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

May 2003 Edition

Note: There will be no Rap Sheet for June 2003. The next issue will be out late in July.

Table of Contents


 Sheriff’s Report

In May and June, we are losing a number of long time employees to retirement. With 141 years working for the Sheriff's Office between all of  them, we should thank them for their dedication and the experience they have contributed to our agency. Their shoes will be hard to fill. A few of them may be returning to us to start all over again with a second career in the Sheriff's Office and we are happy to have them. Others will be moving on to enjoy retirement. We will miss them all, and we wish them all the best with whatever they choose to do.

Captain George Simpson started his career with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office on August 23, 1979 as a Corrections Officer Part-Time at the Key West Facility. During his career with the Sheriff's Office he obtained his Law Enforcement Certification and has held the positions of a Deputy Sheriff, Corporal, Road Patrol Sergeant, Road Patrol and Special Investigations Lieutenant and is now retiring as a Law Enforcement Captain on June 30, 2003 .
Lieutenant Jerry Powell started his career with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office on October 1, 1982 as a Deputy Sheriff Trainee. During his career with the Sheriff's Officer he has held the positions of Detective, Detective Sergeant and is now retiring as a Detective Lieutenant June 1, 2003.
Sergeant Edward Hohmann started his career with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office on July 7, 1986 as a Corrections Officer in the Key West Facility. Sgt. Hohmann obtained his Law Enforcement Certification and held the positions of Deputy Sheriff, Civil Deputy and is now retiring as a Sergeant.
Sergeant Thomas J. Peteck started his career with the Monroe County Sheriff's Officer on June 1, 1980 as a Corrections Officer Part-Time in the Key West Facility. Sgt. Peteck Obtained his Law Enforcement Certification and held the positions of Full-Time Corrections Officer, Bailiff, Warrants Deputy, Deputy Sheriff, Civil Deputy and is now retiring as a Sergeant.
Brenda Mounts started her career with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office on July 1, 1966 as a Records Clerk. Brenda obtained her Law Enforcement Certification and transferred to the position of Purchasing Officer in the Finance Division. Brenda will be retiring on June 30, 2003.
Christine Nicholls started her career with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office on June 7, 1984 as a Dispatcher in Plantation Key. Christine held the position of Dispatcher until August 22, 2000 and then transferred to the position of Records Assistant at the Plantation Key Substation. She is retiring on June 30, 2003.

Ask the Administration

Question #1: The proposed changes to our health coverage are going to be devastating to me personally because I have four dependants. This change negates every raise I have had for the past 10 years. What is the answer, and what do you plan to do about it?

Answered by Sheriff Rick Roth: As I said in last month's Rap Sheet,  I'm not sure there is an easy solution to any of this. The cost of health insurance across the country continues to rise. Our county is not alone in that. Right now, our health insurance is tied to the County insurance pool. We are looking at all possible options when it comes to alternative insurance plans, but for now, it appears our employees will see increased insurance costs and decreased benefits.

Question 2: The issue I have is mainly an observation. I watched the county commission meeting and received the information on our dental insurance being cut. While walking down stairs to my vehicle I was asked for help by a citizen who needed to know the location of the dentist office located at the Sheriff's Office Stock Island Office complex. She advised she had an appointment at 5pm. I was not personally aware of any dentist office, but she was adamant that it existed. The young lady and I located this dentist in the new DJJ building. I was informed that this dentist was paid for by the county to do any dental work necessary on indigent and low income citizens. I find it hard to understand that the county is able to afford to pay for dental care for anyone that does not have the money,  but is unable to pay for dental insurance for its employees and their families.

Answered by Mark Szurek, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Rural Health Network: "The Rural Health Network's dental clinic on Stock Island is not funded by county funds.  The Rural Health Dental Clinic is currently funded through four major sources: (1) a grant from the Health Foundation of South Florida, (2) a grant from the Lower FL Keys Hospital District Board, (3) third party payors, and (4) client contributions, based on a sliding fee scale.  Monroe County Government does appropriate $150,000 per year from primary care that is used at the Rural Health Network's 6 county locations throughout the Keys, to fund direct services.  The Network is also requesting funding (for the first time) this year, from the county's Human Services Advisory Board that will, if allocated, be directed to the dental clinic projects.  County employees and the general public should be aware that any and all of the Network's services are available to the public, in its efforts to address equal access to health care for all residents, regardless of ability to pay.  Persons may call the dental clinic phone at 305-295-3115.  Or, for more information about Network health services, county residents may call John Pascucci, health services director, at 305-293-7570, ext 13."


General News

Traffic information on keysso.net

The Sheriff's Office is now offering more traffic information on it's web site, keysso.net.

 
On our Traffic Enforcement pages of the site (http://www.keysso.net/patrol_ops/traffic/traffic.htm), citizens and members of the media will find information from the Florida Department of Transportation, and from the Sheriff's Office about planned road or lane closures on the highway, as well as special events which may impede traffic. On the Sheriff's WebCAD (http://www.keysso.net/pio/cfs_offense/webcad.htm), which features live calls for service as they are happening. Citizens and members of the media will find information about serious accidents occurring on the highway. A serious accident would include those accidents which are expected to impede traffic for a significant length of time, and/or those which involve serious injuries or hazardous materials. The information which is being offered on WebCAD includes where the accident is and when it happened, what agency is investigating the accident, how many cars are involved, whether the road is closed or not, and, if available, an estimate of how long the road is expected to be affected by the accident.
 
The Florida Highway Patrol is the primary agency that investigates accidents on the Highway. The Sheriff's Office simply lends support in the form of traffic control at most accident scenes. But in the interests of keeping people as informed as possible about traffic related issues, we determined it was important to find a way to let people know the most important information about serious accidents that take place.
 
As a reminder, no one should call Sheriff's Office dispatchers to check traffic conditions. Dispatchers are extremely busy answering emergency calls and don't have time to issue traffic reports. Instead, tune in local radio stations or, if you have a computer available, visit the Sheriff's Office web site at www.keysso.net.
 

Bureau of Operations

Sector One Report

By Captain Rick Ramsay

With the up-coming retirement of Captain Simpson comes a vacant station commanders position in sector one. The agency is downsizing one commander, thus there will not be a promotion as expected (sorry). Lt. Snider will be transferred to sector one as the executive officer and Lt. Allen will be transferred to the training division. This was not an easy decision to make, but was made with the best interest of everyone involved. I hope that the transition will be a smooth one for all and ask that everyone give these transfers a fair chance.

We would like to welcome deputies Joe Cortner and Jeremy Davy to our sector as they have been released and are now working down south with us. Both officers come to us with a wealth of knowledge and we are very happy to have them here.

Deputy Paul Shultz has returned home from his activation in the military overseas. We are happy that he is home and thankful for his safety while overseas during the conflict. We are working rapidly to process his paperwork and get him back on patrol as soon as possible.

I would like to welcome Chris Scott back to sector one patrol division. Chris is taking the soon to be vacant civil deputy position. I wish her luck and hope that she will be happy in her new assignment.

I would like to wish our retiring officers all the best and thank them for their outstanding and dedicated service to this sector and agency. Retiring from sector one is Captain George Simpson and Sergeant Ed Hohmann, who have just over a month of service left. These two men will be greatly missed around here and we are sad to see them go, but are happy for them. Thanks for everything!

Deputy Davy started off with a bang as he recently made a great arrest and seizure of cash, drugs and property. This started off as a suspicious vehicle and turned into a hornets nest quickly. Davy arrived and encountered a white male next to a truck in the woods. Davy used good officer safety skills, which probably saved his life in the end. He found the male to be uncooperative and not obeying commands, with this and other signs he called for back-up. Deputy England was responding and Davy was taking a position of safety as he continued to get the subject to comply with commands. The subject was standing at his open door and was trying to get the officer to come to him. Deputy England arrived and the two officers attempted to secure him, but a fight ensued and the subject fled a short distance into the marsh. He was arrested and secured after which a search of his person revealed a large amount of crystal meth and cocaine. The subject has multiple prior arrests for murder, manslaughter, trafficking in meth and many other priors. A search of his vehicle discovered several large hunting knives in the door jam area where he was trying to get Davy to come to. A search of his property revealed fifty nine thousand dollars in cash and a firearm. Great case guy's.

Sector one had a burglary in Key Haven in which approximately sixty thousand dollars in cash was stolen fronm a small safe in the residence. C.I.U . and patrol did an outstanding job as they quickly identified a suspect vehicle, which was located by Det. Sgt. Randolph within thirty minutes of the call. The vehicle was stopped and the cash was recovered still in the money bags that they were kept in. The driver was arrested and his vehicle seized. This was a great job of teamwork between C.I.U. and patrol.

We recently had a armed barricaded subject on Stock Island who was wanted on felony charges. This turned into a seven hour standoff with a lot of manpower on scene. We had S.W.A.T., negotiators, patrol and investigators. The situation was very tense, exacerbated by the fact that the suspect was a past Sheriff's Office employee. The incident went until the early hours of the next day, but ended peacefully without anyone being hurt.

Last of all we all had a county wide BOLO for a van in regards to a missing person suspected to have been killed by a hitchhiker that he had picked up days prior. The F.B.I. was investigating the case from California and had tracked the victims credit cards and A.T.M. card to the area of Stock Island. Det. Catala did an outstanding job actively looking for the van as he started driving though the local trailer parks and soon spotted the van. We set up a command post and brought in resources to set up on the van in an attempt to identify the suspect as we only had a poor quality A.T.M. photo. A local woman who had shacked up with the suspect for the past few days was located. After much lying on her part (surprise) we were able to obtain some needed information and later do controlled phone calls in an attempt to locate and arrest him. This took half a day of hard investigations as we had to follow up leads as well as sit on target locations with unmarked vehicles. In the end we were able to work together as a team and apprehended the fugitive. The van was secured as a crime scene and sent to Miami for processing. Inside of the van was a large amount of blood and tissue as well as a tire iron. The body is still missing and could be between here and Texas. Sector one is always busy as you can see and when we get calls they are good ones. My thanks to everyone involved in all of these cases for outstanding police work and dedication.

Special Investigations Report:
Summertime and the living is easy ! 

By Captain Ross Thomson 

Life is good !  I say that because I have great people that I work with and they do excellent work.  There have been several notable cases lately, that I have had the privilege of reviewing and except for the usual communications issues, the results have been as desired.  Getting used to the new radios with all the channels available and trying to monitor the different groups on each has been a challenge, but getting to listen to everyone throughout the county has been beneficial.   

Regardless of where the cases are, the teamwork that we experience is great.  Everyone working together to resolve the issue, handle the threat or conclude the situation.  I have thanked the commanders at various times but everyone else involved needs to hear our thanks also.  Our communications division is the heart of operations on so many cases, working in their office answering the phones and trying to get us all the information they can to keep us safe. 

From the HIDTA case lovingly referred to as “Ad Nauseam” – it’s the historical money laundering case that has been worked for 12 years and resulted in property and cash seizures in excess of $100 million dollars.  The case continues and there are plea bargains on the table, court decisions in our favor and potential for a dollar or two.  Another case recently resulted in money seized, person arrested and a plane seized.  HIDTA may be quiet, but remember - where there is money, there may be crime.   

As I write this, our national security level has been elevated to Orange, high threat of terrorist actions.  I often think that there is no reason for terrorists to be in the keys or that terrorists have no valid targets in the keys.  At times like that I remind myself that Maine was not a likely starting point for a terrorist attack that started on Sept 11.  What can we do, how can we have an impact on national security ?  Don’t be paranoid, but be aware, be cognizant of what is around you and do not fear reporting people or incidents.  A friend called to ask me what to do when a co-worker made some statements that “could” be taken as threatening.  My answer was would you rather live with the thought of – “I wish I had called someone ..”  The FBI, Dept of Homeland Security, FDLE and numerous other agencies get lots of money to make the determination whether a person or incident may or may not be a threat to our country – but someone has to tell them.  Please participate.

Hurricane season is here…  Have a personal plan for your family and your home.  Be ready to come to work on a moments notice and work 12 hour shifts for two weeks without time off.  Why?  Because IF a storm hits us, your family needs to be out of the path and we all need to be prepared to be everything to everybody until the necessary functions for safe daily living are back in place.  Think about food supplies, water, clothing and shelter.  All things we take for granted, that may not be there if a storm hits.  We all hope that we continue to slide along with Mother Nature slapping some other place upside the head, but we must be prepared to act when it’s our turn.

I will not embarrass myself by naming names again in the coming and going section, but suffice it to say there are people moving in and out of the units and the office, so to those coming – welcome, to those going – see ya.  Seriously, we are losing some very good and long time people.  Brenda Mounts attended and passed the 1980 FKCC Law Enforcement Academy with several people who still work here – the only sworn purchasing agent in the state that I know of !!  Jerry Powell came here as a reporter, with long hair and an earring, then saw the light and converted from the dark side.  George Simpson and Tom Peteck – you thought the county was founded with these guys in uniform.  Easy Ed quietly serving papers, but more importantly – quietly leading others by example.  Chris Nicholls has lived in Tavernier forever and been with us as a comm. officer and records assistant, she, like Brenda, have been here so long we forget they are still so young..  Good luck to each of you and thank you all for making our business a little better. 

I have received many verbal thank yous from citizens and people within the office for different tasks performed by different people in Special Ops.  Dope, traffic, SWAT, dive, traffic, bomb, reserves, investigations, traffic and assistance to victims – for those who appreciate the effort, thank you – for those who offer the effort, our undying gratitude and keep up the good work!

Until next time.

Report from Marathon and Sector 5

By Lt. Larry Kelley

Well, we are a week into another raise of our security level to orange. This means many more security checks and a higher sense of awareness during all facets of our duty. Let's all continue to pull together and watch out for each other during these trying times. The support you give to your fellow officers is the same support they give to you and we need all of that we can get.

On a side note: I have just returned from a few weeks with my sick father who lives just south of Atlanta and while there I visited three different departments, one Sheriff's Office (150 officers), one County Police Department (100 officers) and a city police department (40 officers). All are facing the same trauma of budget shortfalls that we are and their benefits are being slashed as well. They are battling bitterness and discontent and still going out and serving their public the same as our fine officers are. We need to all realize that we are not the only ones in this dilemma nor are we the only ones with internal strife. I can tell you all one thing I have learned coming from a large metro agency myself. The grass IS greener on the other side of the hill--THIS side. These problems will pass and we will all see better times in the future. Right now we need to stay alert and do not compromise our safety or mental welfare by displaying bitterness publicly. Think and feel what you want but always display a positive and professional demeanor to our public and our social partners.

<Larry steps off the soapbox>

OK, I would like to wish a farewell to Joe Cortner who transferred to Sector 1. We will miss his professionalism, friendship and his ability to keep a cool head in any situation. Joe, you will be thought of often and always in the best of terms.

Welcome to our new Deputies, Dan Marquith, Alice Cervantes, Lester Greenwood and Craig Johnson. Dan comes to us as a transfer from Islamorada, I am sure he will be a great asset as he is energetic and always alert. He will fit right in. Alice comes to us from court Security in Key West. That will serve her well and we know she will be successful in her FTO training and enjoy her job here. Lester and Greg come to us fresh out of the academy and will be looking to all of us for support and encouragement in their FTO training. Lets help them all get through it and learn from us along the way. Remember, we become a combination of a lot of little things we learn from our fellow officers and the totality of that learning becomes the way we carry ourselves and carry out our duties. So, what they see in you, they will repeat. Remember that.

We just had two of our officers awarded medals from the Sheriff. Deputies Chuck Meier and Jeremy Davy both extracted a driver from a car that crashed at mm61. The car was catching fire and both risked their lives for the driver and for their bravery were awarded the Sheriff's Medal for their meritorious actions. We are proud of them both and know that even though they were only doing their jobs, this type of action goes above and beyond.

We had a successful second year of Boat Races come to Marathon. Again we were able to secure a lot of detail time for our Deputies and I was able to schedule many of the functions specifically for Traffic Deputies, thus securing them much needed detail time too. There will be more next month at the next Boat Races as well.

We also assisted Traffic during the Seven Mile Bridge Run. This has become a no-brainer and goes smoothly every year. Lets hope the easy ride continues into the years to come.

We offered some very good training last month here in Marathon. The United States Deputy Sheriff's Association, headquartered in Houston, Texas sent two instructors to give us some realistic full impact defensive tactics training. There were very few of our members that took the opportunity afforded them but those of us there had a great time. The instructors were very knowledgeable and the primary instructor was very effective and interesting. They served us a catered lunch and left us all with the sense of knowing that preparation is what will serve us in the future. I will be securing more of this training in the future. Look for training announcements through our Training Division.

Deputy Andrew Ensminger and Reserve Sergeant Dave Campbell went to Tampa to participate in the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Run. They took with them our Department's good will and support for a very good and just cause. Dave Campbell also took on the responsibility I gave him for the Volunteer Parking Enforcement Specialist Program and put on a training class for 11 volunteers. At the end of the class, which is 16 hours long, the students are certified to write county parking tickets. So if you see a Reserve Deputy alone writing a parking ticket, its ok, they can, as long as they have had this class.


The parking enforcement class, taught by Reserve Sgt. Dave
Campbell and Deputy Andrew Ensminger.

I want to confer my special thanks and true admiration to Sergeant Richard Heber for all of the hard work he did in setting up and carrying out the activities for Law Enforcement Memorial Day in Marathon. The ceremony was awesome, the public meeting was a success and the food was plentiful. Sergeant Tom Peteck was a valuable asset in getting the logistics together as usual. The explorers Drill Team and Honor Guard was wonderful and the hit of the program. The Pipe and Drum Corps was their usual flawless self. A great thanks to all involved. And if you missed this performance you missed a true show of talent.

 

Captain Bob Peryam addresses the crowd at the Marathon Police Memorial Day ceremony. The Explorer Drill Team and Honor Guard were featured at the ceremony, performing their award-winning drill routine.

I will close with a note that I secured rooms for all of the members who notified me of their request for accommodations at the upcoming Law Enforcement Olympic Games in June. If any of you are not competing but are up in the area of the games you should stop in and give some support to our athletes. They are representing you and our Department, and many of them always bring home the gold (silver and bronze too).

That's all for now. Be safe and work hard. AND REMEMBER………….. "Someone, somewhere is practicing. If you're not, and someday, if you should meet, you will lose."

Sector 7 Report

By Lt. Bill Moran 

 May has really been THE month.  It took me a little time to realize our new sub-station is actually under construction.  Having spent all but six years of my nineteen years with the Sheriff’s Office in our old building at Plantation Key, the realization that in a matter of months we will be in an all-new building is really exciting.  When all is finally done, all that will be left of the old Mariner’s Hospital will be a few concrete block walls.  Even the foundation will have been modified and strengthened. 

The entire process of demolition of the old hospital, to make way for the new Sheriff’s Office facility, had humble beginnings.  I knew it was actually going to begin when Capt. Bell-Thomson came hurriedly into my office and informed me “The port-a-potties have been delivered!”  There are always priorities in any major construction project.  These portables were clearly the sounding gun.  A few days later, the first huge pile of debris, from inside the old building appeared near some large holes in walls and smaller piles of broken concrete. 

Everyone knows construction projects of this size can be hazardous.  For this reason, the sites are posted prohibiting trespassing and either roped or tapped off.  Our new facility under construction needed the same public safety indicators; and since we don’t have rope long enough to do the job, good old bright yellow plastic tape is perfect.  Running the tape from point to point was like the final act of preparation for a new building to be born for Capt. Bell-Thomson, who insisted on taping it off herself.  She was so excited about this very necessary detail, she accomplished it in record time.  Standing back to admire the completed project she quickly recognized a minor problem.  Lowering the yellow tape, to remove her county car, took only a few minutes.  Great tape job Jenny.

Capt. Bell-Thomson has every right to be ecstatic about the new building finally getting under way.  I can’t count the number of hours spent in planning sessions, re-planning meetings, sorting and prioritizing the thousand and one issues affecting a project of this size; all of which Jenny took on and managed, just to get us to the actual starting point of demolishing the old building.  Great job Jenny!

May also saw another event come off so smoothly it was scary.  For the first time years, Sector 7 had a “Vessel Be Gone Day.”  This is one of the ways we work at staying ahead of illegal dumping cases and, at the same time, offer our community the opportunity to get rid of unwanted boat hulls, boat trailers, and any other marine related equipment; free of charge.  Thanks to the efforts of Kim McGee, Manager of Marine Projects for the Division of Marine Resources, Mark Wheaton and Wheaton’s Service Center and Al’s Towing Service, 25 old boat hulls and several trailers were either towed to the Key Largo Land Fill, or delivered there by the owners, at no cost.  These are 25 hulls that won’t find their way onto rights of way or someone else’s property illegally.  Twenty-five illegal dumping cases we won’t have to work and the community won’t have to look at when they mysteriously appear in the wrong place.

Key Largo School is about to receive a new School Resource Officer from Sector 7.  Deputy Will Schlegelmilch will be taking on the SRO challenge toward the end of summer.  Best of luck Will!  Filling Will’s position will be our newest member of the Sector 7 team, Tom Keith.  Tom comes to us from an impressive 28-year career in the U.S. Navy; where he was a member of the Navy S.E.A.L. teams for almost the entire time.  Tom was U.D.T. (Underwater Demolition Team \ frogman), before the S.E.A.L. teams were formed.  Welcome aboard Tom.

That’s about it for this month.  From Sector 7 to all of you, stay safe and well. 


Awards and Commendation

Employees of the First Quarter, 2003

Photos of the awards ceremony, held May 9th, 2003, are available by clicking here.

Sworn Law Enforcement Officer of the Quarter: Deputy Jennifer LaScala Bureau of Operations, Sector IV Regional  Marathon.  Deputy Jennifer LaScala was selected for this award as a result of her commitment to professional service. Dep. LaScala has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since April 23, 1999. During the past year, Deputy Lascala has taken on the responsibility of directing the Sheriff’s Office Child Safety Seat Program.  This program was on the verge of being dissolved before Deputy Lascala showed an interest in it.

 Deputy Lascala has planned and coordinated six child safety seat checkpoints throughout the Keys.  The checkpoints involve the inspection and installation of the safety seats, and educating the parents on proper installation.  Deputy Lascala has also had numerous private appointments to inspect the child safety seats of individuals who were unable to attend the checkpoints.

 During the last three checkpoints that were held in Islamorada, Marathon, and Key West, a total of 89 cars were checked, 22 child safety seats were distributed and 14 recalled seats were found.

 This is an important program for the Sheriff’s office and is one that matches the agency’s community oriented policing philosophy.  Due to Deputy Lascala’s involvement, the child safety seat program has proven to be successful throughout the Keys.

 I believe Deputy Lascala should be recognized and commended for her hard work and dedication to the Sheriff’s office.

 Support Employee of the Quarter: Finance Assistant Carol Peterson,  Bureau of Administration, Finance Division. Carol Peterson was selected for this award as a result of her commitment to professional service. Carol has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since November 8, 2001.  Carol Peterson has the responsibility for processing invoices for payment.  Although this sounds relatively simple, it can be very complex and involves Carol processing approximately $5,750,000 of expense annually. 

 For those who have received a call from Carol regarding an invoice, she is very professional, courteous and business-like.  Carol is very committed to insuring invoices are paid according to the MCSO policy.  This includes insuring the invoice agrees with the purchase order or contract/agreement, approval by the appropriate person, and charging the correct MCSO department.    

Carol has researched many old, outstanding claims for payment by various vendors, and has had the vendors drop their claims for payment because they could not substantiate their claims.  Carol was able to research “further” back than the vendor could and was able to prove payment for all of the vendor’s claims.  These credits have totaled in excess of $5,000. 

 Carol is very reliable.  She’s punctual and has excellent attendance.  In addition to processing accounts payable, Carol has shown initiative by requesting additional assignments.  She has performed the billing for the Airport and IMPACT.   The quality of her work is excellent.  Carol strives to increase her knowledge and understanding of all facets of the Finance Division. 

Overall, Carol is a dedicated, outstanding employee. 

Corrections Deputy of the Quarter: Detention Deputy Bazarte, Bureau of Corrections, Security Division – KV Facility. Officer Rene Bazarte was selected  for this award as a result of his commitment to professional service. Detention Deputy Rene Bazarte has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since December 16, 1997. Officer Bazarte has been with this agency for over five years and has consistently displayed his abilities to lead by example.  His dedication, attention to detail, tireless effort, enthusiasm, work ethic and unquestionable loyalty to the agency are only among a few of the qualities that make him stand out.  He has been a driving force in the daily operation of the Marathon Facility and considered an asset to the facility. 

For the past two years he has served as my Officer in Charge.  Rene Bazarte is regularly called upon to work overtime as Officer In Charge on the opposite night shift and does so regularly.  He has managed to operate efficiently and effectively even when handed the most difficult of tasks.  Detention Deputy Bazarte has always displayed a superior ability to problem solve, and diffuse what otherwise could have been a potentially violent situation. 

 In addition to the above mentioned, recently Rene Bazarte while driving home from work observed Deputy Cortner conducting a traffic stop.  Detention Deputy Rene Bazarte having a feeling the Deputy may need some assistance changed his radio to District two to monitor the call.  Within seconds of changing channels, Dispatch radioed Deputy Cortner that the automobile he was with is stolen and to use caution.  Detention Deputy Bazarte turned around and cautiously approached the Deputy’s car in a manner so as not to distract him from his now felony stop and immediately identified himself.  Deputy Cortner requested that Detention Deputy Bazarte retrieve the shotgun from his trunk and assist until back up units arrive.  He took cover behind the passenger door while Deputy Cortner took cover behind the driver door.  Back up arrived on scene approximately eight minutes later and all four subjects were taken into custody.

 Detention Deputy Bazarte all too often has performed many commendable tasks, but never received the acknowledgement that is due.  And it is for his loyalty to the agency, concern for the agency, leadership qualities and the professionalism he brings to the agency that I proudly nominate him for Officer of the Quarter.

 Reserve of the Quarter: Reserve Carol Johnson, Bureau of Operations, Sector IV,  Reserve Section Reserve Carol Johnson was selected for this award as a result of her commitment to professional service. Carol has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since April 22, 2002. Ms. Johnson has jumped into the Reserve program with both feet.  Carol originally joined the program a couple of years ago, to be involved with the Sheriff Office Dive Team.  As a member of the dive team she has contributed to the expertise and effectiveness of the team.  She has participated, with the team, on several call-outs this past year.  Dive Team coordinator Det. Mark Coleman speaks very highly of Carol’s contributions to the Dive Team.

 Carol was not satisfied with only involvement with the Dive Team, but has also taken on the overseeing of the Victim Advocate Reserve members.  She accumulates and reports their monthly activity to the Reserve Captain and assists Det. Sgt. Trish Dally with the administration of the Reserve Victim Advocate members.

 Carol has also, in the last 3 months, completed Reserve Training in the Citizens On Patrol program and Parking Enforcement Specialist.

 You would think that Carol would already be doing enough volunteer time with the Reserves.  Not true, just this past month Carol has started training with the Reserve Aviation Division in Marathon to become a crew member.

 Carol is a great asset to the Sheriff’s Office Reserve Program and can be counted on to be there assisting in any way possible.

Explorer of the Quarter: Explorer/Cadet Rosa Montano, Bureau of Operations, Explorer/Cadet Section. Explorer/Cadet Rosa Montano was selected for this award as a result of her commitment to professional service. This explorer is one that I as the senior advisor can always count on to get the job done.  This explorer has been with post 905 for two years now and has brought a lot to the post.  From making it a second family to looking at law enforcement as a career this explorer has truly dedicated both time and soul to the post.  I can also go as far as saying that Explorer Montano has also been a great influence on other post members as well. 

This explorer has on several occasions when asked, and sometimes even without being asked, helped in organizing training, meeting, or details. She is always one of the first to speak up and say what can I do or I can do that.  Explorer Montano has jumped in with both feet when a task has to be done and doesn’t take failure as an option, always coming up with ways to complete the task or to perhaps even make it better.

This explorer has gone out of her way to find ways to recruit people into the post. Rosa has made up flyers and handed them out throughout the school that she attends.  Explorer Montano wears her uniform on meeting days to school with pride and has also created a bulletin board for recruiting and keeps it updated as to what is going on with the post.

This explorer has come along way since becoming a member of post 905.  This explorer was once look at as a bully and a problem in the school and now is looked upon as a leader and a role model.  This is not to say that there are no problems as with all teenage kids there are minor problems.  This explorer has had the integrity to stand and admit blame and take it as a learning tool and move on.

This explorer has taken on the task of balancing the books and keeping track of the monies spent, earned, and donated to the post.  This explorer has made up separate computer programs for the different fund raisers that we have and has kept track of monies in all. Explorer Montano took this task on and reports to the command staff and members at each meeting. And to my knowledge there has not been a penny missed.       

This explorer has shown great pride in the post and its members.  Never missing a meeting or detail and never missing a day of school due to extra activities.  This member is also very active in community sports league and has been a member of winning soccer team. She has been able to balance school, sports, explorers, and most of all family without losing sight of the importance of them all.        

In closing I would just like to say that this explorer is a pleasure to have in the post and is never afraid to step up to the plate and take on the challenge no matter how big or small it may be.

Letters of Thank You and Commendation

  • The mother of an inmate in our Detention Center wrote to Sheriff Roth commending Chaplin Judy Remley for her work with inmates in the jail. She said, in part, "I felt as though I had found a friend and was truly blessed....It is hard to be a thousand miles away and be separated from a child you love. Your program is a gift to the inmates and the families."

  • Edward Horan wrote a letter to Sheriff Roth commending the work of Sgt. Tim Age, who works at the Detention Center on Stock Island. Sgt. Age assisted with clearing up a case of mistaken identity - a man who disembarked from a cruise ship in Key West was arrested on an outstanding warrant. The warrant was actually for another person who had been using the man's name, and Sgt. Age expeditiously cleared the issue up by contacting the originating agency and obtaining a photo and fingerprints of the real wanted man. The man who was mistakenly charged was quickly released and made it back to his ship in time. "Sgt. Age was both concerned and very expedient in dealing with this matter, and I believe that he went well beyond the call of duty," Horan said.

  • Detective Henry Hamilton wrote a letter to Sheriff Roth commending Sgt. Bobby Randolph and Detective Donnie Catala for saving the life of Victim Advocate Lisa Laako. The suspect, wanted for sexual battery and kidnapping, was holding a gun to Laako's head inside a trailer on Stock Island. The two officers were able to talk him out of injuring her and, according to Detective Hamilton, "after approximately six hours of negotiations (he) was taken into custody. This incident ended with no injuries or loss of life....Good Work!"

  • Judge Richard Payne wrote to Sheriff Roth to thank all the officers from the Sheriff's Office who assisted in providing security in the case of State of Florida vs. Michael Tanzi.

  • Patricia Burns, Circuit Administrator for the Probation and Parole office, wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Deputy David Chavka for his work in apprehending a sexual offender living in the Marathon area.

  • Patricia Burns, Circuit Administrator for the Probation and Parole office, wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend the entire staff of the Warrants Division for their help over the years. She says the staff "have assisted the Officers of the Probation Office throughout the years without hesitation and with a most gracious attitude. If this office requires an immediate response, in order that the apprehension of an offender can be made, any one of them is willing to set aside their needs to expedite our request."

  • Deputies Joel Slough and Greg Korzen received a Distinguished Service Medal from Sheriff Roth for their actions in handling a man armed with a machete, threatening to injure himself, others, and officers at the scene. Sgt. Jake Brady wrote, "If it were not for the professionalism of these two officers there could have and most likely would have been a deadly outcome to this situation."


Support Services

Hurricane Cash Advance

By Finance Director Tom Ravenel

Once again, the Hurricane Preparedness-Cash Advance Money Program is in effect.  There is a list of participating employees posted in the Finance Public Folder in Outlook. 

This list has been carried forward from last year and updated for new hires and employees leaving.  This list does not include your designee.  To verify your designee, please email Vicki Reeder at vreeder@keysso.net.    To change your designee, you can complete a new form and send it to Vicki or send Vicki an email stating the designee.  A designee change will not be accepted over the phone

 If your name is not on the list, and you would like to participate or thought you had signed up previously, please print out the “hurr cash adv-employee 03.doc” in the Finance folder in Outlook.   Complete the form and send it to Vicki in the Finance Department. 

New Employees' Retirement Plan Enrollment Deadline

From The Florida Retirement System's MyFRS Financial Guidance Program

New employees hired in December 2002, have until May 30 to file an FRS retirement plan choice.*
New employees should have gotten their Retirement Choice Kits at home several months ago and should be getting a final reminder letter (with PIN) this week. They should call the toll-free MyFRS Financial Guidance Line at 1-866-446-9377 for assistance with the Kit or login to MyFRS.com to use the Choice Service directly. The table below summarizes upcoming new hire deadlines for the next 6 months.

Florida Retirement System New Hire Deadlines

If Hired in this Month ...   Retirement Plan Choice Deadline is ...  
December 2003 May 30, 2003
January 2003 June 30, 2003
February 2003 July 31, 2003
March 2003 August 29, 2003
April 2003 September 30, 2003
May 2003 October 31, 2003

Like all employees, once a new employee makes their plan election, they can use the free ongoing MyFRS financial planning services, such as www.MyFRS.com, the online Advisor Service, workshops and the Ernst & Young financial planners staffing the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line.

* If no plan election is filed, the employee will default to the FRS Pension Plan.

New Insurance plans offered by Allstate

 Submitted by Kristie Hernandez, Human Resources Division

Representatives from Allstate will we coming down June 16 – 20 to speak to our employees to discuss the new policies we have to offer you.  We are currently working on a schedule of times that and Allstate Representative will be at each of the locations.

New Supplemental policies being offered:

 Universal Life – 3 products to choose from based on clients preference for death benefit, guaranteed cash value, projected cash value and surrender charge pattern. 

Universal Life Insurance enables employees to prepare for their family’s future without straining the budget.  While fund values accumulate, the policy owner is protected by immediate life insurance coverage.

Term Insurance - This policy might be right for employees who:

  • are the primary wage earner in their family
  • have a family that would have trouble meeting living expenses without their income.
  • Have regular debts – like credit cards, a car payment, mortgage or other loans.
  • Have children under 18

 Cancer Insurance – this policy pays benefits that can be used for non-medical, cancer-related expenses that health insurance might not cover.  Benefits are paid as you go and cover the actual costs of specific treatments and expenses as they happen.  They can use this insurance to fill the gap in their other policies.

 Disability Income Insurance - provides short-term accident and sickness disability benefits for Total or Partial Disability provided the insured loses income due to such a disability.

  •  Guaranteed Renewable to age 70 subject to change in premiums by class.

  •  Portable coverage: employees may keep coverage after leaving employment, by paying premium directly to AFWD. 

New Hires in May:

LAST NAME FIRST NAME JOB TITLE DEPT
Anderson Ester Detention Records Assistant Central Records
Burns Alvin Deputy Sheriff Sector VI  Islamorada
Catala Vincent School Crossing Guard - Re-Hire School Crossing Guard
Cervantes Alice Lee Deputy Sheriff - Re-Hire City of Marathon - Municipal
Jodlowski Raymond Deputy Sheriff Sector VII  Unincorporated
Joseph Jeanetta Detention Deputy PK Facility-Security
Kahle Rhonda DD Auxiliary Detention Academy
LaRochelle Greg Deputy Sheriff - Re-Hire Sector VII  Unincorporated
Pla Latrice DD Auxiliary Detention Academy

What’s Happening

Guess Who?

 
Send your guesses to Editor Becky Herrin, at beckyherrin@keysso.net

 

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