve Deputy Ted Migala, Cadet Kira Jensen 
and Sgt. Donnie Fanelli.

Monroe County - The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office choices for employees of the year were honored at a special ceremony held Friday, March 23rd  at the Marathon Government Center. The winners of these yearly awards are chosen from all the employees who received Sheriff’s Office quarterly awards during the course of the past year.

The yearly award winners receive a special plaque from the Sheriff in recognition of their exemplary work, and a badge to wear on their uniforms with the designation “Officer of the Year”. In addition, they each receive a check for $500.00 donated by TIB Bank, and $1,000.00 from the Sheriff’s Office. The Cadet of the year receives $100.00 from TIB Bank, with a matching amount from the Sheriff’s Office.

The Cormier Memorial Award, given to the Sheriff’s Office Sworn Law Enforcement Officer of the Year,  is named for Deputy David Cormier, a Sheriff’s reserve officer killed in the line of duty in a traffic accident in November of 1989. Members of his family were present at the ceremony to honor the officer who received this award, as well as all the other employees who were recognized.

Cormier Memorial Award winner, Sworn Officer of the year, Sergeant Donnie Fanelli, Bureau of Operations, Sector 7 Road Patrol.

Donnie has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since April 22, 1986 and was chosen as Officer of the Quarter for the second quarter of the year 2000. Donnie developed, organized and presented the Citizens Video Awareness Program. This video allows our agency to educate citizens of Monroe County in protecting themselves and their property from criminal acts. Donnie initiated and organized meetings where he met with Zone deputies and Crime Watch Chairpeople in his area and he was able to provide them with a better understanding of our Community Based Policing philosophies and the SMARTCOP Program. Donnie also initiated and coordinated press coverage for several clean up activities in the Sexton Cove and Lake Surprise Subdivisions, and initiated two new Crime Watch Chapters in Lake Surprise and Sunny Highlands Subdivision. Donnie took it upon himself to join and participate in the Citizens Traffic Safety Council in order to gain citizen support and input into areas of concern related to traffic and fatality issues.

Detention Deputy Of The Quarter : Detention Deputy Derek Paul, Bureau of Corrections, Plantation Key Facility,

Detention Deputy Derek Paul has worked for the Bureau of Corrections in the Key West facility and is presently assigned to the Plantation Key Jail. He was chosen as Detention Deputy of the quarter for the fourth quarter of the year 2000. Derek’s efforts with the new Smart Cop program and the new photo-imaging system are one of the reasons he was chosen for this award, however that is only one of these attributes. For a considerable time prior to his winning the quarterly award, the Plantation Key Jail has operated with the shortage of one entire squad. Deputy Paul switched his days on numerous occasions to facilitate the training of new employees, and to assist with other officers taking sick and vacation days. In addition to being such a team player, he is a reliable and dependable officer who has a perfect attendance record and consistently scores high on his evaluations. His extra effort is appreciated and respected

Support Employee of the Quarter: Accreditation Specialist Olga Perez, Bureau of Administration, Division V, Professional Standards Section

Olga has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since February 10, 1986 and was chosen as employee of the quarter for the first quarter, 2000. For a year prior to being chosen for her quarterly award, Olga unselfishly dedicated her time and efforts toward the achievement of state accreditation for the Sheriff’s Office.  Olga’s attention to detail and her willingness to work long hours in compiling agency information and reports helped the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office  to successfully achieve Law Enforcement Accreditation by the Commission on Florida Accreditation for Law Enforcement.

Reserve Deputy of the Quarter: Reserve Deputy Ted Migala, Bureau of Operations, Division IV, Reserve Section.

Ted has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office Reserve unit since September 1996 and was chosen as reserve of the quarter for the first quarter of the year 2000.  Ted is always willing to give hours to help out the Sheriff’s Office in various areas. At one point, Ted volunteered to assist the upper Keys patrol area with a severe manpower shortage.  By rearranging his personal work schedule as an Air Traffic Control Supervisor, Ted was able to supplement the night shift.  His contribution of nine patrol tours of duty – free of charge - greatly increased the effectiveness of service to the community in that area.

Cadet/Explorer of the Quarter: Explorer/Cadet Kira Jensen, Bureau of Operations, Explorer/Cadet Section.

Kira has been a member of the Cadet Program for the past 5 years; joining the Junior Cadet Post when she was 10 years old. She was chosen as cadet of the quarter for the first quarter of the year 2000. Explorer Lieutenant Jensen’s organizational skills have been an asset to the post.  Kira has assisted in the organization of several campouts, trips, and was responsible for the 5th Annual Holiday Canned Food Drive.  During her off time Kira is involved in a number of other activities (i.e., girl scouts, a writer for her high school newspaper, a peer-mediator, a member of FBLA, and teaches Sunday School at her church).

 

February 27, 2001

Animal Park’s first resident dies of natural causes

Stock Island – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said farewell last week to the first horse ever to grace the Children’s Animal Park. Angel, the blind horse who has greeted children and adults with her quiet, gentle demeanor since June of 1995, died Thursday of natural causes.

According to Deana Rogowski, who serves as “Farmer Deana”, and works with the animals at the Animal Park, Angel died while grazing in a beautiful green field in Davy, Florida Thursday.

“It was like she was already in heaven,” said Rogowski, who was with Angel when she died. “It was so beautiful and peaceful. She was grazing, and she laid down on the ground like she was going to roll in the grass. Then, she just stopped moving,” she said.

Angel was in Davy to see a specialist for an illness she’d suffered from for a long time. According to Rogowski, Angel had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which often manifests itself as heaves in horses. She has been undergoing treatment for the condition for a period of years by Dr. Doug Mader, from the Marathon Veterinary Clinic. Mader spends many hours with the animals at the park, and only charges minimally if at all for checkups and procedures needed by the animal park residents.

Angel came to the park in June of 1995 after she was picked up by the Miami chapter of the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPCA). She had been abandoned by her previous owners and was found wandering along a roadway in Dade County. Employees of the SPCA heard about the park, and called to see if Sheriff Roth would accept the blind, undernourished horse.

When Angel arrived she was an estimated 250 pounds underweight, and completely blind in both eyes, but she immediately became a hit with children and adults alike. She was always gentle, friendly, and more than happy to give anyone a ride.

Sheriff Roth had a special place in his heart for Angel, frequently visiting her at the park with apples, carrots and other small treats.

“Angel will be missed. She was a tremendous addition to our animal community, and although we have more horses at the park now, she was always my favorite,” Sheriff Roth said.

February 14, 2001

Sheriff’s deputies clean up Big Coppitt Key

Big Coppitt Key – Sheriff’s deputies in the lower Keys organized a major clean up in a problem area of Big Coppitt Key recently.

The area of Barcelona Drive and Puerta Lane has been a dumping spot on Big Coppitt Key, with cars and other debris piling up on several unpaved roads in the area. Deputy Jack Bernhard enlisted the help of several businesses to help remove the debris. He then had large boulders installed to keep people from dumping in the future.

Arnold’s Towing of Stock Island assisted in removing abandoned cars from the area. Toppino’s, Inc. helped by donating large equipment and employees to operate it. They also provided the boulders to block access to the area. Waste Management assisted by removing miscellaneous debris.

The area is now clean and free of debris. The unpaved roads are popular spots for children who live nearby to play, riding their bikes, scooters and roller blades there. They can now do so without the obstruction and danger of all those abandoned cars and other garbage.

Thanks go out to Deputy Bernhard, Environmental Deputy Geni Hernandez, and other members of the Sheriff’s Office who assisted with the effort.

February 14, 2001

Children safer after safety seat check

Monroe County - Ten children are now safer in their family’s vehicles because of the Child Safety Seat Check that was conducted during the Buckle Up Your Valentine Event on Feb. 13, at Islamorada Founders Park.   Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Islamorada Village of Islands, and the Community Traffic Safety Team sponsored the event at Founders Park, held during the National Child Passenger Safety week.

Sgt. Roy Bogue of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Islamorada District, said that seven families responded to have their child’s safety seats inspected. Those seven families had a total of 10 children who are now safer because their safety seats were checked and corrections made to the installation of their safety seats.

“There were errors with each child seat that we checked,” Bogue said. “Those errors ranged from improper usage and installation of the child seats to not using a belt positioning booster, causing the seat belt to cut across the child’s neck.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is promoting the “4 Steps for Kids” program.  Parents can protect their kids by following each recommended step as their children grow and having their safety seats inspected frequently along the way.

       Step 1   Rear-Facing Child Seats for children from birth to at least 20 pounds and at least one year of age.

       Step 2  Use forward-facing child seats for children over 20 pounds and at least one year old to about 40 pounds and age four. Seat belts can seriously injure or kill small children who are not properly placed in child safety seats.

       Step 3 Belt-Positioning Booster Seats for children from about 40 pounds to about 80 pounds and 4’ 9”.

       Step 4 Seat Belts for older children large enough for the belt to fit correctly; at least 4’ 9” tall and about 80 pounds.

Remember, you should never place a child in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with an air bag.  All children age 12 and under should sit properly restrained in the back seat.

Nationwide it is estimated that four out of five children in safety seats are not properly restrained. Parents and caregivers should have their child safety seats inspected by a certified child passenger safety technician.   In the Upper Keys there are certified technicians with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Key Largo Fire Dept.  You can also locate a technician by visiting the NHTSA web sit at www.nhtsa.dot.gov or by calling 1-888-327-4236.

February 13, 2001

Farm to be closed Sunday

Stock Island – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Children’s Animal Park will be closed Sunday.

The park is usually open to the public every Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. This Sunday, February 18th, it will be closed. It will reopen for public visitation the following Sunday, February 25th.

The park features all kinds of animals. Many of them are available for children to pet and feed during visiting hours on Sundays. The animals on the premises include rabbits, birds, snakes, pigs, horses, cows and ostriches.

Groups may also schedule special visits to the park during the week. To schedule a visit to the park, contact Farmer Deana Rogowski at the Monroe County Detention Center, 305-293-7300. The park is located at the Stock Island Detention Facility on College Road.

 

February 7, 2001

Town Meetings set for the lower Keys

Monroe County – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has scheduled a series of “Town Meetings” to address law enforcement related issues in the lower Keys. Citizens are welcome to attend and speak about their concerns.

The agenda for the meetings is an open one, and anyone who has any comments, concerns or issues they wish to speak about relating to the Sheriff’s Office may do so. People who wish to simply meet deputies, sergeants and commanders from the lower Keys will get an opportunity to do that as well.

       On Stock Island, the meeting will be held at the Baptist Temple on Stock Island on February 12th from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.

       On Big Pine Key, the meeting will be held at the Big Pine Methodist Church on February 21st from 7 to 9 p.m.

       The third meeting will be held at Sugarloaf School on February 28th from 7 to 9 p.m.

 

February 7, 2001

Traffic light to be out of commission

Monroe County – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office would like to notify the upper Keys community of a potential traffic slow down near the 100 mile marker of Highway U.S. 1 Thursday, February 8th.

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative will be working on the traffic light at the 100 mile marker beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. The work could go on for at least five hours, putting the northbound and southbound traffic lights out of commission during that time.

Deputies have been hired by that agency to assist in directing and controlling traffic during that time, however slow downs and delays are expected. Everyone should build some extra time into their schedule if they have to travel through that area during the time work will be done.

 

February 6, 2001

Crime Statistics show overall decrease

Monroe County – Crime Statistics for Monroe County are down for the year 2000 over the previous year. The Sheriff’s Office Crime Analyst reported this week that she shows a 3.1% decrease for the year in major crimes.

Major crimes as reported to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement include homicide, manslaughter, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, forcible fondling, robbery, aggravated assault (which includes the crimes of aggravated assault and aggravated battery), aggravated stalking, burglary, pocket picking, purse snatching, shoplifting, theft, larceny, auto theft, simple assault (which includes simple assault and simple battery), simple stalking, intimidation (domestic related threats) and arson.

The largest decreases occurred in the area of forcible rape, down 51.9%; robbery, down 24.3%; aggravated assault, down 11.6%; burglary, down 7.4%; shoplifting, down 37.4%. It should be noted that these statistics are for the entire county except the city of Key West.

“We are happy, once again, to be able to report to the citizens of Monroe County that crime has gone down,” said Sheriff Rick Roth. “The trend toward a safer community continues this year with a 3.1% decrease in major crimes. We are particularly happy to report the decrease in rape, robbery, assaults and burglaries. These crimes often have devastating effects on their victims,” he said.

Details on the 2000 crime statistics can be found on the Sheriff’s Office web site, www.keysso.net.

 Crime Statistics for 2000, compared to 1999:

 

Major Crimes as defined by Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Number of offenses in 2000

Number of offenses in 1999

Difference between 2000/1999

HOMICIDE

3

1

200.0%

MANSLAUGHTER

1

0

0.0%

FORCIBLE RAPE

13

27

-51.9%

FORCIBLE SODOMY

5

8

-37.5%

FORCIBLE FONDLING

18

9

100.0%

ROBBERY

28

37

-24.3%

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT

252

285

-11.6%

AGGRAVATED STALKING

4

2

100.0%

BURGLARY

541

584

-7.4%

POCKET PICKING

1

7

-85.7%

PURSE SNATCHING

0

0

0.0%

SHOPLIFTING

137

219

-37.4%

THEFT FROM BUILDING

267

344

-22.4%

           FROM VENDING

21

35

-40.0%

           FROM MOTOR VEHICLE

457

345

32.5%

           OF BICYCLE

151

161

-6.2%

           OF MOTOR VEHICLE PARTS

232

317

-26.8%

ALL OTHER LARCENY

830

716

15.9%

AUTO THEFT

132

137

-3.6%

SIMPLE ASSAULT

1090

1087

0.3%

SIMPLE STALKING

6

0

0.0%

INTIMIDATE

24

25

-4.0%

ARSON

3

7

-57.1%

 

 

 

 

Total number of offenses

4216

4353

 

Percentage increase/decrease

-3.1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 1, 2001

Marathon deputy honored for safety belt efforts

Monroe County - City of Marathon Deputy Steve Mahmood was honored last week in Miami at a luncheon-ceremony for his diligent efforts to ticket drivers who fail to wear their safety belts and fail to secure their small children in child safety seats.

Mahmood was honored, along with several other south Florida law enforcement officers, for writing the highest number of seat belt related citations in south Florida during a state-wide and national seat belt enforcement week November 18th-26th, 2000. The luncheon was held by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation.

Coming up this month, February 11th – 17th is National Child Passenger Safety Week, but deputies are always watching for drivers and passengers who do not wear safety belts or who do not have their small children in child safety seats.  A ticket for failing to wear a safety belt can cost $44 but, more importantly, failing to wear a safety belt and failure to secure your children properly can expose you and your family to serious injury or death in the event of a crash. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office asks you to please remember to always wear your seat belt and always have your children do the same.

Florida law requires that a driver provide a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device for all children five years of age or younger. Children up to three years of age, the device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer integrated child seat. For children age 4 and 5, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat or a seat belt may be used.

The Sheriff’s Office and the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration recommends the following guidelines:

       Use rear-facing child seats for children from birth to at least 20 pounds and at least one year of age.

       Use forward-facing child seats for children over 20 pounds and at least one year old to about 40 pounds and about age 4.

       Use belt-positioning booster seats for children from about 40 pounds to about 80 pounds and 4’9” tall.

       Use seat belts for older children large enough for the belt to fit correctly: at least 4’9” tall and about 80 pounds.

 

January 31, 2001

National Child Passenger Safety Week

Monroe County – Sheriff’s deputies will be concentrating their efforts on child safety February 11th through the 17th, during National Child Passenger Safety Week.

During that week, in an effort coordinated by Sgt. Roy Bogue, deputies will spend Tuesday morning from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. stopping cars and checking for seat belt and safety seat use between the 88 and 89 mile markers of highway U.S. One.

On the same day the Sheriff’s Office will hold a “Buckle Up Your Valentine Child Seat Check” at Founder’s Park in Islamorada from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. During those hours, residents are welcome to show up and have their child safety seats checked for compliance with state law and with national safety standards.

On Wednesday, February 14th, deputies will be at Plantation Key School and at Key Largo School checking bikes, skateboards, scooters and other modes of transportation for safety. They will check to make sure bike riders are wearing their helmets in compliance with state law, and will encourage students riding skateboards and scooters to wear helmets as well.

These safety efforts are sponsored by the Sheriff’s Office, Islamorada Village of Islands and the Community Traffic Safety Team. For more information, contact Sgt. Roy Bogue at 305-853-3211 or send him e-mail at rbogue@keysso.net.

 

January 31, 2001

Sobriety Checkpoint in Marathon a Success

Marathon - The Monroe County Sheriff's Office Traffic Enforcement Unit working with Deputies assigned to the City of Marathon carried out a DUI Checkpoint at mm 48 in Marathon on Saturday, January 27.  The operation was planned and set up by Deputy Lin Badman and was in effect from 11:30 PM to 3:30 AM.  Members of the Sheriff's Traffic Enforcement Unit and Deputies from the City of Marathon and Sheriff's Reserves checked 105 cars during the four hours of the operation.  Deputies arrested 1 DUI driver, wrote a total of 35 citations, gave 24 warnings, issued 5 Notices to Appear in County Court to drivers with suspended licenses, issued 2 Notices to Appear in County Court for License Tag Violations and towed 6 vehicles.

All Deputies of the Sheriff's Traffic Enforcement Unit operate patrol cars with video cameras, radar and laser speed devices and are trained in the detection, apprehension, and prosecution of dangerous drivers.  Numerous operations like these as well as a number of Saturation Patrols are scheduled for future dates in all areas of Monroe County targeting aggressive or intoxicated drivers.  During these operations no tolerance will be shown to dangerous drivers.  An arrest for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (even Prescription Drugs) carries a sentence of up to 6 months in County Jail, a $1000 fine, a mandatory 6 months suspension of your driver's license, a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service and mandatory attendance of DUI School.  A speeding ticket can cost up to $268 and saddle the driver with up to 4 points against his or her driver's license.  Tickets for other moving violations can cost $78 with 2 or 3 points being assessed.  Non-moving violations carry a fine of $44.

 

January 23, 2001

Upper Keys deputies vow to serve their community well

Upper Keys – Sheriff’s deputies who serve the community from the Tavernier Creek Bridge to Ocean Reef would like to introduce themselves and make a promise: to serve Keys residents to the best of their abilities, using all the resources available to them to solve problems, prevent crime and protect the community.

Since Sheriff Rick Roth introduced the SmartCop policing concept to his agency in the summer of 1999, deputies have spent much of their time getting out of their cars and getting to know the neighborhoods they serve. No where is that more true than in the upper Keys, where Zone sergeants and the deputies under their command, have worked hard and embraced the SmartCop community policing concept.

Under the SmartCop program, the Sheriff’s Office assigns it’s officers to permanently work a designated area, instead of moving them around from place to place. Because they are assigned to the same area every work shift, they have time to get to know the streets, the people who live there and the particular problems associated with that area.

SmartCop charges the officers with the task of rooting out problems and creatively solving them using any legal means at their disposal. For instance, if their particular area has a problem with juvenile delinquents, the officer might make liaison with area schools, parents or guardians, and other juvenile social programs in an effort to solve the problem. If an area has a problem with illegal dumping, the officer might set up special patrols, contact county waste management personnel, bring code enforcement in to consult, or organize a community clean-up.

       In Sector 7, the area from the Tavernier Creek Bridge to mile marker 101 is called Zone 1. The Zone (group in Picture #1) is commanded by Sgt. Lou Caputo, working with Deputies Sever Hustad, Jose Carballo, David Cline, Julie Smith, Mike White, Sgt. Gabor Simoga and Andrew Leird.

       The area from mile marker 101 to the county line (including Gulfstream Shores on Card Sound Road) is called Zone 2 (group in Picture #2). The Zone is commanded by Sgt. Don Fanelli, working with Sgt. Tom Kiffney and deputies Sean Heffron, Dawn Agusto, Todd Wyatt, Brad Sriro, Flo Williams, Lyle Agins, Lisa King, Joe Moran and Kristy Jackson.

       The Ocean Reef area (including Gulfstream Shores, Ocean Reef, the Angler’s Club up to the Card Sound Road Toll Booth) is Zone 3 (group in Picture #3). That Zone is commanded by Sgt. Pete Johnston, working with Deputies Jim McLaughlin, Larry Benedict and (not pictured) Greg LaRochelle.

Establishing direct contact with the community is an essential part of the SmartCop program. Anyone wishing to speak with a Zone Commander or deputy can do so by calling the particular substation in their area. Citizens can send email to the Zone Commander in their area by visiting the Sheriff’s Office Web Site at www.keysso.net and clicking on “How to Contact Us”.

 

January 23, 2001

Speed up the 911 process: Know your physical address

Monroe County – Monroe County Sheriff’s Office communications officers are asking everyone to help them speed up the process of answering emergency calls. Everyone in the Keys – residences and businesses alike – should know their physical address.

Director Anne Leonard suggests anyone who doesn’t know their physical address should contact the post office in their area to find out what it is.

“Many business owners don’t know their exact physical address because they use a post office box to receive their mail, and it causes delays when we are trying to send a deputy to an emergency call. It is simply too general to say ‘I’m at the 25 mile marker on the highway’”, she said. “ It can really slow us down if we have to find the address for ourselves by searching a computer database.”

The Sheriff’s Office new Computer Aided Dispatch system is a tremendous tool which has the ability to speed up the time it takes for communications officers to take a call and send a deputy. The system depends on specific address information however. People need to make sure they know their specific street address – everyone in Monroe County now has one.

In addition, Businesses that move should make sure and update their contact and address information with the Sheriff’s Office. They can do that by calling the Sheriff’s Office, Office of Communications at 292-7075 (for the lower Keys) or 289-2430 (for the middle and upper Keys), or by sending an e-mail message to Director Leonard at aleonard@keysso.net.