Newsletter published by the Community Relations Division of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, for Monroe County Sheriff's Office employees.

February 2003

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Table of Contents


Sheriff’s Report

Sheriff Roth and Major Tommy Taylor, being sworn in as captains in the Conch Republic Navy by Conch Republic Vice Admiral Finbar Gittelman. The Sheriff and Major had just participated in a ceremony welcoming the Amistad to Key West in January.

Tourist Season:

This is an active time of year, with Spring Break and other tourist activities keeping us busy. Traffic is heavy and tourist related crimes are occurring, as they always do this time of year. I just want to remind everyone to be courteous and patient when dealing with the busy nature of the season and with the large numbers of visitors to our county. I get many positive comments from people who deal with our officers, and I appreciate your professionalism and dedication to the work we do.

New Command Post:

I'm excited to tell you that by the time you read this, our new Mobile Command Post will be on order, with delivery expected in June of this year. Colonel Bill McDonald has been working hard on this project to make sure we get exactly what we need in a command post. It will be used to respond to large scenes such as disasters, major accidents and/or hostage rescue situations. It can also be set up around the county for public events such as fairs and school demonstrations.

We are ordering ours from a company called LDV (Lynch Diversified Vehicles). Palm Beach County has one from this company, and it is really something  - they say it fills their needs very well. Click this link to see some samples of the mobile command vehicles they've built for other law enforcement venues: http://www.ldvusa.com/SSV/SSV_Chassis.asp?ID=277.

The vehicle will be about 35 feet long overall with a freightliner chassis, all aluminum with a diesel engine. We are having it configured with seven internal work stations, a conference room, a bathroom, a kitchenette, a 10 kw Onan diesel generator, an alarm system, an expandable tower on top with a mount for a high powered video camera, a satellite television dish, two light and siren units, and a central air conditioner unit. It will have three regular phone lines, three cellular phone lines and two satellite phone lines; it will be equipped with a computer server with removable hard drives which will be programmed with all the information available on our regular system; It will have ports for laptop computers and for radios. All the works necessary to perform our work anywhere under any conditions.

We are purchasing this command post out of federal forfeiture money, seized in a drug and money laundering case worked by HIDTA in conjunction with the Federal Government. It will cost in the neighborhood of $300,000.00.

When we take delivery, it will be making the rounds to everyone can see it. Drivers must have a Commercial Driver's License, so only select department members will be operating the vehicle.


Ask the Administration


Question #1: Is Dr. Rice  apart of the county commission and doing the psychological evaluations for the sheriff's office at the same time? If so  it would seem that this practice would be a conflict of interest and apparently I am not the only Deputy who thinks so.  I would appreciate clarification in this matter, if you know the answers to the questions that are being asked?
(1) Is this practice legal, or is it considered Double dipping,  
(2)If it is not legal or ethical for a department with as high of standards as this department has why would we risk continuing with business as usual? 
(3) Has the sheriff's department considered choosing another doctor whom is totally neutral to complete its psychological evaluations? 
My argument is simple and of course I'm using something that apparently has been long forgotten Common sense.
 
 If a person has received an evaluation from a Doctor and feels that the evaluation is inadequate or incorrect why will the county not let that subject get a second opinion from a different doctor? Let's say for argument sake we go to a Medical doctor with a stubbed Toe and that Doctor wants to amputate our Foot, we do what is expected and find a different Doctor A.S.A.P and get  the SECOND and hopefully different OPINION. But of course that is the reason that we are and should be allowed at least 2 opinions.  What does the county have to gain or lose by allowing this simple solution ?  
 
Thank you; I hope that you can help me in my search for a logical answer to some straight forward and fairly simple questions. 

Answered by Sheriff Roth: I'm glad you asked that because it gives me the chance to let everyone know that we checked this situation out thoroughly when Dr. Rice was elected to the County Commission. Here is part of a letter we wrote to the State of Florida Commission on Ethics, along with a synopsis of their reply. I am forwarding a copy of the entire correspondence to the questioner, so he will have as complete an answer as possible. Anyone else who wants a copy of the correspondence is welcome to it.

We posed the following question to the Commission:

 Issue: Whether the Sheriff of Monroe County is required to terminate the contractual relationship between the Sheriff and a Florida-licensed psychologist for the provision of psychological testing services, upon the psychologist’s election to a seat on the Board of County Commissioners of Monroe County.

They answered: "Based on decisions of the Commission on Ethics, it does not appear that a conflict of interest would be created under Section 112.313(3), Florida Statutes, were Dr. Rice to continue to provide psychological testing services to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office after he takes office as a County Commissioner, under an oral agreement to provide the services entered into prior to his qualification to run for office.

Further, for reasons stated in your inquiry, it does not appear that a conflict would be created under Section 112.313(7)(a), Florida Statutes, were he to continue to provide services to the Sheriff's Office under the agreement; and the agreement would appear to be "grandfathered" for purposes of Section 112.313(7)(a) too."


General News

New Career Offender Registration Law Takes Effect January 10, 2003

Beginning Jan. 1, as mandated by Florida statute, (FS 775.261) career offenders must register with the sheriff's office or FDLE office in the area in which they reside once released from sanction under the Florida Department of Corrections. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) will maintain a registry of these offenders.

As stated in the statute, career offenders are individuals who have been designated by a court as: a habitual violent felony offender, a violent career criminal, a three-time violent felony offender, or a prison release re-offender. All must be currently serving time or released from sanction under one of these designations on or after Jan. 1, 2003.

Registration will aid in determining where career offenders are residing to promote public awareness and safety. As with the state's sexual predator and sexual offender registration and notification system, the career offender registration and notification provisions are not punishment, but an effort to promote public safety. Failure to register is a third-degree felony.

FDLE Commissioner Tim Moore said, "The Florida Legislature made it law for these career offenders to register and have their addresses and other essential information made available to law enforcement and the public. I applaud the Governor and the legislature for taking the initiative to continue our efforts to provide Floridians with the kind of information that will help protect them from those who could do them harm."


For information on the new career offender registration laws or to learn if a career offender resides in your community, call FDLE at 1-866-284-1108. Later this year, FDLE will also provide names, photos and addresses of career offenders on the FDLE Web site.


Bureau of Operations

Report from Marathon and Sector 5

By Lt. Larry Kelley

Well, this is the first of the 2003 Rap Sheets. I hope all of you had a great Christmas and New Year and are safe, healthy and ready for 2003.

Deputy Iscandel Perez

Deputy Louis Rivera

A bike officer learning to ride stairs in Police Mountain Bike school in Bradenton, Florida.

"BOYZ ON BIKES"

We started a new team this year and sent two Deputies to Bradenton for Police Mountain Bike School. Deputies Louis Rivera, Iscandel Perez and Chuck Kellenberger make up what has been tagged as the “BOB” squad. The name has nothing to do with our Sector Commander but actually stands for “Boyz On Bikes”. Since January 14th (1 month) the team has produced seven felony arrests (one armed car jacking fugitive) 13 Misdemeanor arrests, seized 26 grams of cocaine and an additional 7 rocks of crack and have several outstanding drug cases under investigation. They are “kickin’ butt”. They have put in well over 100 miles of bike patrol in town so far. They have also spent numerous hours on wave-runner patrol in the near-shore waters of Marathon and have issued several boating safety warnings. They also have more land and water operations planned for the near future.

Sergeant Susan Greenwood trained several citizens interested in Citizens On Patrol, addressing specific areas of how they could assist road patrol deputies. She also attended bank robbery training for Orion Bank employees for Marathon and Islamorada. She presented the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office response to such incidents.

Reserve Sergeant Dave (Super-Dave) Campbell ended his first year as the Parking Enforcement Coordinator for Marathon with over 400 VOLUNTEER hours (that’s 10 full work weeks). He wrote approximately 300 tickets, painted 46 disabled spaces and erected 28 disabled parking signs for community businesses. He did all of this while working full time in Communications and telling us all “where to go”. Some of the materials used for painting spaces and erecting signs were donated by area business with all other materials fully paid for by the Monroe County Council for People with Disabilities. It is such a fitting situation that the materials were bought with the fines that were paid by the violators of the spaces in the first place. As for parking enforcement, we are putting on a Parking Enforcement training class for volunteers beginning in the next few months. This is a 16-hour course and will certify the graduate thru FDLE and the Sheriff’s Office as a Volunteer Parking Enforcement Specialist. Contact Super-Dave for information if you know anyone interested. We already have close to a full class so call soon.

Another program we are working on is addressing false alarms in our sectors. This time last year I began sending bills to area businesses that had faulty alarms that caused us to respond more than 6 times in a calendar year. A Monroe County ordinance allows for these businesses to be charged for our services. To this point I have received $1400 in paid bills with another $1350 outstanding. Businesses with outstanding bills are being addressed and collection should be forthcoming. The best part of this system is that the number of problem alarms has consistently gone down as the word got out.

Deputy Willy Guerra made a great case at Long Key State Park last weekend. He stopped two suspicious vehicles and arrested the drivers after finding the vehicles to be freshly stolen locally and filled with stolen property. Great job, Willy!

The Sheriff awarded Deputy Louis Rivera the Sheriff’s Medal of Valor for his actions in the arrest of a suspect in a shooting in Key West that he witnessed off duty. The award was given to him at last weeks Officer of the Quarter ceremony. Deputy Dennis Coleman was honored at the same ceremony as Deputy of the Quarter for last quarter. Congratulations to both of these fine young men. Keep up the heads-up work.

Deputy Louis Rivera received the Sheriff's
Medal of Valor from Sheriff Roth and Captain Bob Peryam

Law Enforcement Officer of the Quarter Deputy Dennis Coleman being rewarded by Sheriff Roth

Mayor John Bartus and the City Commission named Deputy Linda Hartley Marathon Person of the Year. She received this award for her never-ending efforts to work with community leaders and underprivileged children. The list of her successes in Marathon is too long to print here but suffice it to say she has touched the lives and hearts of thousands in our community. Marathon Deputy Linda Kohout also received acclaim. County Commissioner George Nugent presented her an “Honorary Conch” certificate. I don't know exactly what this means but I am sure that understanding the meaning of the word "Keyzie" is involved.

Deputy Linda Hartley was named "Marathon Person of the Year" by Mayor John Bartus, Captain Bob Peryam was at the presentation

Deputy Jen Lascala is spending many hours in her position as Child Seat Safety Coordinator for Marathon. She has planned and performed two Child Seat Safety Checkpoints in the last week, one in Marathon and the other assisting the Key West Police Department. Combined, they checked and adjusted 76 seats in vehicles in the two days. Now that is work. And it is work well done and well appreciated by the community. Nothing can be more honorable than safeguarding our children.

Deputy Jen Lascala with Officer Frank Blastberg,
KWPD and FHP at a recent Child Seat Safety Check Station

SPI selections went especially well for Marathon this time around. Sergeants Sam Cassel and Susan Greenwood were selected to attend. Both are from Sector 4. Detective Mike Langston of SID and the Marathon Station was also selected. Congratulations to you all. You will thoroughly enjoy the class and find that the training is intense but insightful. You will also find the contacts you make there to be priceless.

We are currently filling three two-day classes offered by St. Petersburg College and the Southeastern Public Safety Institute. These are two-day classes on the Introduction to Community Policing. The classes are free of charge. We are providing the hotel and mileage for the instructor. The instructor is Sergeant Jake Walker with the Collier County Sheriff's Office. The course covers: Police-Community Partnerships, Introduction to Problem Solving Policing, Problem Solving Practical Exercises, Action Planning, Crime Prevention and Community Policing Resource Development. Class hours are 8AM to 5 PM. Send requests through your supervisor to training for seating.

The classes are offered: March 3rd and 4th at Key Colony Beach City Hall

  • March 5th and 6th at Key Colony Beach City Hall
  • March 7th and 8th at Marathon Government Center EOC
  • We presented our 2002 Annual report to the Marathon City Council in January. 2002 was a banner year for the City of Marathon. The City Council has consistently directed us to focus on increased traffic enforcement due to the number of complaints they receive from citizens. We have complied for the past year and have reduced the crash rate substantially due at least partly to our efforts. In 2001 there were 637 crashes in Marathon and we wrote 3,279 tickets that year. In 2002 we increased the number of tickets written to 6383 (up+94.7%) and thus reduced the number of crashes that year to 421 (down-33.9%). That is a great job! On that subject, there is little doubt that the actions and dedication of Sergeant Doug Penley’s Squad, consisting of Deputies Lin Badman, Jeremy Davy, Ernie Paton and Chuck Meier, were the main driving forces of this reduction. This is not to lessen the drive and resolve of all of the Deputies in Marathon to address the issue, but Sergeant Penley’s ability to focus on this issue and set an example for his squad to follow made the difference between a good year and a GREAT year in the number of traffic crashes.

    At the same time overall crime was down-5.3% from 2001 to 2002 with specific reductions in Burglaries down-16.3%, Vehicle Theft down-21.7 % and Theft down-5.4%. Our directions from the city council are clear. To work with the community in partnership to address public needs and address the important issues of the citizens of Marathon. We are and will continue to do so. Without the efforts and personal drive of the men and women of Sectors 4 and 5, this would not have been possible. The gratitude of the entire City of Marathon goes out to them. Well done, all!

    In other enforcement efforts we continue to focus on all areas of service. In November we arrested 5 DUI's, wrote 537 tickets and 231 warnings, made 18 felony arrests, 48 misdemeanor arrests and served 20 warrants. In December we arrested 16 DUI's, wrote 556 tickets and 339 warnings, made 15 felony arrests, 58 misdemeanor arrests and served 16 warrants. In January we arrested 5 DUI's, wrote 489 tickets and 262 warnings, made 21 felony arrests, 46 misdemeanor arrests and served 37 warrants. All of this in addition to 1576 building checks, 821 night-eye contacts, as well as all of our zone improvements, directed patrols and elevated security watch orders due to heightened awareness for homeland security.

    Well I guess that is all for now, be safe and work hard.

    AND REMEMBER……. If someone ever asks you if you would arrest your own mother-tell them “Not without backup”!


    Sector 7 Report

    By Lt. Bill Moran

    I can’t tell you how glad I am that February is the shortest month of the year.  There has been more going on, in less time, than I can remember.  Of course at my age, “remembering” is something of a challenge anyway. Fortunately, God created the Outlook Calendar and I am saved………..sort of.

    In the beginning, February 3, there was darkness; otherwise referred to as my 56th birthday party at the Encore in Key Large.  Not being a person easily surprised, this conspiracy by 20 or so friends, and engineered by Miss Eileen McGuire, totally got me.  Imagine me, standing in silence, mouth open, eyes wide open…………….no, forget that………….bad visual.  At any rate, it was a blast, which ended with me doing Karioki (a Japanese word meaning tone deaf), to a room full of customers and friends.  I am still waiting for the warrant for Noise Pollution to be served on me.

    February 4th and 5th saw mandatory training for all sergeants in Supervising Generation X and Problem Solving in Community Policing.  This was a lot of fun in scheduling when you are three positions down to begin with.  Right on the heels of the mandatory training came Train the Trainers on the 800 MHz radio system and more scheduling fun.

    Moving on to February 11th and the first of the 800 MHz  radio-training sessions.   I would like to thank Sgts. Dave Stark, Deb Ryan, Lou Caputo and Reserve Capt. Ted Migala for taking on the task of training us in the rather complex capabilities of the 800 MHz. radio and system.  I would also like to thank Sgt. Don Fanelli for his insight and amazing grasp of the K.I.S.S. Principle; “Turn radio on…..Select channel 1…. Press transmit button until you hear the beeps………..speak.  Thanks Don.

    Now comes February 14th thru the 16th, at the hallowed grounds of the Daytona Speedway, for the Daytona 500. Mother Nature later determined it would be the Daytona 275 but that’s not important here.  The fun really starts just trying to get to the raceway to see the race.  Remember, when parking is minimal at the raceway itself, the surrounding world will capitalize on it and turn every square inch of unoccupied ground into a parking lot, space, area, etc.  Everyone knows the saying, “Time is money.”  Well, in the world of Daytona, “Distance from the raceway equals money.”  I may be exaggerating somewhat because there actually was free parking; just over the county line, where you can wait with a few hundred other cheepies, for a bus ride to the raceway.  You will undoubtedly miss the start of the race and will require food and liquids when you do finally get there.  We chose to anti up the $40.00 bucks to park within a half mile of the gate.

    Now, I’ve never been a true NASCAR junkie.  I’d seen some races on T.V., been to the Hialeah Raceway for some Stock Car fun, and to the Homestead Raceway for some Formula 1 (Indy type cars), but never really got the bug.  All that’s changes after Daytona.  Talk about a great time!  Watching those cars fly four inches off the ground at 190 +M.P.H. just inches apart was spectacular.  Especially the part where they weren’t inches apart but “rub” another car.  This is technically called a “High Speed Crash.”  At those speeds, the crash seems to go on forever.  Spinning…..rolling……..smoke and occasionally fire and coming apart before the remains of the car finally stops.  And after all that, the driver walks away.  It was awesome!

    The trip back to the motel was even more interesting.  Most adults, and every parent, know when you are going to take a road trip: go before you leave.  This is especially true when you are going to spend the next two and a half hours slow rolling on Interstate 4, as one of 50,000 other cars leaving the raceway at the same time.  I could tell by the urgency in the voices of the three women riding with me that I either had to find an off ramp to a gas station, a roadside Rest Area facility, or be prepared to have my truck interior steam cleaned.  Guess what?  No off ramp…………No Rest Area, and no speed up of the 50,000 cars to help me get anywhere.  There is nothing on that part of Interstate 4 West but woods and cut grass roadside.  You guessed it, I started looking for a place to pull off after being told I was out of time.  It is now dark and as fate would have it, the perfect place.  A freshly cut roadside area, at least 100 feet away from the road and right up against the woods.  My truck is saved so off the Interstate and straight for the woods I drive.

    Water makes a distinctive sound as your tires push through it and slowly come to a stop.  As a long experienced driver, I immediately realize that being off the pavement, and in water, the ground under the water is going to be wet….very wet….mud in fact.  Not being given to panic, I slowly accelerate (pray), and feel the first slip of the rear tires.  I’m still not sure if the sinking feeling that followed was in my stomach or my new truck burying to the axles.  Realizing the first emergency situation was still inside my truck, I announced to my passengers they could now exit and seek personal comfort outside.  Being unaware of what stepping out of the truck would mean…..they did.  I really can’t print their collective responses here.  Suffice it to say I was not hailed as their hero and let it go at that.  Having everyone back in the truck now, it was my turn.  It was deeper than I thought it would be, and colder.  With everyone now feeling more “comfortable,” except for wet muddy feet, the second emergency must now be addressed; getting pulled out of the mud. It’s still only February 16th.

    Turning on my emergency flashers seemed a good idea, until the motorcycle officer showed up, closely followed by a Fire Rescue truck.  It seems we were so far off the highway, someone called in and reported our situation as a “Rollover Wreck.”  The motor officer was a bit perturbed because now his boots were also wet and muddy.  The fire guys could care less.  They leave and we’re still stuck in the mud.  Hello AAA Club…….Hello?  Three hours later, and four calls to AAA, and we’re still stuck in the mud.  My passengers are beginning to mutiny and making plans to abandon the truck and slog to the Interstate to hitch a ride West.  Hello G.E.I.C.O. and the wrecker is there in thirty minutes.  A little paper work for the wrecker driver, and we we’re back in traffic, west bound at 15 M.P.H.. It seems there were still 30,000 other cars trying to get home.  But wait………….there’s more.

    We were all so happy to be out of the mud and enroute to hot showers, cleans clothes, dry feet and dinner with cocktails, that someone drove right past the off ramp we so desperately searched for four hours ago.  Was there a convenient off ramp nearby?  No………not for miles.  The entire median is under construction and the idea of just cutting across it met with resounding rejection and a couple of head slaps.  Now my passengers are beginning to groan  “It’s the road trip from hell.”  “It’s never going to end.”  Mercifully an off ramp appears and we were saved….. again.

    It was now 11:30 Sunday night……..in Lake Mary, Fl., which closes promptly at 6:00 P.M., and I mean shuts down; except the local Albertson’s Supermarket. So the plan for dinner and cocktails became a scramble for microwaveable entrées and water.  I’m really looking forward to the drive home.

    February 17th and the trip to Daytona is history.  I managed a few hours sleep before heading to MM 106 and the Turkey Point Nuclear Exercise Decontamination Drill.  This is the one monitored by the State of Florida Emergency Management reps., F.E.M.A., Monroe County Emergency Management; so it’s kind of a biggie as those things go.  It only lasted a few hours……..thankfully.

    February 18th saw the second session of 800 MHz. radio training for Sector 7.  The following day, February 19th, was the all day (really long day), Turkey Point Nuclear Exercise for the multi-agency Command Center phase.  This was held at the Key Largo Fire Station 1 Training Room, and involved literally every element of law enforcement, county and state, and every agency that would be involved in an incident at the Turkey Point facility.  According the evaluators, all went well. 

    Everything sort of calmed down starting February 20th; until the 24th when we bid farewell to Deputy Greg LaRochelle who has left us for a career with the Miami Beach Police Dept.  We wish Greg all the best in his new agency.

    The night of February 17 was when I first learned of the plane crash, 8 miles East of Tamiami Airport, which took the lives of Dr. Eric Gustinger, his wife Aydel, their four-year-old son Jonah and Eric’s father “Doc.”  Like so many members of our community, Eric and Aydel were both doctor and friends.  I fished with Eric, made chiropractic appointments thru Aydel, and played with little Jonah, who was always in their office.  Eric and his family will be greatly missed and remembered fondly by the many hundreds of us who were privileged to know them.

    I’m really glad February has only 28 days in it.  Time to close this article.  Sorry if I rambled a bit on the Daytona saga, but you would have to have been there to believe it.  On second thought, it’s best you weren’t.  Take care and stay safe.


    Special Investigations Division:
    Hello springtime, so long winter !!

     By Captain Ross Thomson

    I don’t know if it is just me but wow!, does time fly by!  It’s hard to believe that it's time to start gearing up for the next hurricane season, but its right around the corner.  It may be a good time to start talking about getting personal plans ready.  Each person should have a personal plan for themselves and their family.  If a spouse and children are leaving, do they have a place to go, at what point will they leave, how will you ensure that they have arrived safely?   These are some basic, but essential issues to address.  Trying to accomplish all these issues while being placed on Alpha/Bravo shifts and dealing with the stress of an impending storm is not great for one’s mental health.  Not to mention the preparation that you personal belongings will need, i.e. house, car, boat, etc.  Start thinking now and ask others how they plan to deal with the same issues.  Families can travel and stay together, provide comfort and support to one another.  If all else fails e-mail or call me and I’ll help in any manner I can.

     Super people doing wonderful things make great cases – Shamu attacks skinny 18yoa in Key Largo.  Dillon Core developed some information into a burglary case, where Dillon and his fellow detectives were waiting for the suspect to enter the building.  But as in all best laid plans, the glitch here was that all forms of stealth communications failed, so Dillon simply tackled the suspect upon entry.  Poor kid didn’t know what hit him – all he saw was a black and white “thing” jump up and onto him.  Dillon was wearing his white vest with the black raid jacket over it, but left un-snapped.  Chad Scibilia tagged Dillon as “Shamu”, the suspect couldn’t talk he was so scared and shocked. 

     My congrats to Trish Almeda for her hard work in getting the 800 radio system into our hands.  It has been a long time coming, but what a great tool for us.  I do acknowledge that there are far more people than just Trish who contributed to the success, but she is the one that has been taking the heat and will continue to get the heat if we find glitches in the system.

     Shortly, we may be implementing a system for dealing with digital recording and photos, thanks to the staff in Data Processing.  A central server that will warehouse all the photos and recordings made in the course of an investigation / case.  The sheriff and colonel have agreed to use some seizure money to implement the system and if the plan works, we can eliminate a lot of extraneous work and paper.  No property receipts on these items, no sealed evidence, no transporting and warehousing the tapes and no use of floppy disc, tapes or discs for storage media.  The property division can save money and time, the downloaded material can be e-mailed to prosecutors, transcription services, to other law enforcement agencies and beyond.  Jim and his staff got stuck with a raw concept and with Mike Rice’s encouragement and the sheriff’s approval, we’re heading towards uncharted waters.  Thanks

    Congratulations to our Officers of the Year, in all the categories.  Becoming one of the four nominees in each area is high praise, but to be selected as the top dog is great.  We have had many excellent selections in the past and I’m sure that this years winners will equal theirs peers.  Thanks also to the sheriff for continuing our officer of the quarter program, recognizing outstanding performance is important to all of us.  In a similar vein, an IRS agent who works in our office was commenting on how nice it was for the sheriff to recognize employees time on the job with the 5, 10 etc year plaques.  As a federal employee, he doesn’t get them and he thought it is a real nice touch of class.

     To the various people in the special ops division who are coming or going – and you know who you are – welcome to our home or good luck in your next assignment !!  Seriously, we have several people moving about and although not official, the moves are for the betterment of each individual and the agency as a whole. Laz, Don, Kevin, John

     The domestic effort to ensue our security within our country and state is an on going endeavor.  I’ve had the opportunity to attend many meetings regarding this broad topic and the one area that warrants our continuous attention is who is in our jurisdiction and what are they doing?  I don’t want to make us paranoid, but although the Florida Keys may not be a prime target for a terrorist attack, we are a vacation area that may be used by one.  Mohammed Atta, one of the Sept 11 hijackers may have been in Key West during his flight training days before the attack.  Just recently, Capt Leiter stopped several tourists taking pictures of the Islamorada Coast Guard station from the adjacent bridge.  Four Cuban Coast Guardsmen landed in Key West, undetected.  It is a very fine line to walk, but we as local law enforcement officers, with the intimate knowledge of our community, are the best weapons against future attacks.  We cannot expect the FBI, TSA, FDLE or Homeland Security to protect us from what is going on in our backyard.  So look for the unusual, read the intell reports that Nancy has online.  Pass on information that may be nothing, let someone else determine that the German tourist really is just a tourist.  It is my hope that we never again experience a terrorist attack, but until the threat is removed, we must work collectively to protect our neighborhoods, villages and cities.  No paranoia, but caution with an eye to those things out of place or not quite right …


    Sector 6 Report

    By Lt. Thomas Brazil

    The priority for Sector 6 for the last several months has been training, training and more training. In addition to getting officers through ARM we have sent several members to FTO training in Miami-Dade County as well as updating our instructors with the new FDLE curriculum class. Deputies Nelson Sanchez and Mike White attended a 40-hour basic law enforcement boating course put on by the Miami-Dade Police Department

    Some of the other agencies represented included Sunny Isles PD and Miami- Dade PD.
     

    Water rescue and high speed maneuvering training
     

    Our boat took the “Top Prop” award proudly displaying the “party flag award” for having the most fun and displaying the best team spirit during the course.

    The week of February 10-14 Sergeant Bogue taught an Intoxilizer re-certification class as well as a basic operators class at the Key Largo Fire Department. In addition Sergeant Bogue is conducting a child safety seat check on Fri. February 14 at Founders Park in support of Child Passenger Safety Week.

    On February 7 I attended the “Train the Trainer” class for the new 800 MHz radios and I must admit I was impressed with the system. Patricia Almeda deserved a lot of credit for putting it all together I know it was a lot of work. I am sure that there will be some quirks but hopefully we will be able to work them out quickly and I can finally get rid of the portable radio that was issued to me be back when Billy Freeman was Sheriff.

    On February 11th the Brownie Troop from the Upper Keys came to the Islamorada Station for “National Thanking Day” to thank law enforcement and fire fighters for their service, support and protection of the community. They took a quick tour of the station and got to meet some of the officers and fire fighters as well as see a display of police and fire vehicles.

    Child Safety Seat Check Held at Founder’s Park on Valentines Day in recognition of National Child Passenger Safety Week.

    Sgt. Bogue of Islamorada District accompanied by other deputies and Florida Highway Patrol Troopers, and 7-month-old baby who was brought for the car seat check.

     Sgt. Bogue showing a mother the proper installation of child safety seat.

     

    “Buckling up is still the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries from motor vehicle crashes on our roadways,” says Sgt. Bogue who coordinated the check.. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 4 to 14, and in the year 2000 more than half of all children under 15 years of age who were killed in car crashes were completely unrestrained.

     

    Child safety seat and vehicle manufacturers’ instructions are often difficult to read. In addition, most children who outgrow their forward facing child safety seats, at about 40 pounds, are often prematurely placed in adult safety belts.

     

    When a child outgrows a forward facing safety seat, they should use a booster seat until at least 8 years old or four feet nine inches tall. A booster seat raises a child to allow the vehicle’s safety belt to be positioned correctly.

     

    Sgt. Bogue checks the seat for manufacturer’s recall.

    Periodically throughout the year child safety seat checks like this one are held where specially trained officers will check the installation and safety of your child’s safety seat FREE OF CHARGE.  Sgt. Bogue also offers the service of a Fitting Station on appointment,  where parents or caregivers can come and have their child’s seat checked for proper installation.  Child Seats are also available to parents or caregivers who are receiving Public Assistance or have a significant financial hardship and cannot afford to purchase a seat at a retail establishment.  For any questions regarding Child Safety Seats contact Sgt. Bogue at (305) 853-7021.

    Child Safety Seat (CSS) Non-Negotiables

     1.  Infants ride rear-facing until one year of age AND 20 pounds.  Child safety seat (CSS) weight requirements are set by the CSS manufacturer. The one year age requirement is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Babies over 20 pounds and under one year of age require a special CSS rated to higher rear-facing weights.

    2. Infants ride rear-facing, semi-reclined at no more than a 45 degree angle.  The semi-reclined position keeps the baby’s airway open.  Bucket, sculptured and contour vehicle seats often need a tightly rolled towel or “ pool noodle” at the vehicle seat crack to obtain the desired recline degree.

    3. Never place a rear-facing CSS in the front seat of vehicles equipped with passenger airbags.  Check the sun visor, dashboard and vehicle owner’s manual to determine if airbags are present in the vehicle.

    4. Place the CSS harness through the slots at or below the rear-facing infant’s shoulders; forward-facing toddlers must have the harness at or above the shoulders (unless otherwise directed by the CSS manufacturer).

    5. Tighten the CSS harness so the straps are snug and lay comfortably flat, in a straight line on the child’s body.  Snug straps keep the child’s back firmly against the CSS.

    6. Place the vehicle safety belt around or through the CSS exactly where the CSS manufacturer directs.  Use LATCH if both vehicle and CSS are so equipped.

    7. Tighten the vehicle safety belt to allow no more than 1 inch of movement of the CSS side-to-side or front to back.  Read safety belt labels and instructions in the vehicle owner’s manual to know how to correctly lock the safety belt system.

    8. Obtain and use any extra equipment needed to secure the safety belt properly as directed by the vehicle owner’s manual. Locking clips, auxiliary buckles and/or tethers must be used if directed by the vehicle or CSS manufacturer.

    9. Position all child occupants in the back seat of the vehicle when possible.  If the front seat must be used for a forward-facing child, push the vehicle seat back as far from airbag as possible.

    Safe and Happy Travelers is the Goal!

    Sector One Report

    Captain Ramsay goes to FBI Academy

    Here are some photos of the "going-away" luncheon for Capt. Rick Ramsay held at Mangrove Mama's on Upper Sugarloaf Key on January 7, 2003. Captain Ramsay will be attending the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA for the next three months, and we presented him with a "Survival Kit" containing gloves, a scarf, de-icer, and several other items we thought he'd need to survive wintertime in Virginia.


    Communications News

    New Radios, other Communications updates

    By Communications Officer Debbie Shepherd

    Hello from Communications. First an update on the 800 MHz radios. A lot of people still need to be trained on the portables before the radios go into use. When you think of all the Sheriff's Office employees who carry a portable, there are a lot. Communication Officers have already been through their part of the Motorola training; from the different channels to patching one user into another. If it all goes well, the system is expected to be up and running by the first of March. When this happens, it will take a lot of patience, both by persons using the radios and the Communication Officers.

    According to Director Leonard, sectors one through seven will be on one channel and that channel will be used for the dispatching of calls for service. Another channel will be designated for teletype requests. It sounds like the dispatcher working the calls for service channel will be overwhelmed, but with the a designated teletype channel and Officer's using their in car computers (when they feel comfortable doing so), the work load can be greatly reduced. This is why it cannot be stressed enough not to engage the radio operator in telephone conversation. It is so easy now to miss radio traffic when the radio operator working sectors four through seven has to pick up the phone. Imagine what it is going to be like when the radio operator is dispatching calls for service from sector one through seven.

    In other notes:

    • In December, Ken Groat started as a Communications Officer. He moved here from Ohio with his wife and young daughter. Ken is a Reserve Officer and a certified NAUI dive instructor.
    • Sgt Hurd got the new years offense report writing award for pulling the first, second and fourth offense report of the year. I'm sure this isn't a prelude of things to come.
    • The United States Coast Guard can expect an award from the Audubon society soon. Last month they observed something suspicious on the radar. Assuming that it was migrant or drug smugglers, they notified the Sheriff's Office and called Border Patrol. Coast Guard continued following the object on radar; advising the Sheriff's Office and Border Patrol where they should set up to intercept the subjects. Once the "object" got closer to shore, it was determined that the Officer's had set up surveillance on a flock of birds.
    • Communication personnel working night shift are kept on their toes; literally. It seems once it gets dark outside scorpions, very large ones, regularly take leisurely strolls through Communications.
    • We want to close with happy birthdays to Michelle Rabinowitz (January 16), Teri Roberts (February 7) and
    • Amanda Barger (February 19) and we hope for a patient and smooth transfer to 800 MHz.

    SWAT Team says Goodbye to Bull

    In December the Monroe County Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics team said goodbye to six-year member Robert "Bull" Bulnes. Bull was a Key West Police Officer for 12 years, and volunteered his time on the Sheriff's Office SWAT team for the past six years. The team will miss him, and everyone thanks him for his efforts.


    Community Relations

    Thanks from the Cadets

    By Sgt. John Barber, Post 904 Senior Advisor, Explorer Program Supervisor

    I wanted to take a moment to thank you for allowing Deputy Emil LaVache to come and visit Explorer Post 904. Deputy LaVache gave a wonderful presentation on Crime Watches, McGruff and Crime Prevention. My explorers and cadets seemed to genuinely enjoy the presentation and asked a lot of great questions afterwards. Deputy LaVache is to be commended for taking time out of his busy schedule to come and speak to our post. We would certainly love to have Deputy LaVache come and speak to our post again in the future.


    Bureau of Corrections

    Corrections Trainee Graduation

    By Captain Penny Phelps

    Nine people graduated from the Correctional Officers Training Academy, class #30 on Thurs 06 Feb 03. The nine graduates include:

    • Michael Claudy
    • Camille Dubroff
    • Alesha Ensminger
    • Amy Godfrey
    • Lakesha Grant
    • James Keith
    • Michelle Heaviland
    • Jane McEnroe
    • Michael Thibodeaux

    Yours truly successfully completed the cross-over from law enforcement to corrections academy #5, thus completing a dual certification (law enforcement and corrections) in the state of Florida.

    The first nine mentioned began their Field Training Officers program. We look forward to having them work solo posts in the various detention facilities in the near future.


    Awards and Commendations

    Employees of the Fourth Quarter, 2002

    Click here to see photos of the Employee of the Quarter Awards Ceremony

    SWORN: Deputy Dennis Coleman Bureau of Operations, Sector IV Regional II Marathon. Dennis has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since January 24, 2000. On Wednesday, November 13, 2002, Deputy Dennis Coleman responded to the Coco Plum Beach and Tennis Club reference to found narcotics.  He met with the reporting party who handed him a package containing approximately one kilo of cocaine.  The reporting party said that someone had found it on the beach and had given it to her to turn in.  Deputy Coleman completed a property receipt and took possession of the cocaine.

    Deputy Coleman then showed initiation by remaining in the area and conducting a watch order further along the beach.  As he was walking, he noticed three males walk out of the woods.  Deputy Coleman made contact with them.  As they were talking, Deputy Coleman noticed a large packaged bundle in the woods where the three subjects had just come from.  He acted as if he hadn’t noticed the package and requested routine backup, in which Deputy Lascala and KCB Officer Luoma arrived on scene.  Through further investigation it was determined that the individuals and stumbled onto the package and were released.  The additional cocaine was taken into property. Where other deputies may have cleared the scene after taking the initial found property report, due to Deputy Coleman’s self-initiation a total of twenty-nine kilos of cocaine were recovered. Deputy Coleman should be commended for his actions, professionalism, and the service orientated approach he takes towards his job.

     SUPPORT:  Risk Manager/Executive Assistant Tamara Snider,  Bureau of Administration.  Tamara has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since June 3, 1985. Tamara Snider has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office for the last seventeen years.  She has a myriad of duties including acting as my assistant, serving as our risk manager, and anything else that comes up.

    Tamara’s institutional knowledge makes her the starting point for many when they approach a problem or need assistance.  Add to that, the fact that she is always ready and willing to assist and you have a member who pushes “other duties as assigned” to a new level.  This positive and professional approach to her duties makes her a person who can be depended on to perform at many different levels and somehow manage to consistently realize successful results.

     Tamara puts forward a great deal of energy to make the Sheriff’s Office an agency we can all be proud of.  Tamara should be commended for her actions, professionalism, and the service orientated approach she takes towards her job.

    CORRECTIONS: Sergeant Detention Deputy Frank Mara, Bureau of Corrections, Security Division  Key West Facility. Sergeant Mara has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since September 19, 1984. Recently, “B” watch experienced some unexpected difficulties.  First. Sgt. Crane received notice that his reserve military unit was being pressed into active service.  Within days of losing their only sergeant, “B” watch found their lieutenant, Joe Linares, needing a leave of absence to deal with his father’s sudden illness and then sudden death. 

     These two occurrences left “B” watch without a supervisor.  What made this even more difficult was that the incidents occurred during the holidays when many supervisors were on vacation or already covering other shifts due to vacations.

     Without hesitation, Sgt. Mara volunteered to cover “B” watch.  He readily recognized the need to pull together and work as a team.  Sgt. Mara did not use his 19 years of experience as an excuse to avoid the transfer from a day watch to a night watch.  Instead, he used his 19 years of experience as the solid foundation from which to guide, lead, coach and mentor the members of “B” watch through a difficult time. 

    Sgt. Mara’s unselfish actions deserve recognition.  He truly put the interests of the Sheriff’s Office ahead of his own personal interests when volunteering to lead “B” watch.  I ask that you join me in commending his willingness to lead at a time when leadership was desperately needed. Frank should be commended for his actions, professionalism, and the service orientated approach he takes towards his job.

    RESERVE: Reserve Mary Jo Migala, Bureau of Operations, Sector VII,  Reserve Section. Mary Jo has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since November 19, 2001.  Mary Jo volunteers in our office at least two days a week, and most of the time it is three or more days.  She comes in cheerfully, with a smile on her face and snacks in her hand, readily available to do any tasks that we need her to do.  She always has surprises for us (little trinkets, gadgets, and of course always food for Lt. Moran).  She comes in, gets her in-basket of things that need to be done for the day, and gets right to work.

     We have come to depend on her for data entry, filing, sending out of reports, and miscellaneous distribution of paperwork from Captain Thompson to requests from the public.  We keep piling on the work, and there are never any complaints, just a positive approach to everything and everyone.  We find her to be an exceptional person in a quiet and dependable way.   

    Sector seven greatly appreciates everything that she does and we are extremely fortunate that Mary Joe volunteered to work for us. Mary Jo should be commended for her actions, professionalism, and the service orientated approach she takes towards her job. 

    EXPLORER: Explorer Captain Cory Jecelin is captain of the post and is very responsible about fulfilling his duties.  He is a leader and a credit to the explorer program and law enforcement.

    On Tuesday December 17, 2002 during his lunch break in the cafeteria he was joking with a friend about his place in line.  The friend teased him about “cutting in”.  Another student thought that Cory was pushing in and became angry.  The student grabbed Cory by the shirt and punched him.  Cory withdrew and advised a teacher who then advised me.  The student was reprimanded and suspended by the school.  Cory was also able to meet with the student and successfully talk it out with the student and obtain an apology. 

    Through this incident Cory was able to display maturity and self control by not taking actions on his own thereby risking his position as captain of our post; risking soiling the reputation of the Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement itself; and also risking legal issues from fighting.  Cory should be  commended for his actions, professionalism, and the service orientated approach he takes towards his job. 

    The following people were honored at a recent ceremony for their years of service to the Sheriff's Office:

    • Five Years: Timothy Age, Dianne Gomez, Daniel Burnham, Janet Allen, Sheila Seago and Craig Waskiewicz
    • Ten Years: Michael Grattan, Peggy Carey, John McGee
    • Fifteen Years: David Buzzell
    • Twenty Years: Emil LaVache, Lee Ann Holroyd-Dalton, James Wirth

    Letters of Thanks and Commendations:

    • The Miami Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta thanked Detective Tom Moran recently for his participation in training about Money Laundering and the Columbian Black Market Peso Exchange.
    • Assistant State Attorney Manuel Madruga recently sent a letter of thanks to Detectives James Norman and Mark Coleman and Information Management Director Jim Painter and System Administrator Michael Grattan for their help with the trial State of Florida v. Michael Tanzi. He said, in part, "I feel fortunate to work in a community with such dedicated members of the sheriff's office."
    • Deputy Jennifer LaScala received a thank you letter from the University of Miami School of Medicine for her help with Florida Keys Health Fairs. Marathon Site Director Kara Jehle said, "Knowing that there are volunteers who are willing to devote time to make such a project beneficial to all involved is a tremendous help."
    • Earl Perkins, owner of Perkins Bail Bonds in Fort Myers, wrote to Sheriff Roth recently commending Deputies Paul and Guerra for their help in the apprehension of a wanted person. He said, "Two very professional and courteous men. It was a pleasure meeting and working with these two deputies."
    • Sheriff Roth received a letter from the Department of Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms commending Sgt. Sharon Delossantos for her assistance with a case involving numerous stolen firearms in the upper Keys. The letter says, in part, "Sgt. Delossantos provided assistance in the investigation by providing invaluable services that could only be obtained through her knowledge and application of the ..... facilities rules and procedures."
    • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement wrote to the Sheriff commending Detective Terry Smith for his assistance with Operation SafeKids. The letter says, "Detective Smith is a valuable resource whom we counted upon to provide investigative assistance during the operation. His dedication and persistence paid off in the location of numerous missing children."
    • Deputies Butch Albury and Matt Dowling received a letter of thanks from Gerald Adams Elementary School for their help with an emotionally disabled student. The letter says, "The child was attempting to hurt himself and needed to be transported to the hospital for an evaluation....They handled the child calmly and defused a potentially volatile situation."
    • Deputy Greg Korzen was thanked by a citizen who called the Sheriff to say she was grateful for his help changing a flat tire.
    • Deputies Gerald Fisher and Marlena Ramos received a letter of thanks for their rescue of two men on board a boat which had lost power and had been drifting for some time. A couple who live on Big Pine heard the men's cries for help and called the Sheriff's Office. They observed the rescue and were the "We just wanted you to know how proud we were of these deputies actions, especially those of Deputy Ramos."
    • Chief Judge Richard Payne wrote to Sheriff Roth to "commend the fine work that is being done by Mr. Ira Goldstein and his staff in the IDDS. Mr. Goldstein and his counselors provide excellent supervision to the juveniles assigned to their cases. I believe that this enhances Community Safety as well as increasing the changes that the juveniles will become productive members of society."
    • Anthony Liuzzi, an investigator for Intercept Investigative Agency, wrote to Sheriff Roth commending Deputy Wilfredo Guerra for his help locating a wanted fugitive. He said, "Deputy Guerra was invaluable to this effort and is a credit to your organization as everyone from the US Marshals to the Seattle Police were impressed with his competence and professionalism."
    • The Salvation Army wrote to thank Deputy Linda Hartley for her help with their annual Red Kettle Drive. The letter says, "Deputy Hartley no only rang the bell on her own on a number of occasions, but she set up and removed the equipment at the beginning and end of the season and most significantly she collected and counted monies for all kettle locations in Marathon."
    • Captain Penny Phelps recognized Officer Mike DiGiovanni and recommended him for a distinguished service medal for his assistance with a traffic accident on Sugarloaf Key.
    • Sgt. Patricia Dally wrote commending Victim Advocate Elaine Woodson for her work. She said she received a complementary phone call from the Family Court Administrator Janet Whalen, who said "it is a pleasure to work with Elaine". She went on to say that she wanted the Sheriff's Office to know they have an excellent employee."
    • Deputy Don Marquith received a letter of commendation from a man he stopped for a traffic violation. The man said, "Deputy Marquith was both efficient as well as obviously in command of the situation, while remaining easygoing and putting us at ease. In my opinion, Deputy Marquith is a valued member of your Sheriff's Office as well as an exemplary representative of the highest quality law enforcement officer."
    • Sgt. Tom Kiffney wrote a letter of commendation to all communications officers who were on duty when a bar fight broke out in Islamorada. He was only able to briefly call for help before being attacked and knocked to the ground. Dispatchers heard his call, however, and immediately sent backup officers to the scene. Sgt. Kiffney writes, "If dispatch had not acted in the way they did, there is no doubt that myself and other people in the bar would have been injured more seriously than we were."
    • Trauma Star crew members Deputy Jack Leopold and Reserve Deputy Gene Caple were commended by Lt. Mike Pandol for their handling of a complicated transfer of rare blood and other critical medical supplies on January 31st. Plans for the transfer were changed a number of times, and complications were rampant, but they still managed to smoothly transport the necessary items to Mariner's Hospital where a critical patient was waiting to receive them.

    Support Services

    Cellular phone plan changes

     The Nextel rate plan monthly minutes has been improved as follows:

    • 1,000 Daytime minutes  
    • 5,000 Night and weekend minutes 
    • Unlimited Nextel to Nextel calls
    • Nationwide long distance

    Daytime is from 7:00 am until 9:00 pm; Night is from 9:00 pm until 7:00 am; Weekends begin at 9:00 pm Friday and end 7:00 am Monday

     You can monitor your monthly minutes usage.  Instructions are on page 64 (i60) of the Nextel manual.  Our Nextel users are separated into two groups, with two different monthly start dates.  One group starts on the 7th and one on the 21st.  To see which group you are in, go to the Finance folder in Outlook, the cellphonelist.xls file.


    Identification badges and facility access

    From the Division of Human Resources

    Good news!  We now have a centralized system of entering the Administration building, Key West Jail Facility, and the Division of Juvenile Justice building, this is where the new gym is located. For the members in the middle and upper keys, if you wish to have access to the gym, you will need a new card. For the members who already have a swipe ID badge you do not have to do anything, the card works.  For members who do not have a swipe on back of their ID badge, please contact Human Resources Division.    

     Human Resources will be happy to print an ID badge on front of the new swipe card.  We have set a schedule to coordinate the change.  Human Resources will be available at the times below to print ID badges:

    • Tuesday, Wednesday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

    • Thursday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

     Please bring your old ID badge with you when we print your new ID badge.  If you have lost or misplaced your old ID badge we need a statement from the member on what happened, please bring this statement with you.   

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Human Resources at (305) 292-7044.


    Your Retirement Choices

    From the State of Florida Retirement System

    The MyFRS Financial Guidance Program has asked me to remind you that your retirement plan Choice period will be ending on February 28,2003. 

     If you haven't made your decision yet, the  Choice Service <https://www.myfrs.com/content/gs/getting_started.shtml> can help you explore your potential benefits under either retirement plan.  Here are some great reasons to use the Choice Service today:

    It's at your fingertips.  Use the Choice Service or call the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line toll free at 1-866-446-9377 (TTY: 1-888-429-2160) to have an objective Ernst & Young financial planner walk you through the Service and answer your questions.  You will need your confidential PIN, listed on your Personalized Benefit Comparison Statement to use the online Choice Service.  You do not need your PIN to call the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line for counseling.

    It's fast and easy to use.  In minutes you can create an informed decision that makes sense for you and your family.  The Choice Service will ask you questions and guide you through the decision making process.

     It gives you access to the equally powerful Advisor Service, available at MyFRS.com <http://www.myfrs.com/content> or through the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line after you make your plan election.  The Advisor Service is a powerful tool that provides personalized investment guidance and constant monitoring of your progress toward achieving your retirement goals.

     Use the Choice Service or call the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line as often as you wish until you're ready to make a choice -- they're both available at no charge to you.  Once you're ready, you can make your election online through the CHOICE SERVICE or directly from MyFRS.com.  Take the time today to utilize these valuable resources before time runs out! 
     
    Extended calling hours -- The MyFRS Financial Guidance Line will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. the last two Saturdays in February, to take your call.  The busiest times of the day for the line are mid morning and mid afternoon.  You may wish to plan your call before or after these times to avoid a long wait.  Normal Guidance Line hours are 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.


    More about Retirement

    By Donna Moore, Human Resources Director

    Most of our members have received information from the Florida Retirement System regarding the choices for retirement plans.  The deadline is February 28, 2003. 

     Before you make a plan choice be sure to first review your Benefit Comparison Statement and the other material in Your Retirement Choice Kit.  Then take advantage of the other free resources offered through the MyFRS Financial Guidance Program, such as: 

    • The MyFRS Financial Guidance Line at 1-866-44-MyFRS (1-866-446-9377); or TTY: 1-888-429-2160), and/or

    • Online Choice Service and other plan information, like the FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) available on MyFRS.com

    If you do not make a choice you will remain in the regular retirement plan.


    Recruitment Reward

    From the Division of Human Resources

    To all Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Employees: 

    The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to hiring qualified applicants.  If you know someone who is interested in a new career or career change please contact Human Resources and we will schedule an appointment to meet with the applicant to discuss the wonderful benefits the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has to offer. 

    Earn a cash reward of $200.00 for the successful recruitment and hire of a Detention Deputy Trainee.  The first $100.00 is payable on the Trainee’s first date of employment.  The second $100.00 is payable after the Trainee passes the Florida State Examination.  For additional information contact Human Resources Division at (305) 292-7044

    This reward is effective January 2003. 

    *Human Resources Personnel and Exempt Employees Not Eligible


    Who does what in Human Resources?

    In order to assist our members inquires, a list of responsibilities that have been assigned to the following personnel:

    • Donna Moore: Financial Hardship, Disability issues, Unemployment Compensation, Sexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment.

    • Renette Avael: Family Medical Leave, Retirement, Annual Physicals, Random Drug Tests, Light Duty/No Work Status.

    • DeShawn Jackson: Sick Leave Pool, Public Records Requests, Copies of Members Files, Awards Ceremony, Performance Evaluations, Payroll Issues.

    • Mary Valdez: Postings, Background, Transfer Requests, Personnel Orders.

    • Ernie Scott: Non-Sworn Backgrounds and Applicants.

    • Joey Finch: Deputy Sheriff Backgrounds and Applicants.

    • Phyllis Smith: Corrections Backgrounds and Applicants.


    What’s Happening

    *************The Employee of the Year ceremony will be held March 21st,**************
    at  2 p.m. at the Marathon Government Center.


    Keep up with Safety Recalls!

    Enter your email address at www.safetyalerts.com and you will receive notice of all recalls in 15 categories such as food, autos, outdoor items and cosmetics. Or you can specify only the categories that interest you. The service is free.


    Happy Birthday Pat!

    On February 10th in Central Records, we celebrated Pat Silvers birthday.  A cake was purchased from Ms. Thurston and we " SURPRISED" Pat. Cake was decorated white and red (Valentine) and was truly DELICIOUS! Pat is Supervisor or Central Records, and her faithful crew (Jamie, Peggy, Cookie, LeyAny, Karen, Trisha, Marnie & Lippie (Late of Central Records) her daughter Tiffany all wished her a "Happy Birthday".  We will be " Grazing" on February 28, 2003.  Come join us.  Will let you know where a couple of days before.  Happy Birthday Pat, and God's Blessings.


    Congratulations on New Baby!

    The day after a baby shower, held at the Sheriff's Office
    headquarters building in, Jennifer Alvarez gave birth to a
    little girl, Janel. Congratulations, Jose and Jenny!

    Happy Retirement, Lt. Saly!

     Here is a photo of Lt. Saly with a big fat hog (over 250 pounds) he shot while hunting up near Wauchula Florida.  Lt. Saly retired February. Pictured with him is Ken Mayes the guide/outfitter we used.

     

    Submitted by Sgt. Sheagren


    Community Policing Course offered

    Note: For information on this course and other available training courses, visit the Training Division portion of the web site.

    We are currently filling three two-day classes offered by St. Petersburg College and the Southeastern Public Safety Institute. These are two day classes on the Introduction to Community Policing. The classes are free of charge. We are providing the hotel and mileage for the instructor. The instructor is Sergeant Jake Walker with the Collier County Sheriff's Office.

    The course covers:

    • Police-Community Partnerships
    • Introduction to Problem Solving Policing
    • Problem Solving Practical Exercises
    • Action Planning
    • Crime Prevention
    • Community Policing Resource Development

    Participants will:

    • Learn to develop an understanding of the importance of engaging community residents in collaborative partnerships for the purpose of identifying and resolving community problems
    • Become familiar with the nature of police-community partnerships and suggested methods of developing those partnerships
    • Develop an understanding of a nationally accepted model for solving community problems
    • Use the problem solving process to address several examples of community problems to enhance their understanding of the method
    • Recognize the importance and benefits of documenting their problem solving projects

    The schedule is:

    • Monday and Tuesday, March 3rd and 4th at Key Colony Beach City Hall
    • Wednesday and Thursday, March 5th and 6th at Key Colony Beach City Hall
    • Friday and Saturday, March 7th and 8th at Marathon Government Center EOC

    Classes are from 8 AM to 5 PM daily

    All course materials will be provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. Office employees should submit a request for training through their chain of command. Contact Jan Scott at the Sheriff's Office Training Division at 292-7011 for seating availability. There are only 30 seats available for each class. Call soon.

    This course is also offered to community leaders and county residents and many will be attending, Citizens outside the office should call Sergeant Dennis Cain, the course coordinator, at 289-2430, for further information.


    Internet funnies

    Recently, "Californian" ran an e-mail forum (question and answer exchange) with the topic being "Community Policing." One of the civilian e-mail participants posed the following question: "I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?"

    From the "other side" (the law enforcement side) a cool cop with a sense of humor replied:

    "It is not easy. In California we average one cop for every 2000 people. About 60% of those cops are on patrol, where we do most of the harassing. One-fifth of that 60% are on duty at any moment and available for harassing people. So, one cop is responsible for harassing about 10,000 residents. When you toss in the commercial, business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a
    single cop is responsible for harassing 20,000 or more people a day.

    A ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. Most cops are not up to it day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those which we harass.

    They are as follows:

    PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. "My neighbor is beating his wife" is a code phrase we use. Then we come out and give special harassment. Another popular one on a weeknight is, "The kids next door are having a party."

    CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars blasting music, cars with expired registration stickers and the like. It is lots of fun when you pick them
    out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, are drunk, or have a warrant.

    RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours.

    CODES: When you can think of nothing else to do, there are books that give ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called "Codes"; Penal, Vehicle, Health and Safety, Business and Professions... They all spell out all
    sorts of things for which you can really mess with people. After you read the code, you can just drive around for a while until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy
    smash a car window. Well, the code says that is not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It is a pretty cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well. I seem to have a never-ending supply of
    folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because the good citizens who pay the tab like that we keep the streets safe for them.

    Looking forward to meeting you."


    And not-so-funnies......

    Cop on the take

    First he takes ... the oath.

    Now look at what else he takes:
    He takes ... it in stride when people call him pig.
    He takes ... his lousy pay check realizing he'll never be rich.
    He takes ... a second job sometimes to make ends meet and support his family.
    He takes ... time to stop and talk to children.
    He takes ... your verbal abuse while giving you a ticket you really deserved.
    He takes ... on creeps you would be afraid to even look at.
    He takes ... time away from his family to keep you safe.
    He takes ... your injured child to the hospital.
    He takes ... the graveyard shift without complaint because it's his turn.
    He takes ... his life into his hands daily.
    He takes ... you home when your car breaks down.
    He takes ... time to explain why both your headlights have to work.
    He takes ... the job no one else wants -- telling you a loved one has died.
    He takes ... criminals to jail.
    He takes ... in sights that would make you cry.  Sometimes he cries too, but he takes it anyway because someone has to.
    He takes ... memories to bed each night that you couldn't bear for even one day.
    He takes ... time to explain to his family why he can't make the ball game his child is in and why he has to work on the holiday when other parents are off. 
    Sometimes ... he takes a bullet.
    And yes, occasionally ... he may take a free cup of coffee.

    If he is lucky ... he takes retirement.
    Then one day he pays for all he has taken ...and hopefully.., God takes him.

    Written by Texas Police Officer Kendricks as a tribute to his late brother, Police Officer Rodney Kendricks who died from injuries suffered in an on-duty auto accident in Lubbock, Texas- July 2001.