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OperationsCommendationsSupport Services Sheriff Roth

Sheriff's Report:

Preparing for Hurricane Season in the Keys

Hurricane season is almost here. In two weeks, our agency will be participating in a state-wide hurricane drill in which Monroe County will face a storm which travels the length of the Keys and devastates a large portion of our area. This drill should remind us all how important it is for everyone in the agency to have a personal hurricane plan that can quickly be put in play should a hurricane approach the Keys.

You should first make sure you know what the agency expects of you during a hurricane. Are you one of those employees who are required to stay and work before, during and after a storm? If not, plan what you and your family will do when a hurricane approaches. Make sure you think about different possible scenarios: what will you do if you stay? what will you do if you have to evacuate? Also, make sure to stock up on supplies you will need in such an emergency.

If you are required to stay and work, it is doubly important for you to plan carefully. You want your family to be safe so you can perform your duties without worrying about them. Decide what your family will do under the different possible scenarios: If an evacuation is ordered, where will they go? How will you communicate with each other? At what point will your family return? If the storm is a relatively minor one, and an evacuation isn't necessary, make sure you have the appropriate supplies and equipment in place for your family to be comfortable and secure.

Remember, in emergencies such as a hurricane, we are responsible for the safety and security of everyone in the Keys. In order to make sure we can adequately concentrate on that goal, we need to make sure our own families are safe and we are not distracted by personal issues.

You should be hearing from the Finance Division soon with information about hurricane advances. If you have any questions about the requirements of your job when it comes to hurricanes, now is the time to consult with your supervisor. Don't put it off until a storm is threatening.

We have quite a bit of useful information about planning for a hurricane on our web site. Visit our Tropical Storm and Hurricane section and I think you'll find many things that will help you and your family prepare.

 

Bureau of Operations

Information for Middle Keys Deputies

By Colonel Rick Ramsay

Lately sector four has been hearing me re-directing manpower from sector four to sector five. I was under the impression that you all were aware of why this was occurring, but I have since learned that maybe some of you do not understand what or why.

With this in mind I want to try to clear up the issue and inform you of what should be occurring. The City of Marathon is incorporated as you know, this means that they wish to be their own government. Part of being your own government means that a decision had to be made regarding law enforcement services. The City elected to contract police services with the Sheriff's Office, which means that they determined what they wanted and how many officers they needed and would be willing to pay for. The City determined that they only needed fourteen deputies/sergeants to provide law enforcement services. The remaining deputies are classified as unincorporated, which means that they can only work in unincorporated sector five or they are classified as regional which means they are to work in both incorporated and unincorporated.

The issue at hand is that there has been little to no coverage in sector five, which is not going to continue as they also pay taxes and deserve law enforcement services. We have a sector five zone commander, who is paid extra to be in and take care of problems in sector five. If this person is not in sector five, how can they take care of that area?

Most of my career was working in Marathon and we always had a zone three deputy every day and night. This zone three concept is not new, but has not been used on a regular basis, thus it seems like change to some of you. It's not change, it's just getting back to standard operating procedures.

We are robbing Peter to pay Paul as they say and in this case Peter is unincorporated sector five, while Paul is incorporated sector four.

We have to manage both the City and the County equally and consistently even though it is quiet in zone three and calls for service may have to pend in the City.

I hope that this helped to clear up this matter and gave some of you a better insight as to the big picture.

Kudos to Hard-Working Lieutenants

By Colonel Rick Ramsay

As most of you know I monitor the radio as I check in and out each day while going to and from work. During this time I have heard Lieutenants Fanelli, Brazil and Snider continuously on the radio as well. The Commanders not only monitor the radio, but help out when needed and take calls for service. I appreciate this and believe that it is the right thing to do as we are still deputies, just with different duties and responsibilities. I have seen these commanders taking zones and/or covering for periods of time with manpower allocation shortages or a back log of calls. This is leadership by example and is how it should be, working side by side with your fellow officers when needed in order to accomplish a common goal. I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for this type of action and let you know that it is not going un-noticed.

Everglades trip fun and a success

By Captain Chad Scibilia

Recently Col. Ramsay, Sgt. Mimosa and myself were tasked by Sheriff Roth with patrolling Loop Rd. For those of you who are not familiar with Loop Rd., it is a stretch of gravel road approximately 15 miles long belonging to Monroe County in the everglades. While I am sure that most of you have never been there or even knew that a portion of Monroe County is in the everglades, I thought I would share with you a normal tour of duty on this prime piece of land that we sometimes forget is part of our community.

Everglades 1

 

 

The patrol day started out like any other with us topping off our fuel tanks to make sure we had plenty of fuel in the event we got engaged in any high speed pursuits.

 

 

Everglades 2

 

 

We then made the rounds and talked to a few of the locals. We found them to be quite pleasant but a little standoffish. Or maybe it was us that wouldn’t get too close.

 

 

 

Of course since we had Kevin with us, we had to find him a motor to use. You know what they say, you can never take the motor out of the wing man. So once we found him a motor, we engaged in a little traffic enforcement.

Everglades 3Everglades 4Everglades 5

This took us through half the day and after a little fishing during lunch and a potty break we were back at it.

Everglades 6Everglades 7

Everglades 8

 

 

We did have one call for service where the suspect snatched some fish from the victim. A bolo was aired and after a short time, Kevin located the suspect and engaged in a felony take down.

 

 

Everglades 9

 

 

The suspect was able to elude Kevin by swimming into the swamp. But with the help of the local part rangers, Kevin commandeered an air boat and gave chase. Needless to say as Kevin returned to land he gave the thumbs up indicating the suspect was captured.

 

 

Everglades 10

 

 

The day ended with the Col. Showing the locals what would happen if there was any more problems and we had to come back.

 

 

 

In all seriousness, we had a great time and met some really good people. A special thanks to all the park rangers for their help and the great barbecue. We also thank Fred and Sandy Doughahoff, Maurine and Mr. Lucky for their hospitality. You all made the trip truly enjoyable and hope to see you again.

PS. By the way Sheriff, the threats of assigning me to work the night shift on loop road will no longer work. You can send me there anytime.

Trip to the Everglades, Second Edition

By Colonel Rick Ramsay

Recently myself, Captain Scibilia and Sergeant Mimosa traveled to mainland Monroe County or otherwise known as Loop Road. Mainland Monroe County is off of State Road 41 in the Everglades and is surrounded by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians.

We have approximately fifteen to twenty full time residents out there and a large volume of tourists that visit on a daily basis. There is also a Ranger Station out there and that is were we stayed for a couple of days.

We had in the past sent two traffic enforcement officers up there each year during the opening of hunting season, but have not had a presence there for some time now. After receiving some citizen complaints and concerns over a variety of issues we elected to spend some time on the mainland as well as to meet the new Chief Ranger, Chief Ed Clark.

This was about a three hour drive from Marathon and required us to be self contained as there are no stores around there at all. We loaded up our coolers and checked in at the Ranger Station with Ranger Raymond Little. They have a nice facility including a small gym, bath and a bunk room that we were able to use and welcomed as the conditions were very different when I was last there on patrol in the late eighties, now that was roughing it as they say.

Once we dropped off our gear we went on patrol and spent a lot of time with the residents as they are a wonderful bunch of people. When we first got there the first reactions were who died, did someone get killed? Within an hour everyone knew that we were up there and some locals even starting looking for us to talk and invite us to dinner at their homes. We had a B.B.Q. planned at the Ranger Station with the staff so we had to turn down several offers for dinner with our citizens.

We patrolled all day long and took a fast break for the B.B.Q. and later went back out on patrol during the night hours. Loop Road is a part paved but mostly dirt road which goes through the Everglades starting in Dade County entering Monroe County for about twenty miles before entering Collier County. During our patrols we saw an incredible amount of wildlife consisting of deer, alligators, snakes, turtles, birds and fish. If you like the outdoors and wildlife this is the detail for you.

We patrolled the next day until early afternoon before heading back to civilization from what seemed like fifty years in the past. This was the third time that I have been there for patrol duties and have had a good time every time.

This trip was well received by everyone up there and by the other officers with me who, I think, enjoyed their time up there and away from the normal grind. I would like to thank them both for agreeing to come with me and for the positive attitude that they had while there and with the citizens.

Marathon will benefit from Sheriff's Office patrol boat

Marathon boatThe City of Marathon will benefit from a Sheriff's Office patrol boat purchased with drug forfeiture funds. In the photo, Sheriff Rick Roth hands the keys to the new Marathon Sheriff’s Patrol Boat to Deputy Harry Boyden .Also pictured are Jon Repetto, former City Councilman who spearheaded the efforts to get the City this boat and a Marine Deputy position, Mayor Jeff Pinkus, Marina dock master Richard Tanner and Captain Bob Peryam.

The vessel is a 25 foot AquaScan Rigid Hull Inflatable powered by a 225 HP Mercury outboard which will be assigned to the City of Marathon for patrolling near shore waters and assisting in other water-bound missions citywide. Funding for the boat is from Federal drug forfeiture funds, including $41,000 for the boat itself, $10,534 for the motor and $5,112 in miscellaneous outfitting costs. Sheriff's Deputy Harry Boyden will fill the position of Marine Deputy in Marathon.

 

Note from the Community Relations Division

By Director Greg Artman

The citizens response card survey for first quarter of 2004 as follows: 228 calls for service surveys mailed. 69 response cards returned. Only five residents expressed overall dissatisfaction with services of MCSO. Sample comment: "The deputy was very helpful and he made us feel comfortable. He also followed up with us. Thank you."

Dive Team members participate in Security Training

Dive 1 In the photos: Members of the Sheriff's Office Underwater Search and Recovery Team participating in training to learn how to search pier pilings for underwater explosive devices.

 

Two members of the Underwater Search & Recovery Team recently completed the first of a series of two-week long Anti-Terrorism Underwater Port Security Courses in Key West. Deputy Winfred Higgins and Detective Mark Coleman were trained in advanced techniques involving searching for and identifying destructive or parasitic devices below the waterline around ship hulls, docks, piers, and bridges. Some of the training included mapping potential target areas that could be subject to terrorist attacks by sea, and strategic planning in detecting and preventing such attacks. In addition to utilizing full-face masks with underwater communication systems and tethers, the students gained hands-on experience with other specialized equipment such as side-scan sonar, ROV camera, and magnetometer. Dive 2

   

Key West has one of the busiest seaports in the country. While land-based security measures have been taken to prevent potential terrorist attacks, security below the surface is also important. The destructive potential of a relatively small mine placed under a cruise ship hull or below a seawall could mean significant damage, disruption of operations and potential loss of life. Disabling or sinking a ship in the main ship channel would disrupt harbor traffic long enough create a major strain on the maritime industry.

 

The many bridges spanning the Florida Keys are also vulnerable. Therefore, it’s crucial that police dive teams learn to search for and identify destructive devices below the surface. Major Florida seaports such as the Port of Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, and the Port of Tampa have already implemented security plans. These plans include the use of dive teams for security below the surface. Monroe County recognizes the necessity of such plans for security in the area of the Florida Keys and the Sheriff's Office Underwater Search & Recovery Team is always prepared to respond should the necessity arise.

 

Instruction was conducted by Reserve Lt. Bob Smith, Reserve Lt. Robert Jason, other FKCC Dive School staff, and former members of the U.S. Navy E.O.D.  Dive Team members from Key West Police Department, FWC, and from other agencies around the state participated and it is anticipated that by year’s end, all members of the MCSO Dive Team will have completed this training.


Awards and Commendations

  • Jerome M. Brown, an attorney in Philadelphia, wrote a letter to Sheriff Roth commending Deputy Luis Rivera for assistance he rendered to him in February. In part, he says, "I would highly recommend and commend Deputy Rivera not only for his obvious talents but also for the compassionate manner that he displayed to travelers in need, which I believe is part and parcel of police functioning."
  • Captain Joe Leiter wrote to Director of Communications Anne Leonard to commend four dispatchers for their help in handling a high profile call in Islamorada. He wrote, "I would like to thank the following dispatchers: Debbie Shepherd, Michelle Rabinowitz, Yvonne Paskiewicz and Carlos Lagos, who all were an integral part of this case."

Support Services

Property and Evidence Division

By Property Supervisor Diane O'Dell

Reminder to all who submit property and evidence:

We have a lot of cases that have to be returned to the submitting officer for corrections because of the mistakes with basic property and evidence handling procedures. Here are a few tips on proper evidence handling:

  • Evidence for FDLE must be packaged separately from evidence for storage.
  • All packages for FDLE submission must have evidence tape. 
  • The evidence tape must cover the opening of the package.   
  • Initials must be half on the package and half on the tape. 
  • Use one side of the package for case number, property receipt number and item number.
  • Don't use any packaging smaller than 5" x 7".
  • The case number is the offense number 04OFF001234 not the cad number. 
  • The offense number should be written the same on every package, on the property receipt and the FDLE form.

If we all try to keep these rules in mind, we will save lots of time when it comes to the handling of evidence.

Purchasing

By John Fowley

I have been asked to remind everyone of the spending limits and competitive bid process that must be followed when processing a purchase requisition. Not adhering to these guidelines will result in unnecessary delays in processing your request.

But before I start I would like to thank all of you for your help and support over the past year. It is a pleasure to be part of this organization and working with such an outstanding group of professionals.

Purchase Requisitions Approval Thresholds

Purchase Requisitions

The purchase requisition serves to notify the Purchasing Agent of the specific material or services to be purchased. In addition, the properly approved requisition provides the authority to charge a specific account and allows for verification that funds are available in the account specified. All purchases, except those covered by Blanket Purchase Orders or Approved Recurring Expenditure Listing, must be documented on a requisition form. Requisitions must be approved by the appropriate supervisor and need to be coded to indicate the department and sub-account expense number to be charged.

The Sheriff has established price thresholds that authorize agency personnel at specific levels of command to approve purchase requisitions for issuance of purchase orders. The thresholds for approval of requisitions are as follows:

The Colonel, Bureau Chief and Correction Major will approve purchase requisitions as follows:

  • Single item with a unit cost greater than $1,000
  • Multiple items/quantities with a total cost greater than $2,500

Sector Commanders/Directors will approve purchase requisitions as follows:

  • Single item with a unit cost less than $1,000
  • Multiple items/quantities with a total cost less than $2,500

Purchase requisitions must have the appropriate approval per the above thresholds prior to the issuance of a purchase order. Requisitions are not to be subdivided to avoid quotation/bid requirements or approval thresholds.

Price Quotations and Competitive Selection

Purchases made under the following circumstances are exempt from competitive selection procedures:

  • Emergencies
  • Single source products
  • Products available through existing contracts, purchase agreements or contracts executed by other units of government which contain authority for local use (i.e., state contracts or GSA contracts).
  • Acquisition on terms identical or better than those contained in a written contract secured by another unit of state or local government after a competitive procurement process completed no more than one year prior to purchase by the agency.
  • “Follow-on” contracts, where a new contract is made with a contractor who has previously provided goods or services to the agency and a subsequent contract permits the continued development or production of a major system or specialized equipment, and conducting a competitive procurement procedure is likely to result in duplication of cost not expected to be recovered through competition, or unacceptable delays in fulfilling the agency’s needs.

The agency has established the following thresholds that require competitive bids based on the estimated cost of an item and/or the quantity of items to be purchased.

  • Less than $4,000 for aggregate purchase of like-kind items: Bids not required.
  • Bids for Purchases:
    • Between $4,000 - $7,000: Requisitioning personnel, with the assistance of the Purchasing Agent, will obtain at least (2) telephone or in-person price quotes. Documentation shall be attached to the purchase requisition and purchase order. The lower of the two will be selected, absent unusual circumstances which must be documented.
    • Between $7,001 - $10,000: Requisitioning personnel, with the assistance of the Purchasing Agent, will obtain at least (2) written quotes. The solicitation may be requested in writing, by telephone or in person. All quotes shall be attached to the purchase requisition and purchase order. The lower of the two will be selected, absent unusual circumstances which must be documented.
    • Greater than $10,000: Any purchase of or contract for goods or services costing more than $10,000 during any fiscal year shall be made only after a competitive procurement process has been conducted. A Commander or Director in need of goods or services exceeding this cost threshold will notify the Sheriff, General Counsel, and Director of Finance. After approval by the Sheriff, Commander or Director shall meet with the Director of Finance and General Counsel to plan a competitive procurement process designed to produce the best value for the agency. No contract for goods and services costing more than $10,000 during any fiscal year shall be entered into by the agency without approval of the Sheriff, General Counsel, and Director of Finance.

Sole Source Purchase

The purchase of material or services from a single source may be exempt from competitive price quotations or bids when written documentation is received from the District Commander/Director. The request shall set forth the reasons why this is the only item that will fulfill the need and why a sole source should be utilized for this purchase. This written documentation is to be submitted to the Purchasing Agent.

Other helpful hints for Purchase Order Requisitions Processing

  • Print full name of “Requisitioned By”
  • Be specific as to “Ship to Location”
  • Don’t forget “Charge To” information
  • Suggested “Vendor Name”
  • Make sure requisition has proper approval per established threshold levels
  • When you have questions or need help, call Purchasing – 292-6832

The entire Purchasing Policy may be found in the General Order Section 80.8 – 80.11.

Changes to Light Duty Policy

By Risk Manager Tamara Snider

Some time ago we implemented a practice which centralized the responsibility for managing requests for light duty positions. This responsibility was taken over by administrative staff at Headquarters, who were tasked with placing people into only vacant budgeted positions that complied with their medical restrictions. Particular emphasis was to be placed on a light duty posting that would most benefit the agency (so if we are paying overtime in dispatch then that is where the priority would be placed for assignments)

The requirement for the posts to be vacant budgeted positions came about because we did not have a formalized policy with definitive timeframes. Given that we have that policy in effect now, the practice of requiring light duty positions to be vacant budgeted positions will be relaxed. Priority consideration will be given to vacant budgeted positions and agency need. Should an agency need and/or vacant position not exist that complies with the employees medical restrictions, unbudgeted and/or temporary posts will be considered. The review of all light duty positions and the determination of where the person can most benefit the agency will continue to be centralized.

For worker's compensation light duty requests, please contact Tamara Snider 292-7090. For non-work related light duty requests, please contact Kristie Hernandez 292-7044. Please feel free to contact me if I can provide you with any additional information.

 


General News

Police and corrections advisors needed for post -conflict Iraq

On behalf of the United States Department of State, we are actively recruiting up to 1000 civilian police, corrections, and judicial advisors for service in Iraq to help the Iraqi citizens organize effective civilian law enforcement, judicial, and correctional agencies.

Advisors will work with Iraqi criminal justice organizations at the national, provincial and municipal levels to assess threats to public order and mentor personnel at all levels of the Iraqi law enforcement system.

You must be a certified, civilian, police officer or corrections officer having a minimum 5 years of sworn, full-time, paid experience. Candidates must be currently serving or have been active within the last five years.

The compensation for the one-year mission is $75,076 and the entire package is eligible for federal income tax exemption.

All lodging, meals, and transportation, as well as logistical, technical and administrative support necessary to accomplish the advisors' mission is provided at no cost to the officer. Lodging will be in a secure compound.

Qualified candidates will be flown to Virginia for a 10-day orientation. No applicant is officially employed until the applicant signs a contract at the conclusion of the orientation. Applicants must be ready to leave immediately from Virginia to Iraq.

Resumes should detail specific experience, certifications, specialties, ranks and assignments. Please include your full name and specific dates of employment in your resume.

If you are interested, we encourage you to send your resume.

You may email your resume to cops.recruiting@dyncorp.com <<mailto:cops.recruiting@dyncorp.com

Scholarship for Sons/Daughters of MCSO Employees

The Florida Sheriff's Association is now accepting applications for three separate FSA Scholarships for the sons and daughters of full time Sheriff's Office employees worth $1,000 a piece for the school term beginning Fall of 2004.Applicants must:

  • Be a dependent son or daughter of any full time sheriff's office employee be attending a college or community college that is regionally accredited and be enrolled in a degree-seeking program for the school term beginning Fall of 2004
  • Certify within the application that they are planning a career in law enforcement, corrections, or a related criminal justice field.

For a copy of the application, send an email request to Deputy Becky Herrin at beckyherrin@keysso.net or click here to download a copy in Adobe Acrobat Reader format.

Commercial Emergency Contact form now available on-line

Communications Officers, deputies and detectives should be aware that the Sheriff's Office Commercial Emergency Contact form is now available on the Sheriff's office web site. Business owners and managers can choose to fill the form out on-line, or download it, fill it out and mail it in. Anyone who has contact with area businesses should mention the availability of the form, and the importance of keeping such information up to date with our agency.

Sheriff's Office Communications Director Anne Leonard says the information can be crucial when something happens at a business after hours and law enforcement needs to find someone responsible for a commercial property. 

"If we have a break-in at a business, or a fire or some other emergency, we need to be able to find someone fast who can respond and help us deal with the problem," she said. If there is no information on file with the Sheriff's Office, or if the information is out of date, dispatchers may have to waste valuable time trying to find a person responsible. 

"If a burglar breaks a window, or damages a door to the extent that it cannot be closed or locked, we need to be able to call someone who can take responsibility for securing the premises," she said. "We also need information about alarm systems, and about the business itself, such as what types of products they carry. All of this information will help us better handle situations that might arise at commercial properties after hours."