February 27, 2008

Crime Watch Chairperson of the Year

Louie Collazo, Crime Watch Chairperson at Meridian West Apartments on Stock Island for the past three years was recently chosen as the Sheriff’s Office Crime Watch Chairperson of the year for 2007. Collazo shows great dedication to this purely volunteer position. In the three years he has served, he has personally chaired every monthly meeting. He also expends great effort setting up frequent events and outings for the children of the neighborhood, including visits  to the Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm. Thanks in part to the very active Crime Watch, the Meridian West Apartment complex enjoys a very low rate of crime. Left to right, Sheriff’s Lt. Mitch Snider, Louie Collazo and Sheriff’s Office Colonel Rick Ramsay.

February 26, 2008

Explorers learn about the courts

In the picture, from left to right is Explorer James Aurelio, Justice Peggy Quince, Explorer Fallon Martin and Explorer Daniel Guenther.  Sheriff’s Office Explorers had the opportunity recently to meet Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince at Marathon High School when she gave them and other students a taste of what it is like to be a judge.  They were given the opportunity to work through an appellate court case as if they were the seated judges and they participated in a discussion about the Fourth Amendment.

New detective in Marathon

The middle Keys Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Unit welcomes a new addition:  Dep. Harry Boyden was recently given his detective badge by Capt. Bob Peryam at the Marathon sub-station.  Lt. Lou Caputo and Sgt. James Norman were present to congratulate Dep. Boyden on his new position.  Deputy Boyden has served in Marathon as a road patrol deputy and was also a member of the city of Marathon Marine Unit. 

February 19, 2008

Animal Farm open this Sunday
Easter Event scheduled for March 16th


The Sheriff's Office Animal Farm will be open to the public Sunday, February 24th, 2008, 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, a 100 pound tortoise and more. 

In addition, Farmer Jeanne Selander would like to remind everyone of the annual Easter on the Animal Farm event, coming up March 16th from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Mark your calendar now and don’t miss this opportunity to spend the day with the animals, hunt for Easter eggs on the farm and have your child’s photo taken with the Easter Bunny! The Egg Hunt is always very popular and will start right at 1 p.m. so make sure you are there on time, with an Easter basket in hand, if your child would like to hunt for eggs. Because of the Easter event, March 16th is the only day in that month when the farm will be open.

There are some new additions at the farm to visit. Farmer Selander recently acquired a baby Albino Hedgehog that is as cute as can be, although he is still a little shy around people, and two baby Emu chicks which just arrived over the weekend and are sure to be a big hit. In addition, the Cavys at the farm have moved out of the Aviary and are now housed in their very own habitat, making it easier to view their activities.

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. Call the Sheriff's Office Detention Center at 305-293-7300 to schedule a visit.

February 11, 2008

Cadet/Explorer Post participates in traffic training

Cadets learn to use a laser speed measurement device.
Click here to see more photos

Cadets and Explorers in the Upper Keys Post 905 spent time last Wednesday training in various aspects of traffic enforcement.

Sheriff’s Cadets and Explorers are made up of kids interested in learning about law enforcement, many with an eye toward becoming a law enforcement officer one day. A number of current employees of the Sheriff’s Office started out as members of a Sheriff’s Cadet/Explorer post.

Traffic Enforcement Deputies Jason Keith and Nick Pham along with Islamorada Deputy Ray Jodlowski all assisted with the training, along with SROs Deputy Beverly Brazil, Laura Migala and Larry O’Neill, who are advisors to the post. The Cadets and Explorers had the opportunity to learn about Laser Speed Measurement, measuring window tinting and they participated in an actual traffic stop which resulted in a number of traffic citations including the driver having a suspended driver’s license.

Laser Speed measurement class this week

Local law enforcement agencies will be conducting a Laser Speed Measurement class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Lower Keys travelers will see groups of officers gathered in several areas for the hands on portion of the class. On Tuesday, between 3 and 6 p.m. and on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., students will learn Radar operations and will be practicing with stationary and moving radar in the school zones in Key West and on Stock Island, followed by the areas around the Key West Airport and the Boca Chica Bridge. The same areas will be used Thursday afternoon when the class continues practicing the use of Laser Speed Measurement equipment.

The students themselves will not be qualified to issue citations because they are not yet certified in use of the radar and laser devices, however there will be Key West and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office traffic enforcement units in each area as well to assist with speed measurement and to cite violators if necessary.

Officers from Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Sheriff’s Office and Key West Police will be participating in the class.

February 8, 2008

Sheriff honors Employees of the Quarter

In the photo, left to right, Deputy Dave Chavka, Reserve Deputy Kevin McCracken,
Detention Deputy Zacharias Reis, Paula Wachob, Joni Greene and Colonel Rick Ramsay.
Cadet Aurelio is not pictured.
Click here to see more photos

At a ceremony held last week in Marathon, the Sheriff’s Office honored it’s employees of the fourth quarter of 2007. The honorees were Deputy Sheriff David Chavka, assigned to the lower Keys Sector; Detention Deputy Zacharias Reis, assigned to the Stock Island Detention Center; Communications Officer Joni Greene; Support Employee Paula Wachob, assigned to the warrants division at headquarters; Reserve Deputy Kevin McCracken, who volunteers primarily in Marathon; and Cadet James Aurelio.

February 6, 2008

Trauma Star has its busiest month ever in January

The Sheriff’s Trauma Star helicopter and its crew worked hard in January in what has turned out to be its busiest month ever when it comes to trauma calls.
In January, Trauma Star:

Among those trauma patients transported were two severe injuries from a plane crash off shore of Marathon, one person transported from an automobile accident in Marathon on that same date that left two others dead; and two patients transported from an accident on January 16th on Grassy Key.

 In addition to manning helicopter flights, Trauma Star Flight Nurses are also teaching CPR to the Sheriff’s Office Communications Division and to local community groups including the teachers at area schools. They are also teaching First Responder training updates in the Sheriff’s Office Annual Retraining Module. The Annual Retraining Module – or ARM – is a required two day training for all certified law enforcement officers in the Sheriff’s Office which is offered monthly. The nurses also spent time instructing Monroe County Fire Rescue on Emergency Care for victims of Dive Emergencies, and have given flu shots to Monroe County Fire Rescue members as well.

February is shaping up to be busy as well, with a number of calls for service in the first few days. Among those, Trauma Star transported the victim of an electrical shock on Conch Key February 1st and on Tuesday, the trauma helicopter flew a burn victim – the victim of a flash fire from an alcohol stove – from Big Pine Key to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

February 5, 2008

Traffic Enforcement to increase in Islamorada

Islamorada – Sheriff’s deputies in Islamorada are being asked to step up their enforcement of traffic laws, in response to heavier traffic on the highway during the current tourist season, and in response to citizen complaints.

“I’ve received numerous calls from people about the increase in traffic, and about some specific traffic related issues in Islamorada right now,” said Captain Don Fanelli, Sector Commander in Islamorada. “Specifically, in response to complaints, I’m asking my officers to pay close attention to speeding on the old highway, running stop signs near Coral Shores High School and in the area of Venetian Shores,” he said.

In addition, during tourist season, there is always an increase in people passing in no passing zones – particularly in the middle turn lane that runs through Islamorada - and speeding in general, so those will also be areas of concentration for deputies on patrol.

“This is fair warning to citizens of Islamorada, and those who travel through our city – we’ll be paying extra attention and will be pulling you over if we see a violation,” Fanelli said.

February 5, 2008

Child safety seat checks are being held in Monroe County next week at the following locations.

People who have child safety seats can stop by and have the seats – and their installation of them – checked for free.

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).

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

February 5, 2008

Sheriff's Animal Farm open this Sunday

The Sheriff's Office Animal Farm will be open to the public Sunday, February 10th, 2008, 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, a 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. Call the Sheriff's Office Detention Center at 305-293-7300 to schedule a visit.