July 31, 2008

Sheriff’s Office offsets budget by returning money to the County

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office offsets the costs of doing business by returning money and free services to the county.

The Monroe County Detention Center rents empty bed space to federal agencies in need of detention services. The rental of this bed space has been happening since the facility opened and over the past seven years has returned an average of  $1.7 million per year – a total of $12,485,350 since fiscal year 2000/2001.  In the first three quarters of this fiscal year, bed space has yielded $1,331,762, well on track to reach the promised goal of $1.6 million for the year.

Bed rental actually began with the opening of the jail in fiscal year 1993/1994. Since that time, a total of $27.9 million dollars has gone into county coffers from jail bed rental. To put that number in perspective, bed rental income has, in effect, paid for more than half of the total $40 million dollar price tag for the construction of the main detention facility on Stock Island.

Many of the empty beds are rented by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement for holding people being federally detained for immigration reasons. The Federal Marshall’s Service also pays to house inmates who are in the Keys attending federal court for trials and appearances.

Sheriff Rick Roth says he is proud of the way his Corrections Division works to maximize the number of beds they can contract out.

“Our Corrections Division constantly monitors the number of beds available and are in frequent contact with federal agencies in an attempt to maximize the number of beds we can fill,” he said. The Sheriff’s Office receives $82.00 per day per person to house federal inmates.

In addition to revenue from bed rentals at the jail, jail trusties work at government buildings and maintain public parks and roadways as well.

In the Detention Center itself, trusties are used to cook for the other inmates, and clean and maintain the inside and outside of the building. So far, in the first three quarters of this fiscal year, trusties have contributed a total of $473,182 worth of services to all three detention facilities when their hours are figured at the minimum wage of $6.67 per hour. In all of 2007, they contributed services valued at $589,094.00 to the three jail facilities.

The Sheriff’s Office administration and law enforcement divisions also use inmates to maintain other buildings and to wash patrol cars and perform other types of maintenance, including painting and some construction and renovation work. In all non-detention Sheriff’s Office facilities during the first three quarters of this fiscal year, trusties have contributed $35,791.00 worth of services.

By far, the largest beneficiary of trusty services outside the Sheriff’s Office is Monroe County Public Works, which uses trusties to maintain parks, public buildings, roadways and to perform many other tasks. For instance, after Hurricane Wilma, Public Works used trusties to perform many of the necessary renovation projects created by the flooding of government buildings in the Keys. In the first three quarters of this fiscal year, Public Works has received $159,695.00 worth of trusty labor. This is all work which would otherwise have to be performed by paid employees, or be contracted out to private business.

Other beneficiaries of trusty labor include Animal Shelters in the Keys, the County Garage facilities, the Safe Zone on Stock Island, the Sheriff’s Animal Farm, the city of Marathon and the U.S. Coast Guard.

July 30, 2008

National Night Out Events in the Keys - A National Night Out Event is coming to a neighborhood near you!

On Tuesday, August 5th the Sheriff’s Office is asking neighbors in the Florida Keys to turn out and meet each other and their local law enforcement agency at a number of different events throughout the Florida Keys. The goal of National Night Out, a nationwide program, is bringing the community together to learn about crime prevention, to get to know each other and to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police–community partnerships.

In Islamorada, the Sheriff’s Office is sponsoring an event which Captain Don Fanelli says will be bigger and better than ever before. It will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Founders Park in Islamorada. Everyone is welcome to attend and participate in family events and enjoy the free food and beverages. The Sheriff’s Mobile Command Post will be there available for tours, along with the Bomb Squad, the Special Weapons and Tactics Team, and the Dive Unit. Islamorada Command Staff will be there to meet and greet the community and answer questions about the Sheriff’s Office and Crime Prevention. The Masonic Lodge will be doing video DVD Child Identification Kits including fingerprints, photographs and collecting other identifying information. The Islamorada Fire Department will be displaying their apparatus and will be available to answer questions.

In Key Largo, the Sheriff's Office will sponsor an event from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Key Largo Community Park. Captain Don Hiller and Lieutenant Corey Bryan want to invite the entire community to attend the free event, which will feature hot dogs, hamburgers, desserts, and refreshments. The Sheriff's Office will have extensive Crime Prevention Information to share at the event. Monroe County firefighters, paramedics, the Sheriff's Bomb Squad, Dive Team and the Special Weapons and Tactics team will all be there as well. There will be entertainment and lots of fun for adults and kids alike.

In Marathon, the Sheriff’s Office and Community Blood Centers of South Florida have planned a Blood Drive complete with a free mini-physical and cholesterol check from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Community Park in Marathon from 4 to 8 p.m. The Sheriff’s Office together with the City Of Marathon have issued a friendly challenge to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard to see which of the two groups can donate the most blood between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. with a large trophy going to the winners.

In Key West, the Sheriff’s Office will participate in a National Night Out event sponsored by the City of Key West and the U.S. Navy. The event is taking place from 5 to 9 p.m. at the field on Fort Street behind the 800 Emma Street apartment complex in downtown Key West. There is plenty of parking available and the Sheriff’s Office will be on hand with animals from the Sheriff’s Animal Farm, a Crime Prevention specialist, and deputies representing the Sheriff’s Traffic Enforcement Division and Marine Division. Representatives of other law enforcement agencies, the Navy, Firefighters and other civic groups will also be on hand. The event will also feature a bounce house, games, arts and crafts, live local bands and lots of food. It should be great fun for the whole family.

July 28, 2008

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, 2008, 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 23, 2008

Sheriff's Animal Farm open Sunday, July 27th

The Sheriff's Office Animal Farm will be open to the public Sunday, July 27th, 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, an Emu, an Albino Hedgehog, Patagonian Cavys 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.

July 15, 2008

National Night Out in Islamorada

The Islamorada Sheriff’s Office is sponsoring a National Night Out event on August 5th, with the goal of bringing the community together to learn about crime prevention, to get to know each other and to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police–community partnerships.

Captain Don Fanelli says this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever before. It will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Founders Park in Islamorada. Everyone is welcome to attend and participate in family events and enjoy the free food and beverages. The Sheriff’s Mobile Command Post will be there available for tours, along with the Bomb Squad, the Special Weapons and Tactics Team, and the Dive Unit. Islamorada Command Staff will be there to meet and greet the community and answer questions about the Sheriff’s Office and Crime Prevention.

The Masonic Lodge will be doing video DVD Child Identification Kits including fingerprints, photographs and collecting other identifying information. The Islamorada Fire Department will be displaying their apparatus and will be available to answer questions.

“I am a big believer that a partnership between law enforcement and community is invaluable,” said Captain Don Fanelli. “We cannot be everywhere all the time so having citizens who are educated in methods of crime prevention that can be our eyes and ears is essential to having a safe community. This event is an opportunity to bring some of that education to the public in a fun way. I encourage all of Islamorada to attend.”

National Night Out Event in Key Largo

The Key Largo Sheriff's Office will sponsor a National Night Out Event August 5th at the Key Largo Community Park.

Captain Don Hiller and Lieutenant Corey Bryan want to invite the entire community to attend the free event, which will feature hot dogs, hamburgers, desserts, and refreshments.

The goal of the event is to bring the ocmmunity together to meet each other, and to discuss how we can all make our neighborhoods safer and more secure in the future. The Sheriff's Office will have extensive Crime Prevention Information to share at the event. Monroe County firefighters, paramedics, the Sheriff's Bomb Squad, Dive Team and the Special Weapons and Tactics team will all be there as well.

There will be entertainment and lots of fun for adults and kids alike. The event will take place at the park from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. so put it on your calendar now.

July 14, 2008

Keys Cops for Kids

This years Florida Keys Kids Classic Fishing Tournament was held on July 12, 2008. The event was held at the Aqua Ranch on Grassy Key.

A total of 42 kids and numerous adults participated. All who participated had a great day of fishing. The weather was great as well as the fishing. The kids had a great time spending time with their families fishing, eating snow cones and popcorn provided by TIB Bank. They also had a good time receiving their trophies and having pizza afterwards.

A total of 48 thophies were given out. Each kid also received a gift bag containing Penn fishing patches and some other items. This years sponsors were The Citizen, Ragged Edge Resort, TIB Bank, Theater Of The Sea, Holiday Isle, Pelican Cove Resort and the Whistle Stop. Our trophies came from Collectors Corner.

This years winners in the 2-12 year age group were, 1st place Taylor Poole, 2nd place Zech Rock, 3rd place Michael Lovaton. In the 13-17 year age group our 1st place winner was Santiago Lovaton, 2nd place Camillo Lovaton and 3rd place went to Taylor Costa.

At this years tournament we also held a blood drive. The blood mobile collected a total of 12 pints of blood in just three hours. Each donor received a free t-shirt with marine art by Pasta Pantaleo. F.W.C. Officer Weeks  was our lucky raffle winner. He walked away with a $250.00 gift certificate to the Hampton Inn & Suites in Islamorada.

Special thanks go out to Deputy Jon Huff, Deputy Amanda Coleman and Gabriele Peihler. Also a big thank you to David Perry, Michael Thelus and Gerry Pinson. These three took time to be there , not to fish but to help others bait hooks, assist with tackle, unhook fish, measure fish, set up and clean up afterwards.

Also thank you to our sponsors for allowing us to make this a free tournament for the fourth year in a row.

If you would like more information on Keys Cops for Kids you can visit our web site at www.myspace.com/keyscops or send a e-mail to keyscopsforkids@yahoo.com

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July 10, 2008

Bike Safety Week at Islamorada children's center

Kids at St. James Children's Center in Islamorada learned about how to ride their bicycles and tricycles safely during "Bike Safety" week at the school this week.

On July 10th, Deputy Ray Jodlowski taught them about bike safety and proper riding techniques. The class in bike safety was followed by an opportunity to practice what they learned in a bike / trike-a-thon which raised money for St. Jude's Research Hospital.

July 3, 2008

Move Over Law Enforcement Effort a Success

In Monroe County, during the week of June 23 – 29th, the Sheriff’s Traffic Enforcement Unit participated in the state-wide effort. The Traffic Unit issued 53 warnings for Move Over violations, and wrote 48 citations.

Traffic Enforcement Sergeant Kevin Mimosa said he was encouraged at what he saw during the week. He said he is finally beginning to see more people complying with this law and moving over when they see emergency vehicles with their lights engaged at road side.

July 1, 2008

July 4th weekend expected to be busy

With events taking place throughout the Keys this weekend the Sheriff’s Office anticipates a busy few days over the Fourth of July holidays.

In the Key Largo area, there is a Fourth of July parade in Key Largo which will slow traffic on the highway beginning at 9:30 a.m. Deputies have been hired by the event coordinators to keep the festivities flowing smoothly, however. Sector Commander Don Hiller says he will also have his officers paying close attention to traffic throughout the weekend, and will have his two boats out patrolling as well, in the interests of safety.

In Islamorada, Sector Commander Donnie Fanelli is expecting a heavy traffic weekend, and many people out on the water having a good time. His officers will also be concentrating their efforts on traffic patrol, and his boat patrol deputies will be out on the water all weekend as well, maintaining safety in his area. A fireworks display at Holiday Isle Friday night and a picnic at Founders Park Friday afternoon will most likely cause some traffic delays.

In Marathon, on the Fourth of July,  most community events will take place on Sombrero Beach and on Sombrero Boulevard. Sector Commander Bob Peryam says his officers will be paying close attention to this area on Friday to make sure everyone is safe. The rest of the weekend, deputies in Marathon will pay close attention to traffic safety as well as safety on the waters.

In the lower Keys, most of the events for the Fourth of July take place in Key West, but a fireworks display on Lower Sugarloaf Key will most likely cause a few delays Friday night. Sector Commander Chad Scibilia warns everyone to stay sober and stay safe. His deputies will be watching for violators on the road and on the water as well.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, there were lengthy traffic delays due to the number of cars on the roadway as everyone visiting tried to leave the county on Monday afternoon. Traffic is once again expected to be heavy this weekend, with the heaviest traffic expected Sunday afternoon. People should give themselves extra driving time and  remember, if traffic is heavy on U.S. One in Key Largo, State Road 905 leading to Card Sound Road is an alternative route to the 18 mile stretch for drivers exiting the Keys.