July 31, 2007

National Night Out Events next week

The Sheriff’s Office will be sponsoring three National Night Out events Tuesday, August 7, 2007 and will be participating in a fourth.

National Night Out is a nationwide event which aims to bring neighborhoods together for one night in an effort to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals letting them know our neighborhoods are organized and are fighting back.

July 26, 2007

Sheriff’s Civil Process Division moves to Stock Island

As of Monday, July 30th, the Sheriff’s Civil Process Division will move its location from the Courthouse Complex on Whitehead Street in Key West to the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters Building on Stock Island.

Anyone needing the assistance of the Civil Division can come to the Sheriff’s Office Records window on the second floor of the Sheriff’s Headquarters building, located at 5525 College Road, Stock Island. The new phone number for the division is 305-809-3041 and the fax number is 305-292-7123.

Civil paperwork can still be dropped off at the Monroe County Clerk’s Office on Whitehead Street. Payments for Civil Service can also be dropped off at the Clerk’s Office in the form of  money orders, cashier’s checks, attorney’s checks and personal checks with sufficient identification.

July 23, 2007

Sobriety Checkpoint Scheduled in Marathon

A Sobriety Checkpoint will take place in Marathon Friday, July 27th, 2007.

Deputies will set up the checkpoint at the 50 mile marker of highway U.S. One between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. July 27th. Vehicles will be stopped at regular intervals and drivers will be checked for signs of alcohol consumption, valid driver’s license status and for outstanding warrants. Vehicles will also be checked for safety violations. The Florida Highway Patrol will be assisting with the checkpoint.

July 18, 2007

Traffic Enforcers use hand held devices to uphold the Zero Tolerance law

On the left, Deputy Greg Korzen holding a PBT; on the right, a closeup of the device.

Monroe County - Sheriff's Traffic Enforcement deputies have a new tool to combat drinking and driving: five portable breath testers (PBTs) which can be used to take breath samples on the scene of a traffic stop, accident, sobriety checkpoint or other law enforcement encounter.

The PBTs, purchased with forfeiture funds, will primarily be used to enforce Florida Statute 322.2616, which applies to people under the age of 21 who are found to be in physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .02% or more. Under these circumstances, if a PBT registers.02% or more, the young driver's license may be suspended immediately.

Called the "Zero Tolerance Law", 322.2616 comes into play after a young driver is checked for impairment under statute 316.193 - the normal drunk driving statute which sets impairment at .08%. If there is no probable cause for arrest for DUI, but the officer still sees indications a young person has been drinking alcohol, the officer may then consider 322.2616 as an option.

That is when the PBT is used. If the test reveals a blood alcohol content of .02% or more, the officer will immediately seize the person's driver's license and issue an immediate suspension of the license. For more information on the Zero Tolerance law, and the general order which governs how a deputy should apply it, see General Order 40: Traffic, pages 31 - 33,

July 18, 2007

Sheriff releases list of unclaimed funds

The Sheriff's Office web site, www.keysso.net, is currently featuring a list of unclaimed funds, published pursuant to F.S. 116.21 (2). The money is now in the custody of Richard D. Roth, Sheriff of Monroe County, Florida, and unless such funds are claimed on or before September 1, 2007, they shall be forfeited to Monroe County. The list of unclaimed funds can be found at http://www.keysso.net/admin_divs/financediv/misc/unclaimed_funds.htm.

To make a claim, contact Terry Markham in the Monroe County Sheriff's Office Finance Division via phone at 305-292-7015, by email at tmarkham@keysso.net or send a written claim notice to:

Monroe County Sheriff's Office
Attn: Terry Markham, Finance Division
5525 College Road
Key West, FL 33040

July 18, 2007

Sheriff’s deputies will be watching for violations during sport lobster season next week

Deputies patrol the waters off of Marathon during last year's sport lobster season

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office will have every available deputy out working during the two day sport lobster season July 25 - 26. Sheriff's Office boats will be on the water doing vessel inspections and checking for short lobster, illegally wrung tails and for boaters who are imbibing alcohol while driving their boats. Deputies on land will be checking boat ramps and will be enforcing the Monroe County ordinance which bans lobster hunting within 300 feet of improved shoreline.

"This is a busy time for us, but we're ready for it," said Colonel Rick Ramsay. "We'll be out working alongside the Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Coast Guard to make sure everyone is safe, and is complying with the laws and ordinances regulating this two day sport season."

In addition, Colonel Ramsay says he'll have his traffic enforcement unit out watching for unsafe driving. "We expect to see a lot of people towing boats on trailers and we'll be watching to make sure everyone has the appropriate safety equipment on the trailer, that it is all operating properly that everyone is driving safely."

July 17, 2007

New Captain Selected for the Islamorada District of the Sheriff’s Office

Press Release from Islamorada, Village of Islands

Following an intensive interview/selection process, Village Manager Gary Word announced today that Lieutenant Donald Fanelli Jr., currently second in command of the Key Largo District of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, has been selected as the replacement for Captain Joe Leiter. Lieutenant Fanelli has an excellent background, experience, education and has earned the respect of his peers and members of the community. He is very familiar with the Islamorada community and local District personnel.

Captain Leiter, who has been Captain of the Islamorada District of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office since it was established in 2000, will retire on August 6, 2007. Captain Leiter stated that his role as Captain of the Islamorada District was the best and most challenging assignment that he has had in his 35-year law enforcement career.

Village Manager Word commented that the selection of the new Captain was very difficult. Sheriff Roth submitted resume packages for five excellent candidates to be considered for the position. An interview panel including four members of the community assisted Word with the selection process. The panel included Judy Hull - Executive Director of the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce, David Ritz – President of the Ocean Reef Community Association, Bill O’Brien – Islamorada resident and retired Miami Chief of Police and William Wagner III – Chief of the Islamorada Fire Department.

The interview panel was very pleased with the quality of all of the candidates. Each candidate had an excellent background in law enforcement and presented themselves professionally during the interview process.

July 17, 2007

Animal Farm open Sunday

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Animal Farm invites you to bring the family to visit the Sheriff's Office Animal Farm this Sunday, July 22nd between the hours of 1 and 3 p.m. The farm offers children and adults alike the opportunity to visit a wide variety of animals, including horses, goats, pigs, tropical birds, snakes, rabbits, ferrets, a pony, llama and a 100 pound tortoise.

The Sheriff's Animal Farm has so much to offer and best of all, it is free of charge. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The farm is open the second and fourth Sundays of every month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  It is located at the Stock Island Detention Center, just off of College Road. Groups may make special arrangements to visit the farm as well. Call the Sheriff's Office Detention Center at 305-293-7300 and ask for Farmer Jeanne Selander to schedule a visit.

July 16, 2007

Sobriety Checkpoint Scheduled in Marathon

A Sobriety Checkpoint will take place in Marathon Friday, July 27th, 2007.

Deputies will set up the checkpoint at the 50 mile marker of highway U.S. One between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. July 27th. Vehicles will be stopped at regular intervals and drivers will be checked for signs of alcohol consumption, valid driver’s license status and for outstanding warrants. Vehicles will also be checked for safety violations. The Florida Highway Patrol will be assisting with the checkpoint.

Sheriff offers employee buyouts to reach budget goal

With the goal of cutting an additional five percent from his proposed budget for fiscal year 2007/2008, Sheriff Rick Roth has offered buyouts for select employees. The buyouts have so far resulted in four long time employees leaving, and the elimination of their jobs, saving over $400,000 - not including the savings in benefits, which are considerable.

The buyouts included a Key West Detention Center Captain and Lieutenant; the Sheriff's Training Lieutenant, and a position in the Community Relations Division.

"Offering these buyouts was necessary to reach our budget goals," said Sheriff Rick Roth, "but we regret losing each and every one of these long time, loyal employees."

To date, the Sheriff has cut a total of 26 positions overall, 18 are law enforcement certified positions, two are corrections certified positions and six are non-certified support employees. With these cuts the goal was reached this week, and a total budget of $41,040,082 was presented to the County Commission - $2.16 million less than initially submitted June 1st.

The newest cuts included:

Prior cuts included:

The buyouts were primarily offered to employees whose jobs would then be eliminated. The employees who accepted the buyouts received three months salary, along with the standard reimbursement for vacation and sick time all employees receive when they leave in good standing - pay for any unused vacation and for 25% of their remaining sick time. Sheriff Roth intends to continue offering buyouts to employees, but the buyout must be financially beneficial to the office. The rule of thumb will be: if offering a buyout would pay for itself within the space of a year - either by eliminating a position, or by replacing a high paid employee with one who would receive a lower salary - then it will be considered.