Table of Contents
A Clean Up on Stock Island September 15th resulted in
four dumpsters full of debris being collected in the Lincoln Gardens
Crime Watch Area. Assisting in the cleanup was Crime Watch
Coordinator Deputy Emil LaVache, Community Relations Director
Greg Artman, Members of Monroe County Public Works and
trustees from the Monroe County Detention Center.
Lets move on, get along
The primary election for the Office of Sheriff is over now that the Republican primary is past. While I still face candidate Bob Horan, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who supported me and donated his or her personal time and efforts in my race thus far. I would also like to ask everyone in the Sheriffs Office to put aside any personal issues that may have resulted from the election and make a real effort to move on and forget about any political differences which may have cropped up over the past few months.
Politics can, unfortunately, be divisive. I dont think this election was nearly as disruptive to our agency as the last one was, but I would like for us all to remember that, no matter what side of the politics we fall on individually, we all have to work together on a daily basis and I hope we can do that amiably, without resentment or anger at one another.
After all, being in the field of law enforcement we all have the same goal: to make our community a safer one for the citizens who live here. If we keep that goal in mind, and forget all the rest of the political clutter, we will continue to have one of the best, most professional law enforcement agencies in the country.
There are many things in our agency to be excited about, and I hope you all share my enthusiasm for those things.
The tremendous $25 million dollar federal seizure money that will allow us to do a number of things that will make all of our lives better.
Soon you will all see a new radio system that will make our officers on the street safer through more reliable communications.
As soon as the county gets their medical services personnel properly trained we will have a fully functional air ambulance which will mean faster response times to serious accidents county-wide and the ability to transport critical injuries directly from the scene. Road Patrol officers in particular will appreciate the fact that if we ever have another officer involved shooting (God forbid), the air ambulance will be able to take the injured officer swiftly and surely to the nearest and best equipped trauma hospital in Miami.
Upper Keys personnel will surely appreciate the purchase of the old Mariners Hospital Building that will house the new and much needed Plantation Key Substation.
We all understand and appreciate the need for a Juvenile Detention Facility in the Florida Keys. The federal seizure money will ensure that such a facility will be built adjacent to the Detention Center on Stock Island so we can house our troubled youth more closely to their homes and families.
We have already made many smaller purchases that have enhanced our ability to perform our duties. Future federal seizures will help us continue in this vein, despite the countys monetary difficulties and the continuous budget cutbacks we face.
Our new SMARTCOP program is already producing rave reviews from citizens and I have seen distinct attitude changes in many of our officers as well. We all tend to be resistant to change, but when change is forced upon us we often find it is a good thing. I think this is the case with the SMARTCOP program. The initial change made people nervous, with its focus on individual accountability and the increased pressure to perform. I think most of us are finding out that getting back to the community and getting to know the citizens we serve is both enjoyable and rewarding. I truly believe the new program will also prove to be effective. That effectiveness should show up in a continued decrease in our crime rate.
In the meantime, lets all make a real effort to get along. If there are any hard feelings as a result of this years election, lets put them behind us and concentrate on the future.
Ask the Administration
Question 1:I would like some clarification on what exactly is the job of Quality Control Officer. Does quality control have the same function as Internal Affairs division? Can quality control call your neighbors or co-workers (even if you dont work there) about you? Im really confused about this issue. I thought internal affairs performs these tasks. I thought that was why the title was changed from Investigator to Quality Control Officer. Please set the record straight on who investigates officers. Thank you for your time.
Answered by Lt. Cindy Peryam: Anyone can be designated by the appropriate authority to do administrative investigations and this was the case with the quality control officer, who was assigned by Major Tommy Taylor to perform the duties of institutional investigator. Just an update: this particular position has been abolished and the person has been permanently assigned to the Internal Affairs Division.
Question 2: This is a letter to ask for a substantial raise this year. Im worried about several things. The Insurance Commissioner of Florida tried to block a 300% increase in Windstorm insurance rates. This was unsuccessful and now Florida Windstorm will increase rates by 300% over the next few years. I am a homeowner, living week to week and this will be very difficult, probably resulting in my house payment going up to cover this cost. I am also worried about the health insurance benefits being reduced. I can see this coming. I always thought the longer you worked, the easier it got. It feels like Im going backward here in Monroe County. Can you help?
Answered by Sheriff Roth: It appears we will be successful in getting a 6% salary increase this year. By the time the Rap Sheet is out, you will probably know. I think this is a substantial raise on top of the 8% we received last year. That's a 14% increase, which is about 8% over the cost of living for those 2 years. When you read this, if there are any public budget hearings scheduled, it would be a good idea to attend.
Question 3: There is a shift incentive pay for having educational degrees (i.e. AA, BA, BS, Masters, etc.). Why dont they give an incentive pay for bi-lingual officers, both detention and records, who use their talents on a daily basis translating for inmates who do not speak English?
Answered by Sheriff Roth: What you are asking for is pay for a special talent. If we started that, we would have to pay for computer skills, typing skills and other functions that are part of our routine. If you wish, you are entitled to a Special Assignment Ribbon for your uniform.
Question 4: Im really confused on an issue that came up about who is authorized to write disciplinary reports on inmates (for the audience who does not know what that means, its a way to control inmates by taking privileges away and/or locking them down for several days when they do something wrong). I was informed that people who work for court security (road patrol officers) are not allowed to write discipline reports. That once they enter the courtroom, they are no longer Corrections and should be dealt with differently. I was informed that if an inmate causes problems in court, then the Judge should hold them in contempt of court and if the Judge has already left the courtroom that court security should charge the inmate with a crime. The only reason Im writing this is because Im very confused on this issue. Let me explain. If an inmate goes out to work with public works/special forces and does something (disrespect to officials, smoking, etc.) then public works/special forces can return the inmate to the jail and write a discipline report. If an inmate goes to an outside doctor and causes a disturbance in the doctors office, the inmate can receive a discipline report. The only exception is if the inmate goes to court. I find this to be very frustrating, so I researched it. There is no policy on who is authorized to write them and who is not. Why would the jail want to clog the already clogged legal system with contempt charges and charges from court security? I believe that if we address this with internal discipline, it would be more intelligent and less time consuming and just as effective.
Answered by Major Tommy Taylor: First of all let me say thank you for the question regarding who is authorized to write a disciplinary report on inmates. Simply put, Corrections staff and Inmate trustee supervisors. It is the policy of the Monroe County Sheriffs Office detention facility to establish the methods to be used when it is necessary to take disciplinary action against inmates who have violated facility rules and regulations. The disciplinary report was established for correctional use only; to hold inmates accountable for violating jail rules. These rules cover inmates within the facilities, being transferred by Bureau of Corrections transportation units as well as inmates that are trustees and working outside the facility. In essence, inmate trusties that are assigned to county public works and non-profit organizations that have received inmate trustee supervisory training. The reason for this is that trustee supervisors have no other means to keep the inmate under control while in their custody. When inmates are turned over to a court bailiff, the control and discipline of the inmate is within the control of the court and the judge who can direct his or her bailiff to take appropriate action to control or discipline the inmate by adding new charges is necessary. Discipline within the courtroom is the judges call.
It is my understanding from information obtained from bailiffs supervisors that if an inmate becomes out of control, they are returned to the jail with or without added court charges. Bailiffs do not use inmate disciplinary action reports. DRs are for Correctional use only.
Question 5: I was told by Human Resources that the Sheriff's Office no longer pays for Hepatitis Shots for employees. This is of great concern to me - it is a highly contagious disease and once a person is infected they are a carrier for life. It is fairly easy to contract it in a jail environment and those of us who have children are especially concerned.
Would you please explain what motivated you to stop paying for these life-saving shots that are so important to the well being of your employees?
Answered by Executive Director Mike Scott: The Sheriffs Office pays for Hepatitis Shots for certified employees because of their potential risk of exposure. We have no provision for payment for non-certified staff because their level of exposure is minimal to none.
Guidelines for using Sheriffs e-mail and Internet
Now that many Sheriffs Office employees have direct access to e-mail and the Internet at work, it is time to discuss the proper use of these tools.
First of all, you should know up front that your e-mail and Internet usage is being monitored. The Division of Information Management has the ability to monitor anyones e-mail and see which sites people are visiting on the Internet and how much time they are spending there. Consider this a fair warning: you shouldnt put anything in your e-mail you dont want others to read. You also should not visit Internet sites that are inappropriate.
Under Florida Public Information Law, e-mail sent or received over the Sheriffs Office network is a public document. Not only can the Sheriffs Office monitor everything you send or receive via e-mail, but the public (including the news media) is entitled to see e-mails sent or received from the Sheriffs Office. You should file and save e-mail documents just as you would any other paper document in your office. Simply deleting an e-mail document wont completely erase it either Information Management keeps back up records of all documents on our network.
Information Management also has the ability to track every Internet site anyone on the network has visited. This means if you are surfing the net instead of working, you could easily get caught. If you are at your desk during working hours, you should only be using your Internet access for work related issues.
Now that the warnings are out of the way, lets discuss what you CAN do with your e-mail and Internet access. The Sheriffs Office has no problem with you spending a few minutes checking your bank account, or making a quick purchase from an on-line retailer. The Sheriffs Office has no problem with you sending an e-mail to your mother, your father, your brother or your best friend. You can even read an on-line newspaper, magazine or browse various web sites. Just make sure you do it on your own time, at lunch, or before or after work.
There are obvious prohibitions. NEVER visit a site that is pornographic or which deals with questionable subject matter like hard-core violence or on-line gambling. The exception to this rule would be detectives who need to access sites to aid in an investigation, and then their supervisors should clear the Internet usage ahead of time.
The main thing is: use your head. We are all in law enforcement, so stay away from any web sites that are inappropriate for someone in our business.
We have already counseled a few people for spending too much time on the Internet during hours they should have been working. The Internet is a tool that can aid us in our ability to communicate. Tools can improve our lives and make them easier, but tools can also be abused. Keep this in mind as we bring our agency into the Age of the Internet.
Federal Court orders for forfeiture of Pegg Trust
From the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Florida
In an order dated July 25th, 2000, Federal District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley granted the United States Summary Judgment motion seeking forfeiture of a $607,422.79 trust account created almost 20 years ago by convicted Florida drug trafficker Joe Harry Pegg.
Pegg, after being arrested and pleading guilty in 1981 to smuggling millions of pounds of marijuana into the southeastern United States, secretly created and funded the Pegg Trust. During the next five years, Pegg, who was incarcerated from 1982 to 1985, deposited more than $600,000 in drug proceeds into the trust account held at a southern Florida bank. Pegg never disclosed the existence of the Pegg Trust, despite his plea agreement to voluntarily identify all of his assets and to forfeit all drug-derived property.
Guy Lewis, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, congratulated the efforts of Customs Special Agent Linda L. Hunt and Monroe County Sheriffs Inspector Charles L. Visco for their work in uncovering the existence and location of the Pegg Trust, which was not listed in official records until the late 1990s.
The governments complaint for forfeiture was filed in 1998. During discovery, Pegg refused to provide any information regarding the trust, and asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege to remain silent at his deposition. Pegg is currently appealing his conviction in the Middle District of Florida for drug trafficking activities in the 1990s.
Mr. Lewis commended the work of the Customs Service and Monroe County Sheriffs Office. The case is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Ray.
Sheriffs employees take medals in International games
Monroe County Employees of the Monroe County Sheriffs Office took home 11 medals from the International Law Enforcement Olympics last week, including three gold medals for shooting and for bowling.
The International Law Enforcement Olympics was held in Cocoa Beach, Florida and pitted law enforcement employees from around the world against each other in both single and team events such as shooting, bowling, ping pong, golf, arm wrestling, weight lifting and the toughest cop alive event. The Toughest Cop event includes a 5-k run, shot put, 100-meter dash, 100-meter swim, 20-foot rope climb without using legs, bench press with free weights, chin-ups and an obstacle course.
Every year, employees of the Sheriffs Office are allowed to participate in either Florida Law Enforcement Olympics, National Law Enforcement Olympics, or the International games, whichever Olympics are being held in the State of Florida. This year, 21 employees attended the games. Employees who took home medals include:
Information Management Director Jim Painter received a Silver Medal in the Toughest Cop Alive competition
Detention Deputy Jim Shegren received a Gold Medal in Shotgun Trap shooting, a Gold Medal in Skeet Shotgun shooting and a Silver Medal Riot Shotgun Trap shooting
Detention Deputy John Whortenbury received a Bronze Medal in Three Point Shooting and a Bronze Medal in 2 man team, Three Point Shooting
Detective Sgt. Donnie Elomina received a Silver Medal in Arm Wrestling
Detention Financial Asst. Dorothy Child won a Gold Medal for Singles Bowling
Training Div. Secretary Lynn Christian received a Bronze Medal in Singles Bowling and Lynn and Brian Christian won a Silver Medal in Doubles Bowling
Detention Dep. Liz Heiter and husband, Kurt received a Bronze Medal for Team Bowling
Commendations and Awards
Employees of the Second Quarter
Recently, the Sheriffs Staff met and took into consideration those nominations for Officer/Member of the Quarter that were submitted for the Second Quarter of 2000.
As a result of this consideration the following members were selected:
Sworn Officer of the Quarter: Sergeant Donnie Fanelli, Bureau of Operations, Division III, Road Patrol
Donnie has been a member of the Sheriffs Office since April 22, 1986. Over the past several months, Donnie has developed, organized and presented the Citizens Video Awareness Program. This video will allow our agency to educate citizens of Monroe County in protecting themselves and their property from criminal acts. Donnie initiated and organized meetings where he met with Zone 303 deputies and the Crime Watch Chairmen and was able to provide them with a better understanding of our Community Based Policing philosophies and the SMARTCOP Program. Donnie initiated and coordinated press coverage for several clean up activities in the Sexton Cove and Lake Surprise Subdivisions, and initiated two new Crime Watch Chapters in Lake Surprise and Sunny Highlands Subdivision. Donnie took it upon himself to join and participate in the Citizens Traffic Safety Council in order to gain citizen support and input into areas of concern related to traffic and fatality issues.
Support Member of the Quarter: Planning & Research Assistant Val Marinello, Bureau of Administration, Division V, Planning & Research Division (Val is now Executive Assistant to the Sheriff where she shows the same dedication to her job!)
Val has been a member of the Sheriffs Office since October 28, 1996. Val is known for the quality and thoroughness of her work. If a problem arises while working on a project, Val will take the initiative to solve and correct that problem. Val contributes to the agencys goals, maintains a positive, respectful attitude and consistently demonstrates courtesy and cooperation. Recently, on June 12, 2000, Val was the first to arrive on the scene of a two-vehicle accident, which involved children who were seriously injured. Val was able to provide assistance to the distraught parents and aided in the care of the children until paramedics arrived.
Corrections Member of the Quarter: Sergeant Leslie Menapace, Bureau of Corrections, Division VI, Main Detention Facility
Leslie has been a member of the Sheriffs Office since May 11, 1995. Recently, the Main Detention Facility implemented an in-house drug-testing program. With new equipment used to test inmates for drug use, Leslie has been able to curb the amount of narcotics being used by inmates who participate in our trusty work release program by randomly conducting drug tests. Leslie was also instrumental in the implementation of stricter disciplinary guidelines for those inmates who have been found to violate the facilities rules and regulations.
Reserve Officer of the Quarter: Reserve Captain Glen McDaniel, Bureau of Operations, Division IV, Reserve Section
Glen has been a member of the Sheriffs Office since 1994 and was selected as our Reserve Sergeant of the Fourth Quarter in 1998. Over the past year, Glen has been working diligently to enhance our reserve operation by recruiting individuals and involving the district in a cooperative effort. Since the beginning of this fiscal year, Glen has volunteered in excess of 900 hours, 650 hours since January 1st. From parades, festivals, DUI checkpoints, parking enforcement, to backing up our officers Glen is there.
Explorer of the Quarter: Explorer Lieutenant Michael Barry, Bureau of Operations, Explorer/Cadet Section
Explorer Lieutenant Michael Barry was selected for this award as a result of his commitment to professional service. Michael has been a member of the post for the past seven years. He is a senior at Coral Shores High School where he maintains a 3.0 grade point average and is a member of the band. Michael was selected as explorer of the quarter because of his efforts to train and motivate the younger cadets within the program. Michael has unselfishly devoted many hours to the program and hopes to attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy after graduation next year. Michael should be commended for his actions, professionalism, and the service oriented approach he takes within the Explorer Post.
I hope you will join me in expressing your appreciation to these members for their efforts.
Bureau of Operations
Sgt. Vaughn Sommers participated in a clean up
of the Stock Island area September 15th. Good work, Vaughn!
District One deputies clean up Stock Island
By Sgt. Vaughn Sommers
I would like to take this opportunity to thank six lower Keys deputies who have worked hard to clean up the Stock Island area over the past few months.
Deputy Geni Hernandez has worked hard to remove abandoned cars in our zone. She designed and implemented a program to warn the owners of abandoned cars to remove them or be arrested. To date, the warnings are responsible for owners removing 65 abandoned cars themselves, at virtually no cost to taxpayers (except the cost of postage to send the warning!). Geni has had 35 additional cars towed herself. A number of warrants have been signed for people who refuse to comply and at least one person has actually been arrested for felony illegal dumping. Good work, Geni!
Deputy Matt Dowling tackled a long-standing problem when he took on the task of cleaning up the Key Haven Boat Ramp. The area had been damaged during the last hurricane and has become a haven for homeless people, drug peddlers and a dumping ground for garbage and derelict vessels. Normal patrol procedures had failed to solve the problem, so Matt planned and organized a massive cleanup of the boat ramp, coordinating county and state agencies to get the job done. Looks great, Matt!
Deputies James Williams, Jan Smiarowski, Butch Albury and Jorge Morffi have all been working together to help improve the quality of life for residents in the area of 5th Streets and 12th Avenue. That area has a perpetual problem behind the barricades, where many homeless people live, dump their garbage and dispose of other waste as well. The area is also well known for drug use and sales, all of which leads to other crime that, in the past, has included battery, assault, aggravated battery, theft and even attempted murder.
These deputies have volunteered to take on this task and, to date, have begun cleaning up public areas and attempting to get property owners to post their property with no trespassing signs. Their ongoing efforts bring credit to the Sheriffs Office.
Division III Rap Sheet
By Captain Jennifer Bell-Thomson
Lt. Moran has taken off for Quantico to the FBI Academy so I will be filling in on the Rap Sheet submissions and any other duties I cant delegate (push off) on someone else!
Were happy to welcome several new folks: Bradley Sriro and James McLaughlin who will be assigned the area formerly known as Division III; and William Leird and Shelia Seago both from the jail, who are training for eventual release to Islamorada.. Additionally, we are welcoming back into the fold Chris Nicholls, former PK, former central, communications officers. Glad to have you all on board.
What we made up for in new people we lost (at least temporarily) on injuries: Sgt. Fanelli, Flo Williams, Art Ortolani, and Louis Robison are all out with injuries. Speedy recovery to you all - PLEASE!!!!
I was very pleased to review last months citizen survey cards - twenty-two were returned and all had positive responses from citizens who received our services recently. Thanks to all involved for your hard work.
As this will probably be the last Rap Sheet submission from what is now Division III, Id like to say farewell to those transferring to the Village and to Special Operations. Sector 7 members and support staff are committed to a smooth transition and to any assistance we can provide you, just let us know what we can do.
Plans for our new building are moving along nicely. Sheriff Roth has kindly kept me up-to-date on any activity at Key West Public Works, who is responsible for coordinating the renovation. At the next commission meeting an approval will be sought to advertise for proposals so that an architect can be chosen. Once that happens the users group will begin regular meetings to determine the needs of the agencies who will be in the building.
Following is my wish list for the space we will be getting. These areas that are in addition to what we already have here. The gym; locker/shower rooms; training room outfitted with computer and telephone lines; interview room; interrogation room; lab; real squad room; break room; storage; and a conference room sufficient for 20 people that will be available for use by the general public and other agencies. I think that these requests are reasonable, and the Sheriff agrees with me, so if everything goes according to plan and the space is sufficient, I dont see a problem in achieving those goals. Ill keep you informed.
Until next time, have a safe and productive month.
Sheriff names new Islamorada Sergeants
Sheriff Rick Roth and Village Manager Charles Baldwin
congratulate the two new Sergeants. Left to right, Sheriff Roth,
Sgt. Dave Stark, Sgt. Tim Hurd and Charles Baldwin.
Two Sergeants have been assigned to work as supervisors in Islamorada in compliance with contracts signed between the Sheriff's Office and the Village of Islands. The Sergeants will report directly to Captain Joe Leiter, the commander of the Islamorada Division, beginning October 1st when the contract officially takes effect.
Chosen for the slots were Deputy (now Sgt.) Dave Stark, who has been working as an upper Keys School Resource Officer at Coral Shores High School; and Deputy (now Sgt.) Tim Hurd, who has been working as an upper Keys Road Patrol Officer.
By Traffic Sgt. Larry Kelley
The Traffic Enforcement Unit
I first want to welcome the newest member of the unit, Don Macallister who comes to us from District 2. We welcome him and challenge him to continue the energy and enthusiasm that he showed in Road Patrol. He finally gives the Traffic Unit a full staff of 9, which makes the first time in, well, a long-long time we have been at that level.
The Traffic Unit has been very busy in the last few months with special assignments and training. The DUI Checkpoint, on Saturday, the first of July, set up by Sergeant Tom Kiffney, District 3, went very well, as usual. The Traffic Unit supplied 6 Deputies with video equipment for that mission. There was one arrest for DUI and numerous other misdemeanor and traffic arrests made as well as many citations issued. Another example of a successful assignment; well planned and executed, and well supported if I do say so myself.
On the 4th of July, we coordinated and carried out a plan for Traffic Control for the annual parade in the Upper Keys. District 3 Command was very helpful in supplying manpower to assist in our efforts. The Reserves were very helpful and we were able to carry out a very safe and exciting parade with only one injury. But, that injury was a big one to the Traffic Unit. Deputy Eric Lundberg, while riding his police motorcycle, was struck by a driver making an unsafe left lane change and turn from the right lane of US 1 4-lane at mm 99. Eric sustained minor injuries and should be back to work soon. I know I speak for my unit as well as the Sheriffs Office wishing him a speedy and full recovery. The rest of the holiday activities went very smoothly with the Traffic Unit working security and traffic control at the obligatory after-celebration in Key Largo as well as the fireworks display at Sombrero Beach that evening.
Another assignment we were requested for was the two book-signing ceremonies for Mayor Shirley Freeman concerning her new book about her deceased husband, Billy Freeman, a previous Monroe County Sheriff, County Commissioner and Florida State Representative. I have read the book and it is a wonderful, eye-opening compilation of facts and events, as she remembers them that formed the department where we all presently work. If you get the chance, it is an easy short read and I recommend you all check it out.
Since three of the present Traffic Deputies are state certified in the installation of child safety seats, we have been busy assisting in the numerous child health events throughout the county. We assisted in the Mariners Hospital Health Fair at the end of July, which was a very big success. Aiding in a partnership with parents in the safety of their children is a very fulfilling experience and we enjoy these events for that very reason.
Training, both in and out of the county, has taken up a big part of our days lately. All Traffic Deputies attended the latest session of US Customs Blue Lightning training and certification. This is a great tool for any police officer and an extra exposure to higher levels of law enforcement that is highly educational and very usable. Deputies Diane Mimosa and Kirk Salvatori will be going to Bradenton for an HGN (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus) certification course to assist in the SAOs ability to introduce this important field sobriety test into the courts as evidence.
I have the entire unit signed up for a one week course in Key West on DUI Course Preparation that the Office of the State Attorney set up through IPTM for updated and current training issues in this ever-changing field of endeavor.
The Traffic Unit will now be attending training in Honor Guard Ceremonies to enable us to support the Sheriffs Offices need for these services as well as to travel to outside agencies requesting such services. We will travel to outside agencies ceremonies throughout the state as often as possible to show our departments support and regard for our fellow law enforcement officers. We will be training with the Miami Police Department every last Friday of the month in Miami. There are a few officers throughout the County who have been faithful members of the Honor Guard and their efforts continue to be appreciated and will be important to us in all activities in the future. I am very fortunate to have had the dedication, energy and abilities of Deputies Dawn Webb, Valerie Rotolanti and EMS officer Michelle Ross in supporting the Sheriffs Office Honor Guard for a number of years. Any members of the department that are interested in being members of the Monroe County Sheriffs Office Honor Guard are encouraged to contact me after receiving permission from their supervisors. I will be happy to include any member who is serious and is not hesitant to travel throughout the county as well as the state to attend these ceremonies.
I was fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be designated at the last minute to coordinate the housing for the members attending the International Law Enforcement Olympics in Coco Beach this year. I received tremendous support from the members attending the games and the housing provided by Holiday Inn, Oceanfront in Melbourne was fabulous. Most all of the rooms were pool and ocean front and very comfortable. Im sure by now you have read something of our showing in the games themselves. Suffice it to say we were fortunate to have some highly skilled individuals, especially in the areas of shooting and bowling where we picked up numerous medals. Me, you ask? Well if you havent heard yet, I was lucky enough in my first table tennis match to draw the soon-to-be gold medal winner from El Paso, Texas. To be frankhe walked the dog on me 21-4 and 21-6. He finally took the gold with a player from Bulgaria taking the silver and Hong Kong taking the bronze. I must say that I felt honored to just stand my ground with the guy and I learned so much playing the real game of table tennis even though he made me look like I was playing Ping-Pong in my carport on a windy night in the dark. Does that give you a good picture of the match? Im going to get the ball moving soon for the Olympics next year to take place in Tampa. Contact me if you are interested in attending.
An additional part of the Law Enforcement Olympics this year was a police car show and an indoor patch and badge show. We entered one of our new Ford Explorers with the new paint job in the show and took third place overall in graphics. We also were awarded the first place award for most miles driven which was 333 miles (I should have gotten a special prize for making that trip without a cruise-control). These plaques can soon be seen in the Sheriffs trophy case at Main Headquarters.
During the recent Lobster Sport Weekend the entire Unit was assigned to Marine Patrol Duties. We attended a one-day training session and barbecue with officers from all over the state and were then teamed up with FMP Officers for duty during the two days of craziness. Some of us were on land and others on the water with the FMP. Each Deputy was given a choice of duty assignments and we all had a blast. On Friday night after the event there was a debriefingyeah thats it--debriefing at the Hampton Suites in Marathon that went on into the wee hours of the morning until the tiki bar closed. We needed the tiki bar for the light so we could take notesyeahthats it. On Saturday the Coast Guard gave a great bash at their facility in Marathon. Let me tell you, those guys and girls can cook. They are pretty good at driving boats too.
I want to thank Deputy Kevin Mimosa for a fantastic job as A/S in my absence while I was getting beat at the games. He is truly an officer I can turn to when I need assistance in any matter. He will make a fine Sergeant if he can just keep his mind on his work while surrounded by women at the hairdressers shop. Oh that brings up the most interesting duties of Traffic Enforcement Officers in recent past. Due to a recent threat against three county Commissioners I assigned Deputies David Johnson to Mayor Shirley Freeman, Kirk Salvatori to Commissioner Nora Williams and Kevin to Commissioner Wilhelmina Harvey.
Commissioner Freeman kept David busy with dress shopping, long chats and book signings while Commissioner Harvey gave Kevin first hand experience in the fine art of local interaction at a hairdressers shop. The Commissioner told me that she had to continually tell her friends to forget about any chance with the hunk of a Deputy at her side. She told them to stay away from him because he was married to a woman who also carried a gun. Ah, Kirk. He was the lucky onehe got to go to the movies with Commissioner Williams who said he was a great date. Hmmm. Yes, if it crossed your mind, we in Traffic Enforcement do get some free time every once in awhile to dedicate to writing tickets--sometimes.
On a final note, I am awaiting a response from the State on a grant proposal I wrote that could add up to six more motorcycle positions to the Traffic Unit, giving us a total of nine motors. Even if the motors are not approved, I have asked for funds to put on a Police Motorcycle Operators Course here in the county and I will be certifying all of the Traffic Unit personnel in Police Motorcycle operation. If the grant is approved and I have the needed supplies I will open the training up to anyone who is interested in having this certification in their records for personal reasons or future use in assignment. I will keep you posted.
So I will close for now with a reminder to you to let us know if there is anything we can do as far as Traffic Enforcement is concerned to assist you in your duties. We are here to support you so dont hesitate to request our help. Stay safe and remember:
PRESS HARDFIVE COPIES
Bureau of Corrections
Captain Rick Remley presented a letter of
from the entire Support Services Staff of the Detention Center
to Major Tommy Taylor at a recent Sheriffs Staff meeting for
obtaining accreditation for the Bureau of Corrections. Major Taylor,
in turn, gave his thanks to Captain Remley and everyone in the
Detention Center for their hard work on the Accreditation Process.
By Capt. R. Rothman
During the week of July 17th through the 21st the Bureau of Corrections went through an intensive accreditation inspection. The Assessors were three of the toughest that the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission had to send. They were: Team Leader Sgt. James Pugh from Hillsborough County S.O., Lt. Alvina Walcott from Pinellas County S.O. and Lt. Engram Hazellief from St. Luice County S.O.
For two days the assessment team went through each of the three Jail facilities with a fine-tooth comb. They looked under bunks, footlockers, and even the officers desks. Even with this exhaustive search they only came up with a few minor problems. These problems were corrected on the spot or by the next day.
The next day and a half the assessors spent going through the files that were prepared to show that we met the 82 mandatory and 181 non-mandatory standards (this was the tough part). They had Mary and myself jumping through hoops with minor changes and extra proofs that they wanted. Even with these acrobatics we still managed to pass that part as well.
The assessment team is going to recommend to the Accreditation Commission that the Bureau of Corrections should receive the privilege of being given accreditation status. This will take place in October 2000 in Key West at the next Commission meeting.
This was all made possible because the Bureau of Corrections and some of the departments in headquarters made it happen! There was no one person that did all of the work so we could pass this inspection, it was a TEAM EFFORT! Everyone made it happen from the maintenance department cleaning the floors, night shifts painting the wall, the officers working the floors, all departments (records, medical, food service, programs, procurement, administration) to Olga and Kimm in professional compliance and Lynn in training.
Thanks to everyone for helping to make accreditation a reality for the Sheriffs Office Bureau of Corrections.
By Corrections Sgt. Linda Micki Simonet
Im sure everyone will identify one way or another with my first adventure lobstering!
We got up bright and early to beat the crowd and were all very excited. We swapped favorite recipes, but we agreed on one thing: nothing could be more exciting than The Hunt for the bug.
Once out into open water that was a mere three feet deep we paused to meet another boat full of divers. I looked over the side and, almost directly under the boat, two bugs were walking across the grassy flat. I threw on my mask and snorkel and stealthily entered the water planning to sneak up on them. At this point, I realized they may be dinner, but theyre not so dumb. I thought I was pretty quiet, but something tipped them off and away they went, disappearing into the grass. I got back into the boat, our friends arrived and away we went to the area known as The Contents.
We immediately found a couple of big coral heads that made the perfect lobster condos. My buddy watched in amazement as I coaxed the critters to walk into my net. I not only caught the first bug of the day, but I caught four! I was impressed with myself for my first time ever doing this. But later on in the day, Keith met his match: a lobster that was so big (I hear you: How big was it?) it could not fit through the collar of the catch bag and after a healthy 15 minute brawl (the lobster won) he couldnt get a grip on it and it went flipping off chattering at him the whole time. We all needed a break and went back up to the boat to rest for a few.
While resting, a couple of our snorklers stayed in the water. One of them shouted out that the grand daddy of them all was under a coral head. I threw on a tank to see if I could get it. I went down and saw that the snorkler was excitedly sticking his arm up to his shoulder into the holes. Getting closer, I saw the bugs were tiny little shorts. Ive seen roaches in Guam that were bigger. I decided while I was there, I might as well check out the rest of the head and to my shock, I found a green moray eel in one of the holes that the snorkler had his arm in! I thought I was going to walk on water to get away from this toothy critter!
After all was said and done, eight bugs were in our live well and they were way over the minimum size. Once on the dock, my friend showed me how to wring the tails and remove the goo. She said, You just hold it by the tail and the carapace and twist. Finishing off the lesson with a quick motion, and the deed was done. It was my turn; I held it as demonstrated, but before I could bring myself to halve this critter, I began to explain to it that this was not personal. That I have a family to feed and I appreciate the sacrifice it was about to make and out of the sky I heard my companions yelling at me, Dont have a conversation with it. Just wring its tail!
Jolted, I began to twist and it began to make sounds that begged me not to. I stopped and they yelled at me again. I finished and thought, Good, this is over. But was stricken when I saw the poor bug, in two pieces, was still alive. The tail twitched and the legs moved, it made these little raspy noises as it tried to crawl around the yard.
Barbara continued to wring tails and to show I was a trooper, I did a couple more. We grilled them with some Filet Mignon, but, to be truthful, it just didnt taste the same now that Id seen them as real live creatures.
My husband laughs and says Im just another tree hugger .go figure.
New Bowling League
By Mary Cohen
A second bowling league of Sheriff's Office and miscellaneous employees is being started the beginning of October. This league will consist of three person co-ed teams. This league is mainly for fun. We play music and have a good time; of course, at the end of the eight months prize money is awarded from weekly dues of approximately $10.00. There are only a few team openings left. If you are interested, call Mary Cohen at 293-7338.
Mary Frances Scaramuzzi, Executive Assistant
Mae Frances was born in Washington D.C. a number of years ago. She spent several years in Puerto Rico, returned to Washington, worked for Uncle Sam and then it was on to New York where she met her husband, Louie, whom she has been married to for 43 years. Her first trip to Key West was in 1960 where she and Louie fell in love with the area. They had the opportunity to move here with their son Louis in 1973. Mae Frances came to work for the Sheriffs Office in 1991. She enjoys swimming, gourmet cooking, sewing, crafts and performing her job as Executive Assistant to Major Tommy Taylor at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island.
Towanda Scott, Programs Coordinator
Towanda, or T as she is usually called, has been a member of the Sheriffs Office since October of 1996. She is a native of New Jersey and came to Key West via North Carolina, South Carolina and South Weymouth, Massachusetts.
T worked in Student Development Services at a historically Black university in South Carolina before taking time out to start a family. She is the wife of a U.S. Coast Guard First Class Petty Officer and the mother of two, a five-year-old son and a nine-month-old daughter.
Human Resources Notes
By Executive Director Michael Scott
I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Donna Moore on her recent promotion to Assistant Director of Human Resources. Donna works very hard and will now have to work even harder..........Just kidding Donna!!!!
I would also like to congratulate Renette Avael on her successful election to the post of Chairperson (the boss) of the Florida Polygraph Association! If anyone can keep all those polygraphers in line it will be our very own Renette. Have fun!
Again CONGRATULATIONS to both of you!
Missing Annual Evaluations
Information provided by the Human Resources Division
The list below is a list of members whose Annual Evaluations are currently due. If you have already sent in your evaluation and your name is on this list please call Deshawn Jackson or Sonya Morgan in HRD at 292-7044.
Tools of the Trade
By Roger E. Griswold (from the Hunt Insurance Group)
The profession of law enforcement requires the possession of many different tools, most of which we are required to maintain within our home. This brings me to my subject matter, home safety for law enforcement tools.
First of all, everyone will immediately assume I am talking about firearm safety. This would be correct and certainly a topic that should be addressed, but first let me relate a couple of real life examples relating to other law enforcement tools in order to set the table.
The first incident happened to me some years back. I was in the process of cleaning firearms following another unsuccessful hunting season and had laid out all of them, including my police leather and its contents. I want to make it clear that there was no ammo present, and all of the firearms were disassembled. During the course of my chores, I would retreat to the utility room to retrieve this or that and return to my workstation. As always, I kept a large drinking cup of ice water at hand. Well, upon returning from one of my go-fors, I took a sip of water and immediately began to feel a burning sensation on my lips. I assumed I had inadvertently contaminated myself with gun solvent so I wiped my mouth, took another big sip of water to further douse the fire. At this point my eyes began to water and the burning sensation got worse! I then began to realize I was experiencing pepper gas exposure, and almost immediately deducted from the giggles of my seven year old son and ni4ece that my water glass had been intentionally sabotaged with my own OC spray! Oh yeah, it was real funny to everyone, especially the efforts of my muffled explicative! Well, I had only myself to blame as I had left the items unattended with small children around. Fortunately, they did not receive any contamination themselves, not that I didnt want to administer them a darn good little dose!
The other story involved a former co-worker, whose name I wont mention, as his son, the victim in this case, is now an exemplary law enforcement officer and I would certainly not want him catching any ribbing. This incident involved handcuffs and an adventurous boy who had for years been able to slip locked handcuffs off over his thin wrists like a young Houdini! But this time, to his utmost surprise after the final click, he realized he had developed a larger wrist! And then to add terror to the surprise he suddenly realized there was no key! This incident was simply handled by sending an officer to his rescue following a somewhat frantic phone call from this future cop who had merely taken himself into custody. Im sure many law enforcement personnel have had similar experiences they could share; unfortunately, there are too many that cannot be looked back upon now and laughed about. Tragic stories play out every year across out nation and all too often could have been easily prevented.
The times and laws have changed from those days that firearms could be openly and proudly displayed in a home or truck window. The threat of theft and safety are too real to ignore and therefore appropriate measures should be taken.
I was very instructional with my family members regarding firearm safety and fortunately we never had any unnecessary curiosity in our home over the firearms or what they were capable of doing. Education is often the best gun proofing we can provide for our children. We must keep in mind that even though our families may be educated and familiar with firearm safety, their friends and neighbors may not be. It is all too often the curious visitor or friend who ends up injuring or killing someone who already knew better.
I think it is a good idea to periodically evaluate the safety practices and home storage of your required duty equipment to determine if you are in fact providing a safe and secure environment for your family. Keep in mind that today we have a variety of aerosol weapons, tasers, stun guns, batons and who knows what next, to contend with in addition to firearms.
The following are some tips and suggestions you may want to consider:
1. Use of trigger locks or padlocks. Remember this does not necessarily secure a firearm from theft.
2. Secure firearms in enclosed lockable cabinets. These can range from under $200.00 to over $4,000.00 for the fireproof safes. They may also provide the capacity to hold all of your duty equipment.
3. Separate storage of ammunition. All ammunition should be kept in a cool, dry environment.
4. Separate storage of components for those seasonal or seldom used firearms.
5. Naturally, the secure storage of keys to any locked items.
6. Educating and training family members relating to firearms and other equipment or tools stored and/or maintained at your home. This helps to satisfy some of the natural curiosity associated with such items.
7. Record the description and serial numbers of all your firearms. Home computers and discs are great for this. One of the files on my home computer is the history behind my firearms and any interesting stories that relate to them.
8. If you are required to keep a loaded firearm readily available, or for self-defense, effort should be made to keep it in a locked box, which while secure, may be immediately and quickly accessed by yourself. These may be equipped with a simple lock or a keypad combination and can be obtained in sizes suitable for storage of your OC spray, stun gun, cuffs, spare ammo, etc.
I am sure you will, or may have already thought of several other storage ideas, which is the general purpose of this message along with getting everyone thinking about things we take for granted in our day to day careers. It is very easy to overlook the simple safety practices. And sometimes it just takes a severe case of hot lips to get your attention!
This information is not intended as a course in gun safety and does not address general firearm safety and use. These are only suggested options for safe home storage and do not substitute for formal, qualified instruction in the handling, use, or storage of firearms.
The Damage of Gossip
Remember me? My name is gossip. I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted the more I am believed. I flourish at every level of society. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I cannot be seen. To track me down is simply impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I am nobodys friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never quite the same. I topple governments, and wreck marriages. I ruin careers, cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion. I spawn suspicion and generate grief. I make innocent people cry in their pillow. Even my name hisses. I am called Gossip.
Special: Orlando Stay
Between now and December 20, 2000 Florida Police Officers may take advantage of a special offer from the Days Inn East at Universal Studios. Room rates are from $29.00 per night, within walking distance of Universal Studios Escape. Rates are based on space availability and are not valid during special events. Call 1-800-327-2111 for more information, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part time drivers are needed to be on call by the Guidance Clinic of the Middle Keys to transport Baker and Marchmans Act persons from Key West to Marathon or Miami. Pay is by the trip. $50.00 from Key West to Marathon; $150.00 Key West to Miami. Car and beeper will be provided by GCMK. For details call Kevin at the Clinic, 289-6150 ext. 229, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Sheriffs Trauma-Star helicopter has
not been sitting
idly by as it waits for Monroe Countys Emergency Medical Services
to be trained to man it. During the past couple of months the aircraft has
been instrumental in assisting in a number of refugee apprehensions at sea,
and other search and rescue activities, as well as training operations for the
SWAT and Dive Teams and other law enforcement activities.
Sheriffs deputies underwent training
this month in how to properly
operate a personal watercraft. Florida Marine Patrol provided the training,
which prepared the deputies to begin patrolling on 6 Waverunners on loan
free of charge to the Sheriffs Office from Yamaha.
Deputies Emil LaVache, Hugh Gibson and
Reserve Deputy Carol McGinley
were among those Sheriffs Office employees who attended a community event
at Bay View Park in Key West recently. They handed out brochures, operated
The Convincer and talked with kids and adults about Crime Prevention and
the Sheriffs Office.
District One Road Patrol said goodbye to
Captain Joe Leiter September 15th.
The Captain is going to his new assignment in Islamorada where he will head
up troops assigned to patrol in that area.