Newsletter published by the Community Relations Division of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, for Monroe County Sheriff's Office employees.
Table of Contents
Editor's Note: I will be out of the office from December 11th until January 12th, so there won't be a December Rap Sheet. I hope you all have a terrific Holiday Season.
Happy Holidays from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office!
Congratulations, Employees of the third
This is the last Rap Sheet before the holidays, so I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a terrific holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa, I hope you all take time out to enjoy your families and friends. The Sheriff's Office will be giving everyone an additional 16 hours off over the holidays. It will be added to your vacation time and can be used at any time, subject to your supervisor's approval.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released semi-annual statistics this week for major crimes which occurred between January and June of this year. I'm proud to announce that Monroe County, excluding crimes which occurred in the city of Key West, showed a significant decrease of 6.2% over the same time period in 2002. Our clearance rate showed a significant rise from 17.0% to 20.9%. I want to thank you all for working hard - it is your hard work, and our close partnership with the community, which is responsible for the consistent, 13 year downturn in crime for our county.
Here are some numbers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to show you all how crime has decreased over the past 14 years: In 1989, our county had 78,966 residents; total index crimes (major crimes tracked by FDLE) were 10,315 and the number of crimes per 100,000 people was 13,062. In 2002, our county population was 81,140; total index crimes were 5,214 and the number of crimes per 100,000 people was 6,425. Our citizens are most definitely safer today than they were 14 years ago. If you would like to see more FDLE crime statistics, they are available at http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/FSAC/data_statistics.asp.
Tow to Go Program helps reduce drunk driving in the Keys
Silver Eagle Distributors and AAA will once again be offering the Tow to Go program to fight the problem of Drunk Driving over the holiday season. Beginning November 28th, they will be offering a free ride to adults who choose to drink alcohol, but who don't have a ride with a designated driver.
Any adult who needs a ride home can simply call 1-800-AAA-HELP and AAA will dispatch a tow truck to take both the driver and the vehicle home, free of charge. Please distribute the attached information as widely and in as many ways as possible. This is a terrific program that is sure to save lives over the holidays.
Sheriff's Office fingerprint database is a useful and productive tool
In 2001, the Sheriff's Office purchased a new Automated Fingerprint Information Expander (AFIX), a localized fingerprint identification system which uses a database made up of fingerprints from local arrests, and other local sources to check latent prints taken at local crime scenes. The machine was installed in Key West, and Fingerprint Specialist Nancy Rodriquez has been entering fingerprints into the system since that time. In a two year period, she had gotten 22 "hits" on criminal cases helping detectives to identify suspects.
When a latent fingerprint is taken at a crime scene, it is submitted to the Sheriff's Office Property Division and is automatically taken to Rodriguez for a check through the system. After she checks it and enters it into the system to add to the existing database, she sends it to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a further check into State of Florida fingerprint records and/or the FBI national database.
While it is true that the FDLE and FBI checks can take a considerable amount of time - sometimes months - the local check can be done fairly quickly. Once she has the fingerprint in hand, Nancy can do a check in a matter of minutes. This is important because criminals tend to be territorial - that is they tend to commit their crimes relatively close to home. Add that to the fact that many criminals are repeat offenders, and the local check becomes significant.
Soon, the Sheriff's Office should be able to check fingerprints through the FBI's national database locally as well. "We're in the process of purchasing the equipment we need to do national checks. This will cut down on the time we have to wait for our fingerprints," said Sheriff Roth. "The hits we have had over the past two years with our AFIX system show the purchase of the equipment was well worth it, and I'm very excited about the fact that we will soon be able to do more comprehensive fingerprints checks without a month's long wait," he said.
Sheriff's Office works with Salvation Army to collect "Toys for Tots"
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office in Marathon is working with the Salvation Army to collect new toys and monetary donations before Christmas. The proceeds will be used to make sure needy children and families enjoy the Christmas season. Businesses in the Marathon area are asked to decorate a large box and place it in a prominent place as a collection station for new toys. People are asked to donate a new, unwrapped toy by placing it in one of these donation boxes. Monetary donations would also be appreciated and will be used to purchase new toys for the program. According to Sheriff's Office Toys for Tots coordinator Deputy Linda Hartley, the program in Marathon will be providing toys for well over a thousand children this year.
Anyone with questions, or who wants to make a monetary donation, can call Deputy Hartley at 289-8567 or Marathon Captain Bob Peryam at 289-2430.
Sector 7 Report
By Captain Jenny Bell-Thomson
Things are running smoothly as usual in Sector 7, despite the manpower shortages we’re currently facing. We do have some great new-hires I’d like to introduce: Lee Cowart, who we gleefully stole from DEP and who breezed through the FTO program; and Jason Keith, recruited from the cold north (North Florida, that is) by Deputy Ray Jodlowski. Welcome to both of you.
By the look on his face every day, we know that newly promoted Don Fanelli is a happy man. After 18 years with our agency Donnie has more than proven he’s up to the job and well-deserving of this promotion.
Ocean Reef got a good boost too, with the addition of a lieutenant’s position, filled by Lt. Moran.
Congratulations to Don Dalton who will be transferred to CIU sometime next year when we’re fully staffed. (Just kidding…sort of.) And congrats, too, to Andrew Leird, who has transferred to the traffic division. Andrew has coveted this position for many years and we’re happy to see him reach his goal. He’ll have to wait for his transfer too, since he’s recovering from injuries after a crash on a motorcycle. Speedy recovery to you Andrew and we’ll call when the training wheels are affixed to the motor!
Speaking of crashes – Lou Caputo – again. Although this time the crash was not Lou’s fault (as opposed to the launching of his last car), I still can’t get beyond the idea that every time his car gets a few thousand miles on it he does something to get a new one. We discussed at length alternative means of transportation for Lou but couldn’t quite come up with the right idea. Corey finally nailed it for us by suggesting just giving Lou a phone booth. How much trouble could he get into that way?
He’s done some good things too, though. Most recently he and a strong band of crime watch members were able to convince the county to put in a walking/biking bridge adjacent to a narrow humpbacked bridge in Ocean Bay subdivision. This bridge is heavily traveled and the residents wanted a safe way to traverse it on foot and bicycle. It took a long time, but the bridge has been constructed and is ready to go in place. Even better is the accomplishment of securing a piece of property adjacent to the Key Largo Community park which the county will turn into a skateboard park. Lou worked very hard to accomplish both these great additions to our community.
Construction on our building is zooming along. The wall studs are up and the electrical and plumbing have been roughed in. There’s so much room over there – almost triple the square footage we’re jammed into now. Our gym will be much more comfortable; we’ll have shower/locker rooms; a real training room with gazillion phone and computer outlets; a nice break room with all the amenities; storage galore; a roomy squad room with property and evidence lockers like the ones in Marathon; we’ll have keypad and swipe card entry at some doors; a back door that is just steps away from the DUI room; and a real interview room and separate interrogation room with cameras and two-way glass.
I never imagined how overwhelming it would be to outfit this building. It’s fun, but it’s pretty challenging. I’ve had lots of help from Lou and Donnie, Kirk Salvatori and Glenn Test, Ross and Corey and their crews, Finance, Mike Rice, the sheriff’s construction consultant Bill Sprague, the architects – Burt Bender and Matthew Stratton, and the county’s public works staff. My thanks to all of you, and especially to Sheriff Roth for making this dream of ours a reality. (Happy Belated Birthday, too!).
I want to end by thanking every deputy and supervisor in Sector 7 for your dedication during our staffing crisis (and to Colonel Ramsay for his support). It’s been extremely tough to maintain minimum staffing for the past several months here and you each have risen to the occasion like the professionals you are. Thanks, especially, to Jim Ford and Laura Garcia, who handle supervisory duties for us when the midnight shifts don’t have a sergeant working, and to all of you who have been held over on your shifts or come out early to help us out.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.
Despite staffing problems, the PK Station's
Records staff manages to
Sector One Report
By Captain Chad Scibilia
Hello again from Sector One. Thankfully (knock on wood) we have been fairly quiet down here and don’t have much to report as far a crime is concerned. We do have to say goodbye to Dep. Kevin England. He is leaving us to seek further knowledge on the mainland and we wish him the best of luck. And as is always the case, you can’t say goodbye without saying hello. So we welcome to the team Dep. Charlie Cobb who is coming to us from sector 4 and DEPUTY Jose Alvarez who comes to us from supply. We are glad to have these two fine officers as part of our team and look forward to what they bring to the sector.
This past Saturday, the sector had a pig roast. Yes, we cooked one of our own. Fun was had by all who attended and we thank Chef George Morffi for the fine dining, the FOP for their donation of the sacrificial pig and of course Matt and Nancy Dowling for their hospitality, as the event was held at Matt’s sports complex.
On a last note, the FOP Christmas party is on December 6 at Hawks Cay. I hope everyone who can attend, does so. I am sure it will be a great time.
Until next month, stay safe.
Report from Marathon and Sector 5
By Lt. Larry Kelley
Not much to report from your neighbors and co-workers here in the Middle Keys of Marathon and Sector 5. We have been busy lately with the statewide Combined Safety Belt and DUI Enforcement Mobilization. As you all know this is the enforcement wave from November 21 through January 4 when the state has requested we target seat belt violations and DUI drivers. Deputies in Marathon have been setting up daily speed check stations where we are specifically targeting seat belt usage. When drivers are stopped at these checks and anyone in the vehicle is found in violation of any seat belt law they are ticketed and those in compliance are thanked and encouraged to continue the safe behavior. These efforts have been turning in impressive activity and I have received no adverse complaints but have gotten numerous positive citizens’ comments about the positive impact we are having out there. I was out yesterday evening trying to “keep up” with Deputy Harry Boyden and Willie Guerra on one such detail and it was a considerable challenge for me to mirror their energy—but I somehow kept up the pace. I worked the other night while Deputy Andrew Ensminger and I were playing leapfrog on traffic stops and I have got to say he certainly has a professional handle on DUI enforcement. I got to see his abilities up close. Great job, guys. And a job well done to all of you, throughout the county, who are dedicating part of your time to these enforcement actions. Keep up the good work. This is exactly how we can affect our citizens’ safety out there. We have secured TRAP money to put extra Deputies on weekend nights throughout December for just these purposes and hope to make a difference in the safety of our motoring public here.
We welcome our newest member to our group. Jennifer Hodges comes to us from the Marathon Corrections facility. Carolyn McKenzie left this month to work closer to home in the upper keys and she will be missed. We now look forward to working with Jen and I am sure she will be a tremendous asset to our office here. Sorry Lieutenant Jones, but your loss is our gain.
We welcome home all of our “Reserve Miami” police officers who spent the entire FTAA week up there facing those same anarchists we here had to watch on the TV every night. Having been in that situation many times myself I know they had a full plate confronting everything they did. They were required to stand and face-off antagonists for hours on end and they had to do it with little or no rest, as they never knew when or if their present shift would ever end. After awhile they all just blend together into one big blur, but you get to know the meaning of teamwork and dependence on officers shoulder to shoulder with you and that is a priceless commodity. Welcome home and we are all proud of you.
We are missing Sergeant Dennis Cain right now. He injured himself in training for the Miami detail and is very upset he missed it. We will be without his important services here for about another month as he works to return to full duty. Good luck Dennis, and God’s speed. Deputy Lin Badman is recovering now from a hand injury. We will be without her for another week or so and certainly miss her and we wish her a quick recovery as well. She told me today, in her own way, that she is going stir crazy not being out there with her squad and her return could not be quick enough for her.
Just another month and Deputy Harry Boyden will begin his new duties as our Marine Enforcement Deputy in Marathon waters. I would like to thank Lieutenant Tom Brazil and Deputy Nelson Sanchez, from Islamorada, for working with him in formulating all of the specialized aspects of this new job, from water activity to equipment. Harry has spent many hours in the securing and purchasing efforts of the new craft and equipment and should be congratulated for his efforts. We look forward to having that new asset on the waters here. With that in mind, we will be losing his knowledge and ability in his current assignment as Special Projects Deputy. Anyone that may be interested in that position can talk to me about it as we are currently choosing his replacement.
We in Marathon and Sector 5 would like to wish all of you a very happy and safe holiday season and hope you get lots of turkey and dressing tomorrow (as this writing is Thanksgiving-eve). Stay safe and fly right.
AND REMEMBER….You may sometimes feel that your efforts are going unnoticed, but I assure you that they are not.
News from the Traffic Unit
By Traffic Sgt. Glenn Test
The Traffic Unit was busy for much of the month of November preparing for the FTAA conference in Miami. The entire unit made the trip and put in 15+ hr days conducting escorts, traffic control, and security details. Fortunately the entire event went off with very little violence, and we made it back safely. The only near disaster was when one of the motor officers went into a skid on the wet pavement in a busy intersection downtown, ... but was able to pull out of it much to the surprise of those following him! Who was that anyway? Other minor injuries or physical conditions did manifest themselves, such as "saddle-back syndrome" from being in the saddle too long, but I am sure we will all recover soon.
We would also like to wish our newest member of the unit, Andy Leird, a speedy and full recovery. Andy wasn't quite able to pull out of his skid, but fortunately appears to be on his way to a full recovery.
We have been short handed for many months, and due to injuries, it appears it will be a few more before we are fully staffed. We are getting overwhelmed by subdivision traffic complaints and we will do our best to handle them. We can use all the help we can get, and if there are any road patrol units who like traffic, please read the Target Areas posted in Outlook (and on the website at http://www.keysso.net/patrol_ops/traffic/targets.htm) and knock yourself out!
Congratulations, Employees of the Quarter!
Sworn Law Enforcement Officer of the Quarter: K-9 Deputy Storm, Bureau of Operations, Sector VI Islamorada. On May 6th, Storm assisted officers of the Fish & Wildlife Commission in conducting a search of a vessel. Storm alerted officers on the rear of the vessel decking and once it was removed they uncovered approximately 46 pounds of marijuana. On May 11th, Storm assisted detectives of the Special Operations Division in making a narcotics case by searching and alerting on a vehicle, which contained 100 grams of cocaine. On May 11th, Storm assisted troopers of the Florida Highway Patrol in searching and alerting on a 2003 Dodge Ram pickup, which was found to contain 90 grams of cocaine. On July 29th, Storm assisted in an FBI investigation by searching a storage warehouse in Key Colony Beach. Storm alerted on an air conditioner unit, which established probable cause in developing a case against a major hydroponics marijuana cultivator in South Florida. This OCDETF case dubbed Operation High Alert targeted major marijuana cultivators. The FBI felt strongly enough to send a commendation letter. In addition, Storm has assisted patrol officers and performed numerous building searches on alarm and open door calls. Storm aided in numerous vessel searches at the request of the US Coast Guard and tracked suspects who have fled from officers.
Support Employee of the Quarter: Pilot Leland Cranmer, Bureau of Administration, Aviation. On August 2nd, the MCSO Trauma Star responded to a trauma request involving the search and rescue of a missing 19-year-old traffic crash victim. The victim’s driver’s side door was pinned up against the bridge barrier adjacent to the Sunshine Key Campground. The vehicle’s headlights and ignition were on, the radio was playing and the windshield wipers operating. The victim was nowhere to be found. It appeared that the victim must have been ejected or egressed through the window and may have fallen over the bridge. The Rescue 13 and Big Pine Fire Chief David Alan cleared the crash scene and called off the search for the victim. This is when Trauma Star was summoned. With a thunderstorm over Marathon Airport and darkness still prevalent the Trauma Star was scrambled. Pilot Cranmer was flying Trauma Star single pilot with no other crewmembers on board, Cranmer would be flying and searching from air, by himself. It was this noble act that Cranmer maneuvered the helicopter in low light conditions and following the rip current to the open ocean and discovered the victim’s motionless body floating in the water face down. Cranmer immediately advised Central and took up and over watch position. During this time, Cranmer realized the victim was moving and floundering in the water. With units still too far away, Cranmer had to think quickly and take immediate action. The victim was rescued and rendered medical aid.
Pilot Cranmer’s ability to perform under tremendous pressure, and under extremely hazardous conditions while flying and searching by himself is without equal. His selfless act of courage and concern for the needs of the victim goes beyond the normal call-of-duty. Because of his actions, a local youth’s life was spared from certain death. His dedication to duty, professionalism, ability to perform with expert precision and concern for the lives of others reflects greatly upon himself, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Citizens of Monroe County.
Sworn Corrections Officer of the Quarter: Detention Sgt. Linda Simonet, Bureau of Corrections, Security Division – KW Facility. Detention Sgt. Linda Simonet made a good first impression recently with a team of three on-site inspectors, who toured the three detention facilities. One of the team members, Captain Fred Latsko, told Captain Phelps, “Captain, this is going to be a great on-site. I can tell by looking at your facilities that your staff is in control. The buildings are spotless and the inmates are quiet. You should be extremely proud of your staff.” Sgt. Simonet recognized the importance of a good first impression. She willingly accepted the responsibility of ensuring that our facilities looked sharp.
Sgt. Simonet organized inmate work crews that cleaned, stripped and waxed floors and painted anything and everything that stood still long enough for the paintbrush or roller to run over the top of it. She worked many nights and weekends motivating inmates to continue scraping, cleaning, and painting. She accomplished miracles considering her only motivators were an occasional cup of coffee and a few extra days of gain time.
Reserve Deputy of the Quarter: Reserve Deputy Lynn Faircloth, Bureau of Operations, Sector VI & V. Reserve Deputy Faircloth has been doing parking enforcement recently and rides in all sectors. She finds that by riding it helps her with her job as a dispatcher as well as assisting the deputies with her additional knowledge of the area and the people. She has recently volunteered to assist Detective Reidelbach with data entry to help catch up some intelligence files. A recent event that Reserve Deputy Faircloth was involved in shows how she supports her community policing. The situation occurred several months ago involving the Baker’s Act with an elderly victim that had no relatives or friends in the area. The victim had a small dog that was her only companion and needed someone to care for the dog while she was in the hospital. Faircloth took the dog in and cared for it until the victim was able to return home. Faircloth became close to the victim and the victim’ son. Unfortunately, the victim was killed in a car accident a few months later, but once again Faircloth came to the victims needs. The victim’s son came down to handle the victim’s affairs and Faircloth was the one that helped the son get around town. Faircloth did this out of the goodness of her heart, and she is someone we can depend on to do quality volunteer work in the reserves well into the future.
Cadet/Explorer of the Quarter: Cadet Thomas Brazil, Bureau of Operations, Explorer/Cadet Section. Cadet Brazil has donated over 60 hours to assist Sgt. Hurd in training “Deputy Storm” and was available anytime he was needed. This is in addition to the hours he has spent riding with deputies. Often times a “decoy” was needed to be stationary for a long period of time. Not only can this be boring but is also time consuming. When most young adults his age would rather be out doing far more enjoyable activities, we can always count on Cadet Brazil to assist. He never complains or says he does not want to help. Not only does he assist in keeping “Deputy Storm” sharp, he demonstrates the true desire to do more than any Cadet. Brazil displays the eagerness and desire that is necessary to be a member of the Explorer/Cadet program of the County.
Letters of Thanks and Commendation
Nextel Phone Details
By Finance Director Tom Ravenel
A description of the Nextel plan for members with agency supplied phones is as follows:
Human Resources Halloween fun!
The Sheriff's Human Resources Division
Staff had fun on Halloween with
Here's an example of
Jerry's new world...here he is with