January - March 2003

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 30, 2003

Traffic delays expected

On April 26th between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., approximately 1,500 bicycle riders will be traveling down Card Sound Road from Metro Zoo in Miami. Once in the Keys, they will ride on the south side of U.S. One to Pennekamp Park, where they will cross over to the park for a celebratory event. The following day, they will return northbound, on the northbound side of the highway, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., again traveling out of the Keys on Card Sound Road. Deputies have been hired off duty to manage any traffic difficulties, but there will be traffic delays during the event.

March 27th

Law Enforcement Special Olympics Torch Run 2003

The 2003 Law Enforcement / Special Olympics Torch Run will begin in Key West, Friday April 11th, 2003. Participating runners from all Law Enforcement Agencies will begin at the Southernmost Point at 8 a.m. and wind thru the streets stopping at HOB School, Key West High School , Poinciana School and finishing up at the Monroe County Sheriff's Office Headquarters building on Stock Island. The run will continue in Marathon will begin at 1 p.m. The final destination for the state-wide run will be in Tampa Florida on the 25th of April where Law Enforcement Agencies from around the state will roll into the stadium to begin the 2003 Special Olympics Games.

Law enforcement officers interested in participating in the Monroe County portion of the run should contact coordinator Jim Painter at 292-7027 or email jpainter@keysso.net. The public is welcome to turn out to cheer on the runners as they traverse the above route.

March 27, 2003

Sheriff Roth receives "Difference Maker" award


In the photo, left to right,  Paul Avery, President of
Outback Steakhouse, Inc. and Chairman of the Board
Take Stock In Children, Sheriff Roth, and Marcus Christian,  
President, Take Stock In Children.

Sheriff Richard Roth received a "Difference Maker" award March 26th in Tallahassee for his contributions to the Take Stock in Children program. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has contributed $190,000.00 from forfeiture funds over a four year period to the program.

"This program does wonderful things for the children of Monroe County and I'm proud to have helped in that effort," Sheriff Roth said.

The plaque he received reads: "For giving generously to provide hope and opportunity to Monroe County's children."

March 25, 2003

Left to right, Reserve Deputy John Housman, Deputy (now Inspector with Internal Affairs)
Geni Hernandez, Corrections Deputy Mark Haynes, Cadet Lt. Yessenia Crespo,
Risk Manager/Executive Assistant Tamara Snider and Sheriff Rick Roth.

Employees of the Year honored

Marathon – At a special ceremony held in Marathon Friday, the Sheriff handed out his Employee of the year awards for 2002. The Employees of the Year are chosen from all of those who received one of the Sheriff’s Employee of the Quarter awards throughout the year.

“The people chosen to be Employees of the Year are truly the best of the best – they have proven themselves to be outstanding employees, as well as outstanding contributors to the community they serve,” said Sheriff Rick Roth.

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 the Cormier family attend the ceremony each year in memory of their loved one who gave his life in service to the community.

The Cormier Memorial Award winner, Sworn Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, is Deputy Genine Hernandez Bureau of Operations, Sector I – Cudjoe Substation:

Dep. Hernandez has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since May 2, 1988.  Deputy Hernandez is the community police officer for the lower keys and has continued to go above and beyond in an effort to help others and make the community a better place for everyone.  Deputy Hernandez’s not only handles her job and the tasks assigned to it, but also is always available to take overlap calls, back-up officers and do whatever it takes to help out the road patrol units.  She takes as many reports and calls as the daily patrol units as well as does her community policing.  Geni has worked very hard with other agencies to create a working relationship that has helped tremendously I.E. code enforcement, marine projects, public works, waist management and the businesses within the community.  These relationships have helped to meet the needs of the community and do tasks that we would have been unable to do without additional help.  With these other groups Geni has been able to conduct abandoned trailer clean ups, abandoned vehicle clean ups, community clean ups as well as other projects.  These projects have had financial support form the above listed entities for towing costs as well as manpower assistance from their groups.  Geni comes to most of the crime watch meetings on her own accord without being asked to attend in order to bond with the community and truly understand their needs.

Sworn Detention Employee: Corrections Officer Mark Haynes, Bureau of Corrections, Security Division Plantation Key Facility.

The majority of the last three months, D/D Haynes has been the Officer in charge of “C” Watch. Everyday that he has been the O.I.C., he has operated the squad at the bare minimum level of staffing. He is the sole FTO on the shift and has trained several probationary officers while at the same time fulfilling his O.I.C. duties. During the last few months he has dealt with a number of problems and emergencies and has demonstrated good decision making and problem solving skills. He can be counted on to take a positive approach to the changes that are always occurring within the agency and the community; he looks beyond the effects on him and considers the big picture. Without any special invitation, he has been attending and actively participating in the monthly sergeants meetings. Officer Haynes has been very flexible with his time and schedule, he has never refused to trade shifts, work overtime or attend training. His willingness to be flexible and assist has allowed operations at this facility to run smoothly. He is punctual and has a perfect attendance record for the year. The example and standard he provides in the facility and the agency is exceptional and commendable.

SUPPORT Employee: Risk Manager/Executive Assistant Tamara Snider, Bureau of Administration. Tamara Snider has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office for the last seventeen years. She has a myriad of duties including acting as Chief Mike Rice’s assistant, serving as risk manager, and anything else that comes up.

Tamara’s institutional knowledge makes her the starting point for many when they approach a problem or need assistance. Add to that, the fact that she is always ready and willing to assist and you have a member who pushes “other duties as assigned” to a new level. This positive and professional approach to her duties makes her a person who can be depended on to perform at many different levels and somehow manage to consistently realize successful results.

Tamara puts forward a great deal of energy to make the Sheriff’s Office an agency we can all be proud of.

Reserve Employee: Reserve Sergeant John Housman, Bureau of Operations, Sector IV, Reserve Section.

John has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since August 7, 2000. On August 17, 2002 the MCSO Trauma Star helicopter responded to a trauma request for air transportation of victims involving a head-on boat collision. The two boats collided at high speed, ejecting victims into the water and forcing one boat into the mangroves. As Islamorada Rescue personnel arrived at the scene, they were forced to traverse thigh deep mud for over 100 yards. Because of the nature of suspected spinal injuries and the inability to safely move the victims through the mangroves and mud, the decision was made to vertically extract the victims by helicopter rescue hoist.

Trauma Star Pilot, Dep. Leland Cranmer and Reserve Sgt. John Housman were serving that day as the Trauma Star crew. Upon arrival at the scene, the helicopter was rigged for hoist/vertical extraction operations. Sgt. Housman and Islamorada Fire/Rescue Paramedic Henry Farfan set up for over water hoist operations and then rigged Farfan to be lowered to the victims. With exacting precision, disregarding an extreme crosswind, Pilot Dep. Cranmer brought the helicopter to a hover over the boat crash. Paramedic Farfan began the rescue process.

Once the first victim was packaged for lift, Sgt. Housman then raised the Stokes Litter, along with Paramedic Farfan up to the helicopter. Opting to transport the victim externally, Paramedic Farfan hung from the hoist, cradling the victim and the litter with his legs. While perched hundreds of feet in the air, the crew flew the victim to the shoreline into the hands of waiting ground rescue personnel. The helicopter and crew then returned to the crash scene and again repeated the vertical rescue of the second victim. Given the totality and critical circumstances of the mission, the actions of this crew are commendable. Their ability to perform under tremendous pressure, within a time constraint, and under extremely hazardous conditions as a first time crew, is without equal. Their selfless acts of courage and concern for the needs of the victims, goes beyond the normal call-of-duty. Their dedication to duty, professionalism, ability to perform with expert precision and concern for the lives of others reflects greatly upon themselves, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the Islamorada Fire Department and the Citizens of Monroe County.

Explorer/Cadet: Explorer/Cadet Lt. Yessenia Crespo, Bureau of Operations, Explorer/Cadet Section Explorer/Cadet.

Yessenia has been a member of this program since November 2000. Yessenia is an asset to Post 906 and any time a job needs doing, she is the first to volunteer. Whether phone calls need to be made, the supply closet organized or a last minute work detail comes up, Explorer Lt. Crespo is always willing to help out. She is that steady, dependable rock we all like to rely on, but frequently overlook for recognition awards because there is no one particular event that makes us take notice.

Explorer Lt. Crespo is a team player and frequently helps other members. She takes the younger ones under her wing and guides them in the right direction. That in itself is an important task.

The county-wide Explorer Drill Team performed at Sombrero Beach at the July 4th celebration. Explorer Crespo was instrumental as the squad leader when their routine had to be changed at the last minute. She worked hard making sure the Explorers came together as a team, when it could have been very chaotic.

March 25, 2003

Deputies receive medals for life-saving and heroic acts

Marathon – At a ceremony held in Marathon Friday, Sheriff Rick Roth awarded several deputies medals for life saving actions, and for heroic acts.

Sgt. Jake Brady, Deputy Joel Slough and Deputy Sonya Morgan

Deputies Joel Slough, Sonya Morgan and Jake Brady received Sheriff’s Medals for life saving actions they took on February 27th when they pulled a woman from a fire at a Marathon condominium complex. The Sheriff’s Medal is awarded to those Members of the Office who are involved in an incident where a meritorious act is performed, such as a shooting incident, attempting to save another's life, or apprehending a felon with knowledge of risk to life or limb.

Deputy Sonya Morgan, Deputy Joel Slough and Deputy Greg Korzan.
Sgt. Sam Cassel is not pictured.

Sgt. Sam Cassel and Deputies Slough, Morgan and Greg Korzan received Distinguished Service Medals for their role in evacuating a Marathon hotel on February 22nd when a fire in the hotel’s laundry room began spreading rapidly and threatened to become a danger to those still inside the building. The Distinguished Service Medal is awarded at the sole discretion of the Sheriff and is given in recognition of outstanding service by a Member of the Office.

March 25, 2003

Auction date set for Cuban DC-3

Monroe County – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has set the date that a DC-3 owned by the Republic of Cuba will be on the auction block.

The plane was seized Friday, March 21st, by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Civil Division after receipt of an order from Miami-Dade Circuit Court directing that it be seized to partially satisfy a judgment in the case ANA MARGARITA MARTINEZ, Plaintiff, Vs. THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, Defendant (CASE NO. 99-18208 CA 20).

The plane, described as a “twin engine Douglas DC3 Aircraft with tail number CU-T 1192 and serial number of 10028” will be sold to the highest bidder at auction at 11 a.m., April 28th at the Key West International Airport.

There will be a public inspection held the day before the auction, Sunday, April 27th, between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

People interested in either the inspection, the auction or both should pre-register with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office of Civil Process, Director Kirk Bondurant, by calling 295-3677, sending email to kbondurant@keysso.net or faxing a letter to 295-3670.

March 20, 2003

Easter at the Animal Farm

Stock Island – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Children’s Animal Farm will be hosting it’s annual Easter Egg Hunt and Party April 6th from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Easter Bunny is expected to be there, and will be hiding lots of Easter eggs for youngsters to hunt. McGruff will also be there to talk to kids about safety issues. Families will also be able to visit with all the Farm’s animals: rabbits, birds, snakes, cows, horses, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, peacocks, llamas, etc.

For toddlers, aged four and under, the Park’s rabbit pen will be filled with eggs specially hidden just for them. Kids above the age of four will hunt eggs on the rest of the farm. The event is free of charge, and there will be refreshments served. Come early if you want to hunt eggs…a crowd is expected.

The farm will be closed on Easter Sunday. Normal Farm schedule will resume in May: the farm is open regularly on every 1st and 3rd Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

3/15/03

EXCITING UPCOMING Art Behind Bars EVENT!

Art Behind Bars, in conjunction with the Florida Keys Council of the Arts and the Key West Art & Historical Society, will host the “Children’s Festival of the Arts” on Saturday, April 12th, from 12 noon –5 p.m. at E. Martello Tower in Key West. The Festival will be a showcase for the numerous groups that serve kids in our community with cultural and creative programs. A butterfly release will open the event, and more than 35 groups will exhibit, perform, show off their summer program opportunities, or offer interactive fun. Admission to the event is free.

The entire event is a fundraiser for Take Stock in Children, expanding Art Behind Bars’ mission of “Art-Based Community Service” to a younger audience, “Kids Helping Kids”. A 1% share of a pre-paid college education for a deserving child is available for $17.50, which gets matched at the local level by a generous benefactor, and again at the state level. If you would like more information, e-mail info@artbehindbars.org. Stock Certificates are available at all branches of First State Bank throughout the Keys, or online at www.artbehindbars.org

This event is made possible in part by a grant from the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, Arts in Education, the National Endowment of the Arts, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, and private donations. For further information, phone (305)-294-7345.

March 14, 2003

Crime Watch Chairpersons of the Year

Stock Island – Sheriff Rick Roth and Crime Watch Coordinator Emil LaVache awarded the co-chairpersons of the Stock Island Crime Watch joint “Crime Watch Chair Person of the Year” awards for 2002 recently.

Raymond Vanyo, Sr. and Carolee McReynolds were both given the award for their efforts on behalf of the Stock Island Crime Watch organization. The group meets monthly at the Stock Island Baptist Temple, and sometimes attracts a crowd of 50 or 60 residents who want to learn how to keep their neighborhoods safe.

On the left, Deputy LaVache and Sheriff Roth with Carolee McReynolds. On the right,
they are pictured with Ray Vanyo, Sr.

And they’ve been successful so far at helping reduce crime in their area, according to Deputy LaVache.

“I attribute the comparatively low crime rate on Stock Island with people’s increased participation in Crime Watch,” he said. “Compared to the real problems we used to see on Stock Island, the improvement is dramatic,” he adds.

“When people care about their homes, families and neighborhoods, and choose to become an active participant in keeping them safe the results are obvious,” said Sheriff Roth. “Crime Watch is a cooperative effort between law enforcement and citizens which directly affects the crime rate by preventing crime from taking place. It is an effective tool for everyone involved and we love to see people as enthusiastic about the program as Raymond and Carolee are.”

March 12, 2003

Deputy receives medal of valor

Monroe County - Marathon Deputy Luis Rivera was awarded the Sheriff’s Medal of Valor recently for actions he took while off duty in the city of Key West in November, 2002.

The Medal of Valor is awarded to a member who displays distinguished and extraordinary heroism in the line of duty and does so at risk of imminent personal hazard to her/his life. The award includes a letter from the Sheriff and a commendation ribbon, which is white, gold and blue in color

In the early morning hours of Saturday, November 23, 2002, Deputy Rivera was off-duty with friends at Rick’s Bar on Duval Street in Key West.  He heard what he knew to be the sound of a gun-shot and observed panic in the area of the dance floor.  He additionally observed a black male subject leaving the immediate area of the shooting secreting a pistol in his waistband and exiting the club.  While Deputy Rivera’s friends called 911, he followed the suspect out of the club past the bouncers and onto the street.  At great peril to himself, he maintained visual contact with the suspect who by this time knew he was being followed.

Deputy Rivera followed the suspect for numerous blocks until he noticed a Key West Police Officer who he recognized and pointed out the suspect.  Deputy Rivera then assisted in the arrest of the suspect who subsequently confessed to the shooting.

Deputy Rivera’s actions were above and beyond the call of duty; and showed exceptional courage as well as extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind.  He exhibited unusual swiftness of action, with tempered regard to his own personal safety, in an attempt to maintain visual contact with the shooter, who he knew to be armed and dangerous, especially to anyone that was known to be a witness to the crime.

Deputy Rivera brings great credit upon himself and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.  His courage, discipline and presence of mind during this dangerous and life threatening episode embody the finest traditions of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

March 4, 2003

Sheriff honors employees of the fourth quarter, 2002

SWORN Law Enforcement Officer: Deputy Dennis Coleman Bureau of Operations, Sector IV Regional II Marathon. On Wednesday, November 13, 2002, Deputy Dennis Coleman responded to the Coco Plum Beach and Tennis Club reference to found narcotics. He met with the reporting party who handed him a package containing approximately one kilo of cocaine. The reporting party said that someone had found it on the beach and had given it to her to turn in. Deputy Coleman completed a property receipt and took possession of the cocaine.

Deputy Coleman then showed initiation by remaining in the area and conducting a watch order further along the beach. As he was walking, he noticed three males walk out of the woods. Deputy Coleman made contact with them. As they were talking, Deputy Coleman noticed a large packaged bundle in the woods where the three subjects had just come from. He acted as if he hadn’t noticed the package and requested routine backup, in which Deputy Lascala and KCB Officer Luoma arrived on scene. Through further investigation it was determined that the individuals and stumbled onto the package and were released. The additional cocaine was taken into property. Where other deputies may have cleared the scene after taking the initial found property report, due to Deputy Coleman’s self-initiation a total of twenty-nine kilos of cocaine were recovered. Deputy Coleman should be commended for his actions, professionalism, and the service orientated approach he takes towards his job.

SUPPORT Employee: Risk Manager/Executive Assistant Tamara Snider, Bureau of Administration. Tamara Snider has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office for the last seventeen years. She has a myriad of duties including acting as Chief Mike Rice’s assistant, serving as risk manager, and anything else that comes up.

Tamara’s institutional knowledge makes her the starting point for many when they approach a problem or need assistance. Add to that, the fact that she is always ready and willing to assist and you have a member who pushes “other duties as assigned” to a new level. This positive and professional approach to her duties makes her a person who can be depended on to perform at many different levels and somehow manage to consistently realize successful results.

Tamara puts forward a great deal of energy to make the Sheriff’s Office an agency we can all be proud of.

CORRECTIONS Officer: Sergeant Detention Deputy Frank Mara, Bureau of Corrections, Security Division Key West Facility. Recently, “B” watch experienced some unexpected difficulties. First. Sgt. Crane received notice that his reserve military unit was being pressed into active service. Within days of losing their only sergeant, “B” watch found their lieutenant, Joe Linares, needing a leave of absence to deal with his father’s sudden illness and then sudden death.

These two occurrences left “B” watch without a supervisor. What made this even more difficult was that the incidents occurred during the holidays when many supervisors were on vacation or already covering other shifts due to vacations.

Without hesitation, Sgt. Mara volunteered to cover “B” watch. He readily recognized the need to pull together and work as a team. Sgt. Mara did not use his 19 years of experience as an excuse to avoid the transfer from a day watch to a night watch. Instead, he used his 19 years of experience as the solid foundation from which to guide, lead, coach and mentor the members of “B” watch through a difficult time. 

Sgt. Mara’s unselfish actions deserve recognition. He truly put the interests of the Sheriff’s Office ahead of his own personal interests when volunteering to lead “B” watch. I ask that you join me in commending his willingness to lead at a time when leadership was desperately needed.

RESERVE Deputy: Reserve Mary Jo Migala, Bureau of Operations, Sector VII, Reserve Section. Mary Jo volunteers in our office at least two days a week, and most of the time it is three or more days. She comes in cheerfully, with a smile on her face and snacks in her hand, readily available to do any tasks that we need her to do. She always has surprises for us (little trinkets, gadgets, and of course always food for Lt. Moran). She comes in, gets her in-basket of things that need to be done for the day, and gets right to work.

We have come to depend on her for data entry, filing, sending out of reports, and miscellaneous distribution of paperwork from Captain Thompson to requests from the public. We keep piling on the work, and there are never any complaints, just a positive approach to everything and everyone. We find her to be an exceptional person in a quiet and dependable way.

EXPLORER/Cadet: Explorer Captain Cory Jecelin is captain of the post and is very responsible about fulfilling his duties. He is a leader and a credit to the explorer program and law enforcement.

On Tuesday December 17, 2002 during his lunch break in the cafeteria he was joking with a friend about his place in line. The friend teased him about “cutting in”. Another student thought that Cory was pushing in and became angry. The student grabbed Cory by the shirt and punched him. Cory withdrew and advised a teacher who then advised me. The student was reprimanded and suspended by the school. Cory was also able to meet with the student and successfully talk it out with the student and obtain an apology.

Through this incident Cory was able to display maturity and self control by not taking actions on his own thereby risking his position as captain of our post; risking soiling the reputation of the Sheriff’s Office; and also risking potential legal issues from fighting.

February 24, 2003

 

This was distributed by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. Issued by the Florida Sheriff's Association. This is a legitimate fundraising effort.

 

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:  Gary Perkins

850-877-2165 or 800-877-2168

 

"SHERIFF ALERTS RESIDENTS ABOUT FUNDRAISING EFFORT"

 

MONROE COUNTY, FL, FEBRUARY 21, 2003 – Monroe County Sheriff Richard D. Roth is alerting residents of a fundraising effort in the county that will be taking place in the coming weeks.

 

With all of the fraudulent practices of fundraising organizations in the news, Sheriff Roth would like residents to know that the letters going out under his name on behalf of the Florida Sheriffs Association are legitimate.

 

There are a number of organizations that have formed in recent years with similar-sounding names, but Sheriff Roth warns citizens to be wary of them, especially when they use high-pressure telemarketing tactics.

 

"The Florida Sheriffs Association is not only an honorable organization to support, it directly impacts public safety in this county," Sheriff Roth said.  "FSA provides specialized training, special task forces and legislative and legal services that we wouldn't have access to otherwise."  He says that because FSA unites the efforts of all Sheriffs' offices in the state, citizens enjoy a significant cost savings for better quality policing.

 

Unlike many nonprofits, FSA does not use outside companies to carry out membership campaigns.  "I'm proud to say that throughout its 110-year history, the Florida Sheriffs Association has never used telephone marketing for fundraising," Sheriff Roth said.  "All appeals are done through the U.S. Mail, preserving the citizens' privacy."  FSA adamantly opposes the use of telemarketers in promoting membership and does not sell or rent their membership list to outside organizations or companies.

 

If you receive a telephone solicitation from anyone claiming to be from the Florida Sheriffs Association – please be aware that this is a fraudulent call.  Report it immediately by calling:  1-800-877-2168, or sending an e-mail to:  information@flsheriffs.org. 

 

Residents who do not receive a letter from the Sheriff on behalf of the Florida Sheriffs Association, may show their support of local law enforcement by mailing their name, address and a $20 check to:  Membership, Florida Sheriffs Association, P.O. Box 12519, Tallahassee, FL  32317-2519. For further background, you may also visit the Florida Sheriffs Association web site:  www.flsheriffs.org.

 

The Florida Sheriffs Association is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of the 67 Sheriffs of Florida, business leaders and citizens throughout the state.  Its headquarters are in Tallahassee, Florida.  For more information, contact FSA at:  850-877-2165

February 11, 2003

Scam Alert

 Detective Dillon Corr is asking for information relating to a scam. A recent ad was placed in a local newspaper (maybe more than one) for United Financial Credit Group of Companies. The ad was paid for by credit card. When someone responds to the ad, they are faxed some documents which appear to be legitimate loan documents, and they are asked to send a security deposit for the loan. After they send the deposit, they are asked for more money to pay for a transfer of funds. On one document the victim is asked to provide their bank account number. The fictitious bank used for the loan is the United Bank of London.

 According to Detective Corr, the credit card used to pay for the ad is a stolen one and the company does not exist. The promised loan is, of course, never paid.

Anyone with information about this scam or who has been a victim of it should contact Detective Corr at 305-853-3211 or by email at dcorr@keysso.net.

February 6, 2003

Child Safety Seat Checks scheduled in February

Monroe County – The Sheriff’s Office will be sponsoring a series of child safety seat checks in recognition of National Child Passenger Safety Week next week.

“Buckling up is still the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries from motor vehicle crashes on our roadways,” said Deputy Jennifer LaScala who is helping to coordinate the checks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 4 to 14, and in the year 2000 more than half of all children under 15 years of age who were killed in car crashes were completely unrestrained.

Child safety seat and vehicle manufacturers’ instructions are often difficult to read. In addition, most children who outgrow their forward facing child safety seats, at about 40 pounds, are often prematurely placed in adult safety belts.

When a child outgrows a forward facing safety seat, they should use a booster seat until at least 8 years old or four feet nine inches tall. A booster seat raises a child to allow the vehicle’s safety belt to be positioned correctly.

At the child safety seat checks, specially trained officers will check the installation and safety of your child’s safety seat FREE OF CHARGE. Please plan on attending one of the safety seat checks to have your installation and seat checked.

The checks will be held February 12th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Marathon Ramada Inn Oceanview, 13351 Overseas Highway; February 13th from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Searstown Parking lot in Key West; and February 14th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Islamorada Sheriff’s Substation at 87000 Overseas Highway.

January 29, 2003

Crime Watch Coordinator speaks to Cadets

Recently, Deputy Emil Lavache spoke to Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post 904, giving a presentation on Crime Watches, McGruff and Crime Prevention.  The Cadets meet on a regular basis to learn about various aspects of law enforcement. 

The Law Enforcement Explorer/Cadet Program was started with the intention of providing the youth of Monroe County the opportunity to explore a career in law enforcement and develop a more positive relationship between youth and law enforcement officers.

The program covers the major areas of law enforcement, and strives to build character, determination and life skills in its members. In addition, the program provides each explorer the tools he/she needs in order to make a decision about a possible career in law enforcement. 

 The Explorers participate in a wide variety of community activities and service projects throughout Monroe County. They work closely with a number of non-profit groups trying to make a difference in our Keys communities.  The Explorers pride themselves being courteous, dependable and professional in everything that they do.  

Membership Requirements:

  • Young people between the ages of 11 and 21.

  • Maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average.

  • No criminal history.

  • Be of good moral character.

  • Willing to follow federal, state and local laws.

  • Abide by Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Policies and Procedures and Explorer Post bylaws.

 If you are interested in joining the program, or have a question about the program please contact the Explorer Program Supervisor Sgt. John Barber at jbarber@keysso.net

 Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Sgt. John Barber
3103 Overseas Hwy.
Marathon, FL 33050
(305) 289-2430

January 15, 2003

Crime Stoppers’ assists local law enforcement with 29 arrests in 2002

 Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys assisted local law enforcement with 29 felony arrests during 2002.  Tips from the 24 hour hotline also resulted in the clearing of 38 criminal cases and the recovery or seizure of over 28 thousand dollars worth of drugs, cash and stolen property.

“Crime Stoppers continues to meet its goal of getting criminals off the streets of the Keys,” said Board President Jim Malloch.  “Our goal for 2003 is to increase the number of arrests so our community will be a safer place for residents and visitors.”

 Tips during 2002 resulted in:

 ·       Two narcotics arrests and seizure of $7400 in drugs and $1800 cash on United Street in Key West.

·       Arrest of two students involved in a phony sniper threat in the upper Keys.

·       Capture of an inmate who escaped from an outside work detail at the county jail.

·       The seizure of a handgun, one thousand dollars worth of drugs, three thousand dollars cash and one arrest in a drug raid on Terry Lane in Key West.

·       The safe return of a female juvenile runaway and the arrest of an adult male for harboring her. 

2002 Crime Stopper Results

29 Arrests

38 Criminal Cases Cleared

$28,646 worth of drugs, cash, stolen property recovered or seized.

Overall Crime Stopper Results:

 209 Arrests

230 Cases Cleared

$220,181 worth of drugs, cash, stolen property recovered or seized

 Crime Stoppers is a non-profit corporation operated by a civilian board that is charged with fund raising and determining the amount of rewards paid to tipsters.  Anonymous tips from the hotline (1-800-346-TIPS) are funneled to the appropriate local law enforcement agency for investigation.  Tipsters can remain anonymous.  Code numbers are used for pre-arranged pick up of rewards from local banks.  Crime Stoppers pays up to one thousand dollars for information leading to arrests in criminal cases.

January 9, 2003

SWAT says goodbye to dedicated team member

In the photos: Bulnes (pictured in the center of each photo in a white shirt, and black ball cap), is surrounded by members of the Sheriff's Office SWAT team and other's in the Sheriff's Office who enjoyed working with him over the years.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics team said goodbye yesterday to longtime member Robert "Bull" Bulnes. Bulnes, who has been a Key West Police Officer for the past 12 years, was recently married and is leaving the Keys with his new wife for the state of Virginia. Bulnes was on the Sheriff's Office SWAT team for the past six years, volunteering on his own time. He helped establish the new Key West Police Department's SWAT team as well. The Sheriff's Office SWAT Team will miss him - he was a caring, dedicated, professional team member who was always there when he was needed. 

January 9, 2002

Community newsletter to speak directly to the public

Monroe County – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be establishing a new method of direct communication with the citizens of Monroe County. Called “Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Community News”, the monthly emailed newsletter will address crime trends, safety concerns and other issues pertinent to law enforcement and to the residents of the County.

On the first Monday of every month, those people who sign up to receive the newsletter will receive the email. Each issue will contain a report from Sheriff Rick Roth about what is happening in and around county law enforcement; any pertinent crime trends which have developed during the month; a synopsis of significant crimes which have occurred along with a “Crime Stoppers Crime of the Month”, and periodic articles penned by Sheriff’s Office Sector Captains and Zone Commanders throughout the Keys. The news will include both county wide information, and information about particular areas of the Keys. The newsletter will also be posted on the Sheriff’s Office web site, www.keysso.net.

The Sheriff would also like to invite the public to make suggestions about what they would like to hear. Citizens are welcome to write in questions they would like to see answered in the newsletter, or bring up an issue they would like to see addressed in a future issue.

The newsletter’s editor, Deputy Becky Herrin, says the newsletter won’t be a big, bulky publication. “I plan to make it a short, to the point newsletter,” she said. “It won’t take a lot of time to download. There won’t be many photos or graphics included – just a lot of good information which will help everyone keep up to date about crime, safety and law enforcement in the Keys.” Herrin is the Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, and is also responsible for creating and maintaining the Sheriff’s Office web site, which includes the hugely popular “Arrest/Mug Shot” web page which has received over 5,000 hits every week since it’s creation in July of 2002.

To sign up for the newsletter, please send an email requesting to be included on the mailing list to mcsonews@keysso.net. The first issue will be published February 3rd, 2003. The deadline for submitting ideas or questions will be the last Monday of every month, in this case January 27th, 2003. You may unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time.