Newsletter published by the Community Relations Division of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, for Monroe County Sheriff's Office employees.
Major Tommy Taylor, left, pictured with the Sheriff’s Office Employees of the Second Quarter,
Det. Sgt. Frank Mara, Explorer Capt. Brian Ricardo, Det. Thomas Moran and Secretary Angela Glover.
We are all still acutely aware of the terrorist threat to our country following the September 11th massacre in New York City and Washington D.C. It affects how we do our jobs daily, heightens our awareness of our surroundings, and makes us more diligent and careful as we go about our day-to-day duties.
As time goes by, we must make sure to maintain this level of awareness. Never forget that it could happen again, and it could happen anywhere. We are a small county, with few targets that might be deemed worthwhile to a potential terrorist. Remember, though, that we are a county with a large contingent of military, and numerous potential military targets; we are also very close, on our Northern end, to the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, also a potential target.
The Sheriff’s Office, the county’s Office of Emergency Management, and other county offices participate regularly in Turkey Point Nuclear Plant drills. During these drills we practice for potential radiation leaks, honing our response skills for such an occurrence. We will continue to participate in these drills. Everyone should be aware of these potential threats and keep them in mind.
So far, five Sheriff’s Office employees have been called to serve our country, and more may be called in the future. Most are members of the United States military reserve forces. To Paul Schultz, Jeremy Davey, Rene Walker, Jonathan Crane and Dillon Corr: you and your families have our support and best wishes. We hope you will be returning safely to us soon. Take care and thank you for your dedication to our great country.
In October, we will be accepting vacation hour donations, the cash from which will be donated to a charity affiliated with the attack on September 11th. We will let you know more about this effort in the next week or two, as we work out the details.
The County Commission approved a 7% salary increase for employees. I would like to thank them for approving the increase, which will help us in our effort to be more competitive in our salaries with other South Florida agencies. We will continue to ask for these substantial increases until we reach a competitive level – and we still have quite a way to go to get there.
Here at the Sheriff’s Office, that increase will be awarded as a 4.5% Cost of Living increase, and a 2.5% Merit increase. The Merit increase will go to all employees who scored a 3.0 or better on their last evaluation. If your supervisor has not completed your evaluation for this year, have them do so at once.
I would like to remind everyone, as we move into a new budget year, that this is the fourth year in a row that we have been granted NO INCREASE IN OUR OPERATIONAL FUNDS. As has been the case in past years, this means belt tightening on all levels. Costs continue to go up for cars, gasoline, and other necessary supplies, while our budget for them stays the same. The money has to come from somewhere.
I want to thank everyone for their cooperation in reducing our vacation liability. We are required to carry funds in our budget to cover vacation hours accrued by our employees. The total of vacation hours accrued by our employees caused this liability to be too large, which is why we asked everyone to take as much vacation time off as possible before October 1st. We were very successful in this effort and I appreciate everyone’s help in this matter.
I would ask that, in the future, everyone try and take time off on a regular basis if possible. Supervisors, monitor your employee’s time closely and encourage them to take it off as the year progresses so we don’t run into this problem again.
The new Dispatch Center in Marathon is moving forward. Furniture is being installed, and I hope we are looking at opening the center for business early next year, maybe in February or March. I know we all look forward to this – no one more than those Communications Officers who currently have to work in crowded, uncomfortable conditions. We should all thank them for somehow continuing to do their job despite it all.
Ask the Administration
Question #1:We’ve been told that the Sheriff is completely against the idea, but we feel that it is a great idea. Currently, there is no opportunity for advancement in District One, especially in patrol to Sgt. (In order to be promoted, especially in District One, we are going to have to hire a hit man, and, as you know, we can’t afford them on our current salary). Although money is always nice, a promotion, on a rank basis is far more important to those of us who intend to stay with the Sheriff’s Office, but would like to feel our dedication and longevity are acknowledged. Why won’t the Sheriff consider the rank of corporal for those that meet the requirements? The officer would have to be an FTO, successfully pass the Sgt.’s exam, as well as the line supervision course. This would not be a raise in salary, unless conducting one of the job tasks, A/S or FTO. The rank would be more of a morale boost than anything. The title of Master Deputy is not easily obtained by most patrol officers due to the education requirements, unless one can leave a shift short handed to attend classes, prepare schoolwork and study. The Sheriff’s Office has many dedicated officers who have a lot of job skills, training and experience that simply aren’t acknowledged in a way that makes the officer feel as if they are advancing in their chosen career field. Most of us don’t want to work as a patrol officer for 25 years, and do not want to leave our district just for the opportunity to be advanced. The last Sgt. promoted in District One was Joey Passarelli, and that was at least eight years ago.
Answered by Sheriff Roth: I agree with everything you say in this question. It has been difficult for officers in District One to advance within the district. In a way, this is good. Such stability and low turnover within a district speaks well for the attitudes of those who work there. But I understand the frustrations of those deputies who wish to advance in their careers and do not see a ready way to do so.
On the other hand, I have always been, and still am, opposed to the idea of adding another layer of rank to the Sheriff’s Office and I’m sorry, but I cannot agree to create this rank. It is my opinion that, even with good intentions, the rank of corporal would place yet another level of supervision within the ranks – a level of supervision we do not need – rather than simply recognizing deputies’ seniority.
It is this need for recognition of our senior members that caused us to implement the Master Deputy title. If people feel the requirements for Master Deputy are too stringent, then we will revisit those requirements and see if we can do something about that. In the meantime, keep up the good work, and don’t give up. You never know when something will happen to open up the ranks to promotion.
Affordable Housing Update
By Bureau Chief Mike Rice
There has recently been an increased focus on affordable housing in the Keys. This focus, which has been spearheaded by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), involves all areas of the county including each municipality. Over the last several months DCA has hosted several meetings to discuss affordable housing issues and potential solutions. The group brought together to discuss these issues consists of the elected officials from each municipality and the county, as well as representatives from the construction industry, financial industry, environmentalists, and non-profit organizations involved in this area.
The last meeting, which was held on Monday September 24, 2001, culminated with Monroe County and each municipality detailing their plans to address affordable housing in their areas. While these plans are still in the preliminary stages of implementation, I find it heartening to see specific plans being brought forward. We have been successful in bringing to the surface the difficulty our members have finding affordable housing. Included in some of these plans, are specific actions which will make changes that expand the definition of who qualifies for affordable housing. Below are some specific proposals. Remember, currently these are proposals only, and are still under discussion:
·Allowing business owners to build an affordable housing on their business’ property regardless of density requirements.
·Limit the expansion of square footage on existing structures. This prevents someone from buying a small affordable house, destroying it and rebuilding a mansion.
·Requiring that the replacement of mobile homes be some type of affordable housing.
·Identify appropriate locations to build affordable housing.
·Linking future commercial development to the building of affordable housing.
·Revitalizing existing sub-standard housing.
·Work more closely with community land trusts.
·Work to preserve the existing housing stock (prevent conversions to transient rentals, prevent conversion of multi family homes into single family).
·Redefine who qualifies for affordable housing. Only count the first 40 hours worked toward qualifying for affordable housing. Raising the maximum income of who can qualify to $51,200 (this year).
·Providing incentives for employers to build work force housing.
·Revising land development regulations to allow affordable housing to be built in more types of areas.
·Providing points in the building permit process for affordable housing.
The above proposals are just some of the initiatives the various governments throughout the Keys are attempting to implement. While these initiatives have not all been approved to date, there is some real movement toward making some changes in the way government assists the community in developing and maintaining affordable housing. Stay tuned for more developments.
Long time Sheriff’s K-9 dies
Szultan, the 13-year old retired K-9 for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, died early Monday morning. He’d been battling pancreatic cancer for the past year.
Szultan, a black, longhaired Belgium Shepherd, became the fourth addition to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office K-9 force 11 years ago. He and Deputy Matt Koval trained together in Palm Beach for six months before going on duty in the Keys. They rode together for six and a half years.
Szultan was an invaluable asset in drug searches and was often used in the apprehension of fleeing suspects. Deputy Koval and Szultan were also beloved by the community as a whole, making numerous appearances at community events and giving frequent K-9 demonstrations at schools in the county.
At one impressive demonstration, the K-9 team performed during half time at a Coral Shores High School football game. There was a mock car theft and chase, complete with patrol cars, lights and sirens. Suddenly, out of the sky dropped a Black Hawk helicopter. Deputy Koval, dressed in fatigues and accompanied by Szultan, leaped out of the hovering helicopter and apprehended the fleeing “suspects”. He also gave many smaller demonstrations to classrooms of children, during which Szultan found hidden drugs, and showed the children how he performed apprehensions using a volunteer deputy posing as a suspect.
Szultan repeatedly placed as one of the top 10 dogs in Yearly Regional work dog competitions. He always won 1st place in at least one of the four events. He won first place in Criminal Apprehension, 1st place in Search Work and 1st place in Agility.
Szultan lived at home with Deputy Koval as a member of his family. Koval took him on all family vacations including a canoeing expedition in Minnesota. After Szultan retired, Deputy Koval bought him from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. When Koval got married last year, his brother Mark and his best friend Szultan stood up with him at the altar.
By Mike Grattan, Systems Administrator
You may have noticed a lot of news stories lately about computer hackers and system break-ins. According to some of the hype, hackers possess secret, highly technical tools to attack and infiltrate computer systems. Reality is somewhat different. The tool most hackers use is a company phone directory and a telephone. Using some simple “social engineering” techniques, they trick people inside a company to reveal information useful to the hacker to guess passwords.
Most hacks occur due to poor passwords. Hackers use a dictionary of common terms (such as sports teams, pet names, etc.) to guess passwords. In Information Systems, we ran a password-guessing program against our old AViiON system. In about an hour, we had successfully “cracked” 75% of the passwords in the system.
Passwords are, currently, the only way most systems have of verifying your identity. When you use an ATM, your PIN is your password.
What makes a good password? A good password isn’t an actual word and is easy to remember. They are either a combination of letters and numbers or symbols, or a phrase. For example, “f1k&dQ” is a good password. Unfortunately, unless you like memorizing bizarre number/letter sequences, it’s not a practical password. A neat trick is to use the first letters of each word of a phrase that you like. For example, if your favorite song were, “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It’s Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight”, a good password would be “dycglifotbo”. (Add a symbol or a number or two, and that would be a GREAT password!) It’s complex, not an actual word and it’s easy to remember.
There are several practices that we would like to institute here at the Monroe County Sheriff's Office with regards to passwords.
First, the system will require you to change your password every 60 days. Your password must be at least 6 characters in length. This is practice that is being implemented everywhere.
Second, don’t tell your password to anyone. You all should be aware how fast information and gossip travels.
Third, with the publication of this article, no one at Information Systems will ever ask you for your password. It is a bad habit that we have fallen into and we must break it. If we need to gain access to your account, we will change your password to something and then tell you what we changed it to. In line with this new policy, if anyone asks you for your password, especially over the telephone, please tell us.
We realize that passwords are an inconvenience. Passwords, however, are essential to protecting the information that we all use and depend on to serve our community.
By Brenda Winegarden, Finance Coordinator
Our 7% pay increase has been approved by the County Commission effective October 1, 2001. Payroll will be diligently working to include this increase in the October 12th paycheck, which will cover paydays from September 24th to October 7th. You will be paid your old rate for the days worked in September and your new rate for days worked in October. Your paycheck on October 26th will reflect the first full two-week period with the new pay rate.
Payroll is planning to issue Holiday and Wellness checks to eligible members on December 7, 2001.
By Sgt. Trish Dally, Special Investigations Division
Beginning October 1, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will have a total of five VOCA (Victims Of Crime Act) grant funded positions. These positions are not coming out of the County budget and are paid from grant monies. During the past year, Carol Johnson has been the victim advocate assigned to the Crimes Against Persons Unit. She was a SAO/Law Enforcement based advocate in the upper/middle keys prior to coming over to the Sheriff’s Office. Carol works predominately cases involving child abuse, sexual abuse (adult and juvenile), missing juveniles and homicides (suspicious deaths).
There will be four more victim advocates for the entire county. Some of you have already used the SAO/Law Enforcement based advocates and the four new positions will be doing the same job, but will be employed by the Sheriff’s Office. One advocate will be assigned to each office and one in the city of Key West (KWPD). They will work a day shift in the office and at night they will rotate on call. They can be called upon for any violent crime (domestic battery, robbery, battery, etc.) or any case in which a victim may be going through a crisis due to a crime.
Persons already employed as victim advocates (SAO/Law Enforcement based advocate) have filled two of the four positions. June VanderWyden will be stationed in the Plantation Key Sub-station and Elaine Woodson will be assigned to KWPD (but she will handle lower keys on call). The other two positions will be filled shortly.
Communications will have the on call schedule for the advocates. They will be working with you on cases and not against you, so please call upon them. If you have any questions or want information about the program, please feel free to contact me at Special Operations (289-2410).
Bureau of Operations
Special Operations Report
By Captain Ross Thomson
Greetings from the wonderful world of Special Ops. What a time we are having - it sure has been special for all of us.
The money-laundering group has been making some good cases and after a brief period of disruption caused by a reworking of the command structure, things are back to "normal". Tom Moran from the South Florida Money Laundering Strike Force (formerly IMPACT) was given the officer of the second quarter award. Tom has been working on a multi-million dollar case that involves theft and embezzlement of money from the Peruvian government. It has been a joint case that started with SFMLSF and has brought in the FBI and state department. Tom has been with us for seven years after retiring from Miami Beach P.D. After all his years of cop work and being a father and husband, this award was still very important to him. Congrats to you - Tommy.
Traffic is back in the swing of things. School is open and the traffic unit has been doing its best to cover the school zones and work with the road officers that believe that school zones and passing school buses are important, too. They have been attending the county commission meeting and budget meetings - and writing tickets to and from those special events. We have assisted Islamorada and Marathon with their DUI checkpoints and have conducted numerous "wolfpacks" throughout the sectors. If any one has a need of traffic, please call George Simpson or Glenn Test. They are eager to work whatever needs you may have into their schedule.
In the world of investigations - we bid farewell to Reace Thompson - but wish him well and all the best. Reace is going north for reduced housing costs and a similar job. Congrats to Mike Langston and his guys, plus Gene and Chuck - they were doing the surveillance that caught the auto burglar of Marathon - in the act!! Dave Carey was the acting supervisor for Corey's extended vacation, until Chad got a call that Dave needed a break too, and Dave made Mike Wilkinson the acting supervisor for the acting supervisor....
There have been a number of good cases brought to successful conclusion by our detectives. A couple of higher profile cases were two that went to Cuba and then they came back. One was a woman who allegedly stole and embezzled large amounts of money from her employer and then boated south to Fidel's world with her two children - oops she forgot to tell her husband and the father of one of the children. Larry O'Neill and Mike Langston did the investigations that resulted in her being charged for various crimes. Mike and his people got involved with the FBI in the theft of the airplane from Marathon - the one that crashed on the beach outside of Havana. Bobby and his people got to work with the FBI on the hijacking and crash of the plane from Key West. Now I have justification to ask the sheriff to buy the Marathon airport and convert it into the office for Special Ops - since we do so much FAA related work, we have a need to be on an airport !!
On the HIDTA side of the house, Jerry and Eddie have been experiencing the workload of the FBI as they try to establish their various drug cases. Raising dwarf horses is probably easier, but not nearly as much fun -- are you listening Eddie ?? We have a new FBI agent in the office in Key West. Anthony Russo from New Jersey - a good guy with a heck of a first month in the Keys - he probably thought he was going someplace slow and relaxed, compared to Newark - HA !! Having him here with Rea Bliss and Patty Thompson is great for us. We've got more FBI support, in young enthusiastic agents, than ever before. If you need them, call direct or get Chad on the line.
Chuck Visco has returned for a change of clothes and a check of his investment accounts - now he's off again on a world tour in search of more evidence of money laundering. Chuck spent 2 months on the Isle of Jersey, in an old school with no air conditioning, making copies of 140 boxes of documents. He was assisted by Lynn Allen, Val Marinello and Lynn Christian for two or three weeks each. I heard rumors that several other people wanted to go for the "vacation", until they found out what a vacation it was, at 10 hours a day and half days on Saturday.. While there the never-ending case continued to perpetuate itself, with several more evidentiary leads being developed in Guernsey, Isle of Skye, Monaco and Switzerland... So get a passport and be ready to travel at a moments notice. LeeAnn has been traveling too, but by car and through the tomato fields of central and southern Florida - its all glamour and glory !!
Our narcotics unit has slowed a little with vacation time being burnt off. But the work is still there and the men and women of narcotics are doing their best to keep up. One note that deserves publishing - a resident of Hibiscus Park, Key Largo said that the street is still clean and empty. If someone who doesn't belong shows up, then he and his good neighbors are chasing those un-wanted away. It’s all good !!
Trish Dally has complied a list of all the unresolved homicide or suspicious death cases in the county. If you would like to look at it and offer some assistance, please call James Norman, Jon Ellsworth or Trish. Congrats to Jon - he's a cop again !! He said that the state test was similar to the bar exam - which bar??
SWAT made the newspapers and airwaves of radio and TV - for good reason. Job well done. I for one am exceptionally proud of our members for dedicating themselves to a team that we never want to use, but must have, and then being able to resolve the case professionally. Our dive team members are equally prepared and trained.
We bid farewell to Sandi Roth, who retires after a brief career with us - 10 years at HIDTA - one of the longest employed in the country ! She now goes on to tackle a number things that she has never had time to master - cooking, house cleaning and exercise. Seriously, it doesn't matter who your husband is, you have been a valued employee to the sheriff's office for 17.5 years and you will be missed. Enjoy the time off - you've earned it.
This column is dedicated to Mel Hiller - he is missed.
By J.W. McGee
As most readers know, I was one of many officers involved in the hostage incident in the area of water adjacent to the Navy seaplane ramp in Key West.
On 24 July 2001, the Key West Police Department asked for the assistance of the Sheriff’s SWAT team and we responded. To make a long story short, I ended the hostage situation with a single shot from my rifle.
I would like to give credit where credit is due, as the entire operation involved many officers from the City, County, State and Federal governments, all of whom assembled on “a moment’s notice.” With all of the variables considered, and the outcome of the situation, no better resolution could have been reached for everyone concerned (except one, and the “bad guy” wasn’t going to give up peacefully). With that in mind, we train regularly to react to situations and solve crises, and that is exactly what happened. Training was the key to no innocent victims or LEO casualties.
One aspect of this operation that would have alleviated some of the stress (from my perspective) would be improved communications between all concerned. As I dialogued with Detective Robinson, (my spotter), our main concern was assuring that the man holding the gun was the true suspect and not an attempt at trickery. Lt. Sauer with the KWPD was our source of information from the City’s hostage negotiator, who confirmed that the perceived “bad guy” was indeed the suspect.
It is my understanding that the Sheriff’s office will be phasing into a new 800Mhz system in the near future, and I anticipate that to be a positive change from a tactical standpoint , in that the members of our agency will presumably then be able to communicate without the problems of our present system.
As I continue my career with the Sheriff’s Office, I will continue to hold the collateral duty on the SWAT team as a sniper. Currently, I’m the only one with the documentation and training to fill this position for the county, but I anticipate that to change fairly quickly. If I can answer any questions or provide any insight as to exactly what a sniper does or should be expected to do, I am willing to share the details of my experience and conjecture with any member of any law enforcement agency that has questions. This is the first time in the fifteen years of my law enforcement career that I’ve ever been forced to use deadly force on another person. This incident has given me a new perspective on carrying a badge and a gun for a living.
As I watched the suspect through the scope of my rifle, I could see the fear in the innocent victim’s eyes as he was being held at gunpoint, and I could see the suspect screaming at the police. I knew that I was in a relatively safe position but I also had the realization that if I didn’t do my duty, an innocent victim would have lost his life. That is a profound event in my career and my feelings about it are inarticulable.
As time passes, I hope that everyone remembers this incident not as a sniper shooting a bad guy, but as an incident where numerous law enforcement officers from almost every jurisdiction imaginable all worked together as a team to bring an innocent victim back home to his wife and 8 year old son.
Det.s John McGee and Scott Robinson met with the victim
of the Key West boat hijacking
Update from Sector’s Four and Five
By Lt. Larry Kelley
At this very stressful time in our nation’s history let me say that you all should be very proud of the positions you hold and the awesome responsibilities you are tasked with. We do all of those things that many shy away from. Never forget the role you play in the scheme of things.
The events of the last few weeks have caused a strong build up of our military services and we are now feeling the results of that. It is our responsibility to support each member of our organization who is called up to serve in their military roles and to give them and their families the support and security that is needed until their return. Marathon has already lost Jeremy Davy to the Coast Guard and we wish him a safe tour of duty—our thoughts and prayers are with him and whatever he needs from us to help with this families welfare is but a phone call or e-mail away. We all look forward to his return as we do every one of our brave men and women who answer the call of duty. God’s speed to you all.
I want to first commend everyone in Sectors 4 and 5 who have worked so very hard to minimize their vacation time. I know it not only creates some hardships when you are asked to take vacation when you had not scheduled it but it also creates a burden on your co-workers who have to work the “shorted” shifts you leave behind. You all were “top shelf” in your support of this initiative and Iwant to personally thank each and every one of you. The TRAP Funds I requested were a lifesaver in this time of shortages and I am glad we were able to make some overtime funds available to those of you who needed to stay and work or just needed the extra cash. Either way your taking those shifts helped to cover the Sectors during those specific times of high volume traffic in our area.
I have to announce that James Field has resigned at the end of his FTO program. I’m sorry that he has decided to leave the agency but he came to the conclusion that he was not cut out to do the job and I commend him for his forthright arrival at this very difficult decision. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors, James.
Another change in manpower is Amanda Kellenberger’s decision to transfer from Court Security Supervisor to Communications. We are saddened to see her leave the position where she did an excellent job as the coordinator of the many responsibilities there. She did a great job telling Jennifer what to do--I guess she would rather be in a position where she can tell everybody where to go. Good luck Amanda, I’m sure that you will excel wherever you are.
Welcome to our newest Road Patrol Deputies Michael Blanchard and Steve Hanover. You have chosen wisely to come to Marathon and I think you will be very happy with that decision. Open your minds to the new and wonderful things you will learn from your capable Field Training Officers and you will soon be able to practice what you have learned.
Congratulations for a job very, very well done to Jake Brady, Joel Slough, Willie Guerra and James Field for your super response to the armed robbery suspects last month. It was a different world for Jake I am told for him to step back and supervise (he was the A/S that day) while others did the hard stuff and took down the bad guys in a textbook felony stop. I was later told that the bad guys stated that they had previously decided with each other they would shoot any police officer that tried to take them but later said that you guys were on them so fast and with such a professional bearing they had no other choice but to “give it up”. There is nothing better than to do your job in such a way that violence is suppressed. Those criminals had no regard for you or the lives of anyone other than themselves—and it is evident they did have regards for their own lives because they did not want to die that day. That’s how to show them who is boss—way to go.
I want to commend Linda Kohout for her undying drive to serve the community in ways many of us never think is our job as law enforcement officers. Linda has a way of finding people in need that others don’t even see. She has always had this special talent and I thank her for her never-ending energy in this area that is sometimes hard to remember is all of our responsibility. Recently she attended the Challenge Day at Marathon High School, Relay for Life and also appropriated a “Life Line” for an elderly resident named Klara Gent by contacting the FKEC Charitable Trust Fund and making the whole thing happen. Keep up the excellent work, Linda.
Harry Boyden—what can I say? Harry is my Administrative Deputy and he is becoming a “jack of all trades”. If you need to know anything about anything go to Harry. He is my Traffic Enforcement Officer, Marine Resources Enforcement Officer, back up Court Security Officer, back up Civil Deputy, back up School Resource Officer and any other needed duty there is. Harry is a sponge for new information and I commend him for his drive and professionalism.
On a sad note--our deepest sympathy and our prayers go to Carolyn McKenzie and her family on their loss of her husband Theodore McKenzie on August 8, 2001. Theodore was a 30 veteran of the United States Navy. He was the love of her life and she misses him still. Captain Peryam and I attended the water-borne ceremony celebrating his life on August 15th out of Holiday Isle onboard the “Islamorada Lady II”. It was a beautiful ceremony and I would like to thank Carolyn for inviting us to see the love she and her friends had for such a fine man. We don’t even know him and yet we will miss him too.
That is about it since many of us have not been around for a while due to our hasty vacations. I’ll close now and invite everyone to come visit our new back parking lot—it is a work of brick-art long time in the making.
And remember—“LIFE’S TOUGH—IT’S TOUGHER IF YOU’RE STUPID”.
School Resource Unit
By Sgt. John Barber
Hello once again from the School Resource Unit. School has started and our officers are busy at each of our six schools. Things have been relatively quiet so far but the school year is still young. We want to welcome Deputy Maretta McNichol to our unit and Sugarloaf School. Maretta is already hard at work learning her new job and keeping those kids in line. We would also like to welcome Dawn Leird to the unit. Dawn has also hit the ground running at Key largo school.
One of the responsibilities of our unit is to facilitate the D.A.R.E. program. Each of our officers is a certified D.A.R.E. Instructor. In order to be certified each officer must attend a challenging 80-hour course - which is actually more like 100 hours.
D.A.R.E. is an acronym for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Every year we teach more than 500 fifth grade and 500 seventh grade Monroe County students how to stay off drugs and steer clear of violence. The fifth grade program consists of 17 lessons, which are taught over 17 weeks. Some of the things students learn about include peer pressure, ways to say no, reducing violence and positive role models. The program is a comprehensive, power-packed, high-energy approach to keeping kids drug and violence free. The seventh grade program consists of 10 lessons over 10 days (2 weeks). This program is similar to fifth grade but is geared for that age group.
Recently, D.A.R.E. has come under a tremendous amount of criticism and scrutiny on a national level. It almost seems that it has become popular to “pile on” so to speak. With all the scrutiny going on nationally we decided to examine our own commitment to teaching D.A.R.E. in Monroe County. We found out that there are more than fifty studies out there that conclude that DARE works. We also found out that many of the alternative programs available have actually borrowed much of their material from the DARE Program. We additionally found out that teachers, parents, students and our own DARE instructors whole-heartedly support the program. The program has been a great success for us over the years. We have watched it work here, in Monroe County! Just ask any of our instructors and they will tell you. We also have taken the additional step of conducting a survey of all fifth and seventh grade DARE students in Monroe County. The results are coming in as I write this column so I will have to share the results in the next Rap Sheet.
SRO Deputy Maretta McNichol had to ask for special help
Sheriff’s Deputies and kids go to camp
Sheriff’s deputies and Marathon youth attended a summer camp together in June. The camp, free of charge to the kids attending, focused on decision making skills, making the right choices in life and living a drug-free, crime-free lifestyle.
The summer camp, the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) 2001 Youth Leadership and Challenge Camp, took place June 14th to the 17th in Homestead at Camp Owaisa Bauer. Fourteen Marathon teens attended free of charge, sponsored by HIDTA and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Attending the camp with them, as camp counselors, was Deputies Linda Hartley, Lin Badman, Eric Mixon and Detention Deputy Jason Kroening.
The purpose of the camp, as outlined in HIDTA Camp literature, is to impress upon the participants:
the consequences of poor decision making in their daily lives.
the benefits of making the right choices when it comes to choosing things like their peer group.
the importance of their attitude toward authority figures.
the importance of their treatment of others.
setting their personal goals for the rest of their lives.
The mission statement of the camp:
To expose the camp participants to a drug-free/crime-free lifestyle by utilizing mental and physical activity, bound together with educational speakers and teamwork-driven exercises designed to assist the youth in making positive changes and plans for their lives.
Some of the courses offered to participants during the four-day camp included:\
Drugs: Their effects and consequences
“We had a great time, and I think the kids learned a lot,” said Deputy Linda Hartley. “Many of the kids had never attended a summer camp before, and the opportunity to attend the camp, coupled with the opportunity to learn, was really terrific,” she added.
Also contributing to the cost of attending the camp was ZONTA, which provided special T-shirts to the kids, and Dr. David Parsons, who provided free physicals for the camp attendees.
Deputy Lin Badman with HIDTA Camp attendees.
KnightStar helps save lives
The Sheriff’s KnightStar helicopter may very well have been responsible for helping to save a woman’s life after an early morning scramble to bring blood and medicine from Florida City to Key West.
According to Lt. Mike Pandol, he and pilot Gary Baginski were called out at 3 a.m. at the request of doctors at Florida Keys Health System’s East Hospital. The doctors reportedly had a female patient on the operating table, and desperately needed blood and medicine from the mainland to save her life.
Lt. Pandol and Baginski flew the helicopter to the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Florida City. There, they were met by a Highway Patrol Trooper from Hialeah who had the requested items. Within 40 minutes of picking up the critical items, the helicopter landed in Key West, handing them over to medical personnel, who said the quick delivery may very well have saved the patient’s life.
No more details about the woman, her identity or her condition were available, except that she is currently alive and doing well.
KnightStar also helped transport blood bags and blood for the Community Blood Center in Key West immediately following the September 11th attacks. The center did not have enough blood bags to respond to the tremendous number of people who wanted to give blood, so KnightStar flew to Miami to pick them up. The donated blood was then flown from Key West to Miami for transport directly to New York City, where it was needed.
KnightStar flew donated blood to Miami for direct
transport to New York City shortly
Employees of the Second Quarter honoredThe Monroe County Sheriff’s Office recently honored its Employees of the Second Quarter at a special ceremony in Marathon. The following people were chosen for the award.
SWORN Deputy of the Second Quarter: Detective Thomas Moran Bureau of Operations, HIDTA – Miami Task Force
Det. Moran has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since August 31, 1998. Since November of 2000, the task force has been working a long term investigation involving the money laundering activities of Victor Garrido. Garrido was a fugitive from the Peruvian Government wanted for Money Laundering and Corruption charges stemming from Garrido’s involvement with a past Peruvian President and his Chief of Secret Police. The case was assigned to Det. Thomas Moran, through his assignment to the task force. Due to the nature of the case, as well as the international implications of the investigation, Det. Moran has been coordinating his efforts with the F.B.I. . On January 26, 2001 Det. Moran led a joint law enforcement effort that culminated in the arrest of Garrido and the seizing of 17 million dollars, which is pending forfeiture. As the investigation continued Det. Moran was instrumental in locating in excess of 128 million dollars, which may be subject to forfeiture and participated in the U. S. based portion of the investigation that led to the arrest of Montesinos in Venezuela. Throughout the course of the investigation as well as the ongoing portion of the investigation, Det. Moran has played a vital role. His years of investigative experience and dedication have been evident.
SUPPORT Employee of the Second Quarter: Secretary Angela Glover, Bureau of Operations, Special Operations, Administration Section
Angela has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since June 29, 1987. Angela is assigned to the narcotics unit and has diligently continued to handle any task given to her. Angela has not only continued to handle secretarial support to the detectives in her immediate unit, but also assists the Homicide Unit and the Crime Against Women and Children Unit. Her duties now also include handling the legal secretarial duties involved in the Forfeiture Unit. Amidst all her duties Angela found the time necessary to work on the Nextel account for finance in straightening out mistakes. Angela spent many hours on the phone along with emails in correcting these mistakes for the beginning of this fiscal year. Angela was able to obtain two separate credits in double and over billing to our account in the total of $1835.24. This was truly a fine example of an employee’s dedication to the betterment of the agency above and beyond her normally assigned duties.
CORRECTIONS Deputy of the Second Quarter: Sergeant Frank Mara, Bureau of Corrections, Main Detention Facility
Frank has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since September 19, 1984. Frank has a can do attitude and is always willing to help others without question. Officers have gone to Sgt. Mara on several occasions in order to bounce thoughts off of him and have always found him willing to share thoughts and ideas. Frank works very hard even when he was on light duty with medical problems he was the first officer to respond for a backup call hopping down the halls with his cast on with one thought, take care of his people. Sgt. Mara has a lot of concern for his people and that’s why you see an entire squad nominating him and this is what they had to say… “C Watch Officers would like to formally and publicly thank Sgt. Mara for his continuous support and reliability. Sgt. Mara shows leadership daily in his assistance to both inmates and officers. He imparts positive attitude in our shift and always goes the extra mile as ‘negotiator’. No question ever asked of Sgt. Mara goes unanswered, even when diligent research is necessary. He is always the consummate professional. Sgt. Mara, Thank you for being our level five shelter in hurricane. Our respect is ever yours, Your Officers on “C” Watch.”
RESERVE Deputy of the Second Quarter: Reserve Deputy Kathryn Roche, Bureau of Operations, Sector IV, Reserve Section
Kathryn has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since May 21, 2000. Since joining the Reserves in May 2000 and being assigned to Sector IV, Kathryn has logged numerous hours riding with Deputies and participating in special details. Kathryn went above and beyond her duties when she went to the aid of 78 year old Alice Smith who tripped and fell into US1 traffic. Kathryn has befriended Ms. Smith, who thinks of Kathryn as her guardian angel. She is still checking on Ms. Smith to make sure she is doing ok. Reserve Deputy Kathryn Roche is indeed an asset to the department in actions and deeds.
EXPLORER/Cadet of the Second Quarter: Explorer Captain Brian Ricardo, Bureau of Operations, Explorer/Cadet Section
Brian has been a member of the explorer program for the past four years. Brian has always demonstrated a willingness to learn and help others. He has worked very hard with his school and his behavior to maintain the Explorers Code. He has overcome many difficult obstacles. Brian really pitched in this year with the absence of Deputy Hunter and pulled the post together, because of his dedication and hard work he was promoted to Captain this year and did an outstanding job helping with the Christmas tree sales and the Relay for Life. Brian has earned over 200 hours of community service hours. Brian is always willing to put on the very heavy and hot Darren the Lion (the DARE mascot) suit to help out at special events. Brian also leads the Honor Guard and organizes cadets for meetings and events. Explorer Captain Brian Ricardo is a credit to the Explorer program and an outstanding role model for the youth of our community.
Letters of Commendation:
Deputies Lin Badman, Linda Hartley and Jason Kroenig received a letter from South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area thanking them for their “professional demeanor and personal dedication” during their participation in a HIDTA Youth Camp this past summer.
Deputies Brady and Meier received an Officer Appreciation nomination from Sgt. Morgan for their part in the arrest of a Marathon man who was involved in a accident in July. The man, who was driving while impaired, lied about his identity, but Deputy Brady recognized him and arrested him for obstruction, and for an outstanding warrant. Drugs, paraphernalia and cash were found in the car.
Deputies Brady, Guerra, Field and Slough received a Letter of Commendation for their part in the felony arrest of armed robbery suspects in August. The men robbed a truck driver at gunpoint. The deputies spotted the BOLO vehicle exiting Duck Key and stopped it. Two loaded shotguns were found in the car, as was the money stolen during the robbery. Both suspects were successfully identified and arrested.
The Ocean Reef Public Safety Department wrote a letter of recognition and thanks to a number of upper Keys Officers. Deputies Larry Benedict, Jim McLaughlin, Detectives Dillon Corr and David Carey and Det. Sgt. Corey Bryan all participated in the investigation of a string of burglaries in Ocean Reef in May-June of this year. The investigation led to the arrest of five suspects on 22 counts of burglary and 18 counts of theft. A large amount of stolen property was also recovered. Public Safety Director Robert Boone said in his letter to Sheriff Roth: “I am quite impressed by the overall response of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to these crimes. You should be proud of your agency’s efficiency and effectiveness.”
Congratulations, SPI Grads
Lt. Kelly, Sgt. Cain and Sgt. Jones are the recent grads of the intense five months SPI course held in Ft. Lauderdale. The course has a grueling two week on and two week off schedule which covers the following topics: Development of American Policing, the Evolution Of Management Theory, Interpersonal Communications, Administrative Legal Considerations, Developing Policy & Procedure, Ethical Leadership, Leadership Through Teamwork, Financial Management And Budget, The Law Enforcement Manager As A Visionary, Media Relations, Cultural Diversity, Performance Appraisal, Developing A Creative Organization Environment. Personnel Management Hiring and Entry-Level Training and the Future Of Policing. There are also small group projects, individual projects, and training in grants and grantsmanship.
Professional Standards Update
By Lt. Bruce Winegarden
Most of you know that in June of 2000 The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office received accreditation from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA). And in October 2000 received accreditation from the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC), of which the Sheriff is a Commissioner.
Now we are well into the process of seeking accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).
Some of you who have been here a while remember the process when we were accredited by CALEA before. For those who may not know about CALEA here is a short view of CALEA. CALEA was established in 1979 by four major law enforcement associations. These organizations are International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs Association and the Police Executive Research Forum. The primary purpose for CALEA is to improve law enforcement service by standards that were developed by law enforcement. CALEA recognizes professional organizations by offering an orderly process for addressing and complying with applicable standards. CALEA is a voluntary program.
There are many benefits of Accreditation and they are: Controlled liability insurance costs, stronger defense against lawsuits and citizen complaints, greater accountability within the agency, staunch support from government officials and increased community advocacy.
There are 439 standards, not including bullets under the majority of standards, we are required to comply with to receive accreditation. Each Sector has a CALEA Standards Manual available for viewing. Of those 439 standards there are numerous “Optional” standards. As an agency we may choose not to comply with 20% of these “Optional” standards. However, the goal is to be in 100% compliance.
CALEA also has a web page and that address is http://www calea.org/. We encourage you to visit and explore this site you will find it very informative.
Lately the Professional Standards Office has been contacting many within the organization to obtain documentation as proofs to show compliance for CALEA. At this time we are half way through with the standards and expect to have a mock on-site assessment soon to review our files. Upon successfully passing the mock we will contact CALEA for a formal on-site assessment in December 2001.
The Sheriff is committed to take the necessary steps and changes to obtain accreditation by CALEA. This is a total team effort by everyone in the Sheriff’s Office. So when Professional Standards contacts you and request documents or assistance please help us in accomplishing the task at hand.
Human Resources Report
The following people were honored at a ceremony held in Marathon in August for their years of service with the Sheriff’s Office.
5 Year Member Plaques
Lakay Barnett, July 8, 1996 To July 8, 2001
Artemio Rogel, July 12, 1996 To July 12, 2001
James Sheagren, July 12, 1996 To July 12, 2001
Freddy Rodriguez, September 16, 1996 To September 16, 2001
10 Year Member Plaques
Terri Story, July 3, 1991 to July 3, 2001
Dawn Agusto, July 15, 1991 To July 15, 2001
David Stark, July 15, 1991 To July 15, 2001
Robert Kennedy, July 29, 1991 To July 29, 2001
Victoria Reeder, August 15, 1991 To August 15, 2001
Dorothy Child, August 26, 1991 To August 26, 2001
Henry Bethel, September 17, 1991 To September 17, 2001
Deshawn Jackson, September 18, 1991 To September 18, 2001
Louis Caputo, September 30, 1991 To September 30, 2001
William Miller, September 30, 1991 To September 30, 2001
15 Year Member Plaques
Roger Allen, July 1, 1986 To July 1, 2001
Edward Hohmann, July 7, 1986 To July 7, 2001
Deborah Simpson, July 22, 1986 To July 22, 2001
Mitchell Horn, August 18, 1986 To August 18, 2001
Michael Sharp, August 25, 1986 To August 25, 200
Michelle Johnston, September 15, 1986 To September 15, 2001
Edward Williams, September 22, 1986 To September 22, 2001
20 Year Member Plaques
Robert Peryam, July 1, 1981 To July 1, 2001
Patricia Mann, September 1, 1981 To September 1, 2001
Thomas Brazil, September 15, 1981 To September 15, 2001
35 Year Member Plaques
Brenda Mounts, July 1, 1966 To July 1, 2001
Major Tommy Taylor thanks Brenda Mounts for her 35 years of
service to the Sheriff’s Office.
Timothy Stevens, DD Trainee
Douglas DeHanas, DD Trainee
Bobby Burkett, DD Trainee
Alan Crooks, DD Trainee
Robert Davia, DD Trainee
Yvonne Dixon, DD Trainee
Michael DiGiovanni, DD Trainee
Letter Parks, DD Trainee
Leonid Piatetski, DD Trainee
Marcus Kennedy, DD Trainee
Katherine Sieg, Detention Deputy
David Stubblefield, Detention Deputy (Welcome Back)
Elaine Lash, Landscape Animal Farm Specialist
Cathy Hamilton, Detention Records Assistant
Lynn Christian, to Intelligence Analyst
Jamie Denton, to Detention Records Supervisor
Congratulations to the recent BLE graduates:
From the Florida Sheriff’s Association and the National Sheriff’s Association: Please be aware, there are two ILLEGITIMATE organizations currently attempting to solicit funds from Sheriff’s Offices and other law enforcement agencies – The National Law Enforcement Officers, Inc. and The National Law Enforcement Memorial, Inc. There are no such organizations!!! There is a “National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund”, but they do not make phone solicitation calls and never have.
For Deferred Comp Investors:
If you have a Deferred Comp account with Hartford Life, keep an eye out in the mail for information on new options offered by Hartford. Hartford is reducing some account fees, and is increasing the investment options available to account holders.
Trinity Cook dies
It is with regrets that we announce the death of Randy Jones, Trinity Cook for the Monroe County Detention Center. Randy died September 26th, 2001 at his home. Randy was a well respected employee and an asset to the Trinity Corporation. We will miss him.
A Funny from District Three
Supervisors in District Three got a small chuckle recently when they received the following memorandum from Lt. Bill Moran about the peacocks that like to look at themselves in the substation’s back door. They apparently leave very BIG bird droppings that unobservant people step in and then track down the hallway
From: Bill Moran
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2001 10:49 AM
To: Pete Johnston; Donald Fanelli; Louis Caputo; Thomas Kiffney; Gabor Simoga; Scott Cockrell; Corey Bryan; Peggy D. Carey
Cc: Jenny Bell-Thomson
Subject: Watch Your Step !
Apparently we are again under siege by large, brightly plumed birds that are infatuated with the reflective film on the station's side door. The bird’s weapon of choice is feces (POOP) which they deploy like land mines on the sidewalk fronting the door. This tactic was highly effective, as demonstrated by someone who stepped on the "mine," then tracked feces frags down the hallway to the Records Unit. The B.F.D.U, (Bird Feces Disposal Unit), recommends anyone encountering such avian deposits, avoid stepping on them, then walking on a smooth surface (Floor), as this could result in an F.S. & F, (Feces Slip & Fall); not to mention the negative effects of having brown trails through the office.
A Funny from Information Services
This just in from an unnamed computer user, who has the Information Services phone number on speed dial. It seems her computer was making beeping/buzzing type noises and out of concern she again called Sandy in I.S. Sandy had her turn off everything, one at a time to try and isolate the noise..
The buzzing sound continued after all computer components and power supplies were turned off - so, Sandy told her, "I'll be right over".
Halfway to the jail, Sandy looked up at the balcony and heard our user shouting, "Sandy - NEVERMIND - IT WAS JUST A VIBRATOR IN MY PURSE!!!”
A tremendous $7,000 donation took us over the top
on funding for the new Law Enforcement Memorial
Sculpture, which will be placed in front of the Memorial
fountain at the Sheriff’s Stock Island complex. Jack Sinagra,
a Big Pine resident and Senator from New Jersey, made
the donation and is pictured here with the artist who is
currently creating the sculpture, Ed Moran (pictured on the left)
and Sheriff Rick Roth.
In August, members of the Sheriff’s Bomb Squad set up the new Burn Unit at the Cudjoe
Key landfill in compliance with a destruction order from the Sheriff’s Property Division.
Over 600 pounds of drugs were burned, including 40 kilos of cocaine, 2 bales of marijuana
and other miscellaneous substances. The burn went smoothly except for one small mishap:
Sgt. Bobby Randolph had to practice his expert fire suppression techniques after he put
hot ashes into a paper box and it caught fire. Oops….
Traffic Sgt. Glen Test said he sent these two deputies out to enforce resource violations
during lobster mini-season, and look what happened! They claimed they were working
Sandi Roth retired recently after 17.5 years of service
with the Sheriff’s Office. We wish her all the best in her
much-deserved retirement. Have fun, Sandi!
Surprise! Jamie and Judy both enjoyed a surprise birthday
party held for them at the Stock Island Detention Center recently.