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

February 2004

Table of Contents


 Sheriff’s Report

Elections are just around the corner

Elections are just around the corner, including the election for Sheriff. During the last election, the politics sometimes turned nasty and there were some hard feelings generated. I do not want that to happen in the upcoming election. I would like to stress that, despite the political season, we all must be able to work closely together without having politics interfere in the quality of the performance of our duties.

Remember, politicking while on the job is totally unacceptable. What you do on your own time is your own business, but let’s all decide right now to put the politics on the back burner when we put on our uniforms and go to work.

When the election is over, everyone in the agency must continue working together. To that end, please treat your fellow employee’s opinions with respect, and do not let political disagreements effect the way we all do our jobs.

Before the election, you will more than likely be meeting candidates both around the office and in the community while off duty. Please treat all these candidates with respect, no matter what your personal feelings may be.

Public Records Requests

During an election season, we usually see an increase in public requests for information. These requests might come from candidates for Sheriff, or from the general public looking for an election issue, or just someone wanting a copy of an offense report. It doesn't matter who makes a public records request, we will treat all requests the same way: we will follow the law as laid out by the State of Florida in Florida Statute 119.07.

If you deal regularly with releasing information to the public, you probably know what this law says and you know how to deal with such a request. If you don't, you should spend a little time reviewing it. A useful tool for us all is the Attorney General's publication entitled "Public Records: A Guide for Law Enforcement Agencies". If you have a question about what is or is not a public record, feel free to send email to Public Information Officer Becky Herrin. She is very familiar with the law and would be happy to help.

Keep in mind: a person can make a request for information anonymously if they want to. We can't insist on knowing who the person requesting the information is and we can't insist on knowing why they want it. I am proud of the fact that our agency is an open and honest one. We have nothing to hide and should always comply with all public records requirements promptly and courteously.

Ask the Administration

The Ask the Administration column was started years ago so that employees could anonymously  submit questions to Sheriff's Office administrators and receive answers to their questions. We share the questions and answers with our Rap Sheet readers because many times, the question is one that many people have, but have not felt comfortable asking. We hope by allowing this anonymous forum, we will facilitate healthy communication and foster a more open and trusting relationship between employees and those who administrate the Sheriff's Office.

Please feel free to send questions to Deputy Becky Herrin, Public Information Officer, at the Key West Office of Community Relations. You can send a question via the courier, or to my email address at beckyherrin@keysso.net. You don't need to sign it, but if you do I'll keep your identity to myself. I will make sure the question is directed to the appropriate person and the question and the answer will be printed in the next month's Rap Sheet.

Keep in mind we will not address questions which are meant to slander or reflect badly on any individual member of the Sheriff's Office. This column is not meant for personal attacks. It is meant to answer honest questions with honest answers about issues you as an employee might have with the way the office is administered.

Bureau of Operations

Sector One Report

By Captain Chad Scibilia

Sector One held a formal inspection February 24th in Key West. On the left is Sector One road patrol with Lt. Mitch Snider, Captain Chad Scibilia, Sheriff Rick Roth, Colonel Rick Ramsay and Major Tommy Taylor. On the right, Lt. Snider inspects Deputy David Lariz, Jr.s weapon during the inspection.

Click here to see more inspection photos

I missed last months’ submission and I don’t remember where I left off so I hope I don’t forget anyone. First let's say goodbye to Deputies Long and Weber. Long is leaving us to go to Naples and we wish him the best of luck. Weber left and took a job as an investigator with the SAO. I know he will serve Mr. Kohl well and I wish him happiness in his new endeavor. As always, when you say goodbye to one we say hello to another. We welcome to Sector One Henry Del Valle (who comes to us from Key West emergency services) and Roderick LaQuire who comes to us from Corrections. We know these two will make a fine addition to Sector One. We are also awaiting the welcome of Deputy Sonya Morgan who will be coming to us from sector 4, at least we hope one day she will be… (hint hint Bob and Larry) And last but certainly not least, we welcome newly promoted Kevin Mimosa. There is no doubt that Kevin will do good things for our Sector.

It is with great pleasure that I get to announce that Sector One has not only the Officer of the Quarter but also the Officer of the Year. Congratulations to Dep. Matt Dowling for being the Officer of the Fourth Quarter of 2003 and to Sgt. Daryl Hull for receiving Officer of the Year for 2004. You two are fine examples of modern law enforcement and a true asset to not only Sector One but all the citizens of Monroe County.

On a last note, Sector one hosted a formal dinner and station inspection on February 24. The event was fun for all. A special thanks to Sector 4 for road coverage during the event.

Left to right, Lt. Mitch Snider, Colonel Rick Ramsay,
Officer of the Year for 2003 Sgt. Daryl Hull, Sheriff Rick Roth
and Captain Chad Scibilia.

Captain Chad Scibilia pictured with Deputy Matt Dowling,
Sworn Officer of the Fourth Quarter, 2003.

Report from Marathon and Sector 5

By A/L Sgt. Dennis Cain

Greetings and salutations from Marathon!

In this installment of the rap sheet we welcome Dep. Mark Eastty to team Marathon. We look forward to working with him. We would also like to welcome aboard our  newest Sergeant - Sergeant Gene Thompson. Welcome aboard Gene, it’s great to have you back! We have just learned that Dep. Ernie Paton is leaving us for Osceola County. Good luck Ernie you will be missed. We are eagerly awaiting delivery of our new boat. It’s a good thing too! Deputy Boyden is getting a little “dinghy”.

At least our water is warm!

(<http://www.geocities.com/alloyed2sea/HumorAtSea.html>)

Stay safe!

Water patrol gets help from Yamaha

 For the past four years, Sheriff's deputies have been patrolling the near-shore waters of the Keys with the help of Yamaha. Riva Yamaha and Key Largo Riva South have donated the use of new Waverunners every year to help with such patrol efforts. Over the years, the Waverunners have been used for search and rescue, boating safety programs, crime prevention patrols in county residential neighborhoods and assisting the Sheriff's Office dive team.
 
"We love the Yamaha Waverunners," said Sgt. Lou Caputo, who heads up the program. "We are able to reach many areas on the waverunners that we just couldn't get to in a car or on a boat," he said. Caputo says Yamaha has donated 23 waverunners over a four year period, or six per year  for 3 years and five this year. The Florida Keys is the largest recipient of waverunners in the nationwide Law-Loaner program. Over 30 deputies have been trained in patrol methods on the craft.

Left to right, Steve Bandas, owner of Riva Yamaha,
Sheriff Rick Roth and Mike Martin, store manager
of Key Largo Riva South.

Awards and Commendations

Employees of the Fourth Quarter, 2003, left to right:
Sheriff Rick Roth, Mary Frances Scaramuzzi, Carol McGinley
 and Bryant Marles. Not pictured: Deputy Matt Dowling
and Det. Deputy John Keene.

Congratulations, Employees of the Quarter!

At a ceremony held Thursday at the Marathon Government Center, Sheriff Rick Roth and a crowd of Sheriffs’ Office employees and family members honored Sheriff’s Office Employees of the Fourth Quarter, 2003. The following people were honored in five separate categories:

SWORN: Deputy Matt Dowling has been with the agency for five years, during which time he has become intimately involved in all aspects of his job. Deputy Dowling was assigned to the COP position in the Stock Island area, and while this position entails becoming involved with community events, he has gone above and beyond his duties. He attends each and every community meeting or event no matter what the issue or topic and constantly strives to serve all the citizens of the community. This is reflected in his monthly activity with Deputy Dowling constantly making over 200 community contacts per month. In addition to this, while it is not his primary function, he routinely assists with zone coverage as calls arise. Deputy Dowling answered 78 calls for service last month alone.

While the statistical numbers alone demonstrate that Deputy Dowling goes above and beyond his assigned duties and is deserving of the officer of the quarter award, the true measure is demonstrated in the fact that since Capt. Scibilia has been assigned to Cudjoe station, the Capt. has not met a person in the Stock Island area that not only know him, but had only praise to say about him, his eagerness and his diligence in helping them solve their problems or resolve their issue.

Deputy Dowling's day in and day out approach to his job exemplifies professional law enforcement in conjunction with community involvement. Because of this, he deserves recognition.

SUPPORT: Mary Frances Scaramuzzi consistently performs her duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner, demonstrating superior performance and attention to detail. Mae meets and exceeds all expectations of performing with excellence while on the job and acting professionally outside of normal work hours. Mae Frances’s specific accomplishments for this selection period include: Researched and retrieved hundreds of historical operation documents for the jail re-accreditation inspection. Her direct involvement played a major role in all three jails receiving re-accreditation certificates for the next three years. In addition, Mae deals with incoming and outgoing correspondence for the Bureau of Corrections whether it be paper, people, or phone calls. Mae handles it all with professional courtesy. “The Mother of Executive Assistants called by some.” She is called upon for assistance and professional advice from both agency personnel and various community professionals as well; never to say no, Mae shares her wealth of knowledge as an Executive Assistant and life in general. She continues to fine tune her administrative skills by enrolling in various administrative courses made available through the agency.

Mae is very active in her local church and is an outstanding representative of the Sheriff’s office in our local community. Her loyalty, integrity, trustworthiness, ethical standards and dedication to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office are unquestionable.

Mae’s professional standards are to be emulated by all.

CORRECTIONS: Detention Deputy John Keen has worked with two different supervisors other then Sgt. Major since June 01, 2003 being the backbone of the shift and supporting the supervisors. When there was no supervisor on duty, Officer Keen took on the responsibility. He has also shown great support of the Sheriff Office by training officers while at the same time taking on extra duties like doing the records assistant job since it became vacant. When we needed an officer to step up and take on extra responsibilities, Officer Keen was more than willing to help. Officer Keen also helped the sergeants that replaced Sgt. Major with learning smartcop while he was out for knee surgery. This is the type of leadership and support the Sheriff’s Department needs.

RESERVE: Aux. Sgt. Carol McGinley assisted CSI Gary McCullough at the house of a Sheriff's deputy who died. She went beyond her call of duty to tend to the family and assist at the scene.

EXPLORER: Junior Explorer Marles has been a member of Post 906 for 2 ½ years. He is a very active and dedicated member. He readily volunteers for any task needing to be done during regular meetings, whether it is errands, paperwork, or being “the guinea pig” during training. Marles works almost every detail we have and regularly steps up to assist the Command Staff with younger members. He is well on his way to a supervisory position.

Recently, a last minute request was made for the Drill Team to perform at Marathon High School during half time at the football game. It would have been impossible for us to get together the countywide team for this event, so we pulled from our post. Four members, including Jr. Explorer Marles, stepped up. They had four days to prepare and none of them had ever picked up a parade rifle before. Last minute practices were called, each lasting 2 hours from 6-8p.m. Marles was involved with the Marathon Youth Club Football and had practice from 5-7p.m. each night. He attended MYC Football practice, and then walked over to where we were practicing, and still in football gear, picked up his rifle to practice with the team. He practiced at home as well so he would not fall behind the others. The performance went well because of this type of dedication.

Letters and Commendations

  • Bridget Flores, President of the Southernmost Coast Guard Enlisted Association, wrote to Colonel Ramsay to thank the Sheriff's Office for helping with a bike ride from Islamorada to Key West. Twenty six people completed the ride which raised money for the PACE Center for Girls. She said, "Please give special thanks to Captain Joe Leiter, Sergeant (Glen) Test, Deputy Adam Rabinowitz, Deputy Kevin Mimosa and Deputy Eric Mixon for their time and escorts. Without them this would not have been possible."
  • Sgt. Trish Dally wrote a letter commending a number of Sheriff's Office employees for their help making arrests in a difficult case in the lower Keys recently. She thanked Deputy Ed Drielsma, Deputy Tom Peteck, Jr., Sgt. Daryl Hull, Crime Scene Technician Gary McCullough and Detectives Janine Gedmin and Natalie Mashburn for the successful arrest of two subjects for sexual activity with a minor. She said, in part, "I wish to bring this case to your attention because everything from the initial report to the final transport to the jail went without one flaw.....I believe everyone involved in this case worked professionally and well as a team."
  • "Bicycle" Joanie Nelson wrote a letter commending deputies and detectives for their help in the recovery of her stolen purse and the apprehension of the thief who stole it. She says that Deputies Dennis Coleman, Gregg Johnson, Louis Rivera, Detectives Lionel Vargas, Rick Martin, Crime Scene Detective Charlene Sprinkle-Huff and Records Assistant Rita Hinerman "saved, maybe not my life, but for sure my contemporary sanity and temporary well-being."
  • Mary Lou Wilkinson, President of the Harris Park Neighborhood Association, Inc. wrote to Sheriff Roth commending Sergeant Lou Caputo and Deputy Laura Garcia. She says, in part, "It is because of people like Sgt. Caputo and Deputy Garcia who spend their day off helping the neighborhood pick up trash that makes Monroe County a great place to live."
  • Burrell and Teresa Atchison wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Deputy Charlie Cobb for his help finding their daughter, who was missing and whose last known address was in Marathon. Deputy Cobb found their daughter within a short time in New Jersey and ascertained that she was fine. The Atchisons commend Deputy Cobb for "going the extra step in clearing up a missing person's case in such an expeditious manner."
  • Paul Meyers, Chief of the State Attorney's Investigative Division, wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Sgt. Daryl Hull and Deputy Ed Drielsma for their help with a difficult neighborhood problem on Narcissus Avenue, Big Pine Key. A person living in the neighborhood was terrorizing the rest of those living on the street. In resolving the problem, the suspect was finally arrested, and evicted from the property. Chief Meyers wrote, "Deputy Drielsma showed a real interest in resolving this problem by going the extra mile." He also said "The issue is that Sgt. Hull showed a real interest in the community by meeting with the complainants, and following all avenues available to him, in order to find a resolution to their concerns."

General Information

Deputies wanted to help at Summer Camp

The Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranches is looking for law enforcement officers who want to participate in their Summer Camp program. More information and a copy of the application form can be obtained by emailing Deputy Becky Herrin at beckyherrin@keysso.net or calling the office of Community  Relations, 292-7116.

Deputies wanted for Service Mission in Iraq

DynCorp International is seeking law enforcement officers to travel to Iraq for duty to participate in "an international effort to re-establish police, justice and prison functions in post-conflict Iraq." Interested applicants must be active-duty, retired or recently separated sworn police officers, correctional officers or experienced judicial experts. U.S. Citizenship is required. If you are interested, call toll free 866-258-8770, email cops.recruiting@dyncorp.com or visit www.policemission.com.

Contract length is one year. This is an armed, plain-clothes mission. Pay structure is as follows:

  • Senior police advisors and section chiefs: $153,600
  • Judicial officers: $104,000
  • All other positions: $75,076.92

Lodging, meals and transportation as well as logistical, technical and administrative support necessary to accomplish the advisor's mission is provided at no cost to officers.

Requirements include:

  • United States Citizen
  • Must have a total of 5 years of sworn civilian domestic law enforcement or corrections experience.
  • Must be actively serving sworn law enforcement, corrections or recently separated within five years.
  • Ability to communicate in English.
  • Valid U.S. driver's license and ability to operate a standard transmission vehicle.
  • Unblemished background.
  • Excellent health.
  • Valid U.S. passport will be required.
  • Seeking applicants with two years of experience in specialized skills.

Digital photography poses thorny issues for justice system

By Brian Bergstein / AP Technology Writer, Published Thursday, February 5, 2004

When Victor Reyes went on trial for murder last year, the technology that fingered him was supposed to be a star witness.

Police in Florida had used software known as More Hits to determine that a smudged handprint they had found on duct tape wrapped around a body -- but originally couldn't decipher -- implicated Reyes in the 1996 killing.

The judge let prosecutors introduce More Hits' digital enhancement. But the defense called it "junk science," and had an art professor testify that the process resembled how Adobe Photoshop can be used to make trick-photo illustrations.

Reyes was acquitted. Click here to read more of this article........

What’s Happening

Sandy Bartlett's (Information Systems) husband, Capt. Mike Bartlett, took Detective Henry Hamilton out for some flats fishing on Valentine's Day (isn't that cute!!!) and Henry hooked up with a 25 pound Permit! Here are the pictures to prove it.


            Catch............................................................and release.

And this from Mary Cohen at the jail......

Obviously, putting a bulletin board on the wall was too
 technical for the Programs Department JIP section at the jail.
Therefore, the solution was to bring in three painters to attach
one tiny bulletin board to the wall. However, they could not
replace the light bulb because they say it takes four to perform that task.

 

The agency said goodbye this month to Mark and Connie Long,
who have moved to Naples. Good luck in your new community,
Mark and Connie. We'll miss you.