February 28, 2007

Animals to make appearance at the boat show

Some members of the Sheriff's Animal Farm will be making an appearance at children's section of the Key West Rotary Boat Show and Nautical Market this weekend, March 3 -4, at the Truman Waterfront. The event starts at 9 a.m. each day. Farmer Jeanne Selander will be bringing a variety of animals, including a miniature horse, goats, a tortoise, ferret, hamster, bunnies, a rooster and a small parrot to the event. Stop by and visit with the animals. The event is free of charge and fun for the whole family.

February 22, 2007

Sheriff's Animal Farm open this Sunday

The Sheriff's Office Animal Farm will be open to the public this Sunday, February 25, 2007, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to visit, free of charge, and see the wide variety of animals at the park, including tropical birds, snakes, ferrets, rabbits, horses, ponies, a llama, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks, an 100 pound tortoise and more. 

The animal farm is also proud of a new mural painted by farm trustee Donna Gross. The wall sized painting features an underwater scene with a mermaid. (Note for the media: attached are several pictures of the mural, and the artist - who has agreed to be identified).

The Children's Animal Farm is located at the Stock Island Detention Center, just off of College Road. It is open to the public on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. Groups may make special arrangements to visit the farm as well. Call the Sheriff's Office Detention Center at 305-293-7300 to schedule a visit.

February 13, 2007

Sheriff honors employees of the fourth quarter, 2006

Det. Linda Mixon, Communications Officer Raye Liu, Reserve Deputy (now Deputy) Juan Llera,
Programs Asst. Jeffrey Brown and Sgt. Andrew Paskiewicz. Not pictured is Cadet Andrea Ranier.

The Sheriff's Office recently held a ceremony honoring it's employees of the fourth quarter of 2006. The following employees received the award for exemplary actions or performance in their jobs.

SWORN:

Detective Linda Mixon began her career with the MCSO in April 1993.  Detective Linda Mixon was assigned a historical Capital Sexual Battery case in September of 2006.  The victim, now an adult, came forward to report the crime due to a possibility the suspect was abusing another child.  Detective Mixon was able to interview the victim and obtain vital information to establish the crime and that it was a capital case and the statute of limitations had not run.  During her investigation she was able to corroborate portions of the case to confirm key elements.  Detective Mixon conducted a controlled call between the suspect and our victim and during that call she obtained several admissions to the crime. 

Detective Mixon followed up with more leads and was able to confirm the suspect was in Georgia.  She also identified several counties in Florida where additional crimes had occurred.  She notified the other agencies in Florida and sent them copies of the case file for them to initiate cases.  She also worked with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to research the suspect and to confirm his exact location. 

Detective Mixon presented the case to the State Attorney’s Office and then presented a warrant to the Judge for the arrest of the suspect for 34 counts of Capital Sexual Battery.  The warrant was signed and then immediately notified GBI.  GBI then located and arrested the suspect without incident and located the other child.  A later interview of the child confirmed that the suspect had been sexually abusing her as well.

Detective Mixon was assigned this case on September 20th, 2006 and the suspect was arrested on October 3rd.  Without her diligence on this case we may still have a child out there being sexually assaulted.  We routinely receive cases where a victim comes forward to report a crime, but when we can investigate a case and prevent another victim from being abused, that is the coup de grace in your career.

CORRECTIONS:

Sergeant Detention Deputy Andrew Paskiewicz began his career with the MCSO in January 1996.  During the early morning of January 4, 2007 Sgt. Paskiewicz received a telephone call from one of his assigned officers calling out from work.  As the conversation continued, he noticed that the officer sounded drowsy.  When asked, “are you OK”, the phone went silent. 

Sgt. Paskiewicz called for a Sheriff’s Deputy to do a wellness check and for EMS.  They arrived moments later at the officer’s home.  Once inside the home, EMS determined that the officer’s condition was bad enough for an immediate admission to the hospital.  The officer’s family called later that morning stating that if the Sergeant had not reacted so quickly, the situation would have turned for the worst. 

COMMUNICATIONS:

Communications Officer Raye Liu began her career with the MCSO in September 1983.  In late November and early December Communications was faced with a scheduling dilemma due to short staff.  It was the holiday season and everyone had already had their holiday plans. 

Due to all the unexpected occurrences and looking at the schedule with everyone being so new released on the night shift it became obvious that a person with leadership abilities and knowledge to be temporarily assigned on a midnight shift until the supervisor would return from vacation.

Raye was contacted and presented with the situation.  This was the first Christmas that this employee was to have off to spend with her family in over four years.  Raye Liu stepped up to the assignment without hesitation and complaint.  She forfeited her holiday once again to help out the agency.

It is very refreshing and gratifying to see an employee with all the years of service she has in this division to still give to selflessly for the betterment of the division.  She should be commended and awarded for her dedication to this division and the agency.

SUPPORT:

Programs Classification Assistant Jeffrey Brown began his career with the MCSO in October 2003.  For over three years Jeffrey Brown has never called out on a scheduled day of work, never been late, and always has covered other shifts when needed.   He not only brings humor to the workplace which makes every day a pleasure but he also brings a professionalism which helps make the jail run more smoothly.

The biggest asset Jeff brings to the office is his ability to get along with everybody.  His is always willing to help others whenever asked and any mood other than upbeat is just not in his vocabulary. 

RESERVE:
 
Reserve Deputy Juan Llera began his career with the MCSO in January of 1998.  Reserve Deputy Juan Llera recently became a Deputy Sheriff with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.  During his tenure as a Reserve Deputy, Deputy Llera obtained the rank of Reserve Sergeant and was an active participant with the SWAT team.  Some of the duties in which he was responsible were preparing, maintaining, and submitting to the chain of command monthly hour reports for all reserve Sector 1 personnel.  He also conducted new hire interviews and screenings and forwarded recommendations to the chain of command.
 
Since 1998 Deputy Llera has logged in over 5,400 volunteer hours, participated in over 320 search warrants, reversals, and high liability SWAT call outs.  Deputy Llera is also a member of the Public Diving Safety Committee and has provided assistance and support for numerous diving operations for FKCC and the MCSO. 

EXPLORER:

Cadet Andrea Ranier has been with Post 904 for four years.  Cadet Ranier has worked her way up to the rank of Captain of Post 904 through diligence and dedication to the program.  

During the past four years Andrea has maintained an impeccable attendance record at both weekly meeting and Post details.  Andrea has always been willing to go the extra mile, take charge, and ensure details are a success.

Andreas’ ability to lead has not only been recognized here on the local level, but also while at various statewide functions.  During this years’ Explorer Boot Camp, Andrea was assigned as one of the few Platoon Leaders, out of approximately 200 Explorers.  She was also called upon at the recent Explorer Delegate Conference to assume a leadership role while in Palm Beach.

February 9, 2007

Child Passenger Safety Week to Focus on Booster Seats, wearing safety belts

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway Patrol and NHTSA, unite to remind parents of importance of child passenger safety 
In recognition of Child Passenger Safety week, local child safety seat checks are being held in Monroe County next week at the following locations.

In addition, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol will be participating in directed patrols focusing on making sure children under 18 are wearing their safety belts when they are in a vehicle. They will be on patrol, particularly in the vicinity of Monroe County Schools, watching for kids in vehicles who are not buckled. The driver's of those cars will be pulled over and will be issued a citation. In the state of Florida, it is against the law for a driver to allow anyone in their car who is under 18 to be unbuckled while the car is in motion. This violation is now a primary offense - meaning an officer may pull a car over for just that violation. It is a non-moving violation with a monetary penalty of $71.50.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 7,500 lives have been saved by the proper use of child restraints during the past 20 years. Yet, motor vehicle crashes still remain the number one killer of children ages 4 to 14 in America. The reason? Too often it is the improper use or non-use of child safety seats and booster seats. That’s why the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol is joining with NHTSA and other state and local leaders to commemorate Child Passenger Safety Week (Feb. 11-17).

"In 2005, an average of five children ages 14 and younger were killed and 640 were injured in motor vehicle crashes every single day," said Capt. Joe Leiter of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. "That’s why we’ll be working so hard during Child Passenger Safety Week and throughout the year talking to parents and caregivers about the importance of restraining their children properly in their vehicles."

While 98 percent of America’s infants and 93 percent of children ages 1 to 3 are regularly restrained, not enough children ages 4 through 7 are restrained properly for their size and age. Only 10 to 20 percent of children ages 4 through 7 who should be using booster seats to protect them are actually in them. But children ages 4 to 8 who are placed in booster seats are 59 percent less likely to be injured in a car crash than children who are restrained only by a seat belt, according to a study by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

"As children grow, the way they need to be secured in a car, truck, van or SUV changes," Capt. Joe Leiter said. "Moreover, when you’re an expectant mother, it’s important to always wear your seat belt to protect you and your unborn child. Wear the lap belt across your hips and below your belly with the shoulder belt across your chest. Once your child is born, be a role model and continue to buckle up every trip, every time."

For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers simply need to remember and follow the 4 Steps for Kids:

1) For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until a minimum of age 1 and at least 20 pounds;

2) When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at a minimum age 1 and at least 20 pounds) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds);

3) Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9" tall);

4) When children outgrow their booster seats, (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9" tall) they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat, if it fits properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt across the chest).

"This year, during Child Passenger Safety Week, we are working hard to remind all parents, grandparents and child care providers that if their children are under 4’9", they need to be in a booster seat," said Capt. Leiter. "What better way to show you love your children on Valentine’s Day than to make sure they are secured properly. Make it the law in your car - it might actually save your children’s lives."

For more information about Child Passenger Safety Week and the proper use of booster seats, please visit www.BoosterSeat.gov, www.SaferCar.gov  or www.SeatCheck.org.

February 6, 2007

Sheriff's Animal Farm open this Sunday

The Sheriff's Office Animal Farm will be open to the public this Sunday, February 11, 2007, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to visit, free of charge, and see the wide variety of animals at the park, including tropical birds, snakes, ferrets, rabbits, horses, ponies, a llama, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks, an 100 pound tortoise and more. 

The Children's Animal Farm is located at the Stock Island Detention Center, just off of College Road. It is open to the public on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. Groups may make special arrangements to visit the farm as well. Call the Sheriff's Office Detention Center at 305-293-7300 to schedule a visit.